Technology has become an integral part of daily personal and professional lives. In that context, most businesses have already integrated their operations with order management software systems. These systems reduce costs, simplify business activities, and increase profit margins.
Managing inventory is a crucial job in any s that sells and ships products. Ensuring that orders are accurate and delivered on time is essential to keep your customers happy. Hence, always strive for a ‘perfect order’ every time. That is the ideal place where an order management software system comes in.
By description, an order management software system is a platform that tracks orders, sales, inventory, and fulfillment. It enables employees, processes, and partnerships needed to get products from the warehouse to the customers who bought them. In general, order management has remained unchanged for many years. But, buyer expectations and the sales landscape have changed drastically.
From click to customer exists a lot of challenges. Alignment of inventory and orders across multiple channels is necessary. That alignment also incorporates complex shipping schedules and order profiles. Tracking fulfillment through third-party logistics, coupled with reporting, analytics, and evaluations, are the main functions of logistics and delivery services.
How order management software integrates?
The order management software provides supply chain managers with a bird’s eye view of available inventory, open orders, payments, delivery status, and much more. Managers can use the information that they receive from the system to quickly identify potential problems and enhance processes to keep buying and fulfillment running smoothly.
With many activities involved in deliveries, especially for high-growth merchants, mistakes arise, customers complain, and employees burn out with exhaustion. Order management software comes in handy to help soft almost all of these challenges to leave your customers satisfied with the services and products that you offer. The software integrates with all business systems, including those that use other labor-intensive processes and systems.
Currently, order management needs a multi-dimensional system that incorporates every facet of how businesses operate, including:
- Product information
- Order printing, packing, picking, processing, and shipping
- Sales channel
- Customer service including returns and refunds
- Product information
- Suppliers for purchasing and receiving
- Inventory levels and location
Whether you operate a wholesale, business-to-business (B2B), business-to-customer (B2C), or a hybrid model, this order management software is a worthy investment.
Advantages of Using Order Management Software Systems
In every business model, every task needs the implementation of a work order. The order normally breaks down the work in a process. But, just like the case in all other straightforward tasks, something might go wrong. A price misquoted, a displaced document, a task left undone, and many other mishaps may happen.
An order management software system can prevent most of these inconsistencies and get work done. The software removes common pitfalls and offers accurate record keeping. Thus, you get the freedom to concentrate on what matters most; customers. Here are the benefits of using the order management software.
Centralized System for All Orders
The order management software system automates all processes involved in getting your business operating optimally. This system minimizes or eliminates the chances of mistakes, duplication, disorganization, and other inefficiencies.
After you have confirmed all the required fields, your tasks are approved. The software enhances scheduling and prioritizing of orders according to the business needs. The assigned tasks are clear and transparent, enabling business operations to run efficiently.
Control of Access to Information
A user’s role in the process dictates what data they have access to. Some of the users can change data and information on the system while others can check and report on the progress of a task keeping every interested party informed. Thus, it enhances accountability while simultaneously improving reliability and predictability. That, in turn, results in improved performance and better job satisfaction.
Tracking Processes and Inventory
Order management software offers real-time tracking via frequent updates during the process. The software system can categorize tasks while also enabling the management to take viable precautionary measures in every step of the processes. Moreover, your customers can track the progress on the processing and delivery of their orders.
The system can also automatically place various orders for inventory and equipment as needs come up. This software, therefore, helps in avoiding sudden shortages of parts or having any ‘dead’ inventory held in storage. In that context, the costs reduce as efficiency increases. Moreover, quality control becomes more efficient.
Record Keeping for Enhanced Planning and Budgeting
Order management software systems are important in the measurement of business performance. Although it is not on the entire system, the software can be used on a micro-level. Stoppages and interruptions are eliminated or reduced with the help of up-to-date records.
Management can use the records plan and budget for your business’ future by making informed decisions. Additionally, operations and equipment upgrades are done on time. The software offers a solid information pool that you can efficiently use to set timelines and business goals.
Teamwork is Enhanced
The best order management software offers streamlined workflows. Every person involved in the business process is aware in real-time what they need to do and exactly where they stand. Any potential problems can be foreseen and mitigated. This system also makes communication more efficient and effective.
