Consumers are driving commerce across more channels and platforms than ever before, and they’re looking for excellent experiences at every touchpoint. So, multichannel retail businesses are not only having to juggle thousands of products and processes, but they also need to deliver an excellent service to customers with very high expectations.
It’s a high-volume, high-pressure situation, and it needs a special tool for the job — an Order Management System (OMS).
An OMS is the ‘brain’ that coordinates a huge web of systems — customer orders, fulfillment and shipping, tracking, processing, and synchronization. Without an order management system in place, businesses will likely be experiencing a number of challenges. Let’s explore some of the common ones.
A lack of stock oversight
To manage orders efficiently, you must be able to view your entire inventory. Without an OMS, your business won’t be able to regulate what has been ordered from where, and what the resulting stock levels are. The challenge becomes even more complex if warehouses carry different product categories or are dispersed across a large area. However, with an Order Management System, you can manage diverse product catalogs easily.
Poor customer experience
Without stock insight, you will be overselling or underselling products and might be making promises to customers you can’t keep. Issues like selling out on customer favorites or not being able to deliver the right product on time will result in very unhappy customers who will likely place their orders elsewhere in the future. With an Order Management System, you can provide your customer the best experience catered especially to their needs.
Inefficient manual processes
Manual processes are slower and prone to human error. What might appear to be inconsequential initially — one wrong digit on a price list, or incorrect invoice — can cause a whole host of issues down the line. This can have a long-term effect on how much your business can scale over time. How can your brand take on more products or services if the processes behind the scenes are slow and unreliable? It’s possible with a headless eCommerce platform that can help you setting up your multichannel retail businesses
In order to create a great customer experience that will build brand loyalty, a business needs to understand the finer details of all its customer orders. This information also informs wider strategic decision making, for example, what product categories are performing best each season, or what markets a company should invest in. Without an Order Management System, customer data is not being utilized to the organization’s advantage. It can sit in silos, not reaching the correct departments or people that make critical decisions.
Be strategic when choosing the right tool for your business
To overcome the issues that are causing bottlenecks and stifling growth, businesses need to create a strategic plan that will guide the implementation of the Order Management System. Firstly, they need a holistic view of every tool they have in their arsenal and map out current software and processes. This will make it easier to identify any points of friction.
Sometimes, legacy software that was put in place in the early days of the business no longer serves a purpose and doesn’t effectively integrate with new technology, but it may still be in use because teams are just used to it. Companies need to identify which tools are serving them well and which ones are holding them back.
You don’t always need the flashiest or the most expensive tools either. The most valuable solutions will be the ones that work best for your teams and enable them to do their jobs in the most efficient way. Take your time reviewing vendors on the market. The best OMS, or any other tool for that matter, should serve your people and your business in equal measure.
The benefits of implementing an Order Management System
Order Management System makes processes cost-effective and streamlined and helps you overcome many existing business challenges. There will be no manual processes to battle with, and straightforward tasks like printing labels and forwarding timely notifications to customers will all be taken care of. Automation can help free up time for more complex and strategic tasks.
Your business will never under or oversell either. With a clear overview of inventory, you will be able to serve customers with the right products at the right time. With accurate order status updates, more products can be shipped out and delivered faster.
Modern businesses that require top-notch operational efficiency may opt for a headless eCommerce platform that integrates every part of their business together seamlessly and offer a comprehensive order management system. A headless approach creates a flow of information via APIs between the OMS, the warehouse, the logistics department, and its eCommerce store, without the need for a complete re-platforming.
A strategically implemented Order Management System will allow you to meet evolving customer demands and create personalized customer experiences while getting the most out of your customer data. It will also enable your business to achieve operational excellence and strengthen business resilience in the post-Covid world.