Whether you’re a small business owner or the CEO of a large corporation, you’ll have realized the importance of having an order management system. Most businesses require a solution to collecting orders and processing payments effectively. The days of recording orders manually in a ledger are long gone with the advancements made by technology. Today, customers are increasingly demanding quick service and order fulfillment. Therefore, relying on old methods will hold back your company from realizing its true potential.
What is an Order Management System?
Order management software helps businesses automate collecting orders and processing payments, thereby reducing human intervention. Order management systems are an excellent tool for handling large order volumes effectively. Most of these systems also have tools to help manage inventory. Moreover, firms can integrate their order management system software with the other systems they’re using, such as ERP and CRM systems. Combining all of the systems helps streamline business processes, making them more efficient and effective.
Why is an Order Management System Important?
Order management affects nearly every part of the supply chain. Furthermore, most companies today don’t perform order management in-house but rather have numerous partners assisting them through the process. Depending upon the type of operations you run, it’s likely you have a manufacturer or a supplier, a commercial warehousing partner, and a distribution center. Partnering helps a company reduce overhead costs, but firms can often lose control and order visibility because orders pass through so many hands. Companies will often use manual processes to ensure that they complete orders without any errors, increasing costs. However, an order management system eliminates the need for manual processes and guarantees visibility of the order through each stage.
Moreover, businesses today are operating in an omnichannel environment, meaning that all aspects of a firm’s customer service should be interlinked. A customer may place an order online but want to check up on the order’s status via the phone. In addition, they may want to pick up the order physically from a store location. An order management system makes it easier for customer service staff to track orders, regardless of how customers placed them. Furthermore, it also allows businesses the opportunity to employ upselling and cross-selling tactics.
Why Your Firm Needs an Order Management System
Whether you’re operating an e-commerce store or a brick-and-mortar store, your business needs an order management system. Here’s a list of reasons why implementing an order management system software can benefit your business:
Giant retailers like Amazon have elevated customer’s expectations regarding order fulfillment. Customers aren’t ready to wait for days to receive their orders anymore. Instead, they expect fast delivery turnarounds. Many companies are now switching to same-day delivery options to fulfill customer expectations. Moreover, fulfilling orders allows companies to recycle inventory faster.
There are usually two ways companies fulfill orders: store collection and delivery shipments. Both processes are complex and require significant attention. Unless you have a distribution center close to where your customers live, you’ll encounter high costs to deliver products timely.
An order management application helps your store staff fulfill orders through both methods. If a customer comes into the store, the process is straightforward. A sales employee has to scan the barcode, and the order management system matches it against the placed order and marks it as completed. If you’ve implemented an order management software with inventory management capabilities, it will also deduct the item from your stock. In addition, many systems will also allow you to set a minimum stock threshold. Once your inventory hits this point, the order management system will notify you to re-order. Therefore, implementing an order management system helps fulfill customer orders quickly and enables businesses to reduce re-order lags and manage inventory more efficiently.
On the other hand, if your store has to ship orders directly to customers, an order management system again proves beneficial. Most order management applications have a user-friendly interface and a mobile application that guides store staff through the process. The software will assist staff from order notification to printing shipping labels and finally distribution. Moreover, if your business operates several stores, the software can adjust the flow of orders sent to every store, ensuring that none of your stores are overburdened.
Streamlined for Synergy
Implementing order management software can be fruitful for businesses because it orchestrates the processes from various systems to ensure order fulfillment and customer satisfaction.
An order management system ensures seamless communication and streamlined business processes by connecting different departments. Your business can integrate its order management software with an ERP application, an e-commerce platform, product information management software, and more. Combining these programs provides your order management system an oversight into all the business functions. If a customer’s order experiences delay or inventory runs low, the order management system is aware and can notify the responsible departments immediately. Most order management applications possess capabilities like inventory management, intelligent shipping, and optimized fulfillment practices to ensure order fulfillment is timely, guaranteeing customer satisfaction. Moreover, these systems enable a company to reduce its costs by eliminating wastes and margins for error.
One of the most significant challenges for any business is managing stock. Whether you stockpile goods or keep a lean inventory, handling stock can be a strenuous endeavor.
If your business runs out of inventory, you can’t fulfill orders, causing great distress and dissatisfaction to your customers. Therefore, your firm needs to ensure that it’s holding enough stock to satisfy existing customers while also possessing the ability to service new customers adequately.
An order management system can help you track inventory because it provides real-time information about current stock, re-ordering needs, and more. In addition, an order management system can also provide detailed information and analysis for individual products, helping you identify and differentiate fast-selling and slow-moving products easily. Most businesses have a group of fast-selling goods that require constant re-ordering. You can optimize your order management app to send frequent notifications about their status. On the other hand, slow-moving products might require a batch notification on a weekly or monthly basis.
Furthermore, if your business is operating on a large scale, it might have several distribution centers. Your order management system can help you create inventory pools, providing a safety net for your stock. If one distribution center runs out of stock for a product, the system re-routes the order to a nearby distribution center holding the item in stock. Doing so ensures that you fulfill the order without delays.
Therefore, order management systems also help you devise an inventory pool spanning several distribution centers or stores, allowing you to create a more sizable stock safety net.
Returns and Exchanges
Most businesses accept that order fulfillment can go wrong. Errors can occur, such as late delivery, shipping a wrong item, or a product breaking during the delivery process. Although businesses try their utmost to prevent such circumstances from happening, they do occur. Hence, most companies ensure they provide after-sales customer support to listen to customer feedback and process customer complaints. An order management system is a vital contributor to effective after-sales service. Your customers can use your order management system to initiate self-service returns. In addition, your after-sales staff possesses the necessary tools to assess the complaints of disgruntled customers and offer them exchanges, reimbursements, and returns. In addition, an order management system thrives because it allows your business to refund items bought from different channels. For instance, an unsatisfied customer who purchased a product from your online store may bring the product to a brick-and-mortar location demanding a refund. Fortunately, order management systems can handle order returns across all channels, ensuring that your in-store staff can provide a return or a refund to the customer.
Many order management systems will allow you to integrate your merchant’s system with retail marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, etc. Most companies understand the limitations of selling from only their website and why they wish to display their products and services on these marketplaces. However, setting up accounts and product catalogues can be a time-consuming endeavor. An order management system eliminates the hassle by allowing you to export your data seamlessly onto these platforms.
Moreover, some order management systems cater exclusively to helping small businesses connect with suppliers and wholesalers. For instance, we’ve designed our online ordering system software to help small businesses. We’ve built our cloud-based software to connect foodservice suppliers, wholesalers, and restaurants. Restaurants can use our application to purchase fresh inventory and produce directly from suppliers with a single touch on their phones. In addition, our wholesale food distribution software also allows wholesalers to connect vertically with restaurants and suppliers.
A Unique Order Management System Catering to Small Businesses and Food Service Operators
If you’re running a small business or a restaurant in Australia, we’ve got the perfect small business order management software for you. Although OrderTron’s software caters uniquely to the foodservice industry, it’s also an excellent tool for small businesses seeking to automate their order collection and payments procession.
Our cloud-based software eliminates the need for installations. Moreover, we also have applications for both Android and iPhones, enabling easy access for our users. You can use our platform to connect and order directly from foodservice suppliers or find customers for your wholesale goods. In addition, our platform makes order management for customers more effortless than ever.