Interestingly, the end-users can also participate by commenting and reacting to the progress of their orders. That enhances communication between all parties. With various mobile apps provided in this software, everyone can participate in using their mobile devices even when they are far away. This is one major reason why the software makes businesses more effective.
The order management software also supports the standardization of procedures based on experience, which helps your business optimize its operations.
Increased Speed of Order Processing
Whenever you choose the right software, it helps speed up order processing by offering greater visibility of the order-to-delivery cycle. You can quickly find bottlenecks and enhance the entire process. It also reduces backorders and delays because the inventory data is always updated.
Managers can predict shortages and make plans to circumvent them. The software simplifies reordering, making it easier to maintain optimal inventory levels. Also, efficiency is enhanced, and the customers can know the availability of items of their order. The system itself will also enable you to create new business opportunities.
Disadvantages of Using Order Management Software Systems
Just like any other human-made system, the order management software is bound to have some shortcomings.
One of the major problems that affect any computerized system is the potential for a system crash. Any corrupt hard drive, power outages, and all other technical issues can cause data losses. At the least, the businesses are interrupted when the workers cannot access the data they need to do their work. Business owners should strive to back up their data frequently to protect against data losses.
Hackers look for various ways to acquire the company and consumer information. Any inventory system that is connected to point-of-sale devices and accounting is a valuable resource to hack into. They hack into the system in search of potential financial information and personal details of the owners, clients, and vendors.
Nonetheless, updating your system’s firewalls and anti-virus software can help mitigate this possible challenge.
Reduced Physical Audits
Whenever everything is automated, it is always easy to forego time-consuming physical inventory audits. They may no longer seem important when computers are doing their work. Nonetheless, it is highly important to continue to do frequent audits to identify loss like breakage and spoilage.
Audits also help you to identify potential internal theft and manipulation of the computerized inventory system.
Functionality of Order Management Software
This software can be installed on your company’s computer, server, smartphone, or any other mobile device. It is designed in a way that all your employees can access the platform easily. This system has a set of features and functionalities that relate to the specific needs and operations of your business model.
Many companies have offered the option of home delivery services in their business operations. Hence, a lot of your employees’ time might be spent managing orders, doing stock taking, and shipping. Manual operations result in significant time loss that could be allocated to other tasks.
Thus, automating your sales order processing using order management software saves time and reduces chances for errors. Thus, you should consider acquiring the software also to save your money and increase business efficiency. With order management software, you can boost your cash flow and enhance your relationship with customers and suppliers. It also enhances the relationship between various departments in your company.
Each business has its unique needs, which make it reasonable to have different management tools with various business objectives. The best order management software systems let you customize features and functionalities to suit your needs appropriately and improve the performance of your business.
What to Consider While Implementing Order Management Software System
It is quite important to get an delivery management software that will suit your company’s needs. When you get your ideal system, you can enhance the performance of your billing, sales volume, and supplier relationships. Aspects like price, safety, and technical support are also important for you to take into consideration.
Most of these software systems enable you to automate internal processes from order up to delivery. For everything to run perfectly, the software should surface and forecast stock levels to avoid stock-outs. It should accept orders and payments irrespective of currency or channel origin. Furthermore, it should route orders from warehouse to destination depending on proximity.
The ideal software system should give order details to warehouses or 3PLs for fulfillment and track orders while en route for both the customers and the customer service team. It should have the ability to update inventory levels across sales channels and systems. Therefore, it should have the ability to link with back-office functions like account receivables, account payables, and ledger to accept payments and generate invoices.
How To Select the Ideal Order Management Software?
First, you will need to define your system objectives and priorities of every function. By doing that and discussing issues with your internal stakeholders, you will understand the features that are absolute requirements versus the ones that are nice to have. Also, consider scalability and future thinking while planning to install order management software.
Then, you can draft a request for proposal (RFP) to enable your team to get organized. Also, at this stage, you should ensure that both you and your vendors understand all the technical requirements and limitations of the system that you are hoping to implement.
Ensure that you include the number of SKUs, order volumes, existing software, current vendor landscape, existing hardware, and networks. Explore a timeline for the systems acquisition process and the details on training and enablement.
Before acquiring the order management software system, research all available options since it is challenging to find a perfect match for your business with the first contact. Experts advise that you should compile a list of up to six vendors to evaluate and contact for trials and demos.
