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Order management software facilitates order management from initial acceptance through final shipment. Its core features include order processing, inventory control, product cataloguing, and dispatch management. These solutions help businesses coordinate their supply chain operations, as well as manage multi-channel sales strategies. Additionally, these systems offer features like payment processing, multi-channel marketing, and customer relationship management.
The benefits of order management software
These days, stores (both traditional and online) are facing challenges related to increasing marketing channels, faster delivery expectations, and complex supply chains. To stay competitive, it's important for merchants to ensure that orders are filled and dispatched promptly and precisely. Order management software helps businesses shorten their order delivery times and gain greater control over associated processes. These systems offer benefits including:
- Better customer service: Order management software provides real-time status updates for customers, allowing them to anticipate their delivery. The software stores details such as delivery address and payment mode when a new customer enters their information for the first time. This eliminates the need for the same customer to re-enter the information for future orders, letting them check out faster.
- Reduced order processing errors: It's easy for errors to happen when you're managing huge order volumes of multiple channels. Through features like barcode tagging, order management software ensures that orders are dispatched to the right recipients.
- Quick order processing: Order management software provides a centralised database where information related to the warehouse, shipment, inventory levels, and employees are stored. This allows sales representatives to fetch required information without calling the office or juggling through numerous spreadsheets.
Typical features of order management software
- Order entry: Register received orders in the system.
- Order tracking: Track orders and their statuses as they move along the supply chain and reach the customer.
- Backorder management: Manage orders for products that are currently unavailable due to inventory shortage.
- Catalogue management: Create and manage digital catalogues of products, including details such as price and specifications.
- Inventory management: Track available inventory and manage the flow of goods from warehouses to point-of-sale.
Considerations when purchasing order management software
- Mobile capability: Check if the solution you're considering has a mobile app. If it does, then further evaluate whether the app incorporates the latest technology/market trends, such as automated event-based alerts.
- Barcode scanning: The most common 1-D barcodes in use today are UPC, code 128, and code 39. You should research and determine which barcodes your business needs to ensure that the software you shortlist supports your barcode requirements. Most retailers should choose UPC barcodes, while Code 128 is generally used in distribution and transportation. Code 39 is mainly used in the automotive and defence industries.
- Scalability: For organisations to grow without incurring repeated software costs, they should ensure that the software they choose is scalable. The system should be flexible to accommodate evolving business scenarios such as more employees/customers and an expanded product catalogue.
Relevant order management software trends
- Robots to manage stock and delivery: Companies are using robots to check and restock their inventories. Robots can pick orders and move them to required destinations. Cognitive learning systems and sensors allow robots to assess product quality and an algorithm guides the entire operation. Order management software tracks the progress of deliveries in real time. UPS uses an AI-powered GPS tool called ORION to create efficient routes for its fleet. ORION creates these routes based on driver and customer feedback.
- IoT and automation: The IoT connects a group of devices/equipment to create a network wherein the connected elements exchange data and work in conjunction with each other. As each element feeds relevant information to another trigger/modulate an appropriate response, warehouse operations are automated and streamlined. For example, after a scanner reads the barcode on a product, it can instruct an automated guided vehicle (AGV) to carry and store the product on a particular shelf.