What Is Order Fulfillment?
Order fulfillment is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. In its most general sense, an order fulfillment definition supply chain is the complete process of fulfilling an order. It usually begins with a customer making an inquiry into a product and ends with the delivery of the product to the customer. In the case of a printing company, it starts with a customer making an inquiry for a printing service and ends with delivering the service to the customer.
Order fulfillment process
Different businesses take different approaches to the order fulfillment process. Commercial printing companies typically use the following steps:
- Product inquiry: A potential customer makes an inquiry about a printing service, such as designing and printing brochures and business cards. It may require the customer to visit the company’s website, showroom or office. It may also involve requesting a brochure or catalog.
- Sales quote: The customer requests for and is given a sales quote. A company representative sits with the customer and discusses the specifics of the customer’s needs. He or she then prepares a sales quote based on the customer’s requirements and hands the same to the customer.
- Order booking: The customer formally places an order. The customer may choose to compare sales quotes from two or more companies before placing an order. This involves filling out an order form, either online from the company’s website or on paper at the company’s office.
- Invoicing or billing: The customer is given an invoice to let him or she knows exactly how much he or she should expect to pay for the printing services that have been ordered. The invoice may be sent electronically (in the case of an online order) or printed out on paper.
- Order processing: The order is executed. This means the printing jobs are done according to the customer’s specifications. The customer may want to look at a sample to ensure the printouts are exactly as ordered.
- Product delivery: The printed products, e.g., brochures and business cards, are delivered to the customer. Sometimes, the customer may be required to pick up the products.
- Settlement: Once the customer is satisfied with the service, the bill is settled and a receipt is given. This brings an end to the order fulfillment process.
Strategies for order fulfillment
Although order fulfillment sounds quite simple in concept, it can be quite complicated in practice because of the number of people and steps involved in the process. Some of the different strategies companies use to accomplish order fulfillment include:
- Make-to-stock (MTS): The business makes a sales forecast and builds products according to the forecast. The products are sold to customers from the finished good stocks. This is the approach taken by retail stores and groceries.
- Build-to-order (BTO): The business already has a standard design, but the customer wants to add specific components and features in the final product. The company builds the product to the customer’s specifications and delivers it to him or her. This is the approach aircraft and motor vehicle manufacturers take.
- Assemble-to-order (ATO): The customer orders a product with specifications. The company has a stock of components in its inventory. The product is built to specifications using the components. This is the approach taken by many computer manufacturers.
- Engineer-to-order (ETO): The customer orders a product and gives specifications. The company designs and builds the product exactly to the customer’s specifications and delivers it to the customer. This is an approach that works best for one-off products and large construction projects.
An efficient warehouse and inventory management is crucial to a successful order fulfillment. Many companies choose to outsource order fulfillment to third-party order fulfillment companies to save time, money, and resources. If you are looking for this service, type in order fulfillment services near me, and then all you do is a quick Internet search. Most third-party order fulfillment companies have an online presence.
At Hawk Graphics Inc. located in NJ but providing quick and efficient complete Order Fulfillment services to the 48 contiguous US states. You do not have to be located near us to get the prompt, realiable and great quality service!