Just released: 2024 Manufacturing and Distribution Benchmark Report reveals how 900 companies increase CSAT and profitability

Blog Post

The Industrial B2B Guide to Automated Order Fulfillment

Today’s B2B customers demand effortless efficiency and speed, but traditional order fulfillment methods are labor-intensive, prone to errors, and difficult to scale on demand. Read on to discover how automated order fulfillment can streamline your ordering, picking, packing, and shipping and give you a competitive edge.


What Is Automated Order Fulfillment?

Automated order fulfillment uses cutting-edge technologies such as sophisticated AI and Machine Learning (ML) software to optimize the ordering process from receipt to delivery. It outclasses traditional methods by enhancing operational speed, improving accuracy, minimizing manual labor, and optimizing warehouse workflow.

How Does Technology Enable Automated Order Fulfillment?

Automated order fulfillment technologies can have a profound long-term impact on your company. These solutions address current operational challenges and also let you adapt to future demands.

RFID Technology

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags and readers enhance the inventory tracking and management process, enabling the quick and accurate identification, location, and routing of items through your fulfillment center without requiring direct line-of-sight scanning.

Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems

Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) lets you automate your storage, picking, and packing operations to enable 24/7 productivity without the constraints of manual labor.

AI and ML software

AI and ML software allow you to process business documents, such as purchase orders, advance shipping notices, and invoices, in minutes instead of hours with 100% accuracy. These technologies also enhance logistics by predicting inventory requirements, optimizing picking routes, and managing demand forecasts. Real-time data and analytics enable you to adapt dynamically to customer needs and market changes.

Why You Need Automated Order Fulfillment: The Top Challenges of Manual Order Fulfillment

Continuing to manage your order fulfillment manually makes it difficult for you to provide fast and reliable service. Let’s look at the main challenges of persevering with traditional methods.

Demand Forecasting & Seasonal Fulfillment

Relying on manual order processing makes it difficult to adapt to fluctuating demand, leading to either excess inventory or stockouts, particularly during peak seasons. It’s also challenging to ramp up or reduce your labor force at short notice.

The Amazon Benchmark

Amazon’s vast resources have allowed it to set a high bar for rapid delivery and responsive service. B2B customers want every company to match these standards.

Shipping Costs and Options

As shipping costs continue to rise, it can be a struggle to deliver On-Time In-Full  and minimize expenditure. From finding the most reliable but cost-effective carrier to picking the right multi-modal transportation options navigating the complexities of logistics is challenging.

Inefficient Inventory Management

Human error and inefficiency lead to inaccuracies in stock levels. This can result in overstocking or stock-outs and delayed or incorrect orders. This lowers customer satisfaction and means increased costs and missed sales opportunities.

Order Tracking

Companies can struggle to effectively manage a mixed workflow consisting of emailed, faxed, and mailed orders, order confirmations, and shipping notifications. Manual document handling hampers productivity and leaves your company vulnerable to expensive errors, delays, and dissatisfied customers.

What Are the Key Benefits of Automated Order Fulfillment?


Despite the host of inefficiencies that come with manual order management, businesses have been slow to take advantage of the alternative. KRC research reported that just 2% of companies use an automated order fulfillment solution. Yet with the warehouse automation market alone predicted to grow by 23 percent to reach $51 billion by 2030, an automated future is inevitable. Adopting an automated solution sooner rather than later can give your company a head start thanks to automated order fulfillment’s ability to:


Optimize Warehouse Functioning

Predictive analytics, RFID, and AS/RS offer accurate forecasting and inventory management, allowing for rapid adjustments to changes in demand or supply. You can be sure that your warehouse is always operating at peak efficiency, regardless of external pressures.


Optimize Order Shipping

Automated document processing can automatically detect order emails as soon as they are received, process them with 100% accuracy, and route them to your ERP in under 2 minutes. Algorithms can select the best routes, multi-modal options, and carriers to ensure timely and cost-effective shipping solutions that meet or exceed customer expectations.


