Order process may be defined as the workflow or process relating to the picking and tracking of customer orders and delivering the particular good/item/product to the customer. It begins with the capturing of the order which happens when the customer makes his order by phone, post, through a salesperson, through an online order form or other route. Order process is an important component of order fulfillment. In fact, order fulfillment is the outcome of order process with the latter being the collective tasks involved to achieve the former.

The order process can be manual with hand-written orders and manual filing systems or modern, incorporating online order-taking, order processing software packages and/or other technological applications. Facilities or operations involved in order processing are usually referred to as distribution centers.

Simple Example of Order Process

One example of a quick instantaneous order is when a buyer requests for a soft copy of a music track. In this case, the order process is typically nothing more than the buyer paying for the product, the seller recording the transaction and accepting the payment, and the seller making the music track available to the customer by enabling its download. On the other hand, if a customer orders a set of encyclopedias to be delivered to him, the order process would be different.

Factors Determining Nature of Order Process

Factors which help determine how or what steps are involved in the process flow include:

  • What’s included in the order: This refers to how many different items are there as well as the quantity of each item in the order
  • Nature of the shipped product – Without doubt it can be said that the shipping of eggs needs a different kind of order fulfillment process than that required for the shipping of trousers.
  • Availability, productivity and cost of workforce – This can generate trade-off decisions in manual and automatic processing operations
  • Packaging for the product – Process variations occur depending on the shipping packaging, whether envelopes, cases, pallets or totes.

A solid order process with no misreading or misplacing of orders paves the way for long-term revenue gains because of the consistency in customer satisfaction.