<img src="http://www.hrb1tng0.com/39856.png" style="display:none;">

The Eye/Comm Blog

How To Keep Customers Satisfied With Order Fulfillment

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Sep 11, 2017 @ 07:00 AM

San Diego Fulfillment

Order fulfillment is a crucial part of your brand. What your customers get in their package and how it is packaged really matter. The customer starts the process when they place an order. The clock starts ticking from there. This time between order placement and delivery is where the majority of problems take place.

3 Key areas to keep customers satisfied:

  1. Timing: Be very clear when an order is placed on the amount of time needed to pack and ship it. Customers are very impatient and will assume a much earlier time schedule if you do not provide one. To keep them happy, give them a realistic schedule. Of course you then have to meet that schedule.
  2. Accuracy: It is extremely important that people get what they order. Nothing is more frustrating than opening a package and not getting what you expected.
  3. Packaging: In order for the items to arrive in good condition upon delivery they need to be properly packaged. The use of bubble wrap and paper dunnage can help to keep items safe during transport. Brocken or damaged items do not make your company look good.

Some other things to consider in your processing are:

  • Stock levels: Do you have enough stock on hand to meet demands? Are you keeping an accurate usage report so that you know when peak demands are?
  • Space: Have you allocated enough room to store all your items until they are ordered?
  • Reports: Do all the key people in your organization have access to the necessary reports such as inventory and orders?
  • Backorders: What is your backorder policy? Does everyone know it? How can you prevent backorders before they happen?
  • Returns: What is your return policy? Does someone inspect all returned items for damage? Does it then get restocked?

The last key to customer satisfaction is clear communication from you. Let them know what to expect and when to expect it. Allow them access to track orders 24/7 as well as place orders 24/7. The easier it is to do business with you the more business you will get. Happy customers tell others, but the real point is that unhappy customers tell around 10 other people. Not only that but they do not forget, they continue to give bad feedback about you when asked. So keep your customers satisfied with good fulfillment practices. When you do have an issue with a customer, resolve it quickly and keep them happy.

Learn 5 Things a Good Fulfillment Center Must Provide

Questions? Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Fulfillment

How Much Does Order Fulfillment Cost?

Posted by Jay Egger on Tue, Aug 08, 2017 @ 02:05 PM

San Diego Fulfillment

The cost of order fulfillment services depends on a variety of resources such the size of items being sold and where it is being shipped. Still, if you're at least a medium-size business, it's likely that you'll end up saving money through the lack of warehouse fees, employees and more.

The 4 Primary Order Fulfillment Costs

Many ecommerce startups and small sellers outsource order fulfillment rather than handling it in-house. This way, they focus on business growth and leave stock storage, order packing, and shipping tasks to the pros. If you decide to outsource fulfillment, here are four primary services and costs you’ll see working with a third party logistics (3PL) company:

1. Inventory Receiving Costs

Most 3PL companies charge for accepting and verifying a delivery of your inventory. Some charge per shipment, some per pallet or per box. We’ll explore specifics below.

2. Inventory Storage Costs

Most 3PL services charge for stock storage space in their warehouse. Charges range from palletized bulk storage to individual bins or shelf spaces for per-SKU storage.

3. Order Pick & Pack Costs

Some fulfillment centers charge a per-order pick & pack fee based on the number of items being picked from storage and packed into each box. Others roll this cost together with shipping into one order fulfillment fee.

4. Shipping Costs

Fulfillment companies pass shipping costs on to you, but these costs can be far lower than what you’d pay handling fulfillment in-house. Due to their volume, fulfillment centers get deep shipping discounts, both inbound (inventory coming into the warehouse) and outbound (orders to your customers).

Check out all the other costs and tips from the original post at http://fitsmallbusiness.com/order-fulfillment-costs/ 

Topics: Fulfillment

Why Outsource Your Fulfillment?

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 @ 07:42 AM

San Diego Fulfillment

This can be a real challenge for management, do we keep doing our fulfillment in house or do we outsource it? As your business grows the demands on your staff and your warehouse space increases. This can lead to shipment errors as well as other problems. One way to fix this is to outsource. This frees up your time and your employees’ time to focus on other aspects of your business such as selling more.