Minimize Expenses

Automation cuts labor expenses, minimizes expensive errors and delays, maximizes operational efficiencies and optimizes delivery leading to an overall reduced cost per order.


Streamline Complex Processes

Automation cuts the time spent on mundane tasks like payment verification and address checking to seconds. This speeds up the fulfillment process and reduces the likelihood of errors, ensuring a smooth operational flow.


Enhance Tracking and Reduce Manual Data Entry

Automation integrates advanced tracking systems, offering customers transparency and enhancing satisfaction. It also means over 80% of orders and invoices can be processed accurately without manual reviews or corrections, saving employees time and minimizing the chance for mistakes. It also allows you to reallocate valuable staff resources to more value-added and engaging work, enhancing morale and productivity and reducing operational costs.


Improve the Customer Experience

All these advantages feed into helping you achieve your goal of enhancing customer satisfaction, building loyalty, and securing repeat business.

Graybar Electric used Conexiom’s automated order fulfillment solution to handle orders for over 1,500 customers. Graybar was able to improve productivity and process 83,000 documents with 9.5 million line items through Conexiom in six months.

Get the Case Study

The Step-by-Step Process of Automated Order Fulfillment

The automated order fulfillment process can be broken down into several key steps:


Inbound Inventory

Automation comes into play long before an order is placed by a customer. Systems use RFID to scan inbound inventory on arrival, accurately log it, and instantly update inventory levels. This provides real-time visibility into stock so discrepancies can be quickly identified and addressed.


Inventory Sorting and Storage

Once inventory is received, AS/RS systems move items to designated locations, ensuring they are easily retrievable when orders are placed.


Order Processing

When an order is received by automated document software, it processes the documents and sends them to a company’s system of record, such as an ERP. Once an order is routed to the warehouse, the picking, packing, and shipping process can begin:

  • Picking: AS/RS systems swiftly and accurately select and retrieve the required items, significantly reducing the physical strain on human workers.
  • Packing: Automated packing lines choose the appropriate materials, ensuring items are securely packaged for transit and minimizing waste.
  • Shipping: Algorithms analyze various shipping options in real-time and select the most cost-effective and timely method for delivery, taking shipping distance, package size, and carrier performance into account.

How to Implement Automated Order Fulfillment

Successfully introducing an automated order fulfillment system requires careful planning and execution. Here is a template to help you plan your strategy.


1. Analyze Your Current System

Thoroughly assess your current fulfillment system by identifying inefficiencies, tracking performance metrics, and deciding where automation will have the most significant impact.


2. Select Advanced Software

Look for solutions that offer accuracy, real-time tracking, automatic order synchronization, and effortless integration with your existing applications and systems.


3. Optimize Warehouse Operations

This might involve reconfiguring your storage layout to accommodate AS/RS systems and introducing data analytics software to improve inventory management.


4. Audit Ongoing Performance

This includes monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), analyzing data to identify areas for improvement, and making data-driven adjustments to optimize performance.

Field used Conexiom to implement automated solutions for orders and acknowledgments and saved thousands of hours per year to re-invest in customer experience.

Learn more

Invest in Fast, Accurate Automated Order Fulfillment

Automated order fulfillment represents a significant opportunity to improve your B2B operations before competitors catch up.

With nearly two decades of experience in artificial intelligence and machine learning, Conexiom's on-time, in-full order management solution enables a seamless transition from traditional methods to automated order fulfillment.

Conexiom lets you:

  • Achieve same-day shipping with under 2-minute order processing.
  • Boost OTIF rates by eliminating manual data entry errors.
  • Free up 50% of your CSR team's day for customer interaction.
  • Save money by reducing labor and error correction costs.
  • Automate PO-backed orders to enhance EDI.

Discover how Conexiom can drive your B2B order fulfillment process to new levels of efficiency and accuracy.

Lean more

Looking for more content?

Looking for more content? Get updates sent to your inbox