Order fulfillment is a process that allows businesses to optimize delivery of goods to customers. Fulfillment managers oversee a variety of order processing functions, ranging from supervising a team of logistics professionals to maintaining positive relations with parcel carriers and monitoring inventories. These managers can work as in-house employees in a range of businesses or find job in firms that provide order fulfillment services.
Using the Skills
Fulfillment managers require strong multitasking and organizational skills to handle the roles that come with order processing. They must ensure customer orders are properly received, processed and delivered, manage the fulfillment staff and at the same time, liaise with delivery partners. With most businesses fast adopting the use of order processing software, fulfillment managers require good computer skills to use these programs. These professionals also require interpersonal and communication skills to effectively interact with customers and providers of transportation and logistics services.
The main duty of a fulfillment manager is to lead the execution of customer orders. When a customer purchases some products from an online store, for instance, the manager reviews the order and authorizes the sales department to package the order. He supervises this activity to ensure all the ordered products are packaged, verifies that the package is correctly labeled with the customer’s shipping address and dispatches it to the firm’s logistics partner for shipping. Afterwards, he may instruct a customer service representative to update the customer on the order’s status.
Monitoring the Inventory
Fulfillment managers serve as a link between distribution centers and manufacturing plants. As customers place purchase orders, these managers must ensure that the warehouse has a sufficient amount of products to meet customer needs. When the stock is running low, the manager must inform the plant to supply more finished products. Fulfillment managers also have a duty to compile reports on the volume and nature of processed orders and submit to supply managers. Once in a while, they may organize training programs to help customer service representatives and other fulfillment professionals improve their job skills.
The employment requirements for fulfillment manager vary by the size of a business. While small businesses, such as online kiosks, may hire high school graduates with some supply management experience, large businesses, such as product manufacturers, prefer individuals with a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management, logistics or business administration. Ambitious fulfillment mangers can earn the Certified International Supply Chain Manager designation, which is offered by the International Purchasing and Supply Chain Management Institute, and complete an advanced degree in business administration to become supply chain managers.