- Plans & Pricing
Order management and fulfillment is one of the core competencies of ecommerce, supply chain, and logistics companies' success.
However, with so much focus on omnichannel selling it has become more difficult to manage and fulfill order requests coming from multiple channels.
As such, businesses are seeking ways of facilitating, automating, and increasing efficiency in their order fulfillment process using order management software.
The software comes with tons of benefits for the business and its customers, such as:
But order management software, just like any other tool, isn’t without its shortcomings.
And however good and comprehensive the OMS your business is using might be, if not implemented or used correctly, then its full power will not be realized.
The true power of OMS comes from the integration of info across a multitude of channels.
Some order management software come without crucial integrations or connectors such as CRM and PIM, ERP, E-commerce platforms, among others.
In light of that, businesses are compelled to look for workarounds to channel the info through to other systems, which leaves room for errors.
When an OMS misses bidirectional sync, users cannot pass certain data such as inventory, price, and images from particular systems.
This makes it impossible to have a true system of record.
Some order management software sync at a slow rate and are riddled with errors which translate to incorrect shipping and inventory data.
It’s expected that users should figure out solutions to most of the system's problems on their own. However, if documentation is lacking or incomplete, then that will become impossible.
When documentation fails, customers turn to customer service. As a customer, you want your exact issues addressed the soonest possible.
Rude, unresponsive and slow to respond customer support team might be a real problem for your business.
A good order management system has a straightforward switching process. While this process may have many steps, those steps should be clearly laid out so that expectations and timelines are clear.
While a tool may meet most of your needs, if it misses an essential feature, then you may experience difficulties switching to a different system in the future.
Oddly, if a tool an OMS has too many features, then it can be somewhat frustrating to use and redundant.
If you’re using a provider whose OMS rolls out new features slowly or not at all, it's a strong indicator the system won't grow with you, because the vendor isn't growing either.
Some warehouses require barcode scanning and the lack of it would necessitate the integration of another tool for it to function correctly.
This translates to another system, another integration, and another place where things can go wrong.
You’ve plugged in all the data, set up the integrations, but then the system offers no option for viewing your data in a simple report or dashboard although you're sure it’s there.
At some point, you might have requested for new features, and the provider ignored you or told you to wait for 6-12 months.
However, the chances are that despite the how important the features might be to you, they may not be of much benefit to the large customer base which may be the reason the provider ignores your request.
Even if the feature would double or triple your business, it may not be important to the provider.
This feature is fundamental for merchants with large footprints, or growing businesses that are looking to expand warehouse space, retail locations, or share locations with other businesses.
You might be shipping an order for three large items that you have to put in three boxes.
In some instances, the system might detects them as one order - which slows down the processing of the order.
Imagine a scenario whereby the system does inventory management and controls sales forecasting based on its own preprogrammed settings.
In this situation, the user of that software can’t change how it happens, even if they have a better model for forecasting sales and predicting inventory.
For the sellers who experience sharps ups and downs throughout the year, this can be considerably annoying.
Some OMS don’t support variations such as colors and sizes of the same product. In that case, the ideal situation would be master Sku and variations Sku.
This feature is becoming a competitive differentiator for businesses that are staying close to the cutting edge of technology. Customers expect this from big box retailers, and are beginning to expect it from smaller businesses as well.
For brick and mortar merchants who prefer online sales, the Point of Sale systems is an important tool. Many order management systems don't even integrate with them.
While it’s okay to settle on the least expensive and fastest carrier, make sure your system allows you to achieve what you want rather than limit you.
There are cases in which you need to choose the fastest shipping option, and the system should allow that as well.
Customizable invoices and shipping labels add a personal touch to the order processing and shipping.
When the modules and properties can't integrate properly or don't communicate correctly, it's a huge red flag.
It means the team working to process your order may be fragmented, outsourced or misaligned. None of which is good for you.
While that may not be the case for most systems, some tools tend to be overly technical and will require developers, implementation, and skills outside the realm of typical operations managers.
For the large retailers such as Walmart, Home Depot, Target and Nordstrom, EDI is essential for handling the orders. Without EDI, managing a wholesale or B2B business is difficult.
However great the software might be, if the team behind the curtains (customer service, support, on-boarding, etc.) isn’t on point, then you’ll just be another number to the provider.
Whenever a customer inputs the wrong info by mistake, a good software should notify you of the problem. If that doesn't happen, you stand not only to lose the product but end up with an unhappy customer, wondering where their order went.
Not everyone has access to a desktop whenever they please.
There should be an app or a responsive website that allows your staff to check inventory levels or orders on the go or in the warehouse.
In our opinion, these are the most resounding problems of most order management softwares.
It is imperative that you carefully examine all of them so that it is becomes easier to understand which system to use, the reason for using it and the potential limitations you’re likely to encounter along the way.
Next up, grab a demo of our groundbreaking open source order management software.
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