Small business owners often need to manage several aspects of their businesses themselves. This is a result of not being at an operational scale comparable to large corporations. However, business owners may not need to handle everything personally, or even through a manager—in fact, you can use the help of technology to manage your business better.
For larger enterprises, the task of managing their businesses is even harder in some ways, because while they can afford the manpower, it’s difficult nonetheless to be responsible for handling hundreds and thousands of queries, orders, and requests on top of internal organisational problems.
Software that are designed for businesses have long been saving companies the hassle of people working and manually recording every detail, product, inventory change or incoming order. Not to mention the chances of error when people are involved, because even your best accountant or manager can make a mistake.
It’s a small investment in comparison to the ease an organisation software and technology bring into the lives of business owners. You can work with different vendors who are geared to providing services to small businesses such as yours, whether it’s retail, wholesale, food delivery, so on and so forth.
There are various online software for small businesses that can make your work easier to manage. One of the most common types is an inventory management software; another is an order management software. They’re both intended to make operations smoother while running a business, by working on specific aspects. They are not the same, however.
Inventory Management System
Inventory management software looks at things that have already happened. That is to say, it performs by recording changes in your inventory, helping you sort through items as they’re needed, and ensuring that you’re not out of stock when it comes to essential products that could cost your business, as well as helping you avoid spending on excess stock and losing money.
These systems can help you reduce business costs significantly because these are software specifically designed to do what humans can’t always do: be accurate with estimates and calculations based on previous information and data.
Inventory management software is a great option for any business owner looking to get more organised and maximise on their profit-making ability.
Order Management System (OMS)
Another great investment that all business owners, especially those operating on small scales, be it out of the home, outsourcing services because they can’t afford to have large departments, so on and so forth, is an order management system.
These work through vendors who handle your business’s order systems with their software. To elaborate, these software are front-end software that are responsible for future transactions, business and ensuring that customers are able to safely and securely place their orders with your business. In short, they are online ordering systems for businesses.
It’s not an easy process to take orders and manage inventory, check across several locations or through even one record of your stocks to find a product that the customer wants, connecting several customers to sellers and managing overall trade management.
Do You Need An OMS?
It can be tricky to find the right software for your business because getting the wrong one could cost you in terms of time, money, peace and of course, defeat the purpose. Why rush into an investment that can backfire and end in you losing more than you’re gaining?
A major issue with software, although they make running a business much easier, is also that they can hinder your business if they’re not efficient. Imagine a customer ready to place an order for your product or service, dismayed by the software acting up, crashing, not providing accurate and updated information. That customer is unlikely to come back or even see this order through. Poor order management for customers can leave you suffering from a lot of losses as you struggle to retain a loyal clientele.
An OMS will be an all-encompassing order management system that will help you manage B2B eCommerce—i.e. link up to your inventory and see if you’re short on supplies; or if you’re a B2B supplier it will handle your client interaction, requests and orders; it will also be responsible for web order management and be connected to your back office.
These are integrated, highly intelligent systems designed to help you organise and fine tune your business dealings. If you’re not sure you need an OMS, think about the type of business you’re running.
If you’re a small business that sells food, you’ll be competing with the likes of corporate giants that have the fastest order systems in the industry, and even they’re switching to online OMS
It’s a fast-paced world and everything is at the click of a button and tap of a finger. You wouldn’t want to fall behind, which is why you can hire a vendor such as OrderTron to set up a fast and efficient OMS.
What Are The Benefits Of an OMS?
Well, apart from simply helping to ensure that your business is on track with its order, an OMS offers other benefits too.
- Quickly processes orders. The time a person would take to check inventory and confirm orders is significantly slower than what the system takes.
- Accurate information provided. Since the system runs constantly, the data is updated constantly too. At any given point in time, the system will return information that is the most relevant.
- Knows your customers. We all know the experience of ordering something from a particular store or seller, only to have suggestions pop up the next time, or advertisements showing up on social media. In a world of algorithms and technological dependence, an OMS can predict customer behaviour and preferences. It can target customers according to what they’re interested in by looking at their consumer patterns and go on to suggest more products and related items, as well as new products. People are smart, but so is technology. So we might as well use it to our advantage.
- Performance evaluation of sales representatives and reports of sales.
What OMS Works For You?
Small business owners often have a lot of risk to consider when making any decision related to their businesses. There are a lot more bases to cover to minimise losses that can come out of a blind spot. Every decision must be calculated and carefully evaluated before it’s finalised.
Investing in a software for your business is no different. Before you make the final decision, there are a few things to consider:
- Establish your company’s goals—what exactly do you hope to get out of a new system? This depends on your business goals, the nature of work you’re involved in, the customer base you’re trying to reach. It’s important to understand that your OMS does not need to resemble what you have on paper, because for whatever reason, it is a change and sometimes change is a good thing. Keep the future in mind and see where you want your business going. Determine what you need from the OMS accordingly.
- Will an OMS conversion require an overall system upgrade? A conversion from manual systems to online systems can be expensive and time consuming, so you’ll want to be mindful of these factors. How much time can your team devote to their own jobs as well as adjusting to a new system of work. OrderTron is great that way since it integrates into your business’s existing IT set up!
- Customer requirement. What do customers need from you? Who is your clientele? All businesses have specific requirements, and keeping those unique needs and demands in mind, OrderTron has created an OMS that caters to each business and industry.
For food supplier services, mobile order management apps work well because their suppliers are always a tap away. They can order without having to worry about their food supplies reaching them on time or not.
- Like we said, every business is unique and has unique requirements. Ask your potential vendors how much room there is for customisations in the set up that they provide, even if it seems like a good fit on its own. If there’s no room for flexibility or adaptability, it may not work well for you in case something changes.
Know your business, and its needs, but remember that you need to keep up with the times because the more outdated you are, the more business you lose. Time truly is money!