Outsourcing to a company that specializes in fulfillment is your best option. This can lead to several benefits you have not even thought of such as:

  1. Errors: Fulfillment centers have professional people and processes in place to fill your orders accurately. Your customers get what they ordered.
  2. Timeliness: Fulfillment centers have streamlined processes to expedite the packing and shipping of your orders. Your customers get their order faster.
  3. Returns: Fulfillment centers have return processes in place for quick restocking and refunds. Your customer is happy.
  4. Shipping: Fulfillment centers ship electronically with the major carriers so you and your customer get tracking information quickly.
  5. Inventory: Fulfillment centers have real time inventory systems so that you know how much you have of each item at all times. They also set reorder points so that you are automatically notified when your inventory is getting low and needs to be reordered. Your customers do not get orders placed on back order.

Another benefit is that you can use a fulfillment center to scale your business. You do not have to worry about staffing when you are in a high order period nor the warehouse space needed. They take care of it all. As you know technology is always changing so when you use a fulfillment center you and your customers get the benefit of current technology. The right partner can make you shine with your customers.

Learn 5 Things a Good Fulfillment Center Must Provide

You can alleviate many problems by outsourcing your fulfillment. Take advantage of them now by calling us to help you. (619) 448-6111. We are glad to help!

Topics: Fulfillment

5 Fulfillment Essentials for 2017

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Feb 06, 2017 @ 07:57 AM

San Diego Fulfillment

When searching for a good fulfillment center, look for these 5 key features:

 

  1. Inventory control. In real estate it’s “location, location, location.” In fulfillment it’s “inventory, inventory, inventory.” The most common complaint against fulfillment companies is incorrect inventory counts. You need to be confident when your fulfillment partner says you have 500 widgets left, there are indeed 500 there.
  • Ask if they have an automated warehouse management system.
  • Does it automatically deduct inventory at the time of shipment?
  • Do you have 24/7 access to real-time inventory reports?
  • How often do they perform cycle counts and how comprehensive are those counts?

 

  1. Easy to use storefront. Whether you place orders for your team or your customers order directly, the ordering process must be seamless and simple to navigate. Many orders are dropped simply because the user finds the experience too cumbersome or confusing.
  • Ask your prospective fulfillment partner to demonstrate their system.
  • Can products be categorized into easy to understand groups?
  • Can you place limits on the number of certain items people can order?
  • Can the offers displayed be varied by who is viewing them?
  • Will administrators have access to back end order reports?
  • Can items be assigned to appropriate budgets?
 
  1. An organized warehouse. If your prospective fulfillment center has trouble finding a product, they will have trouble shipping it. A fulfillment center should be well organized, free of clutter and look efficient.
  • Ask how they organize and assign pallet spaces for your material.
  • Do they barcode pallet spaces so they can instantly see what’s on the pallet?
  • Do they barcode individual cartons so warehouse personnel can use scanners to verify order accuracy?
  • Do they have a separate pick area where smaller, more manageable amounts of product can be staged for easier order packing?

 

  1. Accurate order fulfillment in appropriate packaging. All the inventory control, web ordering and warehouse organization are meaningless if the order is filled incorrectly. Nothing upsets a customer more than to receive an item that is wrong, poorly packaged or damaged.
  • Ask the fulfillment manager how an order is processed.
  • Is the shipping function automated?
  • What quality control procedures are in place throughout the process from order entry, to printing a pick/pack slip, pulling items from inventory, packing the order, and shipping the order?
  • How do they determine what packaging will be used for each shipment?
  • How do they fill void spaces?
  • Do they shrink wrap literature to prevent dog ears and wrinkles?
  • How do they seal cartons?

 

 

  1. Good Customer service. All the first four essentials may be met by your fulfillment center, but if you don’t like the people you interface with or they don’t meet your needs, your experience will not be satisfactory. No matter how competent the fulfillment center is mistakes will occur. How the center’s management handles those situations can make all the difference in both your customer’s impression and yours.
  • Ask how the fulfillment team is structured.
  • Will you have a dedicated customer service representative?
  • Who will that person be?
  • What function will the customer service representative serve on your behalf?
  • Do you have a good feeling about the entire staff?

