What is order accuracy and how can fulfillment centers help?
Order accuracy is one of the fundamental aspects of building trust in eCommerce. Simply put it is the amount of orders that go out without error from wherever they are fulfilled. If orders are constantly incorrect this will lead to returns and of course losing clients who cannot trust your process. Improving this aspect will allow you to be more efficient and is part of scaling businesses.
How do you calculate order accuracy?
Order accuracy is a simple metric that can mean a lot for the unboxing experience. To calculate it there is a simple equation:
Order accuracy rate = (Total Correctly fulfilled orders/ Total orders fulfilled) * 100
This will allow you to locate issues with order accuracy easily and quickly without having to filter through too much data.
E-commerce fulfillment is not just receiving orders online. There are many parts including human interaction. Of course we strive to be 100 percent accurate with every client but as humans make mistakes it is only natural that 100 percent will just not be achievable consistently or maintained. Successful brands will see an accuracy rate of 96 to 98 percent. If you strive for this range or above, you will see yourself within a great competitive advantage.
How can you improve this and how do fulfillment centers play a part?
3PL or your own fulfillment center can both improve order accuracy. Here are some simple steps to take or use to see if a 3PL provider is giving you the best results.
Quite simple and straightforward. Have a number in mind, and determine what the current rate of accuracy is. You need to begin by understanding the basics. Fulfillment cannot improve without the information of previous work. Once you have your rate, determine if it is competitive. Then set yourself a goal where you would like to see within a given time frame.
Inventory Management Process
Make sure your items are organized and have a system in place to be counted accurately and stored in a way that makes picking accurate. This is where 3PL providers excel. They work strictly to make picking and packing efficient. You need to make sure items are in a properly labeled and secure area so that speed is not at the expense of accuracy. You want to be quick, but if its quick and wrong you find your client returning items. This costs you labor and money that is avoidable. Make sure skus are accurate and barcoding is clear.
Implementing the correct technology can help fulfill orders more accurately as well as quickly. Many fulfillment centers integrate with your online store for inventory tracking and productivity. They will update you real time with data about returns, stock levels and whether orders are late or on time. This is a great way to get the information to calculate order accuracy as well as determine if the fulfillment center is not only accurate but fulfilling items in a timely manner. A combination of the two will be what makes or breaks your business and whether you should be working with your current 3PL.