It occurs at the interface between the customer and the retailer and involves the processes involved directly in receiving and filling of the customers order. It is usually initiated at the retailer site by the customer. It starts when the customers gets to the place and end at the time when the client receives his order. (Ballou, 2003).These processes include:
Customer arrival: It refers to customer’s appearance at the premises of what he wants or when he communicates with the firm either by use of a phone call or using a mail. The aim of this stage is to ensure that the contact gets the right product. This then means that his arrival will turn into an order. The ordering can be as a result of good arrangement of products. When using calls it is made efficient by not letting the clients to wait for long on the calls.
Customer order entry: This involves clients informing retailers what they wish to buy and being allocated to them. The aim of the customer order entry is to make sure that it is as quick and efficient as possible. Also the information should be communicated to all other supply chains which are affected.
Customer order fulfillment: during this process the order of the customer is filled and sent to him. At the supermarket situation this process is performed by the customer but at the situation where the order is done by mail, it involves picking of orders from inventory, then packaging it and transporting it to the destination which is the customer. Customer order fulfillment in general takes place directly from the line of production of the manufacturer. The objective of this process is to ensure that the customer gets the correct orders at the right time and at reasonable costs.
Customer order receiving: At this stage the customer receives the order and assumes its ownership. It occurs at the counter in the supermarket situation but in mail ordering it occurs at delivery of the order. (Coyle, Bardi, & Langley 2002)
Ballou, R.H. (2003). Business logistics management/Supply chain management (5th Ed.). USA: Prentice Hall Publishers
Coyle, J., Bardi, E.J. & Langley C.J. (2002). Management of business logistics: A supply chain perspective (7th Ed.) USA: South western college publishers.