Career Story: Order Fulfillment Manager For A Women's Clothing Line

Order Fulfillment Manager For A Women's Clothing Line

Job Title: Order Fulfillment Manager

Type of Company: Designing, manufacturing and selling women's apparel in stores in the US and through catalogs worldwide.

Education: AS, Library Science, Bristol Community College (Fall River, MA) •• AS, Business Management, Bristol Community College •• BS, Graphic Art and Design, Indiana University •• Management Certificate, Bryant College (Smithfield, RI)

Previous Experience: I started working as a free-lance artist in collaboration with an interior designer. I painted in oils and acrylics on commission for private clients and interior designers. When I needed medical insurance I went back to school for Library Science and I worked in a reference library as a researcher. In this position I provided research assistance to the public and to educational institutions. When this job ended after a few years due to funding cut-backs I found a job working for a manufacturer and distributor of glassware. I quickly moved into management, while getting my AS. After 18 years in various management positions in manufacturing, fulfillment, quality control/inspection and returns, the company experienced financial problems and closed. I was quickly hired by a major international retailer to head the returns department of their catalog division. After two years I moved into the operations division.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for the retrieval, packaging and shipping of customers' catalog orders throughout the US and internationally to about 120 countries. I review order history and real-time customer order data to project for the entire month how many individual items and how many orders we will need to ship each day. I send that information updated daily to the entire division so each area can plan to have enough staff to complete each day's shipments.

Each customer who places an order by telephone, internet or mail pays a shipping and handling fee. I have to make sure that the amount of money generated covers the actual cost to pick, pack and ship the order, so I need to know how much each operation costs the company. The rules of computing this fee are set by the Federal Trade Commission and I have to know the laws and ensure we are in compliance with them.

I have 5 supervisors who report to me and 120 employees under them. I have to ensure that I transmit corporate goals to the employees through their supervisors. I need to make sure that all employees are treated fairly, that their performance is accurately reviewed and that their compensation meets corporate guidelines. When employee morale is low, productivity falls and payroll costs increase. This affects profits. I make a point of knowing each employee's name and something about them as individuals. I try to stop and talk to each employee at least every two weeks.

I help negotiate contracts with each of our package delivery services, including USPS, DHL International, Federal Express and UPS. I have to know each company's services and requirements so I can assign to each provider the part of the delivery business that they are strongest in. I want customer orders to be delivered as quickly as possible, at the lowest possible cost.

I spend a lot of time on training and developing my staff at all levels. When people have the opportunity to learn as much as they want or are able of they are happier and more productive, and it's good to have a group of trained people who can step in anywhere to lend a hand.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Dealing with people is both the best and worst part of the job. Nothing is more time-consuming and frustrating than dealing with employee relations issues. It's hard to fire people but it is sometimes necessary.

Nothing is more rewarding than seeing people rise to a challenge and succeed. The best part is when they themselves are surprised to see what they are capable of achieving.

Job Tips: Read and internalize the concepts in the book "Getting to Yes." Nothing in my career helped me more than this book.

Know your own weaknesses and hire people who are strong in the areas where you are weak. Treat them well, trust them and compensate them well.

Give credit to everyone who helps you, no matter how small their contribution.

Treating people fairly isn't the same as treating people equally.

Additional Thoughts: My visual arts experience helped me tremendously in my career. It taught me attention to detail and gave me the ability to see the relationships between things in a way that differed from most of my peers. I was surprised at how often I could intuitively get from one mental place to another as a result of this training.

Most of my peers were specialists. My library research and art experience gave me a more generalist background. This was helpful because I could often contribute critical information to a project, information that people with a specialist background didn't see.

My director always told me that my ability as a generalist who knew a little about a lot of different things was key to my success.

Popular Schools offering Management Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Touro University Worldwide (TUW) is a non-profit university, accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, and is part of the Touro College and University System.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management, Master of Business Administration
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master

As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

  • Programs: Business Administration (BBA), Business Administration (DBA), Business Administration (MBA), more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Doctorate, Master

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

  • Programs: Master of Business Administration, MBA - Leadership
  • Degrees: Master
California College San Diego
National City, San Diego, San Marcos

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

  • Programs: Business Administration - Property Management (BS), Business Administration (BS)
  • Degrees: Bachelor
San Joaquin Valley College
Bakersfield, Delano, Fresno, Hanford, Lancaster, Madera, Ontario, Temecula, Visalia

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

  • Programs: Certificate - Business Administration (Management), Degree - Business Administration (Management)
  • Degrees: Certificate, Associate

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Project Management - BBA, Project Management - PhD in Bus. Admin., Project Management - D.B.A., more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Doctorate

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

  • Programs: MBA Nursing Administration and Leadership (MBA) - Online
  • Degrees: Master
National Career College
Panorama City

Choosing a school and a new career path can be a very overwhelming process.

  • Programs: Business Management and Accounting
  • Degrees: Associate
Platt College
Alhambra, Anaheim, Ontario

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Business Management
  • Degrees: Associate

Fremont College traces its roots to Platt College’s founding in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1879, and the Southern California branch campus was established in 1986.

  • Programs: BA - Business Leadership
  • Degrees: Bachelor
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Managers

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Managers, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104