Managing your orders can be a tedious process. There are no real issues when the number of orders is pretty low, as you can remember most of them in your head. You may handle every single order, pack it with care and maybe add a little goodie or handwritten thank you note.
As soon as the orders begin to pile up, applying so much attention to each parcel becomes a hard task. The orders to dispatch continue to build up and mistakes begin to happen.
Double dispatch, where you have to send the same order twice as you’ve made a mistake or not all of the order is in stock, occurs under these circumstances. It results in customer WISMO calls and emails, that frustrate both the customer and seller.
You want the number of orders to grow but you also want to maintain your quality control and standards. So how can you achieve both? The answer, time-saving. If you optimise your order management process, you can save way more time than you would expect. The kind of time that you can use to maintain quality control standards that you want to go into every order.
Order Management is not just the process of collecting your orders. There are multiple stages involved and lots of touchpoints that you can optimise throughout the process. There is the collecting of orders, organisation, packing, labelling, filling out any required documentation, finding the suitable carriers, allocating them and provide the customer with updates throughout.
We identified 6 time-saving tips, for an efficient order management flow.
1. Smart Warehouse Strategy
A smart warehouse strategy for SME’s isn’t something that they generally put much thought into. However, a lot of SMEs soon reach the point of which they have unorganised stock across the warehouse. You can save plenty of time by organising it efficiently.
There are going to be times where you get spikes of orders at certain times of the year, due to seasonality. Everybody knows for example that Christmas decorations are going to be sold in the build-up to the Christmas season, just like cinnamon. While you can buy cinnamon all year round, Christmas decorations are only in demand once a year.
Ensure that your inventory organisation reflects this. When you have certain stock items that are going to be in high demand, put them closest to the packing stations. Organising your inventory this way saves you the time of repetitively walking and carrying the same item time and time again.
2. Print Your Labels In Batches
Each SME business has its own method for how they pick, pack and dispatch their orders. So print off your labels methodically, in a way that allows you to stick on packages without having to do much thinking. By this we mean, if you have 2 parcel sizes and each one is with different carriers then print them off in batches by the carriers you use.
Work smarter, not harder.
3. Combine Orders
Just like you can pack multiple items from one order, you also can send multiple orders in just one delivery. The orders, of course, needs to be for the same person.
Your store is fantastic, so from time to time, some customers won’t be able to resist buying more of your items shortly just after ordering. You’ll therefore have two orders, for the same place.
Save yourself the time, hassle and shipping costs of packing two packages. Combine the two orders and cut your packaging costs, whilst shortening the packing time.
4. Allow Tracking
People want to know the status of their orders, so instead of spending time on calls with customers and providing this information, allow them to track their parcel themselves whenever they want.
Just think how much time this saves…
The average length of a customer service call, including WISMO calls, is about 5 ½ minutes.
As well as the simple satisfaction that this brings to your customers…
Customers check their tracking page about 3.5 times per order.
Checking the delivery status of an eagerly anticipated order is an exciting moment that you want to provide, instead of dealing with frustrated calls.
5. Keep All Your Marketplaces In One Place
It is a given that you want your product to be seen on as many platforms as possible. This newly gained brand visibility soon ends up creating more sales across all of the different platforms. 5 new orders from Shopify. 7 new orders from Etsy and where were the other 3 orders from again?
Hopping from platform to platform to try and stay on top of the orders is time-consuming. Not only the order-collecting process itself is but also the number of errors that can accrue by the existing confusion that will spark a wave of uncomfortable, time-consuming customer calls. You need this time to manage the next batch of orders to prevent another error and another angry customer.
The risk of setting off a snowball of errors is daunting. By managing all your orders from all your platforms in one place reduces this risk immensely. You can import, filter by criteria, print batches of labels, update order status and provide tracking, all from one platform. Having all your orders in one place is probably the most time-saving tip of all.
6. Use An Order Management Software
Order management software is available to help you save time when managing your orders. Siid offers you a wide variety of features that enable you to improve your order management processes, such as:
- Automatically combining all marketplaces
- Import and combine your orders
- Allocate the best carriers based on rate or service
- Print labels in batches
- Generating a tracking link for our customers
Siid is there for you throughout your business journey, to streamline manual procedures. From the second an order is placed, to the package arriving at the customer's door.