For direct selling companies whose model is dependent on party planners, you need a direct sales fulfillment capability that makes it fast and easy for party hosts to receive and distribute orders. Problems on the fulfillment side frustrate your sales consultants, frustrate their customers, and undermine selling efforts.
That’s why you need a fulfillment partner whose systems and processes are highly flexible and able to send party orders to guests directly, to hosts only, or a mix of the two.
It starts with the direct selling company. They must send orders, via a CSV file or API/WebService, that indicate whether party orders should be fulfilled to the host or guest. From there, it’s up to your fulfillment department or outside fulfillment specialist to receive and process these party orders appropriately.
For Amware Fulfillment, which works with 10 top direct selling companies, the process looks like this:
- Automated workflows are created based on the client file received
- All guest orders associated with a host are processed together and are printed in sequence
- Orders are picked and packed in sequence
- Guest orders slated to go direct are mailed directly to the guest, while guest orders slated to go to the host are included, with packing slips, within the master carton that ships to the host
- Tracking numbers are provided for the master carton and assigned to either the host or party order
- Tracking information can be provided on all orders to the direct selling company so orders can be closed out on their system
It’s the Fulfillment System, Stupid
The right system is critical for efficient direct sales fulfillment of party planning orders. The system must be able to handle orders with a Parent-Child protocol.
Amware’s Director of Systems Integration, Pat Misset, says “It’s not realistic for people to sort through hundreds of orders to determine the guest orders versus the host orders. The system must do that for you so the pick and pack process is both efficient and mistake-free.”
Any good fulfillment system will be programmed with checks and balances to help prevent errors. Amware, for instance, has custom coding that prevents printing of shipping labels for guest orders that need to go to the host. This and other customizations are specific to fulfillment of party orders.
How Precise Fulfillment Makes Hosts Happy and Efficient
The right fulfillment partner is essential to make the party planning and selling model work. Here are benefits they deliver to the party planner:
- Fast fulfillment. By having an efficient process in the warehouse, orders can ship the same day they are received, making party planners and their guests happy.
- Flexibility. Hosts can receive all party orders or send some to guests directly.
- Superb presentation. Shipments must have sufficient packing material and/or additional product seals to ensure the product can withstand turbulent in-transit handling and prevent leakage.
- Fast, easy processing of orders upon receipt. This allows the host to quickly and accurately distribute the products to each guest. Boxes containing individual guest orders are placed within a master carton that goes to the host. All guest boxes are labeled with the customer’s name and are packed to present a uniform appearance within the master carton.
- Accurate orders. Nothing is worse than receiving orders that are wrong. It adds time and aggravation for the host, as well as the guest, and it may jeopardize future sales.
Find a Direct Sales Fulfillment Partner that Knows Party Planning
Successful direct sales companies know that strong fulfillment capabilities are essential to keeping customers happy. For companies that use the party planning sales model, there are some unique requirements that all fulfillment partners may not be able to handle. Look for partners with the systems and established workflows for handling host and guest orders accurately and efficiently.