Imagine you opened a store three years ago. Every order was fulfilled and shipped from that store, inventory was easy to manage, and you were likely to ship locally., Iit was simple. Then, two years later you opened a second location. If a customer placed an order at one store where it was out of stock, you could fulfil it at the second store. It would still be relatively easy. But now imagine that after several years of growth you now have 10 stores around the US, along with two warehouses to fulfil orders. At this point, the ecommerce side of your business is growing exponentially. If you’re using manual inventory management and not automating your processes, managing multiple distribution centers is going to become much more challenging, processing time will be slower, and fulfilment will become a main pain point for your business.
Every logistician, business owner, or supply-chain professional is seeking a solution that allows for flexibility and responsiveness to a business's changing needs that is cost-effective, improves fulfillment efficiency, and can grow with your business. That’s where order routing comes into play: it is a key feature in any solution and can eliminate headaches for you.
What is order routing?
Order routing is simply a business’ plan for receiving orders and allocating fulfilment of said orders in the most efficient manner possible. Having an order routing system in place is vital for the fastest and most cost-effective fulfillment.
To achieve this goal, many businesses seek a management system which features custom business rules for order routing. Order routing, when done through a good solution, consists of a set of business rules, which are created by the business and automate how an order will be fulfilled. These rules are often applied to all orders and help maintain efficient routing of orders without manual input. All businesses have different needs and therefore should select a solution that allows for custom rules that fit those needs, but some common rules include custom workflows depending on factors such as location and order value, stock rules to keep optimum levels across warehouses, and a place for central order management across multiple warehouses.
Benefits of order routing
Whether your business is expanding into new markets, diving into e-commerce for the first time, or just looking for more agile and flexible fulfillment processes, having an order routing system is critical. Order routing is a feature available on some fulfilment software, like ERP, WMS or TMS. Knowing how order routing can help meet your business needs will make the process of choosing the right software much easier. Some of the most significant benefits of a great order routing system include the following:
- Process orders based on industry best practices and business preferences
- Utilize omnichannel fulfilment
- Accommodate complex orders
- Provide top-notch customer service
- Create a fulfilment strategy that is scalable and adaptable to change
- Reduce the need for manual intervention
Run your business intelligently
Efficient order routing helps you run your business. It takes the weight of manually managing fulfillment, order processing, and inventory off your shoulders. Incorporating an ERP, WMS, or TMS which features a robust order routing system will enable your business to fulfill every order more quickly and more cost efficiently than ever before. This can help your business reach new markets, expand your e-commerce transactions, and improve customer relationships.
ShipCaddie is a TWMS, combining the power of traditional TMS and WMS systems. One of its great features is a powerful order routing system. If you would like to learn more, contact us here on LinkedIn or check out our website to request a demo.