Gone are the days when sale and purchase were done entirely in a brick and mortar setup. The e-commerce industry is booming at a rapid rate, and this calls for companies to have a reliable order management system in place. Furthermore, with omnichannel sales going mainstream now, an order management system needs to be able to process orders from a wide variety of sources/channels – and much more. An order management system refers to a single system that manages all aspects of an omnichannel business that includes order processing, call center management (for phone orders), forecasting and purchasing, customer service/CRM, inventory management, warehouse management, marketing, and accounting. In a nutshell, every order management process involves keeping track of orders coming into a retail business and managing the processes required to fulfill them. Follow these five steps to implement a strong and reliable order management system:
Plan the process
Often retailers and warehouse managers neglect the scope and value of planning. While implementing an order management system, it must include creating a project management team, identifying risks and interaction among all departments involved in the order fulfillment, manufacturing of the product, warehousing, and transportation processes.
Include the IT department
The providers or vendors of an order management system might provide their IT experts for the implementation of the system, but it is important for companies to involve their IT team in the process. This helps the IT department to stay familiar with the implementation process and identify foreseeable problems faster and reduce delays in implementation.
Documentation stands proof for any activity or process that has been implemented in the system. The vendor can be held responsible for any errors in the system in future by having a documentation. Companies need to create a list of their needs and the company expectations. On the completion of any new system upgrade, a written document must be signed, which validates the change undertaken. Also, companies must create formal checkpoints to review written deliverables and results prior to the sign-off.
To ensure the integrity, scalability, and functionality of your order management system, testing is necessary. During the testing, the employees can also be trained on how the order management functions and how optimal results can be attained. It is always better to train the higher management employees who can later train their subordinates. This way the implementation and training of employees about the new order management system becomes much faster.
Implement during operational lulls
Operational lulls refer to a period where the volume of the overall incoming orders is the lowest. This is the best period to implement a new order management system or replace an existing one. Operational lulls may occur at definite periods throughout the year, it is always better to aim for a period that falls in the middle of the week. It is advisable to leave the existing system operating even after implementing the new one until all back-orders and issues from the previous system have been resolved.
To know more about the trends and challenges in implementing a reliable order management system