Fulfillment Special Report: Internet Fulfillment ... a.k.a. Revenue
The Internet-based fulfillment environment allows all communication between the fulfillment partner, marketer and customer to be consistent and timely, which ensures customer satisfaction and reinforces the business relationship.
But what does it take to get to this seamless transfer of operations-critical information? And how might Internet fulfillment affect a marketer’s bottom line?
Impact on Accounting
The Internet can play a vital role in the integration of fulfillment program data relative to both marketer and customer activity.
Ancillary functions—such as accounts receivable, accounts payable and general accounting—need to be integrated into the Internet fulfillment process to provide access to data necessary to reconcile orders and revenue. Through the use of this “centralized” selling environment, accounting functions can act autonomously, and as a part of the overall Internet fulfillment processes for enhanced accuracy across a marketer’s operations functions.
Impact on Customer Service
Another business process that needs to be integrated with the Internet fulfillment process to ensure fluidity and accuracy of information is customer service, also called customer care. This function needs to have a direct link to all customer, fulfillment, transaction and finance data to access and report up-to-date, timely information to both the marketer’s vendor and the customer.
Customer data such as name, address, product(s) purchased, purchase amount, purchase date, purchase frequency and payment method, are captured, reported and integrated to the Internet fulfillment environment.
Impact on Operations
The operations team should have the same access to customer and order data as the customer care and accounting departments.
For example, such access allows for more timely reconciliation of inventory, updating of back-order status and resolution of out-of-stock issues—all within the structure of the database. In addition, this set-up ensures consistent attention is paid to order entry and inventory management.
The operation team’s data access needs to include all product and/or service information, inventory levels, order status, materials updates, as well as all ancillary information that could impact the timely distribution of the product and/or service. The operations team should be able to interface with all alternate functions of the Internet fulfillment process—such as accounting, customer care/service, and marketing and sales—from a data perspective, while also being aware of all issues that could affect the operations channel.