When you have a young eCommerce company operating with a small team, it might seem kind of premature and more than a little bit daunting to invest the time and money to implement a full Order Management System (OMS) in your business operations. But OMS software is essential if you want to coordinate the different core functions of your business and manage all the steps in your order fulfilment process.
An OMS looks a lot less expensive if you consider that with this type of software you don't need separate systems to manage orders, inventory, as well as product and customer information. Which already translates into operational savings.
And a modern OMS isn't nearly as costly as legacy retail management software (ERPs), which is usually prohibitively expensive and can take up to a year to fully deploy. Besides, OMS software handles parts of the order management process in a business that is beyond the scope of legacy ERP's.
Furthermore, these older systems aren't usually agile enough to handle a modern eCommerce business operating on a multichannel, direct-to-customer basis.
A modern OMS system is essential if your business operates through several sales channels at the same time—for example online stores, retail platforms, mobile apps, call centres, physical stores and big-box retailers.
These days, customers expect to have access to a dedicated app interface for your store, be able to shop on social media, as well as access your products and services on third-party platforms. The OMS can incorporate all of these sales channels into a single interface. It will give you a high level of control over the orders coming into your business via any of your channels.
This will allow you to give customers the level of service they expect—mostly because you will have the insight in what is going on with their orders so that you can give them the proper feedback.
Here is a breakdown of some of the benefits you will get from the multi-channel capability of an OMS:
An OMS provides several benefits to a business. It's designed to take over the management of several key business functions and will upgrade the overall efficiency of your inventory, customer relations and order fulfilment operations.
Since the software automates many of the crucial business functions that make a retail business tick, there are several ways that the OMS will help your business grow to the next level:
An OMS helps you to fulfil every order correctly and on time. Shipping the correct item in a reasonable time to the correct customer is crucial for customer satisfaction.
As your business grows and the orders start to come in, a manual system will cause more and more order fulfilment errors. Sending out the wrong product or using the wrong shipping address will damage the reputation of your business—so it should be avoided. You don't need this type of brake on the growth of your company.
This is why an OMS is worth your time and expense. It will help you and your staff to ship out the right product on time to the right customer in an efficient manner.
This streamlining of your daily business activities will allow you to fulfil every order quickly and correctly—which will minimise the growing pains of taking your business to the next level.
An OMS is a major upgrade to your order fulfilment workflow. Starting a new business takes a lot of work and dedication. During that time you have to focus on several processes at the same time, such as setting up an order fulfilment system. But without great order fulfilment, you will struggle to make your business become successful.
Here is where an OMS can help. It will streamline order routing and allow you to complete the picking and packing process more efficiently. It will simplify these processes considerably and allow you to complete them in much shorter time frames. Which means that you don't have to fall behind in a desperate effort to fulfil every order that comes in through your sales channels.
You will also be able to send the products out to customers in a much shorter turnaround time.
We all know that quicker delivery times will increase customer satisfaction—which will free up more of your time to spend on building your sales channels and brand.
When managing inventory, you want to avoid the pitfalls of either overselling or under-stocking a specific product. The only way to achieve that, is to have accurate and current inventory figures.
An OMS can help you manage inventory since the software automatically keeps your stock figures up to date as you make sales and fulfil orders. In this way you have real-time data on what's going on in your warehouse. Some systems will even give you automatic insight into the stock levels of your suppliers if you use a multichannel or multi-distribution system.
The OMS will help you avoid backorders and the resulting delays in shipments. When a customer orders something from your website, you can be confident that the product is actually available to ship out.
Something that is often overlooked with an Order Management System, is that it allows you to manage your warehouse remotely.
Business owners don't need to be on-premises to manage warehouse operations anymore. This is because the OMS takes care of the order and inventory management from a distance. Which gives merchants of all sizes the flexibility and autonomy to manage their business in the way they see fit.
This is where an OMS becomes extremely useful to your business. It is essentially a one-stop shop to automatically manage the entire order fulfilment process.
When the OMS is synced with your eCommerce platform, you will have complete visibility into your supply chain. Which means you will be able to track the entire journey of an order—from the moment the customer clicks the “buy” button, until the point their order is delivered to their door.
This oversight is important in order to ensure that every package arrives intact and on time, irrespective of what was ordered and where it has to be shipped.
When sales accelerate, the OMS will help you replenish stock in time. Many OMS systems are able to automate purchase orders, send inventory alerts, and to help you transfer inventory to where it's most needed to meet sales demand.
OMS software will allow you to give your customers exceptional services through the following means:
In this way, the OMS will enable you to provide a unified experience to customers across all sales channels.
With online retail taking off in a big way, competition from Amazon, eBay, as well as local eCommerce retailers is just one click away. Which means that businesses need to stock a wider range of products than ever before—and ship these products out to customers in the most cost and time efficient way possible to provide differentiated customer experience.
An OMS is so much more than software to help a call centre handle order fulfilment. OMS is tasked with taking the customer experience to the next level. The software can help you to outdo your competition, keep your customer-base happy, and eventually become a leader in your product category.
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