When it comes to running a successful online business, making sure that you stay on top of orders is a must. It’s important that your customers are able to select the products they want, when they want them, pay for them easily and then receive their order within a reasonable timeframe. In order for this to happen, your business should adopt a defined, organised process - otherwise known as order management.
But what is order management, and how do you effectively put this into place in your business? In this article we take a closer look at order management, giving you advice on how you can apply this organised way of working to your own business.
What is order management?
Order management is the complete end-to-end cycle of processing a customer’s order, starting at the placement of an order and resulting with the parcel being delivered to the buyer. However, if a product is returned to the seller, the process doesn’t end there, with return logistics being just as important for any e-commerce website to take into consideration.
When done correctly, order management can ensure business runs smoothly and keeps moving forward. It allows a business to maintain customer satisfaction which in turn, protects the business’ reputation and encourages existing customers to come back, as well as enticing new ones. What’s more, this system can also help to create a more pleasant, stress-free environment for staff to work in.
What is the order management process?
An order management process is a structured pipeline that ensures organisation across every stage of an order.
Steps that need to be considered as part of the order management process are:
- Payment validation
- Stock allocation
- Picking (with or without pick note)
- Carrier allocation
- Label printing
After these stages, the focus will then move from order management to shipping management.
Why is the order management process important?
Through creating and implementing an order management process, an online retailer is able to improve the organisation of every order they facilitate through having a consistent, trusted formula in place.
By operating within a set structure, an e-commerce business can improve operational efficiency, highlight errors easier and provide suitable solutions and make the process more seamless, removing any issues that could arise during peak times. Using an order management process also allows for the opportunity for members of staff to take the reins and implement changes based on observations made from the workings of the current process.
As a trusted order management process offers consistency and reliability to a business’ structure, it can play a key role in the selection of ways that orders can be made. For example, while many orders may be made through an e-commerce website, they may also be made via one or more marketplaces, social media, by mail or over the phone. As such, a consistent pipeline will ensure that the process is equally as seamless regardless of how the order has been made.
What are the benefits of order management software?
Order management software (OMS) covers every aspect of the order fulfilment process in a way that can be programmed, altered to suit the needs and specifications of a business and left to operate automatically without the need for constant human monitoring.
Many online retailers use OMS for the clear benefits of decreasing the amount of time spent by human operators on these duties, automating a selection of different tasks and removing human error. However, if you’ve previously carried out order management procedures manually, you may be wondering how an electronic alternative could help your e-commerce business.
Advantages to using an OMS include:
- Visibility of every customer order
- Integration with all relevant channels
- Generated insights such as sales data and reports
- Updated details around marketing, stock, sales and discounts
- Automatic alerts to current faults and errors as well as solutions to remedy these issues
- The option to filter orders by product, subscription, carrier, location and bulk or batch label
- Easy controls for altering specific areas of the order management process.
If you think OMS would benefit your online retail business, SIID offers e-commerce sites an easy-to-use platform where you can manage your orders in one place, meaning you can save time without having to jump between different websites, as well as giving you clear visibility to make sure you don’t ever miss an order. Regardless of whether you process five or 5,000 orders on any given day, using an order management system could really benefit your business for not just you, but your customers too.