What is an order management solution? What are the best practices of OMS?
Today, consumers demand convenient and faster access to goods and services without relenting to quality compromise. Accordingly, the market has become spoiled for choices by hosting approximately 12-24 million ecommerce sites across the globe to keep up with buyers' volatile demand. As per statistics, nearly 20.8% of retail purchases occurred online in 2023. This placed the global ecommerce market value at $6.3 trillion. A huge volume of consumer and B2B orders is being processed every hour during the day and at night. For example, the Amazon platform alone handles 1.6 Million deliveries of packages per day across the world, which is equivalent to 66 thousand orders per hour. Processing huge orders requires businesses to develop an all-in digitization model to meet customer requirements on time. Therefore, tech-enabled order management solutions have become mandatory for businesses to handle the heavy influx of orders from inception to fulfilment.
Modern order management solutions – A brief overview
An order management process is integral to the entire supply chain ecosystem. It can be broken down into the following sub-parts:
- Placement and fulfillment of orders
- Processing of payments
- Inventory and warehouse administration.
- Choose and pack
- Shipping and delivery
- Order tracking for customers
- Refunds and returns
Businesses hunt for efficient digital solutions to streamline, simplify, and accelerate workflows leading to fulfilling orders so consumers get what they want, where, and when.
An order management system (OMS) solution provides the same digital medium to handle the lifecycles of multiple orders simultaneously. With cutting-edge technology, the OMS platform can easily monitor and track the movement of all orders, order and customer-specific information and subsequent processes. It covers a series of consecutive steps, from order entry to after-sales service and everything in-between. The software system is programmed to automate order processing and fulfilling workflows to respect delivery time while addressing inventory and order issues to maintain order quality.
Some of the best order management solutions in the market uniformly improve process visibility for both the business and the buyers while elevating order management efficiency for higher customer satisfaction and more sales for owners. An all-inclusive OMS also acts as a centralized data repository, providing real-time insight into inventories to enable businesses to make informed decisions. On the other hand, a transparent order management platform can help consumers keep a close check on their order movements along the value chain.
Since the entire operation necessitates a significant amount of time and resources, the appropriate implementation of software enables seamless, accurate, and swift handling of item orders.
The relevance of modern order management system solutions
The pandemic of the year 2020 and the current geopolitical and economic crisis have dawned upon businesses the ultimate realization – innovative technology is the only means to an end. And that end can be delivering superior retail customer experiences. The latter requires accurate real-time views of inventory and shipments along with a time-efficient solution to speed up the order orchestration process so retailers can easily live up to their order promises.
Therefore, the need for robust order management systems eventually gave birth to AI-driven smart and automated software solutions capable of independently meeting the current needs of businesses and their customers. Order management solutions are pivoted to digital customer experiences, stellar support, process transparency, data availability and long-term sustainability of supply chains.
These modern applications are scalable and flexible to easily accommodate changing customer demographics, preferences, and market trends.
Besides bridging the gap in the order management process, OMS solutions maximize supply chain value, drive better retail customer engagement, and provide a competitive edge to owners. The latter is achieved through automated inventory management, accelerated purchases, and streamlined order fulfilment, return and refund.
Five best order management practices to consider
Naturally, with business growth, the number of orders received per hour will increase too! A profound OMS solution can simplify the growing complexity of the order management process while keeping the inventory holding cost under check as much as possible. That being said, the following best practices will support your business, regardless of how big your venture grows or how complex your order management becomes.
1. Combine all your orders into a single system
From online to offline, modern retailers widely prefer omnichannel selling to leverage every channel and monetize for higher gains. However, keeping a close tab on every order flowing from multiple channels can be arduous. This is where owners need a one-stop solution to monitor and manage every order without losing one and driving potential customers to competitors. A centralized order management solution enables an easy synchronization of all orders while orchestrating every function from a single system.
2. Real-time Information Sync
As stated earlier, a complete sync of information in real-time and easy accessibility as and when needed can enable owners to make more informed choices for their businesses. Valuable insights such as inventory levels and order statuses like placement, shipment, return, and other related updates help track and manage orders. This ensures a more efficient and time-effective order fulfilment process that eventually empowers businesses to expand their market. Therefore, repeated stock-level updates after each sale could be easily spared, also preventing unavoidable human errors.
3. Make the Order Fulfillment Process Automatic
AI and automation have expanded as the ultimate force for many years, redefining conventional and legacy operations systems across industries. Thankfully, today, business owners, sellers, customers, and other stakeholders have grown to acknowledge modern technology's immense power and find ways to leverage it in their day-to-day lives; automated order management solutions being one such example.
Here, action-based automation is easily configured into the software system, allowing owners to complete order-related tasks more swiftly and efficiently. Furthermore, the possibility of assessing and updating stocks-in-hand in real-time becomes more profound. This is also because of the centralized approach of the OMS system. Therefore, orders are accepted or rejected automatically without human intervention. That saves human errors resulting in high order cancellation rates.
4. Collaborate with Suppliers
Managing orders includes remediating customer order issues, replenishing inventory shortages or controlling surplus stock situations. Additionally, issues in order management can also occur at the suppliers' end. There are moments when suppliers lack the product currently in demand for multiple reasons. These are such occasions when information about similar unavoidable/unforeseen crises should be made available before their occurrence. Therefore, connecting with your suppliers through an integrated OMS platform is a good idea.
An integrated OMS system provides a bird's eye view of your inventories. Accordingly, suppliers know your stock status and alert you of out-of-stock situations as and when they occur. This aims to elevate the efficiency and transparency of the entire operation. Therefore, information about stocks-in-hand, their prices and availability, and other critical information are available in real-time.
5. Improve and Maintain Accuracy Levels
The best order management solutions share one common element, i.e., centralizing and automating orders in real-time while upholding accuracy levels. Order accuracy is elevated by measuring the pre-defined metrics, a complete analysis of which identifies gaps in the system so your team can make the necessary amendments. Most sellers/vendors and other business owners effectively leverage the ‘reporting and analytic’ feature to assess the overall performance of major back-end tasks in real-time.
An ideal order management solution choreographs a streamlined order process, enabling easy processing, fulfillment and management while timely updating inventories without fail. Furthermore, the most popular solutions offer an all-inclusive platform for managing trade orders with minimal human interference. Such platforms optimize supply chains at every stage, leverage the omnichannel approach, and accelerate order-related workflows for an added competitive advantage.