You have spent a ton of work acquiring customers and guiding them through their customer journey. Along the way, you demonstrated your value and they decided to buy your products. What happens next is the monumental task of fulfilling orders. That’s where order management comes in.
In this article, we’ll be diving into:
- The order management process
- The importance of an accurate eCommerce order management system
- Ways to improve order management
- Streamlining eCommerce order management
Let’s get started!
What is Order Management?
In simple terms, order management is ultimately how your product gets in the hands of the customer after they’ve placed an order. With order management, you can take charge of the fulfillment process as a whole, from start to finish.
Furthermore, there are two areas of focus to be aware of: order processing and order management systems.
What is Order Processing?
The processing of an order starts when your customer first pays for a product. From there, the processing continues through the eCommerce fulfillment phase until it’s delivered. The entire processing cycle is a key element of order management.
What is an Order Management System?
Along with the order management education you need, having a system in place is a huge part of smooth order management. Order Management System (OMS) is software that allows you to handle all of the various parts of the order management process.
This would include:
- Documenting order entries
- Allowing inventory management systems or managers to make changes
- Creating and maintaining pick lists
- Creating packing slips and manifests
- Overseeing the status of a payment
- Confirming an order
So how does the overall process work? Let’s find out.
The Order Management Process
Once customer places an order with your company, this process will immediately kick into action. All order management follows the same key steps.
Receiving an Order
First, you need an order. Once your company has received a customer’s order, it should be accepted and payment should be collected.
If your customers made payment with a credit or debit card, this step can include working with a payment processing company.
Order Picking Process
Once payment is received, purchase details will be sent to the warehouse, allowing your staff to get to work on fulfilling the order.
The process of picking an order involves collecting the items from the warehouse. Because most warehouses hold an array of products, it’s important that workers are able to quickly and easily pick the correct products for each order.
More than just sticking a product in a box, the packing process involves using the correct packing materials for each product to ensure its safe arrival to the customer. It’s also important that these packing materials are used judiciously to avoid material waste.
With an order picked and packaged, it’s ready for shipping. There are three general steps that should be taken for every shipment:
- A shipping label is attached, along with an invoice for the order
- In all sales channels, the status of the order will be updated to “shipped”
- The customer receives an update about the order, as well as a tracking email
Hopefully, at the end of the day, this is the end of your process. But in some cases, there may be one more step: You may have to deal with returns and refunds.
Managing Returns and Refunds
Unfortunately, there will be times that a customer wants to return an item in exchange for a refund. Even after a customer package is delivered, this keeps the process going.
Businesses should also touch base with the customer after they’ve received an item in search of feedback. This is a great way to investigate whether the customer is satisfied and to leverage the great experience that you’ve given your customer.
The Importance of an Accurate ECommerce Order Management System
Accuracy and efficiency in any business is crucial to success. To ensure the smoothest operation, choosing an accurate eCommerce order management system is essential.
Keep From Overstocking and Understocking
Having too much of a good thing isn’t good for an eCommerce business. No matter how great your product is, having too much of something in stock takes up precious warehouse space, which ends up costing you money.
Not having enough of a product can hurt your sales, especially if it’s a popular item. When your customer decides to buy something, you need to be sure you have it in stock or you could lose that sale.
eCommerce order management systems are an excellent way to keep track of your inventory to ensure that you have the right amount of a product to meet demand without wasting space.
Reduce Order Fulfillment Errors
Errors throughout the order fulfillment process lead to wasted time and money, not to mention the frustration of the customer. If an error occurs, you run the risk of the customer asking for a refund and choosing your competitor the next time they want to order a product.
Instead, with order management software, you can better control the fulfillment process; which in turn reduces errors to a minimum. This will contribute to your bottom line and ultimately the growth of your company.
Reliable Information for Data-Driven Decisions
With every order, you collect important data points that can determine your next move as a company. To have the most accurate data, you need the most robust order management software. Without it, your decisions could be based on guesses, leaving a ton of room for error.
Using this kind of software can allow you to better handle the fulfillment process and even automate it. This frees up your time to get back to more important things in your business. You can have a peace of mind knowing that each order is being fulfilled as efficiently and accurately as possible.
Improving Order Management
Improving your order management means focusing on efficiency, accuracy, and speed. To control these crucial areas, order management software is essential.
Great Order Management Software
Thanks to technological advances, there are more options for order management software today than ever before. The right software for your business should help you to control your costs, improve your customer’s experience with your company, and provide employees with an easier process of fulfilling orders.
Here are some of the most popular software systems currently in use:
Positioning themselves as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) specialist, NetSuite focuses on bringing all business processes into one system. For companies that have more established departments, this is a reasonable option, though they don’t focus exclusively on shipping.
For the busiest business owner, a cell phone is likely their lifeline. That’s where ShipStation stands apart. With their mobile app that includes all the features of the full website, you can manage your orders from anywhere quickly and easily.
To have a better insight into suppliers, Skubana might be one option you consider in tandem with an order management software like Print Bind Ship. With Skubana, you can check what the minimum order quantities and pricing are for many suppliers, as well as the production lead time.
Print Bind Ship
For startups, fulfillment can be tricky. Not only are business owners are always creating and developing products, but they also battle with logistics.
At Print Bind Ship, we provide these new businesses with the flexibility they need to grow and expand with kitting and assembly services, more warehouse space, access to shipping worldwide, ways to track and report on orders, and much more.
Streamlining eCommerce Order Management with Print Bind Ship
When you’re looking to streamline your order management, you need a system in place to increase the efficiency of your fulfillment process. Efficiency is the name of the game at Print Bind Ship.
Along with helping you to maintain the supply chain process, we can also make managing inventory easier. And with Print Bind Ship, your warehousing is more affordable, which means that your company has more room for financial success.
Shipping and packaging are a breeze with Print Bind Ship. We’ll even handle intake on all orders, as well as any returns that your customers might request.
What makes Print Bind Ship different is that we are a third-party logistics (3PL) partner. That means that we can go beyond managing your order processing to handle things like printing large and small runs, printing on-demand, warehousing, and shipping and distribution. We’ll even work with you to tackle marketing and other solutions for fulfillment.
With a team of industry professionals, we aim to provide you with the efficient service your business needs to grow, along with results that are measurable.
Ready to streamline and improve your order management? Call us today to see how Print Bind Ship can take your order management to the next level.