Key Benefits of an Order Management System
Customer expectations and product demands have changed. As customers increasingly drive the buying journey, merchants must adjust quickly to ensure they are delivering a seamless customer experience in a way that is cost-effective for their businesses. This is where an order management system comes in.
Discover the benefits of an order management system and how you can set up your own below.
In this order management system guide:
- What is an order management system?
- Why do I need an order management system?
- Benefits of an order management system
- How to get started with an order management system
- Frequently asked questions
What is an order management system and how does it work?
An order management system is the digital solution your business uses for completing orders. The system should track orders placed, delivery and fulfillment. Sometimes called an OMS, an order management system usually takes the form of integrated software that can be easily upscaled as the business grows.
An OMS works by grouping a brand’s sales channels into one dashboard – providing a holistic view of a business’ sales landscape. A good OMS should monitor stock levels, record orders placed and track deliveries as they are shipped to customers.
Why do I need an order management system?
The benefits of an order management system are combining data resource with stock management and order tracking – all in one, scalable system. Managing all these manually, or even offline, can raise efficiency issues. This is where an order management system can help, providing key benefits that align a company with evolving customer expectations and current market demands.
With all the features and benefits that an order management platform can offer, a surprising number of commerce merchants still do not focus on digitalizing this process. Whether you are a small business with two stores or a multibillion-dollar company, using an order management platform such as Adobe Commerce is necessary for continued growth and profitability.
When paired with a strong digital commerce platform, an order management solution can help provide the additional capabilities needed to meet growing customer demands and expectations. With such fierce competition, your business needs to rely on more than just the traditional methods of order management. It’s important to invest in an updated system that provides seamless orders, tracking, customer service, and omnichannel functionality.
Benefits of an order management system.
Read on to discover some of the benefits of an order management system.
Seamless order management.
The order management process starts when a customer places an order, and it ends when the service or items are received. From the moment a sale is made to the second it is in-hand, the entire process needs to be as seamless as possible for the customer. Your order management solution needs to make the entire process flow across all touch points. It also needs to happen flawlessly, without delays or other problems.
If a customer experiences any hiccups, glitches, or something perceived as a disturbance to the overall buying experience, that person is more likely to become unhappy with your company. If your order management system, or lack of one, cannot meet or surpass customer expectations, you are at risk of losing clients, and they will take their business elsewhere.
Centralized customer service.
Today, customers expect to be informed every step of the way across the buying journey with regular email updates, tracking information, and delivery status alerts. Without order management solutions in place to compile customer information and filter data into one place, there are more opportunities for error.
With a centralized customer service, all customer and order information is centralized in one location. This keeps every customer service rep more informed via a complete view across sales channels and fulfillment centers to address any inquiries about shipping, delivery, or even cancellations.
This transition to more transparency in the shipping and delivery process is something customers are beginning to expect whenever they make a purchase.
Omnichannel store fulfillment.
From buy online/pickup in-store (BOPIS) to same-day shipping, customers expect as much choice in delivery as they do in channels of engagement. Shoppers expect to be able to have an order fulfilled in a way, time, and place that is most convenient to them. Each touchpoint in the journey presents an opportunity to provide great customer experience and boost retention and revenue.
Omnichannel capabilities offer customers the type of options that are expected today: ship from store, ship to store, BOPIS, and an endless aisle of inventory. This endless aisle gives customers more options to purchase items from a global inventory that can be fulfilled anywhere.
Global inventory and sourcing.
The size of your business should not limit your opportunities for growth. Showing the customer live inventory is incredibly powerful and something an order management system can enable. With the option of utilizing global inventory control, customers can view real-time information on where they can purchase and obtain their required products or services. Even if you have a couple of inventory locations – for example, a store and a warehouse – you will have the ability with Adobe Commerce’s global inventory and sourcing to determine the fastest and most cost-effective way to get your products to customers.
If you are managing multiple channels, you can have a more detailed control of your inventory to specify which SKUs and what quantity of those items are sold on which channel. This lets you prioritize channels to align to demand and margins, all critical for success at peak sales periods like Black Friday.
Manage customer information.
One of the benefits of an order management system is the storage and recall of customer information. Storing customer details in a compliant manner means you can use that customer data to build a profile of your target audience.
Information like previous orders and location can help you understand your customers and their interests. You’ll also be able to pinpoint geographical areas in which your products are popular or identify your best sellers.
Knowing who your high-value customers are means you can build tailored marketing strategies for different segments of your audience, based on what they’ve ordered before and how often they shop with you.
Customized marketing and outreach often deliver more ROI than more generic marketing strategies.
Live stock updates.
Avoid out-of-stock scenarios and keep your customers up to date on product availability with live stock updates. A good OMS will track product levels as customers browse and order from your store, even across multiple warehouses and variable sales channels.
Make data-driven choices.
Make data driven choices by utilizing your customer information. As with marketing, you can make business decisions based on relevant and highly focused data points. Identify your best-selling products, most popular markets and high-value customers with the info gathered in your OMS.
Armed with this information, you are better placed to make business-conscious decisions and ensure that your brand and product line stays relevant to your customers and ahead of the competition.
Backup your relevant data.
Storing important data digitally lessens the chances of losing key information. Historically, you may have recorded stock information and customer delivery details on paper slips. But reams of notes and paperwork can be easily lost and is difficult to index and store.
Holding this information digitally means you can produce several backups, reduce the need for physical storage space and recall key details as and when you require it.
How to get started with an order management system.
If you have multiple stores, warehouses, sales channels, and websites in various countries, and you want to try and bring them all together, order management makes sense. With order management, you're able to pull those different platforms for different countries together – in one place.
While the benefits of an order management system for larger global companies are apparent, smaller businesses can benefit as well. What's notable about Adobe Commerce’s order management system is that no matter how small your business is, you can keep up with the platform. As your business grows, you can add customization and extensions to make the order management system do what you need it to do. From ecommerce purchases to in-store locations, consumers expect products and services to be delivered to them quickly and accurately.
The advantages of an order management system include having the ability to keep your inventory and tracking in line, while also providing a seamless, front-facing experience for your customers.
To get started with an OMS, follow these steps.
- Consider your goals
What do you want to achieve and how does business growth look for you over the next few years? Think about what customer data you can gather to help you achieve this and how you’ll utilize it. Perhaps you want product information to widen your product range, or perhaps you’d be better suited identifying key marketing opportunities in certain geographical areas.
- Put your plan together
Create a plan of action and outline what you want from your OMS. You need to consider how your business will look in five years and whether your OMS can scale with you. Your proposal should outline expected sales growth, order volumes and future projection.
- Research and compare vendors
Next, you’ll want to shop around different providers and vendors to find an OMS that suits your needs. Think about whether the system is scalable and how easy it is to integrate with your own extant operations. Is there a subscription fee? Can you easily bolt-on software additions or upgrades as and when you need them?
Frequently asked questions.
What’s the difference between an OMS and EMS?
An OMS, or Order Management System, is a software solution for recording and monitoring every stage of the product ordering process, from sale to delivery. EMS, meanwhile, or Execution Management System is a software system for monitoring trading and transaction data.
What’s the most important feature of an OMS?
A customer database is an essential component of a good OMS. Having an accessible pool of customer data records will enable you to better manage your business, market to your customers and make business-conscious decisions in the future.
Who is responsible for order management?
Who has responsibility for order management will depend on the structure of your business? If you run a solo operation or dropshipping ecommerce store, then you’re likely to cover all responsibilities yourself. But larger entities might have someone specific to work with the OMS to monitor and manage the ordering process.