An eCommerce order management system can automate the moving pieces of a wholesale business, streamlining processes such as ordering, inventory, shipping, customer service, and reporting into one convenient central location.
What Does an eCommerce Order Management System Do (OMS)?
If inventory is the backbone of an ecommerce business, the order management system (OMS) serves as its central nervous system. While products create the basic structure of a wholesale or retail business, an advanced eCommerce order management system organizes and executes all of the moving parts that are essential to bringing a wholesale distribution business to life.
The basic tenets of order management haven’t evolved through the years; however, everything else has. The proliferation of technology and its inclusion in every aspect of our lives has changed consumer accessibility and expectations in a way which has revolutionized the buying experience.
In the past, traditional B2B selling didn’t require the same level of personalization or technological demands that eCommerce retailers felt pressured to meet. However, as buyers became accustomed to the seamless experience offered in the B2C world, they began to realize the many time-saving benefits of online ordering, real time inventory reports, automated shipping processes, and online customer portals and started to show a preference to wholesale suppliers who could offer that same level of service with a B2B eCommerce Platform.
Consequently, outdated order management methods are no longer practical in today’s digital landscape. Manually entering supply quantities into spreadsheets is not only tedious but also inefficient. The risk of human error, creating a backlog, or unexpectedly running out of stock is high and comes with its own costs in time, money, and reputation.
Automation is essential in order to streamline processes and to keep up with buyer expectations in a way that makes an ecommerce business scalable; an effective ecommerce order management software & system has the ability to almost effortlessly optimize business operations.
6 Benefits of an eCommerce Order Management System
Integration and automation are both key components to improving business processes while enhancing the customer experience. An advanced OMS does both while also improving order processing, inventory management, delivery, and buyer communication.
A comprehensive order management system should help manage the following facets of your business:
The ability to accurately track inventory or shortages is critical to an ecommerce business’s reputation. Sales happen quickly and often across a variety of channels these days, making it difficult to keep inventory synced if the process isn’t automated. An advanced OMS automatically updates inventory in real time, whether it’s online or in a warehouse, and sends an alert when stock is low or can automate purchase orders.
Buyers are the heart of a business; their ongoing engagement is essential to success. An integrated customer relationship management solution enables you to manage your leads and customers in one location and allows easy access to their activity, sales, and information. Improve the customer service experience by providing any member of your team with instant access to a customer’s history, prior calls, or open tickets.
Selling through multiple channels is one way to maximize profit, but managing a variety of applications and software systems can complicate customer service and inventory management. The capability of managing sales across channels through an OMS streamlines the order management and fulfillment process and increases the scalability of an ecommerce business. The ability to serve customers through brick-and-mortar stores, online catalogs, Amazon Marketplace, and eBay from a centralized, cloud-based hub increases the footprint – and potential profit – of your business without increasing your workload.
Online retailers like Amazon have set the standard for fast and efficient order fulfillment and shipping, and an effective automated system is necessary in order to remain competitive. An eCommerce OMS can eliminate errors with pick, pack, and ship lists that are automatically generated with each order, offering a level of organization which increases the productivity of warehouse teams and reduces the overall time between order and fulfillment. Tracking numbers can be assigned to each customer so that an order can be tracked in real-time throughout the fulfillment and shipping process by either the customer or any of your team members.
A comprehensive order management system offers an at-a-glance view of the health and well-being of your business. Real-time reporting offers an in-depth look at a wide variety of analytics relating to every aspect of your business. Forecast future needs by looking at sales in the pipeline, evaluate your customer service interactions by checking open tickets, identify trends to offer relevant promotions, and visualize challenges, goals, and priorities across every category. Having a central location and built-in dashboard for your business data makes up-to-date analysis easier and more accurate.
In the past, work happened at the office; now, the office can be wherever you are. A cloud-based order management system means you’re in business anywhere you can access the internet. Answer client questions, field sales calls, check marketing reports, or track shipments anytime and any place. Cloud-based subscription software also allows you to scale up or down as needed since you pay as you grow.
Many businesses that are still using outdated order management systems may be reluctant to make a change to a more unified OMS due to a fear of disrupting existing systems. The reality is that many updated order management systems are able to seamlessly integrate the data of existing systems which saves you from the cumbersome task of manual data entry.
The integration and automation offered by an advanced eCommerce order management system reduces the need for manual labor and helps eliminate the potential for human error, while freeing up time to focus on business improvement and growth opportunities. As any business owner knows, time is money.
Improving the back-end of your business processes will not only simplify the day-to-day tasks of your employees, but will also have a correlating positive impact on the buyer-facing side of your work. Update, integrate, and automate your order management system to create new opportunity for growth and future success.
From lead to invoice, Systum gives you the business insights and control you need to create a customer experience that brings back buyers every single time. Request a demo to see how we can put Systum to work for you.