Order Management Software: Does your business need OMS?

Remay Villaester (May)

If you run any kind of retail or ecommerce business, having an efficient way to manage orders is a must. It can be a surprisingly complicated process, especially as your company grows.

This is where order management software comes in. An OMS can help you to organise, streamline and manage your sales order process. But how do you find the right software for your business?

In this guide, we’ll explore how OMS works, the pros and cons of using OMS software, and what to look for when choosing an order management system to use.

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What is order management software and how does it work?

An order management system consolidates all parts of your sales order process into one place. This starts from capturing order data, all the way through to shipping to the customer and dealing with any returns.

An OMS gives you one central dashboard from which to manage orders across multiple platforms.

With an order management system, you can:

  • Track and monitor all orders, across all online sales channels - some software can handle in-store and over-the-phone orders too
  • Manage your inventory in real-time
  • Streamline logistics and order fulfilment processes
  • Better handle returned orders (as part of reverse logistics processes).

You can keep tabs on your order management processes without specialist software, but this usually involves a series of spreadsheets. As your business grows and sales volume increases, you’ll find that this becomes increasingly complex and hard to manage.

A centralised system, where all information is in one place, can make things much more manageable. Plus, it can help to eliminate mistakes and help you find ways to improve efficiency and the customer experience.

Does my business need order management software?

New businesses can find order management reasonably straightforward, using just a spreadsheet or other simple system to process and fulfil orders. But as your business grows, it’s likely to become much more complicated - and the risk of human error, bottlenecks and delays becomes greater.

It may be time to look into implementing order management software if your business:

  • Starts working with multiple suppliers or delivery firms
  • Struggles to process the volume of orders that come in each day
  • Keeps making critical errors - such as shipping the wrong product
  • Starts selling through multiple channels - marketplace, bricks-and-mortar store and ecommerce site
  • Processing and delivery time is slow, harming customer satisfaction.

Advantages of order management software

One of the main benefits of OMS is saving the business time on admin, but automating many manual tasks. This can also reduce the risk of human error.

Other advantages of order management software include:

  • Bringing offline and online order management together
  • Making inventory management processes more intuitive
  • Streamline order fulfilment and logistics
  • Reducing the risk of overselling and overstocking
  • Facilitating faster, more efficient deliveries.
  • Delivering a seamless, high quality customer experience

Of course, there are some potential drawbacks to consider. This includes the extra cost of the software, which includes onboarding and rollout costs as well as a monthly fee.

You’ll also need to consider the time and disruption related to implementing a brand new system. This includes training up your staff and building the new software into your existing processes. Integration with your existing tools can often be tricky to navigate, so you may need some expert help.

Types of order management software

When you start shopping for order management systems, you’ll find that there’s quite a lot of choice out there. But not all software is the same, as there are a range of solutions geared towards different business needs.

Let’s take a look at the main types of order management software available¹:

Standalone OMS

If you’re looking for an upgrade from a manual-entry spreadsheet or ledger, you can try a standalone OMS tool. The main function of this kind of software is centralising your order data, so you can track, manage and customise the order process and have all the information at your fingertips.

Some order management software comes with additional functions, such as warehouse and inventory management.

But there is an obvious drawback. Not all standalone OMS integrates well with other business solutions you’re using, such as accounting, shipping or Point of Sale (POS) systems. Trying to align lots of separate systems could lead to more work for your team, and the possibility of miscommunication and mistakes.

Enterprise Retail Platform (ERP) solutions

If you’re looking for a more integrated solution, ERP software could be just what you need. This is a more encompassing solution, which can cover everything from inventory management through to customer relationship management (CRM) and even HR and payroll.

ERP solutions aim to integrate the different parts of online retail businesses, and make more information available to more people. However, rolling out an ERP solution can be a complicated and disruptive move, and it can take time for your staff to get up to speed.

Digital operations platform

If you opt for a digital operations platform tailored to retail, you’ll get a comprehensive, full-featured system covering every aspect of order management.

It’s an all-singing, all-dancing ORM solution, giving you control over everything from multichannel order management and warehousing to CRM, business reporting, forecasting and inventory planning - and much, much more.

How to choose the right OMS for your business

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to order management software. You’ll need to find software that meets the needs of your business now, and gives you the flexibility to scale up too.

The more complex and comprehensive the solution, the more it will cost - and the more complicated the implementation. So, you’ll need to factor in your budget and how much you want to change your existing processes. You don’t want to pay too much, and endure a painful rollout process, only to end up with lots of functions you don’t need.

As you start your search for the perfect OMS for your company, here are some key things to look for:

  • Integrations - with all the channels you sell on, and integrations with other solutions you currently use
  • User-friendliness - how easy, intuitive and quick is the platform to use?
  • Automation - how much time can the software save you by automating manual processes?
  • Cloud-based - this can avoid the need to install complicated software on local computers and networks
  • Reporting and analytics - this can help you gain valuable insights into sales patterns and trends, and identify potential issues.
  • Inventory and warehouse management tools - if you need them.
  • Scalability- can the software keep up if your business grows?
Order Management Software UK in 2021. What are your options?

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After reading this guide, you should hopefully have a better idea of how order management software works and whether it could be the right choice for your business. Just remember to do your homework and find a solution that meets your needs, without paying too much. Good luck!

Sources used for this article:

  1. Bright Pearl Resources Page

Sources checked on 30-May-2021.

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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