Fulfillment Fundamentals: Appropriate Technology
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We recently held a webinar to explore the fundamental elements of order fulfillment. Capacity's co-founder and CSO Thom Campbell identified five key areas to focus on if you truly want to develop a fulfillment process that keeps customers coming back to your business time and time again. To follow up on that event we're unpacking each of these elements in more detail. Today we look at the importance of using the most suitable order fulfillment technology to ensure that you can deliver on your fulfillment promises to customers. You can read the rest of the entries in this compelling series under the tag Fulfillment Fundamentals. Before we get started, let's clarify one thing: fulfillment technology is not going to trouble NASA. We're not landing on the moon, even if we are getting an important package, your product, from A to B (and often in challenging conditions!) What the tech in our industry must provide is a stable and consistent platform on which we can deliver the goods, literally, and delight customers with prompt service and clearly communicated tracking. That's what makes it a fulfillment fundamental, and why we dedicated an entire section to the tech in our presentation. When you consider a 3PL provider, the key is finding that appropriate balance between best practices in technology and a solid service platform.
Identifying the Appropriate Order Fulfillment TechnologyYour business needs a provider who offers a warehouse management system (WMS), the foundation of any stock tracking and inventory control operations. These software platforms allow companies to track all inventory through barcodes and radio-frequency identification (RFID) scanning devices. Some common characteristics of an effective WMS include the following:
- End-to-end tracking through the key stages of your fulfillment process,
- Easy to set-up, with a quick learning curve,
- Integrates seamlessly with your own core systems,
- Clear measurement and reporting,
- Flexibility to scale with your business needs and upgrade alongside new tech developments.