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Streamline Order Fulfillment and Payment Processing

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Describe how to automate order fulfillment and payment processing.
  • Identify the information included in a fulfillment order.
  • Explain what an order payment summary is.

Manage the Fulfillment Process

The primary function of any order management system is to ensure accurate and timely order fulfillment. How efficiently you manage order fulfillment can make or break the shopping experience for your customers. If you can’t consistently deliver what you promised, when you promised, at the price you promised, customer loyalty will start to erode. To keep your customers happy, and the business running smoothly, you need to make sure that orders stay on track.

Sounds easy enough, right? But, if you rely on a patchwork of disconnected systems and manual processes to fulfill orders, collect payments, and ship products, you leave the door open for costly mistakes. One too many botched orders, payment snafus, or shipping delays and your customers will start looking for other places to shop.

You’ve already learned how the order summary can help you manage order data. Now, let's take a closer look at how workflow automation can help you streamline order fulfillment and payment processing.

Automate Order Fulfillment with Flows

You can keep orders moving—and maintain happy customers—by automating your fulfillment and payment processes. Automation ensures consistency and improves accuracy, making it more likely that you can deliver on your promises. Let’s see how this works.

As you learned in the previous unit, when Salesforce Order Management receives an order, it automatically creates order objects and populates them with order data. What happens to these objects next is up to you. Your goal is to move the order from submission to delivery as quickly and efficiently as possible. To make this happen, you can use a tool called Flow Builder, which you can access in Setup.

Flow Builder is a visual tool that lets you use intuitive shapes to define the business logic and actions that move order objects through your fulfillment workflow.

To get started, first identify:
  • All the steps in your fulfillment workflow.
  • The sequence in which the steps occur.
  • The actions or decisions required to move from one step to the next.
  • The steps that require integration with an external system or supply chain partner.

Once you’ve gathered this information, you can use Flow Builder to create a visual representation of the entire process. Salesforce Order Management then uses the steps and business logic that you defined to manipulate order objects and move orders through the workflow from start to finish.

Here’s a sample fulfillment flow in Flow Builder.

Flow Builder showing Create Fulfillment Order sample flow.

To get you started, Salesforce Order Management includes sample flows and processes that demonstrate a basic order workflow from start to finish. You can modify and extend the sample flows and processes based on your business requirements. You can also create custom approval processes for things such as fraud checks and manual order reviews.

Note

Note

As an alternative to using Flow Builder, you can also configure fulfillment processes by using Salesforce APIs and Apex custom code.

Fulfillment Orders

Once you’ve automated your fulfillment process, you can sit back and relax, right? Well, not exactly. You’ll still want to keep an eye on things, so you need a way to keep track of where orders are in the fulfillment process. That’s where the fulfillment order comes in handy.

The order lifecycle begins when Salesforce Order Management receives an order, triggering the creation of the order and order summary records. At this point, your automated fulfillment workflow kicks in to create fulfillment order records for the products in the order and then assign those products to fulfillment locations.
  • If all the products in an order can be fulfilled together, only one fulfillment order is created.
  • If the products in an order can’t all be fulfilled together, Salesforce Order Management groups products that will ship together and creates separate fulfillment orders for each group.
  • All fulfillment orders are automatically linked to the order summary.
Automated steps in a fulfillment process flow: order and order summary creation, fulfillment order one creation, fulfillment order two creation, order product fulfilment, and order product delivery.
You can find the following information in each fulfillment order record.
  • Status
  • Order recipient
  • Shipping address
  • Fulfillment locations
  • Shipping carrier and shipping method
  • Order products, quantities, and charges

Details and statuses for each fulfillment order are summarized—and dynamically updated—on the order summary. This makes it easy for you to track order products throughout the fulfillment process.

Ideally, your automated workflow will keep orders moving along without any trouble. However, you can still jump in and manually update fulfillment orders as needed. You can:
  • Update the status of a fulfillment order to move the order from one stage of the fulfillment process to another.
  • Change the fulfillment location.
  • Modify the shipping method or shipping address.
  • Remove a product from the fulfillment order.

Any changes that you make to the fulfillment order automatically update the corresponding information on the order summary.

Payment Processing

Now, all this automation is a great thing, but what about the money? You might be efficient, but you won’t be in business long without cash. You need a way to collect payment on all those products shipping from your fulfillment centers.

When you set up Salesforce Order Management, you can configure the payment methods, payment providers, and payment processors for your ecommerce site. You then need to think about how to integrate payment processing into your automated fulfillment workflow.

In general, whatever methods, providers, and processors you use, order payments progress through three stages during order fulfillment.
  • Funds are authorized for capture from the customer’s chosen payment method.
  • Authorized funds are captured from the customer’s chosen payment method.
  • Captured funds are invoiced and reconciled with an external financial management system.

You determine the timing for each of these stages. For example, you can choose to authorize funds when a customer submits an order, and then capture funds and generate an invoice when an order is fulfilled. Once you decide how and when to authorize, capture, and invoice payments, you can build the required payment processing steps into your automated fulfillment workflow.

Order Payment Summaries

To help you manage payment transactions, Salesforce Order Management creates an order payment summary for each order. The order payment summary simplifies order management by providing you with a single view of all payment transactions for an order.

Unlike other summary objects—such as the order summary—the order payment summary doesn’t represent an original payment record and subsequent changes to it. Instead, it represents a combination of payments that use the same payment method and are associated with the same order summary.

You can find the following information in each order payment summary record.
  • Payee name
  • Payment method
  • Amount authorized
  • Amount captured
  • Balance due
  • Amount refunded
  • Invoices and credit memos
  • Authorization, payment, and refund transaction details

You can also access Payment Gateway logs on the order payment summary. Payment Gateway logs store all the information exchanged between your payment platform and your external payment gateways. When a payment transaction does not complete as expected, you can open the associated Payment Gateway log for help with resolving the issue.

Invoices and Credit Memos

Salesforce Order Management uses invoices and credit memos to let you reconcile order payment transactions with your external financial management systems.
  • Invoice: An invoice represents funds captured as payment for an order. An invoice lets you reconcile the funds captured with your external financial management systems. You determine the timing for invoice generation within the framework of your fulfillment workflow.
  • Credit Memo: A credit memo represents a payment refund resulting from a product return. A credit memo lets you reconcile refund disbursements with your external financial management systems. A credit memo is generated automatically when you process a return.

Invoice and credit memo generation occurs automatically. Accounting reconciliation requires an integration between Salesforce Order Management and your financial management systems.

Next Steps

You’ve now seen how the pieces of the order management puzzle fit together. But there’s still one more thing to consider—the one thing that brings it all together—service.