Which Order Types Count Toward My SLA (Service Level Agreement)?

There are times when you may ask yourself, “Does this count against SLA performance?”


This article outlines various order types and if they either:

  1. Count toward your SLA, meaning the order will meet the guaranteed time (e.g.: shipping deadline)

  2. Count against your SLA, meaning the order will not meet the guaranteed time (e.g.: restocking)

All information below is based on a generic client contract. Please review your personal contract, as terms may differ from client to client.

What is an SLA?

Every customer has a contract with DCL and within that contract there are specific SLAs (Service Level Agreements) that outline fulfillment and shipping service guarantees. SLAs often name specific timelines when orders will meet the designated service, which includes shipping deadlines (for orders shipping out), restocking, returns, and more.

What are typical SLAs?

Here are some typical SLA shipping deadline guarantees.

  • Domestic Small Parcel Orders

    • B2C - Orders that drop in for fulfillment before the agreed-upon cutoff time, will ship the same day.

    • B2B (10 or fewer cartons) - Orders that drop into the B2B account have 24 hours to ship.

  • LTL and Large Orders (11 or more cartons)

    • B2B - Once the order is dropped in, DCL has 1 to 2 business days to arrange freight pick-up.

Order Types—Do They Meet SLA?


Orders will go on hold when good stock is awaiting replenishment. Orders can also be placed on hold (manually) upon customer request.

  • Question: What happens if an order is on hold and does not ship by the end of the day? How does that affect SLA performance?

  • Answer: If the customer puts the order on hold, it does not count against the SLA. If the order is on hold because DCL has not replenished the item, then it does count against the SLA.

  • Question: Do the orders I ask to be placed on hold, count against the SLA?

  • Answer: No. If the customer puts the order on hold, it does not count against the SLA.


Orders will go into backorder if no good stock is available. Orders currently in backorder will not count against SLA.

  • Question: What happens when an order comes off backorder?

  • Answer: If the order comes off backorder before the standard cut-off time, it must ship the same day. If after the cut off, it falls into must ship by the end of the following day.

  • Question: Does a backorder count against the SLA?

  • Answer: No. Orders that go on backorder, due to no available good stock, will not effect the SLA.

Inbound Merchandise Receipts:

Some SLAs include an agreement that if an inbound delivery arrives by a certain time, it will be received and put away same day.

  • Question: Do my inbound merchandise receipts count toward the SLA?

  • Answer: Inbound receipts that arrive must be put away by DCL within 24 hours. We require a 48 hour ASN submission prior to the receipt of goods.

Cycle Count Frequency:

Cycle counts help ensure that your products inventory levels stay accurate. The system automatically sets up cycle counts based on the “Cost of Goods” (COGs).

  • Question: How do cycle counts impact fulfillment SLA?

  • Answer: Cycle counts help to prevent the system from showing inventory that may not actually be there or inventory that is there but is not showing systemically. If an order goes on hold for an item that we do not have because the system thinks there is one piece, this could negatively effect SLA performance.

The below chart shows how the system automatically sets up cycle counts for items, based on their cost.






per contract



per contract



per contract


No count

per contract


Customers have SLAs built in to handle returns in a timely manner. The return SLA window is 2 businesses days from the time of DCL’s receipt of the return.

  • Question: My returned order physically arrived Friday and was systematically processed on Tuesday. Does this count against the SLA?

  • Answer: No. The weekend hours do not count towards your returns SLA.

  • Question: My return was received on Monday and was processed on Wednesday. Is this within the SLA performance?

  • Answer: Yes. Because it was processed within 2 businesses days.