For many e-commerce businesses, an order management system (OMS) is vital. OMSs are used in many industries to help ensure many important order processes go as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Crucially today, OMS systems ensure the fulfilment of sales orders to customer specifications and deliver goods on time as ordered.
In this article, we’re going to cover what an order management system is, how it works, why it’s important and five fantastic benefits of using an OMS.
What is an order management system?
An order management system, or OMS, is a software application that automates the entire management order process. It allows businesses to manage the entire fulfilment process from order collection, inventory updates and delivery in one place. It enables easy access to key data from anywhere at any time.
With an OMS, you’ll be better able to automate processes such as orders and shipments, invoicing, payments and more. An OMS could be any device, service tool or structure used to track and control stages of particular processes. Your OMS will likely be in charge of stock, marketing and increasing customer satisfaction through its many crucial functions. Furthermore, it allows individual stores to set their unique timeslots, which include scheduling and capacity while covering specifically chosen geographical areas.
According to estimates from eMarketer, retail e-commerce is expected to expand from €2.96 trillion in 2019 to €6.54 trillion by 2025. For these reasons and more, an order management system is becoming increasingly necessary for e-commerce businesses worldwide.
Order management system features
An effective order management system is evermore important today because order management affects nearly every system and process in the supply chain. They involve multiple partners and suppliers services and packing services which often result in costly manual processes to complete and deliver orders without error.
An OMS helps in all these areas. It has many features that help to control costs and generate revenue through automating manual processes and significantly reducing human error.
Having an order management system in place can directly impact customer perception, too. That’s because customers expect seamless, flawless service. While this isn’t always possible, having a feature-rich OMS can increase customer satisfaction by meeting their expectations more often.
Several customer-oriented features such as customers being able to view order updates such as out-of-stock products with the option to select replacements in real-time and make returns to physical stores means an OMS can provide your customers with great service. Therefore, it makes sense to implement an OMS that incorporates customer-oriented features to improve the entire process and satisfy your customers.
- Automating sales processes: With an OMS, you can automate the entire sales process. You can track every aspect of each sale, including orders, payments and delivery status.
- Customer relationship management: Relationships with customers are more important than ever. With an OMS, you can manage your customers’ journeys, from new customers gained from great marketing campaigns to lead generation, retention and cross-selling of advanced offers such as bundles for a better-personalised customer experience.
- Shipping and receiving: An OMS will enable you to gain clear visibility into shipments and receipts. This works by receiving real-time updates about the status of each shipment and alerts if issues arise.
- Inventory control: You’ll be able to better control your inventory levels by automatically reordering items low in stock. This ensures a continuous flow of successful order fulfilments.
- Sales automation: With sales automation provided by an OMS, you can reduce your workload by making it easier to order products, communicate with customers and handle payments.
- Payment collection: You’ll be able to quickly and easily collect payments by credit card, bank transfers, digital wallets and more with an OMS.
- Document tracking: An OMS will allow you to track everything related to your important documents such as invoices and receipts. You can track the progress of each document through each stage of production, know who has viewed each file and keep businesses and manufacturers up-to-date.
- Supplier relationship management: With an OMS, you can improve your relationship management with your suppliers. As your suppliers may promote their products through ads, special offers, free samples etc., an efficient OMS on your part will improve your suppliers’ experience and therefore your relationship.
- Advanced reporting: You’ll be able to analyse your performance and identify areas needing improvement. This includes reports on top products, customers, orders, pages, countries, brands, sellers, time periods and more.
5 order management system benefits
1. Automated order fulfilment
Modern order management systems increasingly require an integrated ecosystem to allow merchants to better automate orders.
With an OMS, e-commerce firms can:
- Quickly facilitate order processing, picking and shipping.
- Accept all major payment methods no matter the shipping address or currency.
- Send fulfilment order information to distributors of goods or third-party logistics providers who fulfil order deliveries.
Furthermore, having an OMS in place will aid in the scalability of cross-border sales.
2. Improved efficiency and accuracy
Manually updating the stock on multiple marketplace platforms increases your chances of error. An OMS system provides an integrated view of all channels and acts as an automated link between them all. Therefore, it reduces errors. Furthermore, it swiftly updates inventory, potential order changes and better customer interaction.
3. Increases scaling potential
Because OMS systems are designed to be flexible locally and globally, they can handle massive order volumes. It can provide an increased capacity to automate processes such as sales, payments and order processing. It also reduces the complexities involved in multi-channel order management systems. Consequently, equipping your business with an OMS will futureproof your ability to grow and scale effectively.
4. Increased conversion rates
An OMS improves website conversion rates across the board, including on the web and mobile. It facilitates the management of back-end activities better, increasing website administration results. Therefore, the possibility of error is reduced. This results in higher conversion rates in the long run.
5. Better customer support
Customers want the best support. Luckily, your customers of businesses using an OMS will receive better sales support. Product information and availability updates in real-time for both customers and staff. Moreover, the OMS can quickly and easily provide support for customer refunds and exchanges through multiple sales channels.
How to choose the best OMS
With the plethora of options out there, choosing the best OMS can be a daunting task. However, knowing what to look for will help ease and quicken the process.
Here are four steps to choosing the right OMS for your business.
1. Assess your business's current needs
Consider in detail your business’s current and future requirements. Consider expectations in the realms of business growth, global expansion, increasing order volumes and expanding sales channels.
2. Consider features and functionality
There are some foundational features that your OMS should cover. Some of these include:
- Receiving orders from multiple channels.
- Accepting and processing payments.
- Sending orders to the appropriate warehouses and locations based on customer proximity.
- Allowing in-store pick up.
- Order tracking.
- Monitoring inventory levels.
- Integrating accounts to create invoices and receipts.
3. Plan the integration of your systems and data
It’s crucial you consider your connectivity to other systems such as your company’s e-commerce website and ERP system. Take a view from above at how your company approaches business software. From there, you’ll have a better understanding of the most appropriate OMS for your business.
4. Decide on on-premise or cloud-based software
Some companies will prefer on-premise OMS applications for the ability to closely host and manage their systems. Others will want a cloud-based solution that doesn’t require hardware or software maintenance.
While there are many OMS systems available, not all of them offer the comprehensive set of features and functions you need.
But Wave Grocery covers the full journey and seamlessly integrates with all systems. From ordering to picking to delivery, Wave Grocery’s state-of-the-art features and tools will set your online grocery business up for success.
The Wave Grocery OMS consolidates all foundational features and functionalities in one place. The user-friendly interface is clear and easy to use with multilingual support. It enables multiple store setups, multiple inventories and local product collections. It also allows each store to set their unique timeslots including scheduling and capacity and cover specific geographical areas with their own order fees.
What’s more, Wave Grocery’s OMS enables detailed monitoring and reports for stores and e-commerce managers. This way, they can review customer behaviour, satisfaction and other metrics. And with full integration and partner ERP systems, operations are seamlessly synchronised with warehouses, inventories and invoicing systems.
In an age of e-commerce explosion, order management systems are becoming evermore crucial for business success. To remain competitive, more businesses are turning to using an OMS to facilitate improved business processes and increase customer satisfaction.
Using an OMS will enable you to better automate your most important processes such as order fulfilment, shipping and invoicing.
With all these significant benefits and more as outlined in our article, you should consider an OMS to better your business.