What is order management?
Order management is a term that refers to the measures taken to ensure that an organization's resources are used effectively. In an industry, order management is a set of best practices that are created and implemented by the industry. Order management can be accomplished through problem-solving, streamlining processes, improving efficiency and eliminating waste.
5 Tips to Boost Your Order Management Solution With Ease
Why is Order Management Important?
Orders are perhaps the most important aspect to manage in a retail business and managing these purchase orders well is important since this determines how the business will flourish. Order management is an important process for any business because it ensures that there is an efficient process for managing customer orders.
Proper order management ensures customer satisfaction on one hand and efficient allocation of resources on the other. Order management also ensures that customer orders are fulfilled with the correct items, at the right time and that the customer is satisfied with the process.
Without a proper order processing and management system, there are chances that you would miss a few customer orders or delay them and end up hurting the business. Order fulfillment is absolutely essential for all retail businesses, particularly the restaurant sector. And if orders are not managed well, the order fulfillment rate is bound to go down and affect customer satisfaction and business growth.
Lead Time in an Order Management System
The term 'lead time' essentially means the time it takes to complete a process. In case of inventory management and order management, lead time is the time it takes from when an order is placed to when it is fulfilled. Lead time can be of different kinds, such as production lead time, customer lead time or cumulative lead time, depending on the process in a retail chain you are looking at.
In case of order management, it will be customer lead time, which is the amount of time your business takes in the order fulfilment process from the moment the sales order is received. And it is absolutely essential for businesses to know their lead time and constantly strive to better it as this determines customer service, brand reputation and credibility.
Customers like to know how much time merchants or restaurants will take to deliver their orders. And businesses need to fulfill orders within the time they promise. With every delay, the order management system starts getting out of control and forms a vicious cycle of more delays. This ends up hurting the business's reputation, growth and customer base.
Order management is a vital part of running any business.
Order management can be a hassle, especially when you have multiple locations.
How Does Your Order Management System Affect Customer Experience?
Your customer experience is greatly improved when you have a robust order management system. An efficient order management system is one that automates the order process for you.
It's not just about the order management system; it's about how the software works with your other management systems such as inventory management, supply chain management and warehouse management tools. If your order management system is not integrated with your product or inventory management system, your business is likely to lag.
You don't want to be having your customer call you and ask for the status of their order because that would be an indication that you are not handling your order management process well.
When Should You Invest in an Order Management Software?
Invest in an Order Management Software in the following cases-
- If your business is seeing a boom or is juggling with a surge in the number of sales orders, you should know it's time to invest in a robust order management system that will streamline your order processing.
- If your conventional order handling is not giving you expected results and increasing lead time, you might want to get an advanced order management software that will ease out the roadblocks.
- If you are losing out on customers because of order mismanagement, delayed delivery, wrong delivery or order processing.
- If your business is expanding its base to new cities, opening new branches, offices or stores and the sales orders are expected to surge even more.
- If your employees are always overburdened with work and are struggling to manage sales orders, purchase orders, invoices or return requests.
- If your existing system doesn't know what to do if a customer is not satisfied with the order and wishes to exchange or return it. Such situations can harm your business' reputation and need to be handled carefully. The order management software (OMS) will ensure customer satisfaction with the right solutions.
- If your inventory costs are going up, while revenue and sales stay the same or are going down.
- If it is getting harder and harder to find the real time status of your orders, delivery and the order fulfillment stages.
5 Tips to Boost Your Order Management System
1. Sync with an inventory management system- Taking orders that you cannot fulfil because of inventory shortage is not the best practice for any business. It is important to therefore integrate your order management system with your inventory management system, or invest in a software suite that provides both tools. This way, your point of sale system and order management system will be constantly aware of your stocks and take orders accordingly.
2. Train employees- Get your employees on board to run the order management system. You need to train your employees to learn how to use the software and see its benefits. If the team is not enthusiastic about trying out a new order management system, your software will not be used to its full potential.
3. Consolidate order channels- If you are a business that has multiple order channels such as in-store, e-commerce platforms, third party stores, online retailers, etc., you must get an omnichannel order management system that will process all orders from a single platform and make your job easier.
4. Promise less, deliver more- Always promise to deliver at a later time than you actually can and deliver before the promised date. This practice is bound to increase customer satisfaction and improve your reputation. Always keep a buffer time for your scheduled delivery and deliver early so that your customer is not dejected with the service in case of minor delays.
5. Reduce lead time- Always strive to reduce the lead time of order processing and order fulfillment, but not at the cost of your service quality. Reduce the shipping time to bring down your order fulfillment and delivery time.
Managing orders is a time-consuming and tedious task.
Orders are taking longer to process and there is no clear system in place.
Importance of Omnichannel Order Management
The online retail business has changed over the last 10 years and customers no longer make the majority of their purchases in-store. The growth of e-commerce, combined with the rise of online marketplaces like Amazon, has meant that the customer has fewer reasons to enter a store.
This has given rise to the need for retailers to offer an omnichannel experience to ensure customer satisfaction. An omnichannel order management system helps retailers manage customer orders across different sales channels (e.g. mobile, website, in-store), using one common platform. A customer may start their purchase on the retailer's website, use their app to collect a product from a store, or search for the product on the retailer's site and then buy it in-store. This gives customers a wholesome experience and betters the brand's reputation, customer service and order fulfillment.
5 Tips to Boost Your Order Management Efficiency
1. Make the system customer-friendly- If your restaurant or retail business opts for a cloud-based order management system, make sure this remote operating system benefits your customers as well and they can place their orders at any time and from any location. This will not only better your customer service, but also your business efficiency.
2. Focus on personalization- When you are delivering an order, or shipping it to your customer, try using different personalization methods such as putting in a handwritten note, or sending out a confirmation email that is customized for the individual. These gestures enhance the customer experience and customer satisfaction with your brand. Use your order management system for these personalizations.
3. Automated system- An integrated and automated system works in sync with your tools for warehouse management, supply chain and inventory management. Use it to your advantage and build an error-free system that runs like a well-oiled machine, leaving no scope for error or wastage. An automated order management system makes sure you do not miss orders or introduce delays due to oversight and human error.
4. Analyze reports and insights- The system will store all historical order data, purchase and sales order data and generate reports on the same. Use these reports generated by your order management system to take a deep dive into your business operations. These analytical reports will help you plug wastage, loopholes and identify gaps and improve lead time.
5. Train your staff- Running the software with the help of your band of employees is key to the success of an order management system. If your workforce doesn't adapt to the system, the software will not be able to live up to its potential and give you the best results.
Order management is a process that takes time, energy, and resources.
Order management can be a hassle. It’s a lot of work to keep track of orders and manage them when you have more than one location.