This guide is for you if you’re looking for the best OMS (order management system) for your business. Find out what OMS is, how it works, and how it can help you streamline your business processes.
Learn about the benefits of having a good order management system in place. More importantly, find out how to choose the right system for your business by knowing what to look for in an OMS. With the ideal OMS, you can facilitate impeccable customer orders and delivery management.
What is an Order Management System
An Order Management System is a centralized platform that consolidates and organizes all sales orders of a store in one place. It improves the efficiency of your order management process. It automates several steps, so you save time and energy. It vastly improves your overall process and enhances your profitability down the road.
With an OMS, you can:
- Track orders.
- Monitor your inventory.
- Ensure inventory fulfillment.
- Process returns across multiple online and offline channels.
- Avoid backorders and stockouts.
- Evaluate the overall efficiency of the process.
- Integrate with other retail online and offline platforms, including sites like Alibaba, your warehousing partners, authorized distributors, delivery partners, and offline retail stores.
Order Management Workflow
Order management flow refers to the process that starts with the customer placing an order until the customer receives it. A typical order management flow consists of the following:
- Capturing order information;
- Processing payment;
- Receiving order data in the warehouse and entering the order into a selection queue;
- Picking up the items from the shelves (by means of a single order, batch picking, zone picking, or wave picking);
- Packing all the items; and
- Shipping the package to the customer.
How an OMS works
With the aid of the Order Management System, you can consolidate orders from all sales channels in a single location. Whether you’re selling on Amazon, eBay, or at a brick-and-mortar location, you can perform various sales tasks without opening different programs.
An OMS has four main aspects:
- Orders – Managing sales from different channels in one platform
- Inventory – Syncing inventory in real-time across all channels and correctly forecasting to avoid stockouts.
- Fulfillment – Simplifying the process of picking, packing, warehousing, and integrating with shipping companies.
- Returns – Providing a single place to handle returns from when the request is accepted until the stock is back in the warehouse.
Order management is crucial because it entails completing orders that your customers have paid for or will be paying for. Without order management, orders can get lost, become incorrect, or go unfulfilled. If you have an efficient order management process, you can increase your sales potential and maintain an exceptional overall experience across all sales channels.
There are two types of Order Management Systems:
- The individual and enterprise systems, and
- The cloud-based and on-premises options.
Companies can use a basic OMS tool as an individual module without needing to integrate it into other aspects of the business. If you choose a more robust platform, you have the option to integrate the system with other modules so your data will be stored in one virtual location.
OMS tools under the cloud-based options and on-premises category may be onsite software or delivered via the SaaS/cloud model. SaaS deployment is faster and easier. It also has better scalability and can be accessed anywhere, provided an Internet connection. In this setup, the vendor will manage and host the application, thus ensuring reliability.
An Order Management System has several features and supports four chief areas within the order management process.
- Sales channels – The OMS receives and integrates information from all sales channels.
- Sales support – Information about the product is updated and made available in real-time. You and your staff, as well as your customers, can view them anytime. The support also extends to omnichannel returns and exchanges.
- Customer database – Customer data, which includes contact information and activity,and previous orders, are all located in the customer database. It allows you to identify upsell opportunities, provide more tailored services, and determine highly profitable customers.
- Inventory management – The OMS assists in managing and monitoringinventory levels through a consolidated view of the stocks. In addition, it comes with inventory management algorithms that identify ideal shipping alternatives and send orders to the appropriate warehouses.
Another feature of an OMS is accounting integration, wherein data from the OMS goes to your accounting system’s general ledger and subsidiary journals. With this feature, there is no need to re-enter the date or transfer it in a different process.
Benefits of Having a Good Order Management System
Implementing a good Order Management System enables businesses to assess areas where they can make improvements. Aside from that, they can also enjoy a host of other benefits.
When you have orders coming in from various channels, a good Order Management System will give you direct access to the centralized data related to your inventory. It keeps you from committing high-margin errors, which often occur when you manually fulfill orders. Since the process is automated, there is less manual intervention. This results in minimized instances of errors, loss of data, and data security breaches.
Faster Order Processing
A good Order Management System allows you to process orders faster since everything is done from a single platform. After the order is received, you can easily access the order information, process it without delay, and ship the products quickly.
One of the main benefits of an OMS is control over listings and orders across sales channels using a single dashboard. This offers businesses a centralized perspective of their sales. It also lessens the occurrence of returns and cancellations through automated order processing.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
An efficient OMS means you have happier customers. There will be fewer instances of mistakes, you can process orders faster, and you can complete deliveries more quickly and accurately. With a well-structured order management process, sales activities become more efficient, thus, improving your level of service to your customers.
Better Inventory Management
You can improve inventory management with the use of a good Order Management System. It allows you to take control of inventory through simplified processes made possible with automation. With some systems, you can effortlessly move your inventory from one location to another with just a few simple steps.
Using a good Order Management System, you get a unified view of your stocks and where they are going. You also have real-time deductions from your inventory as you make sales. All these results in improved customer loyalty and satisfaction.
An OMS enables you to sell to anybody from across the globe. You can easily access the system online, allowing you to process any order remotely. With the help of an OMS, you can update details from any place, manage your data, and ensure excellent customer service no matter where you are.
What to Look for in an Order Management System
There are countless Order Management Systems available today. Different OMS options will have their own benefits and disadvantages. To help you weed through the choices, here are some things to consider to help you make the right choice.
Choose an Order Management System that enables you to process orders fast, receive updates as orders are received, track the progress of outstanding orders, and monitor shipments until they are delivered.
The ideal OMS should be able to provide centralized order processing, automated order management, real-time order tracking, and accurate order reports. It should also have the ability to provide shipping label and invoice generation, peak season order processing, and partial stock order management.
Find an OMS that lets you sync inventory across all your sales channels in real-time. It should connect you to your inventory and give you more visibility. It should also allow you complete control over your inventory levels. The OMS marks and records the inventory and makes it available for review in one single place that is accessible at any time.
Through a centralized auto-sync inventory, you can update all your online listings based on stock levels at the warehouse. A dependable OMS must also assist with inbound stock planning, sophisticated inventory reports, multi-warehousing management, batch, and expiry management, and buffer stock.
Your Order Management System should seamlessly integrate with your platform. You should not have to alter backend structures just to accommodate your OMS. Choose a system that allows seamless integration to all your e-commerce platforms without difficulty. This will ensure a smooth automated order management process.
For the best results, go for an OMS that can integrate with your accounting program, shopping carts, warehousing systems, and other features. To facilitate the integration, there needs to be a smooth data transfer from the point of sale to the staff that requires the use of vital data, such as the sales and marketing team.
Analytics and Reports
An Order Management System should be able to report trends in your sales and revenue. It should generate comprehensive reports across all e-commerce channels. It will help you identify issues and plan for them early.
The reports and analytics features in the OMS allow you to access information about the status of orders, facilitate order fulfillment, and get details about fulfillment lines and shipments.
Omnichannel refers to a retail strategy that aims to improve customer experience through a seamless shopping experience across all channels, from online to mobile and physical stores. An omnichannel OMS allows you to access information on our customers, orders, and inventory across all sales venues.
Key features of the Omnichannel include order processing, store fulfillment, and business inventory. Its benefits range from reduced labor costs, lower shipping costs, and better customer service through more personalized experiences and fewer issues during customer returns and exchanges.