Learn Why Communication is the Key to Successful Order Fulfillment
What happens once a retailer places an order with a brand? For many brands, the sales team and the logistics or fulfillment team must work together to ensure the right products get to the correct place.
Cross-team communication is not always easy, especially when each team is operating within their own systems. Once an order is submitted, a process should be in place connecting all your teams to ensure errorless delivery within a reasonable amount of time. Together with high-quality customer service, this process can make or break your relationship with customers.
So how do you connect your teams and make sure information is clear and consistent across functions?
Streamline intra-team communications and eliminate errors
Providing one source of truth for important information can drastically improve communications. Cross-referencing spreadsheets, emails, and co-workers’ memories creates a large margin for error when trying to figure out where an order lies in the fulfillment process.
Like a game of telephone, every time information is shared between teams, there is a risk that part of the message will be lost or distorted. Dixie, an edibles brand based in Colorado, found a solution using LeafLink’s order status features and reporting tools. One Dixie sales rep explained, “We used to do all this stuff manually – the purchase orders we set out changed hands so many times, the amount of mistakes we would get… they were everywhere.”
On LeafLink, sales and fulfillment team members can see where each order stands in the queue. As soon as an order is accepted by the sales team, the logistics team is notified and can begin the fulfillment process.
“LeafLink is the only link we have and is the most important one between getting orders and getting them to the store,” Dixie said.
Stay in contact with your customers and build trust
Imagine placing an order on Amazon and having no idea whether the order was received, or when it would be on its way to your house.
Retail businesses depend on wholesale orders to stock their shelves. When they place an order, it’s for a product that will keep their business moving. Retailers appreciate being kept in the loop on the status of their orders so they can focus on other parts of their operation without worrying about inventory making it to their shop.
On LeafLink, brands can update the status of each order they receive to keep the buyer in the know – from accepted, to fulfilled, to shipped. If a product is out of stock or unavailable, LeafLink provides a place to clearly communicate with retailers.
Customers understand that issues arise. When you’re upfront and honest about a delay in shipping, unavailable inventory, or other changes to an order, trust grows between you and your buyer. Your communication shows customers that when they do business with your company, they can expect transparency and will be empowered to keep their operation going even when roadblocks arise.
Aggregated order data can help you strategize your delivery
Logistics teams can be faced with fulfilling dozens of orders at once and coordinating shipping across the state. Strategic, coordinated shipping can save money and resources when transporting product.
Dixie’s logistics team uses LeafLink reports to determine their delivery routes each day. By downloading several reports the head of the logistics team can map out entire routes. This streamlines their delivery process and efficiently gets product into the hands of customers.
Determine a fulfillment strategy and be prepared to scale
As a company grows, more orders are coming in, and any inefficiencies in the fulfillment process will be magnified. Without a strategy in place, it can be difficult to scale the logistics of your operation and keep up with the demand for your products.
It is important to make sure the fulfillment process is a positive experience for new customers. However, it’s just as necessary for keeping existing customers happy. Acquiring new customers is more expensive than maintaining relationships with existing buyers. A highly efficient fulfillment process helps solidify your base of loyal customers who count on seamless and timely deliveries, allowing your business to grow.
Want to learn more about effective cross-team communication?
Download the full Dixie case study here.
Not on LeafLink?
LeafLink is the cannabis industry’s standard wholesale ordering platform connecting over 900+ brands and 2,500+ retailers across 15 markets. Are you a brand? Request a demo. Retailer? Sign up to place your first order today.