At the beginning of your business journey, you’re elated about every order that comes in. You take your time in packing them, to make your customer happy and so that they order with you again. However, as soon as the orders begin to pile up it can soon become overwhelming and you just don’t have the time for packing every single order as you did at the beginning.
Order management systems support you through this process. They give you back the time, that an increase in orders may take away from you through automated and bulk processing. So you can take care of the really important things to your business.
Implementing an order management system at first may seem quite scary. What can you expect? What features should you look out for?
The right order management system shouldn't just manage your orders, but also your time.
It should be more than just having all your orders in one place. Handling shipping labels, filling out international documents or looking for the right courier service are all aspects that take a lot of your time, but they don’t have to.
There are 8 major points that you as an SME should look out for in an order management system.
As a small business, especially in the beginning, it's highly unlikely that you will have spare equity just laying around. Software can be expensive and when there is a program that offers different plans for different sizes, it often only provides the most basic services within your price range when you really need the functionality of the plans above this. Even though you might not have 40,000 orders or £200 left a month, you still deserve all the features an order management system has to offer.
Make sure you go with a company that understands small businesses and gives you all the features a big business would have. You shouldn’t be punished by having to dispense on important features, just because you are at the beginning of your business journey.
2. Simple Set Up
Nobody wants to read 500 words, let alone a 500-page book before you can even think about using your software subscription. Your order management system should be easy to set up.
Does anybody ever use all features of photoshop? No, you only use what you really need. Your software solution should provide you with the functionality you need, without you having to configure it specifically for your needs. You don’t want to have to learn to use a program. You want to plug it in and get started. Otherwise, it's just going to cost you time, instead of saving it.
3. Integrated Management
One of the most valuable features an order management system must have, is the option of connecting to multiple marketplaces. Being able to sell your products across numerous platforms is important for your businesses growth. The more platforms you can utilise, the more sales you may be able to generate and visibility that your brand receives.
With this increase in sales across marketplaces, your order and delivery management system should scale up with it to avoid common issues around double dispatching or selling items that are no longer in stock. It should help you retain the customers you have won over.
So make sure you look at the bigger picture. If your company grows, does the software solution have the capabilities of being able to scale up with you?
4. Combining and Splitting Orders
The same customer just couldn’t resist and bought a second time from you. Maybe even over another platform. Instead of shipping two separate packages, when they both go to the same address, just ship one package. This doesn’t only cut your packaging time and costs but also saves you carrier costs for two separate shipments.
Splitting orders in multiple shipments on the other hand is useful in a completely different sense. Not only is it handy when you have items that must be shipped to different locations, but also when the order includes too many products for just one box.
Maybe one item isn’t in stock anymore? You may want to send the items you do have in stock in the meantime? By sending multiple shipments, you can send these so that the customer doesn’t have to wait for the whole order.
5. Filter Orders By Criteria
Filtering your incoming orders by criteria seems like such a standard default but it can effective if used correctly and actually reduce the number of errors significantly, while also giving you the opportunity to save lots of time.
Remember when you were splitting an order in half because one item wasn’t in stock? Well, now it is again, so you need to find the order as soon as possible, to be able to ship it right away. By filtering your orders you can do so. You can even go one step further. As soon as you realise the item from the order isn’t in stock, you can change the status of the product not in stock order to “hold”. This way you will always know that this item couldn’t have been sent yet.
As soon as the item is back in stock, you can filter by order status to find the item that is on hold and quickly dispatch it. No need to write down the order number or memorise it. Just change the status with one easy click.
Let’s be honest for a second. Nobody likes repetitive work. It isn’t exciting. It isn’t fun and it is the process in which you are most likely to switch off and allow mistakes to happen. Automation saves you from this tedious work and allows you to concentrate on the processes that really need your focus.
Instead of manually entering the weight and dimensions of each parcel, or entering the pickup and delivery address, this data should be pulled in so that you can just select from the range of appropriate carrier services available. You can then make a simple and informed decision with just one click.
Even the tracking process can be automated today. Generate a tracking link to send to your customers, with an automated email so that you no longer have to worry about providing them with an update. They can then check their order status any time of any day, whenever they want, using your branded tracking page.
7. Label printing
The order management process can be optimised in every aspect, including the label printing process can. Print single or multiple carrier compliant labels for your selected shipments.
Is your shipment outside the UK? No problem! International documents or commercial invoices can be printed and generated automatically, based upon the data you already have.
8. Scale To Your Business Size
Being able to manage all of your eCommerce platforms from one workspace whilst your business begins to grow, and still being able to provide your customers with an excellent post-purchase experience will allow your business to flourish.
As your business processes increase, you will be able to demand better rates and services as your value as a customer increases. You’ll get perks such as instant access to your own account manager or priority access to new bespoke features.
Siid is there for you from the start of your business journey, making sure that your order management process is as seamless as possible, regardless of the size of your business.
Set up an account today and find out for yourself how Siid can optimise your order management process.