Order Management: Key Concepts
Order management refers to the process of receiving, tracking, and fulfilling orders. When scaling your business, it is important to automate these processes to reduce order fulfillment time and provide the best experience to your buyers and Linnworks can help you with it.
Table of contents
- Order Life Cycle
- Orders Modules
Order Life Cycle
An order normally moves through different stages of its life cycle. Linnworks provides a set of tools to make sure you can control, manage, and complete each stage of an order journey. An order life cycle in Linnworks is commonly the following:
- An order is created.
Linnworks downloads orders from selling channels automatically once channel integrations are set up. Orders can also be created manually one by one or added to the system in bulk via order import.
- An order is reviewed and confirmed.
All new orders are saved in Open Orders. In this screen, you can set up different views, apply specific sorting, filtering to group your orders into different categories depending on the order stage. For example, you can separate unpaid orders, out-of-stock orders, printed orders, ready-to-process orders, etc.
- Order documentation is printed.
The Open Orders screen allows printing important for order processing documentation: shipping labels, invoices, picking and packing lists, stock item labels when necessary.
- An order is picked.
Once a picking list is printed in Linnworks you can then hand it over to your employees to pick required items. The picklist can be designed to match the route your employees take in a warehouse when picking items.
- An order is packed.
You can print a packing list for each order to make sure the correct items are packed and shipped to buyers. The packing list template can also be customized to meet your requirements.
- An order is processed.
An order is ready to be processed once all the above stages are completed. It is possible to send the tracking and despatch information back to some selling channels with processing orders in Linnworks. You can use different methods to process orders. Orders can also be processed one by one or in bulk.
- Post-processing actions.
Once an order is processed, it is moved to the Processed Orders screen. In this screen, you are able to look up any processed and canceled orders based on selected criteria and filters. You can also perform several after-sale actions such as Returns, Exchanges, Resends, and Refunds for any of your processed orders.
Linnworks dedicated modules such as Open Orders, Processed Orders, Despatch Console, Returns and Refunds, Rules Engine offer advanced functionality to handle all order-related processes from one place.
See a quick overview of each order-related module below.
Go to Orders > Open Orders to access the screen where all new orders are saved. In this screen, you can use different tools to match your current workflow and do all the necessary routines: picking, packing, printing shipping labels and invoices, sending emails, processing, canceling, etc. For full guidance on all these tools and how to use them, see our documentation.
Go to Orders > Processed Orders to access the screen. Once all necessary actions have been completed - all documents are printed, the order is picked and packed - the order should be processed to transfer it from the Open Orders screen to Processed Orders. There are four different methods for processing orders in Linnworks: manual processing, batch process, Despatch Console, and Process Order import. You can select your preferred method and learn how to use it here.
The Processed Orders screen can also be used to look up processed or cancel orders based on the selected criteria. For more information on how to use the Processed Orders screen see here.
Go to Orders > Despatch Console to access the screen. Despatch Console is used to make the processing of the orders quicker when you are using a barcode scanner. Full details for using the Despatch Console are available here.
Returns and Refunds
The Returns & Refunds screen is available under Orders > Returns & Refunds. This screen logs all RMAs (exchanges, resends, returns) and refunds previously booked from Processed Orders. You can use this screen to view, action, edit or delete required returns, exchanges, resends, and refunds. Full details for using Returns & Refunds are available here.
The Rules Engine available under Orders > Rules Engine provides a visual interface for setting up custom business rules. For example, if orders total is more than £500 => assign it to the folder Big Orders. These rules run automatically on all orders that meet the criteria specified in a rule. For more information on Rules Engine see our documentation here.