What do you know about fulfillment? Take our nine-question quiz (with answers at the bottom, of course) and see how much you understand the ins and outs of ecommerce operations!
1. All of the following are terms for order fulfillment activities except:
2. Online retailers should operate their customer care services in the same place as their order fulfillment services.
3. Kitting is:
a) Wrapping packages in plastic wrap to prevent damage
b) Assembling multiple products into one SKU to create a new product offering
c) Using needles and yarn to make a beautiful piece of fabric
d) Assembling products on behalf of the customer based on the manufacturer’s instructions
4. Order fulfillment means the same thing as using a parcel carrier service.
5. When selecting a fulfillment provider, you should look for one who:
a) Works with other clients in your industry/niche
b) Has no other clients in your industry/niche
c) Has no other clients, period
d) Extensively uses offshore services
6. As a general rule, your fulfillment warehouse should be located within 100 miles of your headquarters.
7. Fast selling SKUs should be placed:
a) At the front of the warehouse
b) At the rear of the warehouse, away from traffic
c) Near order packing stations
d) Near the management office so inventory can be readily tracked
8. Inventory levels should ideally be updated:
a) As the order is processed
b) Once a month
c) Once a year
d) Only when needed
9. Brick and mortar retailers with an ecommerce channel do not need order fulfillment.
1. D – Partial-fill isn’t a fulfillment term. Split-ship means one order is sent in several packages, dropship means the order comes directly from its manufacturer, and cross-dock is where inventory is unloaded from the inbound carrier and then loaded directly to an outbound carrier.
2. A – True. Customer care is a part of the fulfillment process. An order is not fulfilled until it reaches the customer’s hands. Everything that happens in between, including tracking orders and speaking to contact center reps, is part of the fulfillment process. Therefore, it makes sense to have your customer care in the same place where your orders will be fulfilled.
3. B – Kitting is the process of bundling different SKUs together to make a single product, like a goodie basket. The opportunity to sell product bundles encourages more sales while saving consumers money and time.
4. B – False. Couriers or parcel carriers merely deliver/ship products. Order fulfillment requires order processing, storing inventory, picking, packing, and shipping an order. Parcel carriers do not perform these functions.
5. A – It’s ok for your fulfillment provider to work with others in your niche – it means they have experience handling your product mix, customers’ inquiries, and more. Just be sure to put strict rules in place with them to ensure that your brand integrity is never compromised.
6. B – False. As long as your fulfillment partner has access to you and your customers, your fulfillment warehouse can be located anywhere. However, it’s most often beneficial for your fulfillment warehouse to be located near a large carrier hub and major freight lanes to reduce shipping costs and transit time.
7. C – Fast selling items should be stored near packing stations to reduce time to pick and pack. The closer they are to their final destination, the better!
8. A – Inventory levels are best updated as orders are processed. This way levels can be updated in the warehouse and on the website simultaneously. Make sure you’re working with an ecommerce platform that can accommodate real-time updates. You should also perform cycle inventory counts quarterly, and full inventory counts yearly.
9. B – False. The fulfillment warehouses for brick and mortar retailers replenish store inventories but are often unable to pick individual direct-to-consumer orders. That’s why many more prominent brands trust an outsourced fulfillment provider to handle their ecommerce channel while they handle the store fulfillment themselves.