Ecommerce order cycle time is how long it takes for a customer to receive an item after they order it. Companies need to know their order cycle times as it can affect customer satisfaction rates. The process for calculating order cycle time works as so:


Order cycle time = (delivery date – order date) / total number of orders shipped


But what can a company do if they find that their order cycle time is too slow? Read on to get eight tips on how to improve your eCommerce order cycle time.


1. Digital Order Entry Process


The order entry process is the second part of the order cycle time elements. After the customer orders an item (the first order cycle step), the company receives a notice. Whoever receives this notice will pass it on to the workers.


Manual Entry Errors


Problems occur when workers enter this information manually. Paper pick lists, invoices, etc., can get lost. There’s also a chance that a worker can enter information incorrectly.


It also takes time for workers to enter orders, no matter if they type or write information in. This is time that your workers could spend doing other important tasks.


Go Digital


Avoid these costly errors and delays and get rid of manual processes. Order fulfillment technologies can automate your order entry process.


Adopt one of these and give your workers some time to adapt to it. As a result, you should see a decrease in your order cycle time.


2. Warehouse Efficiency


The manufacturing process comes after the order fulfillment process. In some retail settings, the start of this process happens when a worker begins to make an item. In other settings, this process starts when a worker picks an order from a warehouse.


The picking process seems like it should take a short time, and it usually does. However, this process may take longer than it has to. If you notice warehouse productivity issues, there are ways you can speed things up.


Placement Issues


Keep track of which products customers are ordering. Learn which products are the most popular. Then locate them inside the warehouse.


Are your most popular products sitting in the back? They shouldn’t be. If they are, your workers have been wasting a lot of time getting those orders.


Move the most popular products closer to the front. Workers can then pick them up quickly.


Organization Issues


Does your organization system make sense? If it doesn’t, your workers may be struggling to find certain items in a reasonable amount of time. You may want to change your system.


Observe how long it takes an order picker to find an item they need. You can also ask your pickers if they’re struggling to find items. If you learn that item-finding is taking longer than necessary, consider making a new organizational system.


You don’t have to make this new system alone. Letting your workers make suggestions can help. For example, workers may suggest categories you can put products in and/or what products you should place together in a factory.


Worker Assignments


How you assign workers can also affect how fast products make it through the warehouse. It may be that workers are having to wander all over your warehouse to find items. This isn’t efficient.


Consider assigning certain workers to certain worker sections. You can also group certain product orders by categories if you wish.


3. Check Your Vendors


Sometimes part of the manufacturing order cycle time element involves ordering a product from a vendor. A vendor is someone a company orders a product or part from. Once the company receives what they need, they send the product to the customer.


The thing is, vendors have order cycle times as well. If your vendor’s order cycle time is too long, it can lengthen your company’s order cycle time. Consider doing the following to evaluate your company’s vendors:


Tracking Order Cycle Time


Track the order cycle time of each of your vendors. You can use the formula given above to do this. Just plug in the right variables for your vendor’s orders.


However, don’t be quick to attack a vendor if their order cycle time seems long. Compare their order cycle time with those of other vendors. If all of these are long, the problem may be somewhere else.


Contacting Vendors


Contact any problematic vendors and ask them about their order times. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to increase their cycle times. The fix may be easier than you may think.


If your vendor can’t fix the problem, consider renegotiating the contract. If you and your vendor are unable to agree, you may want to cancel that vendor’s contract.


4. Tracking Systems


Tracking systems are digital systems that track where your items go throughout the order cycle time elements. This system can be beneficial to your company for many reasons.


Reduces Errors


While an order travels through a warehouse, workers scan barcodes. The barcode must match the product the customer orders. If it doesn’t, the system will inform the worker that they’ve picked the wrong product.


Even if the picker chooses the wrong product, a later worker probably won’t. The tracking system often has several checkpoints throughout the warehouse. The system should flag the wrong product at a later checkpoint.


Produces Data


Tracking order cycle time is also easier for companies that use tracking systems. Software programs in this category should record order cycle time data. You can call up this data when you’re evaluating your order cycle time.


Reduce Your eCommerce Order Cycle Time


As you can see, most of these methods are fairly simple. A lot of them only have a few simple steps you need to take. It may, however, be more complicated for you to implement order fulfillment technologies into your company.


But doing so can increase your eCommerce order cycle time in a big way. So you should at least try our small shipping and logistics solutions. You should find that they give your company the boost it needs.


Contact us today for more information.


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