Your Ecommerce Business Needs a Documented Step-by-step Workflow

fb7e5eeb2bc07007b1746dccbed5d54dAs an ecommerce entrepreneur, you surely have big plans for your online store like a possible expansion in the near future, perhaps? With that said, you don’t have to wait until your company is already huge enough to start documenting your processes and workflows in paper. It is better to write down your daily operations and work process as early as now than to backtrack. When you start hiring employees, you will find these documents useful in training and in minimizing labor errors.

Why create a step-by-step ecommerce workflow

  • Simplify your daily operations. Putting your work process in paper will allow you to identify tasks that you can delegate or better yet, automate.
  • Establish a quality control system. A well-documented work guideline allows staff and employees to understand the standard quality that must be met.
  • Maintain accuracy of inventory. A detailed workflow allows your team to handle products and customer orders efficiently and accurately.
  • Develop the process. A step-by-step list on how to perform a particular task also lets you pinpoint redundancies; hence, you can eradicate those steps and simplify the process further.
  • Establish a Time Frame. Once you have already established a workflow for your ecommerce store, you will be able to estimate the amount of time needed for each task.  This will make it easier for you to calculate the hours you need to meet customer demands and set reasonable deadlines for your employees as well.

What to consider when creating a step-by-step ecommerce workflow

  • Consider the needs of your ecommerce business. What are the actual tasks and responsibilities involved? What business model are you currently using?
  • Who are you creating a detailed work-flow for? Is it for managers, team leaders, or rank-and-file staff? It is crucial to ensure that sensitive data can only be accessed by the right people.
  • How do you intend to keep your records? Will it be traditional printed paper, or do you want to create an online portal (knowledge management system) where employees can easily access the information they need anytime?
  • Make your process efficient and effective. Ensure that the documentations are clear and easy to understand. Remember that these documents are necessary in training your employees, so if one of the steps is erroneous, it can result to confusion and even financial losses.
  • Make your processes as short and as simple as possible. The fewer times a staff is required to touch a customer order, the better. This minimizes the possibilities of committing costly mistakes.
  • Design your process to fulfill customer’s orders quickly and accurately. The goal of creating a step-by-step ecommerce workflow is not only to educate your employees, but to meet the demands of your customers as well.
  • Make your workflow visual. Use flow charts, screenshots, and images with every step. This will help your employees in understanding the work process better. If possible, you can also use power point presentations and actual videos of how to perform the task.

Benefits of a step-by-step ecommerce workflow

  • Better calculate labor costs.
  • Improves productivity rate and speed.
  • Reduces human errors and find ways to further improve the quality of service.
  • Prioritizes tasks that will give more value to customers.
  • Easier means to share information and data within the team.
  • Helps you determine when to add employees.
  • Serves as an explanation about the target goals for each task/responsibility.
  • Allows the employees to understand how their tasks are interconnected with each other.

As an ecommerce entrepreneur, it is necessary for you to prepare a detailed step-by-step workflow for your business. Identify the objectives that you want to achieve and review your work process from time to time. This will guide you towards creating a workflow that will be useful for your entire team. 

Written by: Shirley Tan

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