This article on order management systems (OMS) originally appeared in Response Magazine. You can view the original article here.
Getting What You Need From Your Vendor’s Order Management System (OMS)
by R. Todd Thill | Feb 1, 2018
When you run a business, you make a lot of decisions that impact your reputation and bottom line. You’re always trying to fulfill the perfect order. You want to get the correct product to the correct customer at the correct location — quickly, in pristine condition, and at a price point that makes money. And in today’s consumer-centric market, you need to maintain contact with your customer throughout the entire process.
If you can execute a seamless customer service experience repeatedly, you can create a rapport of reliability and trust with your customer. As a result, they will be more likely to buy from you again and recommend your product to others. Loyal customers attract new customers, which ultimately results in market share gains.
This complex relationship between fulfillment and customer satisfaction means you need to find a way to make your process more fluid. One effective tool that business owners often overlook is the strength of their order management system (OMS).
Why You Need Advanced OMS Technology
As a company, you’ll never abstain from consumer criticism. However, advances in commerce technology can reduce performance gaps and create a strong service strategy.
Order management systems are readily available, but it’s cheaper and easier to turn to the pros. They already have advanced OMS technology in place and can help streamline your workflow from day one. After all, order management extends beyond increasing the accuracy of pulling a customer’s product from the shelf and shipping it. It’s a key component of your overall fulfillment strategy.
An OMS can also lower staffing costs and save you money by avoiding costly mistakes and reducing the amount of time it takes to process orders. For example, software can screen for suspicious activity to weed out fraudulent transactions and data entry errors. It also makes complex order configurations easy.
In addition, a portion of a business’ overhead is wrapped up in inventory-holding costs. These costs include rent for warehouse space, insuring goods, and the expense of keeping unusable product. If you can cycle inventory correctly (first in, first out) and forecast inventory needs based on historical data accurately, you can reduce expense and lead time.
An OMS can also make the daunting task of reverse logistics more palatable. The right technology can help you optimize inventory, decrease costs, and maximize your sales cycle. It also improves purchaser experience because you can respond to customers with accurate, real-time data.
What You Should Look for in an OMS
Not all OMS technology is the same, so it’s important to evaluate the software your fulfiller offers. Here are some of the key components you should discuss with your provider:
- What’s included in the OMS? You should have a clear understanding of what modules are included. Typical modules include inventory management, order taking, shipping and tracking, reporting, and customer service.
- What reporting is available? You always want to have access to real-time data that can help you manage your business in a meaningful way from anywhere. Standard reporting includes analytics for marketing, social media, orders, returns, product refurbishment, cancellations, declined orders, and inventory counts.
- Can the software be customized and scaled? The software should fit your specific business needs and accommodate changes in your order volume.
- Can you integrate easily with third parties? API integration with shippers, payment processors, email marketers, and e-commerce platforms is imperative in a solid OMS solution. More importantly, make sure the software can handle upgrades and grow.
- How easy is it to use? The dashboard and platform should be clear, simple, and intuitive.
- What level of support does your provider offer? If your OMS isn’t working, neither is your business. Make sure you have a local support team that understands how your company works.
Using advanced OMS technology can change the way you do business. You can manage your daily activities and build processes that are more fluid and accurate. As a result, your team and customers will have access to the information they want and need, improving your performance and strengthening your relationships. A fuller customer service experience will result in happier customers, more referral business, and increased market share.
About Thill Inc.
Thill Inc. is a privately held technology company that provides e-commerce outsourcing services, including fulfillment, customer service & analytics. They provide companies with creative & flexible solutions that utilize a customized combination of software platforms, strategic locations & professional expertise. Thill has operations in Wisconsin, Georgia, Kansas, Nevada & Texas. For more information about Thill Inc. or its services, please visit www.thillinc.com.