Among all of the commercial agents that constitute the business environment, no one takes precedence over the consumer. Suppliers, middle-men or the government; no one can shift commercial currents as much as a customer does. The customer is where the money comes from, these people demand the goods that you sell and these are the people you need to prioritise over anything else. There is no business without the customer and there are no orders.
As of 2019, revenues in the Australian food and beverage industry will amount to $386 billion and the market is projected to grow at a rate of 11.7% by 2023. The revenue trends in the industry indicate consistent demand growth, which will require businesses to improve their order management abilities. If you don’t improve your supply chain and order management processes, then someone else will.
The Need for Improving Order Management
Efficient order processing and effective order management is the basis for continued business growth. As you improve your order fulfilment capabilities, your customers will consider you reliable and might even bring more business to you. Flawless order fulfilment and processing, is perhaps the only way to cement your existing markets and to increase your market size. As such, order management—particularly in the food industry— is of paramount importance.
As time passes by, so do your markets. Experts say that millennials are changing the ways in which global food markets work. The new generation of restaurant customers prefers convenience over anything else and chooses to order food out rather than go out to eat. Experts have forecasted the food delivery sales will grow by 9.0% annually to be values at $3.5 billion by 2023 and nearly 2 million Australians currently use a food delivery app. Once market focus shifts from dining-in to online food delivery, order management will take centre stage in determining your business’s financial success. Since you serve as the source of raw material that restaurant owners rely on, all other business activities rely on your efficiency as a supplier. Ultimately, when demand pressures on restaurant owners increase, these will automatically shift to the supplier. If you can keep up with the demand pressures, you will succeed as a business.
There are plenty of ways for wholesale food suppliers to improve their order management processes. You can implement software to automate order processing, change the way your warehouses work and deploy other optimisation techniques. Making your supply chain much more efficient requires putting your business and customer markets into context before you can make the right decision. While you decide, you can ponder on the value offered by some advice we have to shed on the subject.
Automate Your Order Management Process
As a food supplier you place orders at one end of the supply chain and then take orders from the other end—that’s a lot of orders. You might have you’re your own suppliers who sell you their products, which you then process and send ahead to your customers—sending and receiving orders throughout the year. Effective order management in the food industry involves efficient inventory management and keeping up with your customer’s orders. To achieve the proper balance of orders, you should implement an order management system which can place new orders for you, while catering to incoming orders from the customer.
Back in the day, Webvan was an online grocery ordering service that chose to automate all of their warehouses. The company was under the impression that they can continue generating revenue, and their demands would only expand. They took on huge loans to automate their inventories and warehouses but had to file for bankruptcy because the revenues never caught on with their debts.
You should use analytics to forecast your demands and then plan your inventory accordingly. You’ll find forecasting and analytics tools in Ordertron’s order management system. Forecasting tools will tell you what order levels you should expect in the coming few months, they’ll also tell you projected costs and profits to construct a detailed business overview. You can use the information from analytics and forecasting to make well-informed decisions and prepare for any market fluctuations which can throw off your inventory plans.
Warehouse optimisation involves reducing the time-lag associated with processing the commodities you have lying around and are used in daily functioning. If you’re an online retailer or a supplier, you can reduce the time it takes from placing the order to fulfilling it by implementing an online POS. As soon as your customers place the order, automated inventory management systems can initiate a process that notifies the relevant agents in the order fulfilment process to expedite order fulfilment.
Once you start delivering products to your customers in shorter periods, they will prefer your service over your competitors. With the increased confidence, the customer will order from your online platforms frequently and might even suggest your services to their circles. There isn’t a better way to market your food services than timely and consistent order delivery. Statistics indicate that order processing software can increase productivity by 25% and increase space use by up to 20%.
Improve Inventory Management
We can’t stress enough how important inventory management is for order management. Imagine a situation where your customers place an order and you don’t have enough of a specific item to meet their demands. The entire point of running a business is to provide a service that no one else can or provide it better than the rest. Your profitability relies on your ability to deliver on your promises to your customers, failing to do so will create a short path to commercial failure.
You should automate you inventory management to help keep up with customer orders. These days, you can integrate order management software with your POS and also link these to financial software. Once an order is placed through the POS, the software will update your inventory that very moment and the accounting software will make relevant financial records. With deep integration between the various aspects of your supply chain, accounts and POS systems, you can speed up your inventory processes. Furthermore, you’ll become better at order fulfilment and processing to deliver products to your customers much more quickly.
Develop Better Supplier Relationships
Consumer goods like food are taken up faster than any other good because people use/eat them immediately and order volumes in the food industry are typically high. Your suppliers must be capable of delivering you the necessary materials to continue providing service to your customers.
The rate at which the food industry has grown over the past few years and the expected rise in the use of food delivery apps, you will probably receive orders throughout the day and all year long. As such, you should make sure that you develop good enough relations with your suppliers so they deliver to you whenever you need them to. For as long as your orders keep pouring in, you won’t have any problems fulfilling your customer’s orders.
Try to Improve on Customer Relationships
This is more of a failsafe than anything else really. You should try to create personal connections with your customers to create a buffer against any backlash in the event that you can’t deliver services to them. There are many ways to create better customer relationships like incorporating pop-up notifications on your online food apps, which send personalised messages or giving away complimentary products.
For one thing, using food apps to improve customer relations will increase app usage and you’ll come across more data about consumer preferences. Secondly, you can give yourself some leeway in the unfortunate event that you can’t fulfill an order. Once you’ve established your reliance and goodwill with your customers, you won’t be pressed to improve upon order management and won’t make hasty decisions.
Use Order Management Systems
Order Management Systems are perhaps one of the best possible tech upgrades that a food supplier business can implement. An OMS are comprehensive software which automate order processing, will make automatic receipts and also generate detailed forecast reports. An OMS is effectively the only solution that food industry suppliers need that contains all of the capabilities we’ve mentioned above. Once all the tedious forecasting and receipt preparations have been automated, you’ll find that your organisational processes have been streamlined and you function much better as a business. Furthermore, the automation will leave room for you to focus on other aspects of your business like marketing, administration and other core functions.
There are many numbers of ways that you can improve your business’s commercial prospects but improving order processing is the most effective. Once you get down to improving your order processing methods, you’ll realise that it requires you to make changes across your entire supply chain. Using an Order Management System, like the one offered by OrderTron, you won’t have to spend as much time to streamline your order processing procedures. With the implementation of an OMS, your business will become much more effective, you’ll increase your market shares and you’ll make more profits than ever before. OMS systems are the ultimate supply chain solution that impacts the entirety of your organisation and sets the path for sustainable growth.
Ordertron is an Order Management System that helps foodservice wholesalers and suppliers improve inventory management for improved business outcomes. Our Order Management Systems are designed for Food Service Suppliers and Small Businesses, with Android and Apple iPhone applications for clients. Get in touch with us today for more information on their services or to take on their OMS for your business.