Why Use  Multi-Channel Marketing

Ready to talk about your fulfillment needs? Call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Fulfillment

4 Tips To Better Product Fulfillment

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Oct 17, 2016 @ 08:28 AM

San Diego Fulfillment

Kitting and shipping products is more that throwing them in a box and sending via UPS. In our consumer centric society, we need to at least meet or preferably exceed client expectations. Clients now expect when they place an order online that they will get a good product at a good price with cheap shipping and quick delivery. This can be hard to come by in product fulfillment. The old days of shipping and handling taking 3 to 5 weeks is long over. Amazon helped to blow that out of the water. So now we are faced with meeting the shorter deadlines. This can be a complicated process.

4 Tips To Better Product Fulfillment:

  1. Website: Your online ordering website needs to be easy to navigate as well as place orders. The easier it is for people to find your products and place an order, the more orders you are going to get. Use good images and only as much copy as needed. Many times adding an expandable option for people who want to view additional copy is a great way to keep your pages looking good while providing info for the people wanting to read it. A good search component is very helpful for customers looking for a specific product. Make sure you have a dynamic design so that your web page and payment screens look good no matter what device people are ordering from.
  2. Products: Highlight the benefits of each product clearly. Also provide testimonials on each product from real customers. People like to know that other people have found the product to be useful. Don’t get super technical. Take the “What’s In It For Me” view and give customers what they want.
  3. Packaging: It matters. The way your product arrives to the customer makes an impression and is a representation of your company. Squished boxes and dented products are not a way to make customers happy. Use heavier stock on your cartons to keep them from being crushed. Use package filler to take up the extra room in boxes to protect the contents from damage. Add in some marketing collateral for other products they may be interested in. Want to make a great impression? Add a thank you for your business card.
  4. Shipping: There are a lot of shipping options out there from various providers. The two most important things to consider when picking a shipping company are reliability and cost. You need you packages to get there when you expect them to in good condition and you also need to account for costs since most people don’t expect to pay a lot for shipping and truthfully many of them expect the shipping to be free. Talk with the providers and find what fits your needs best.

Selling products online is a great way to build your customer base. Just remember that in order to keep them coming back and get referrals from them you need to provide not only a good product but good customer service. If you take into consideration all 4 of the elements listed above you should be well on your way to happy customers and a growing business.

Learn 5 Things a Good Fulfillment Center Must Provide

Need help getting your products to your customers quickly? Call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are here to help you.

Topics: Fulfillment

Product Fulfillment Check List

Posted by Summer Gould on Thu, Aug 25, 2016 @ 02:48 PM

San Diego Fulfillment

Now that online ordering exceeds in store purchases, proper product fulfillment is essential. Yes, the web store front matters a lot to draw people in and get them to order, but to make sure the customer is satisfied, the product needs to be packaged and shipped properly and in a timely fashion in order to generate additional sales from them in the future. The world now runs at an extremely fast rate, so your prospects and customers expect quick delivery with the correct products. Here at Eye/Comm we have come up with a check list that works really well for us to be sure we package correctly and timely.

  1. Type of Product: Check to see what type of product is being ordered. This will determine if special wrapping or packaging is needed.
  2. Number of products ordered: The quantity will help determine the package size as well as how long it will take to fill the order.
  3. Ship To Location: Special processing needs to happen for foreign shipments. Separate them out from the US ones. Also identifying packages that are farthest away by being tagged to ship first.
  4. Shipment method: What type of ship method was selected at the time of order? Based on that, what date must the package ship by in order to meet the deadline?
  5. Pack: Pick and pack the order based on the information already reviewed above in 1-4.
  6. QC: A person other than the one who packed the shipment will review items 1-5 to make sure each step was done properly. If all is ok, the box ships. If there is a problem, the box is moved back to fulfillment to fix it and a QC will be repeated when it is complete.

Properly packaged products not only protect them from damage but also provide a good presentation to your customer when they open the package. Best practices are to include a packing slip as well as information on how to return the item if needed. In most cases it is also a good idea to include information on other products they might be interested in based on this purchase. These can be anything from accessories to an entirely new product. Adding these marketing materials to a package where the customer is happy is a great way to lead to additional sales.

Learn 5 Things a Good Fulfillment Center Must Provide

Need help or have questions? Call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Marketing, Fulfillment

Fulfillment 101: 7 Key Things You Need to Know About Performance

Posted by Summer Gould on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 @ 08:51 AM

San Diego Fulfillment

Fulfillment and packaging is more than just shipping out materials. It is the key to your company’s success. You need the materials to be shipped correctly, on time, and in good condition in order to meet your staff and clients expectations. That is why having the correct fulfillment company is required.

