Getting Started With Order Fulfilment

by Emma Bragg on 15th August 2022

After looking into third-party order fulfilment and doing the maths you’ve come to the conclusion that your business is ready to outsource the order fulfilment process to a trusted third party. But what exactly is involved once you’ve chosen your fulfilment provider?

Here at Whitehouse Solutions, we have fine-tuned our onboarding process so that we can start seamlessly fulfilling your orders within two weeks after you sign up. Our onboarding process also ensures that we have all the information we need to start our successful partnership.

Step 1. Getting to know you and your business

The first step in your onboarding will be to set you up with a dedicated account manager whose job is to learn your business inside out. They will get to know your products, shipping preferences, peak periods and any issues you may have come across, either in your own fulfilment process or a previous fulfilment service.

During this process, we will also send you an application pack which asks for key information such as product codes, descriptions, sales volumes, shipping requirements and how you’d like us to handle any returns.

This allows us to make sure that everything runs smoothly from day one and your fulfilment needs are catered for.

 

Step 2. Setting up the order management system

Once your account manager is up to speed with your products and needs they will then support you in getting the order management system set up. Our order management system can be linked up to multiple platforms if you sell your products on a range of eCommerce platforms. They will also support you in adding additional information about each product SKU including the dimensions and weight. This allows the system to calculate the best delivery rate across our network of trusted shipping providers.

Our order management system integrates with a range of platforms including:

  • Magento
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Opencart

Our order management system captures the orders and order details on your eCommerce platform and sends them through to our warehouse. Once your order has arrived at the warehouse our pick and pack teams will prepare the order and get it ready to be collected by your chosen delivery provider.

 

Step 3. Getting your products to our warehouse

During the order management system setup, you can start to send your products to one of our fulfilment warehouses. As your products arrive our team will carefully unpack them and store them in the warehouse. For small products, we generally store them in containers on our warehouse shelving system and larger products are stored directly on the shelf or palletised in the warehouse. However, we will always aim to store your products as requested by you. Our warehouse logistics team also offers container devanning, same-day palletised approach for priority orders and cross-docking.

We have partnered with a local haulage firm to offer a container haulage service directly from a range of ports to our warehouses.

 

Step 4. Test the system

When your products are safely stored in our fulfilment warehouse we will then work with you to test the order management system and make sure everything is working as it should be. This includes:

  • Placing test orders on your system to make sure they feed through correctly.
  • Make sure that orders are promptly sent to our warehouse for picking and packing.
  • Checking that the shipping details and delivery labels are correctly formatted and printed.
  • Make sure that delivery information such as tracking numbers and shipping confirmations are pushed back to your eCommerce system.
  • Make sure that any returns generated by your customers are picked up and if free shipping is provided, those return labels are emailed to the customer.

 

Step 5. Review and Adjust

Now the testing has been completed we will work with you to review how the process is working and whether anything needs adjusting. This can include packaging tweaks, changes to delivery partners and refining the returns process. This ensures that everything runs smoothly, on brand and to your exact specifications.

 

Step 6. Set the system live

Once the final tweaks have been made and everything passes our checks the order management system can be taken out of test mode and set live on your eCommerce platform. Once the system is live orders will begin to flow to our pick and pack team who will pick the products from the warehouse, package them up to your requirements and then have them ready for your choice of delivery partner ready to collect.

 

Step 7. Ongoing reviews, feedback and scaling

After the system is live we will continue to refine backend processes. Your account manager will be in regular contact to check how things are working for you, any changes that might be happening on your end and support in scaling up your order volumes.

 

Ready to scale up?

If you’ve recognised challenges in scaling your order fulfilment in-house and are looking for support from a specialist order fulfilment company then get in touch with our customer service team. They will be happy to answer any questions you have and get the onboarding process started.

If you’re unsure whether you’re ready to start outsourcing your order fulfilment then take a look at our post on whether it’s time for your business to partner with a fulfilment provider.

A person in a warehouse using a laptop

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