Back to blog

What is order fulfilment and how to improve the order fulfilment process?

Posted on July 06, 2021
by Emma Burgess

First, let’s start with the basics. What is order fulfilment? 

What is order fulfilment?

Simply put, order fulfilment (spelt fulfillment in the US and central Europe) is every step of the process between a customer purchasing an item from an eCommerce, and it is arriving at their doorstep. The process involves picking and packing the product in a fulfilment centre before it is shipped to the customer using a courier. There will usually be communication between the courier service and the consumer to let them know the order is in transit. Order can be fulfilled in warehouses outside of the customer’s country; this is known as cross-border fulfilment.

At Huboo, our European centre allows us to partake in cross-border fulfilment.  

 The fulfilment process usually includes the following:

Great! So now we know what the fulfilment process looks like, we can get round to looking at how we can improve that fulfilment process.

How to improve the order fulfilment process

1. Size of Business and Order Volume

It may seem obvious, but before jumping straight in to your fulfilment strategy, you need to know your monthly order volume as well as how much product you sell. These indicators are essential for deciding a cost-effective strategy that keeps your business competitive.

2. Choose the right shipping company 

This may seem like an obvious choice; however, we’ve all fallen victim to the weird and wonderful places that one particular courier has chosen to leave our parcels. First, you need to be assured that the company you choose can effectively ship to your customer base. Can they handle large or fragile items? It’s best to do your research and choose a trusted service. Alternatively, fulfilment providers work with a range of carriers and couriers to get you the best rates. They’ve negotiated so you don’t have to.

3. Integrate, Integrate, Integrate 

Integrating shopping channels like marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay provides your customer with the tools necessary to grow their business across all of your marketplaces. If you sell on more than one platform, check with the fulfilment provider if they can handle multi-channel fulfilment. Huboo do, but not many others do.

How do I Get Paid From eBay to my Bank Account?

4. Get smart 

Innovative warehouse systems are becoming increasingly common in today’s fulfilment centre market. These systems utilise multiple interconnected technologies to boost efficiency, accuracy, save time and remove most human errors.

Embracing automation reduces the number of human errors, in particular those related to counting items, but also reduces the need for human workers to perform all duties, thus reducing fulfilment and shipping costs, leaving extra capital to be reinvested. Find out more about Huboo’s unique Hub Model here.

5. Visibility and Scalability 

Ask the hard questions. Are most of your errors being made in the picking and packing process? Or, are you finding a specific supplier isn’t delivering stock fast enough? You need to be able to identify the real root cause of any order fulfilment issue. Visibility has a ripple effect across the value chain; whatever increases in transparency can be achieved internally and simultaneously lead to added transparency for your partners, customers and vice versa.or

You’ll want your business to grow so it’s vital your fulfilment partner can handle and also accelerate your growth. Look for fulfilment providers with multiple locations and significant square footage, this shows they have headroom to help meet the growing demand for your products domestically and internationally.

It’s easy to get started with a fulfilment provider, we’ve put together this handy flow to help guide you.

At Huboo, it’s easy to get started on your fulfilment journey, just click here to begin