Introduction to order fulfillment

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.

Fulfillment process


The typical workflow for the fulfillment process is as follows:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. The shipment is handed off to the carrier.
  4. 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)


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