Is your fulfillment provider giving you performance information? Here are a few key areas that you should know about:

  1. On-time shipments: How often have your ship dates been met?
  2. On-time deliveries: How often were deliveries rcvd on the date requested?
  3. Order accuracy: How often do your orders arrive correctly?
  4. Orders per month: How many orders are shipping each month?
  5. Receiving to order ability times: How quickly does an item become available for order after it is received?
  6. Low inventory: Are you getting low inventory notifications? Are they soon enough to reorder without causing backorders?
  7. Return handling: When returns come, do you know it? Do you know why? Are they inspected for issues?

Reporting via an online portal gives you 24/7 information in an easy format and allows you to see the process in real time. This information can help you plan for busy times and get a handle on your products. Fulfillment can be a real challenge when done incorrectly. Make sure that you take the time to work with your fulfillment company to get all the necessary reports and issues you can think of.

If you have any questions, call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Marketing, Fulfillment

Top 5 Fulfillment Mistakes

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Aug 05, 2013 @ 12:50 PM

Fulfillment San Diego

Over the years we have come across many mistakes that are being made in fulfillment. Some people are doing their own and are just not aware of what they should be doing. While others are using a service company and they are not following best practices. Here are the top mistakes we have seen:

  1. Wrong type of packaging: There are many types of packaging to choose from. Knowing when to us a bubble mailer instead of a carton is important. Your materials arriving at their destination in poor condition are of no use to your customers or sales reps.
  2. Too slow to ship out: When someone places an order with you how long does it take for them to receive it? The faster you get the products out the better your customers or sales reps are going to feel about the process.
  3. Listing unavailable items on order screen: There is no reason to list items on the order screen that they will not be able to purchase. Make sure that you do not show zero balance items.
  4. Not making returning items an easy process: when a customer or sales rep needs to return items the process should be easy. There should be a return label in each box already prepopulated with the correct address for them to ship to.
  5. Incorrect information on the shipping label: Make sure that all the information on the shipping label is correct. You do not want the item returned to you because of a typo in the address. You also do not want your customer or sales rep getting a package with their name spelled wrong on it.

The most important thing is that your customers or sales reps get the correct items, on time and in good condition. If you would like more information on fulfillment click here.

If you have any questions call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Marketing, Fulfillment

5 Best Practices In Literature and Product Fulfillment

Posted by Summer Gould on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

San Diego Fulfillment

It is very important to get your products and literature out to your sales channels, to tradeshows, events and customers when they need it.  Picking, packing and shipping services that will deliver the correct products and marketing materials to your customers and sales reps precisely when they expect it is a must.  So how does this get accomplished?

  1. Inventory: The key to any fulfillment program is keeping track of the inventory. If you need a product shipped at an exact quantity in a rush, it had better be available. You need to be able to rely on the counts for all your materials.
  2. Packaging: After you place and order and receive your material you realize that the next key is to make sure that all the items are packaged in a way that eliminates bent corners, broken items and any other damage. This can be accomplished by shrink wrapping loose sheets together, bubble wrapping breakable items and completely filling a box for a tight fit.
  3. Ease of placing orders: When you are in a hurry and need materials fast, you need to be able to place that order quickly. Having an easy to use order screen and shopping cart will expedite your order process. Use images for easy identification and common descriptions for the materials.
  4. Ability to make changes on the fly: Sometimes things go wrong and you need to replace an item you have ordered with a different one. Being able to make those changes quickly on the fly is very important. Also under this category are print on demand items. If you have a special offer for a show, you can tailor your message to that show with a print on demand item.
  5. Reporting: After everything has gone smoothly you need to get reports on the back end to tell you not just what your inventory levels are, but who ordered what, how much they spent, and so on. The availability of detailed reports is a must. They can allow you to keep track of budgets, usage and be able to project future use so that you are never behind.

In summary, Fulfillment can be a real challenge if not done properly. Taking the time to get it right before you start can really pay off. It does not matter if you are fulfilling promo items or just literature, each piece is important and should be counted and protected so that the customers and sales reps get what they need and are able to use each item.

Need more information on fulfillment. Check this out: Click here

If you have any questions, call us 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Marketing, Fulfillment