Order fulfillment involves so much more than simply fulfilling a customer’s order. It covers each step of the ordering process, from the initial inquiry or contact about a product or service straight through to the end, when the actual service or product has been delivered and fully paid for. You could say it spans the entire length of ordering something … so yes, it is very important.
If your business has anything to do with placing and fulfilling orders, then you need some form of order fulfillment processes or measures to know you are fulfilling orders in the most accurate and effective ways. Otherwise, some orders could slip by or not get handled as well as they should be, while others might take up too much of an employee’s time. A nice healthy middle spot is ideal for order fulfillment. This would be a place where all orders were placed in a similar fashion, and all orders were handled similarly as well.
Without order fulfillment, you risk not making every customer happy. There is not a system in place that tracks every shipment, every order, every question about an order or every delivery of that order. This is dangerous for any business that is in the business of delivering products and services to customers. Making one customer unhappy can lead that customer to blogging negatively about your business or boycotting its services entirely. This is an obviously damaging thing that could downward spiral quickly.
Physical, tangible products are not the only things that should be covered by order fulfillment either. Intangible services need to be tracked too. These are still things that customers need for their own lives or businesses, so tracking this information and keeping up to date with it are just as important as they would be had there been actual physical products involved. The act of ordering applies to anything, whether it be an less tangible service or a more tangible product. So order fulfillment is just as priceless in either aspect of it.
If you waver one way or another about establishing order fulfillment processes for your own company, waver more toward it than away from it. It truly organizes your business more thoroughly, so every order placed has been marked, tracked, analyzed, verified and kept for as long as you need it. So really, it benefits customers just as much as it benefits you. Everyone wins.