With an average warehouse handling cost of $4 – $7, plus a minimum of $3 – $4 order processing cost per drop ship order, it can be difficult to squeeze out a profit on many items. And, then, when an order goes wrong everything stops! You spend an enormous amount of time and effort researching and correcting the problem and, very often, incur the expense of a call tag to retrieve the incorrect item and expedited shipping of the product that didn’t arrive when or where it was supposed to. Then, to top it all off, your Vendor Score Card suffers AND you’re a disappointment to the consumer. So, what’s really needed to execute a “perfect order?
The American Productivity and Quality Center, (APQC) defines the “perfect order” flawlessly taking and fulfilling a customer order. This includes entering the order correctly, allocating inventory immediately, delivering the product on time, and sending an accurate invoice. However, as we all know, there are many steps involved in the fulfillment of an order that can make this really difficult to achieve, including, but not limited to: inaccurate order entry, inaccurate warehouse picking, delayed delivery, inaccurate documents, inaccurate invoicing, EDI document processing errors, etc. So, what are some traits that make an order “perfect”?
- Correct booking of the order: When the customer places an order, you need to fully define which product is wanted. For example, if the customer orders a T-shirt, you need to note the exact color, design, and size the customer wants.
- Accurate order description: As soon as the order is placed, you need to capture complete information regarding where the order is to be delivered, along with the customer’s address, phone number, email address, etc.
- Timely delivery: Most importantly, a “perfect order” is an order that is delivered to the customer on time. Nothing can be more irritating, and sometimes off-putting, for a customer than a delayed delivery of their order.
- Tracking of every step: A “perfect order” is one in which the customer is able to track each and every step of the order’s processing status. When the customer calls you, you should be able to tell him the exact status of the order.
- Damage-free order: In a “perfect order”, the product that the customer receives is exactly what he wants, without any damage either due to the manufacturer’s oversight or the shipper’s fault.
- Complete with documents: The order should reach the customer complete with all the required documents and paperwork, including the paper bill, warranty card, order slip, packing slip, etc.
- Accurate invoicing: No matter how inexpensive an item is, it should be invoiced accurately, along with the shipping and handling charges, etc. All the charges added in the bill should be stated clearly in order for the customer to have a complete description about what product he or she has ordered and exactly how much was paid for it.