Common Order Fulfillment Mistakes and How to Prevent Them

A delivery ready to ship

Plenty of things can make fulfilling an order a lot more complicated than it needs to be. To help you eliminate some of them, we have prepared a guide on common order fulfillment mistakes and how to prevent them!

Warehousing disorganization

The first of the common order fulfillment mistakes is the delays that happen due to a poorly organized warehouse. If you do not adequately keep track of your inventory, it can take your employees ages to find the right products. Which, naturally, means that the trucks that need to set off on delivery are idle. A better warehouse layout, improvements in inventory tracking, and even the right approach to winter warehouse management can all speed up the process of loading goods.

Courier lead times

The next possible cause of delays is courier lead times. In simple terms, lead time is required for the delivery to be completed once it leaves your warehouse. Of course, a reliable logistics company or courier will always ensure things get delivered on time. But, if you choose the wrong company to assist you in order fulfillment, your customers can quickly become frustrated by the long delays. The situation only grows worse if you are doing international or long-distance shipping. So, always make sure to work with someone you can trust!

Lack of efficiency and training

There are two common order fulfillment mistakes that stem from a lack of proper employee training. First, this can be another cause of delays. The second and more serious mistake is damaged or entirely wrong product shipments. As the experts from like to point out, if you want your customers to be satisfied with your services, you need to ensure that the people working for you are professionals in their fields. And this is not possible unless you invest in the proper training for them.

Horrible customer service setup

Customers need to be able to consistently contact customer support and receive the help they need. It can happen, for example, that they had placed the wrong or incomplete order. If they have already confirmed it by mistake, the only option they have is to contact your customer service. Another scenario would be if they have received a damaged order and want to have it replaced. Which, while one of the common order fulfillment mistakes on its own already, is worse because of the lack of proper follow-up. If they fail to get in contact with your customer support, then you may lose a customer and get a bad reputation, too.

No communication with customers

One of the best examples of standard order fulfillment mistakes is problems with customer communication. This can happen even if you are entirely in charge of the delivery process. You need to keep your customer appraised of the status of their order at all times. They need to be able to track it reliably! If they can’t, you may be unable to complete the delivery or delay it. Or it can even get damaged after being left on someone’s porch!

Lack of automation

If you want to streamline the process of preparing and delivering an order, then you need to have the right automation. Emails that ask for order confirmation, for example, require automation. The same applies to your payment methods and order placement. If you need an employee to okay every step of the process, there would be many delays and waiting times before a customer can even hope their shipment is on the way! Similarly, efforts to modernize your warehouse and automate inventory keeping would prevent doubled-up orders and a lack of inventory to fulfill them.

Problems with decentralized warehouses

The final common order fulfillment mistakes are delays and errors caused by decentralized warehousing solutions. Having multiple warehouses in a city or a state is excellent on paper. But, it makes fulfilling orders and keeping track of inventory a nightmare. Not to mention that, if particular products are only kept in some warehouses, your order fulfillment becomes much costlier. Instead of shipping everything at once, you’d need to make multiple shipments. Or have your trucks waste fuel by making pit stops at every warehouse. Try to centralize your warehouses when possible.

Final word

Now that you are more familiar with the common order fulfillment mistakes and how to prevent them, you can eliminate most of them! This is, however, a project which might take some time to fully bear fruit.

If you need any help with the transport of your products in southern British Columbia including warehousing, give us a call in Vancouver at (604) 439-8938. Warehousing is tight in Vancouver right now, but we can help you.

For over 30 years, 18 Wheels Logistics has strived to be the most customer-centric trucking, warehousing, and logistics company around. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 18 Wheels relies on experience and integrity to make customers happy and remain on the cutting edge of shipping and logistics management. 

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to us about your shipping needs, please call us at (604) 439-8938.