Saturday, 28 December 2013

Shipping: The workflow - steps involved

In this post we explain the basic steps involved in the shipping workflow

Know when to ship

Either you can ship once the customer places the order if you the item(product) in the inventory. If you don't have it in inventory, then procure it. Once you receive the item your software should tell it is ready to be shipped.

Know what to ship

One customer order may contains ten books - items. But there are only four books available in the inventory. Then will you allow partial orders on some terms then software should signal the order( or partial order) is ready to ship. 

Know from where to pick

Your inventory software should create a pick list, with list of items to pick and from which shelf to pick up in your inventory. It should give you clear shelf numbers. Then you walk to the shelf to take out the products to packing station. Update in the inventory software that you have emptied the shelf.  


Print documents

Print invoice, address label, COD payment collections document (if COD), for electronic items the service center contact details.


Pack the items in most frugal and efficient, safe manner and hand it over to the courier company - third party logistics. Read our previous post on the same:  Packaging and labeling of shipments in a lean way

Tie up with courier companies

We assume, you have already have tie ups with courier companies. You have to select the courier partner for each shipment. Read our previous post on the same:  Ecommerce Business partners: Shipping integration

Link the ids - system changes

Link the order id, with shipment id, and courier company tracking id. It will help in tracking the order.

Customer notifications

Send customer notifications about the shipments notifications. Read our previous post on the same: After-sale care : Tracking Customer Orders & Notifications

Closing the order

Once the package is delivered, mark the shipment as closed. Collect the money if it is COD. Finally story completes, close the order.

Product returns - another cycle begins

Worse case, if customer wants to return the item, arrange the reverse pick up and handle the product returns.  Read our previous post on the same: Product returns: The work flow - steps involved


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