Sales order fulfillment is the point when processing sales that you decide how you are going to get the goods to your customer.
There are two forms of order fulfillment:
- Creating a goods-out note, where items you have in stock are sent to your customer
- Creating a drop-ship purchase order, where one of your vendors sends the goods to your customer on your behalf
Regardless of the method, every order containing a stock tracked product must be fulfilled to be completed.
The typical workflow for the fulfillment process is as follows:
- A sales order is placed. Once the goods are available, the sales order is fulfilled, creating a goods-out note (or a drop-ship purchase order).
- The goods-out note or drop-ship purchase order is processed. If the order is fulfilled via a goods-out note, the goods-out note is printed, picked, packed and shipped. If the order is fulfilled via a drop-ship purchase order, the vendor will perform those tasks in their own system.
- The shipment is handed off to the carrier.
- The carrier delivers it to the customer.
The purpose of having a separate fulfillment stage is so that a single sales order can be fulfilled in multiple stages. This enables one sale to be fulfilled from different warehouses, at different times, and even using different methods.
Ways to fulfill a sales order
- From your own warehouse in one consignment
- From your warehouse in multiple consignments
- From separate warehouses
- Drop-shipped directly from a vendor
- Through an outsourced third-party logistics (3PL) warehouse
- Picked up by the customer (e.g. POS)