Always have a method to score every one of the responses that you get based on your business objectives to enable you to pick two to three vendors whose product you can test. It is highly unlikely that you will find a vendor who has a product that is 100% fit for your needs. Thus, your ultimate selection will be influenced by several trade-off strategies.
Feature and function should never be your only selection criteria since you may need to consider the wholeness of the business relationship that you are getting into. You need to determine whether their teams are helpful and whether they are experts in their field. Select the platform that is evolving continually to offer you options for growth and expansion.
Scalable Order Management Software System
The best software is scalable since it lets you manage any type and size of business that you want without having to incur the extra costs of installing a new system. When you are looking for scalable software, ensure that it lets you eliminate manual processes via automation. Also, it should support multiple warehouse locations to have the capability to support your business as it expands.
Go for an order management software system that enables you to manage sales across many channels, currencies, and geographies. It should also provide you with access to an API that lets you innovate at your pace. The best system offers reporting and forecasting capabilities that enable you to identify any problems quickly.
Hence, using a scalable order management software lets you anticipate and plan for any changes adequately. The platform should continually add new feature functionality and also support native and third-party integrations into the wider supply chain ecosystem.
Who Acquires Order Management Software?
The primary buyers of this software system are the retail companies. Most of the multichannel retail businesses are complex, and they usually deal with many warehouses, suppliers, and fulfillment channels.
Businesses in industries that manage supply chain demands also take advantage of the added efficiency that this type of software brings. The benefitting industries include food distribution, health care, transportation, and manufacturing.
Order management software is quite useful for any size B2B, B2C, or wholesale company. This includes anything ranging from the small e-commerce companies that process single units at a time to the large enterprises filling orders of thousands of units simultaneously.
Common Order Management Software Features
Many types of order management applications and software exist. Some developers offer integrated suites that have many modules, while others focus on one or two functions. But, most of them have the following core features:
- Catalog Management – this feature gives your managers the necessary tools to import and maintain catalog content. Some of the available products enable suppliers to manage and revise different items on their own, ensuring that the content is always accurate. Other features used in catalog management include automatic categorization, revision tracking, user access/privilege control, and taxonomy management.
- Customer Database – this database stores all your customers’ information. It stores customer and vendor data, delivery receipts, current, and past orders, together with invoices and payments. The more customizable the customer database system is, the more types of data your business can store.
- Inventory Management – This feature functions to manage inventory levels, identify trends, track shipping costs, and much more. Thus, it enables your business to forecast and optimize inventory planning methods.
- Order Fulfillment – the order fulfillment and tracking systems track all the unpaid orders and streamline the whole fulfillment process. The systems use rules and algorithms to review orders and determine the most efficient and accurate way to fill them.
Managing inventory is an important job in any business or company that sells and ships products. Ensuring that orders and deliveries are accurate and shipped on time is important to ensure that all your customers are contented and happy.
Therefore, it is important to always strive for a ‘perfect order’ every time. That is the ideal place where an order management software system comes in. The software enhances the efficiency of your business, in turn, increasing the profit margins. Here are some of the questions that people ask about the order management software system.
FAQ about Order Management Software
What is Order Management Software?
An order management software system is a platform that tracks orders, sales, inventory, and fulfillment. This software is used to support employees, processes, and partnerships needed to get products from the warehouse to the customers who bought them successfully and on time. Hence, it enables you to always deliver near ‘perfect orders’ every time.
How does the Order Management Software Impact Businesses?
The order management software depends on your current sales process, the adoption across your sales team, and your level of integration. Nonetheless, almost all businesses enjoy major operational and revenue growth after implementation. It will reduce your operating costs while simultaneously increasing your profits. You are assured that you will serve more customers within a short time since some of the tasks are automated, leaving your employees with more time to handle other business functions.
How Does Order Management Software Work?
An order management software system works by consolidating orders originating from all over your company’s sales channels into one place. Thus, it makes managing the order process much easier. Instead of having to log into every single sales channel or POS system, everything is manageable from start to finish in one place. It makes your logistics work easier and more efficient.
How is the Order Management Software Performance Measured?
This software is integrated with internal and external processes, including e-commerce websites, retail channels, shippers, marketing processes and fraud prevention services. With that in mind, the software system has several critical benchmarks that it needs to reach and surpass. It should support omnichannel payments, improve customer experience, and optimize inventory allocation and order deliveries throughout the network.