Order Management : The cornerstone in managing orders for brands
1 – What is an Order Management System?
1.1 – Order Management System: definition and benefit
While the ERP is used to anticipate, forecast and purchase, the OMS seeks to optimise the disposal of stocks. It automates and streamlines customer order management and provides constantly updated inventory information:
- A supplier database,
- A customer database,
- A record of returns and refunds,
- Information on invoicing and payments,
- Records for order processing and stock management,
It offers visibility across a retailer’s entire inventory and makes better use of it for managing customer orders, regardless of the purchasing channel It is also an excellent way to manage what is actually available: inventory management online and in store.
The OMS creates an integrated experience between e-commerce and stores! You can generate traffic and sales between channels and improve customer loyalty for your brand due to highly unified, high value-added features:
- Click & Collect: increase your online conversion rate and generate in-store traffic.
- Ship-from-store: offer a wide range of products wherever they are located using your in-store stocks.
- Store returns: restore your customers’ trust.
- Ship-to-store: offer practicality and savings while generating in-store traffic.
- Drop shipping: reduce your inventory costs and develop sales through your ecosystem.
1.2 – Why is the OMS the key element of any omnichannel strategy?
What will make your brand’s digital transformation successful is not to invent a new business but to build on your historical business by focusing on the expectations and requirements of your customers today… and tomorrow. With this in mind, your order processing must become agile to serve your customers who demand the ability to purchase Anytime & Anywhere!
Genuine progress for the customer, an omnichannel business is also a real challenge for brands and companies that must have sufficient stock in the right place and at the right time.
To respond to these new digital transformation challenges, e-commerce and sales and logistics services now have software tools adapted to this issue: the Order Management System (OMS) without which retail’s future would stagnate.
2 – The benefits of the Order Management System:
More than just inventory management and unification, the OMS enables retailers to:
- Unify central, e-commerce and in-store stocks and offer them all for sale to the customer whether in store or online.
- Offer all delivery methods or returns for every product.
- Use in-store stocks for the quick delivery of your e-commerce or store orders.
- Sell products all year round and therefore offer the entire catalogue regardless of the customer contact point.
- Incorporate resellers’ networks or independent partners into the programme.
- Deliver from store to a customer in the same city or at the other end of the country.
In short, the OMS enables you to:
● Extend your ranges on your e-commerce site or across your store network.
● Say YES to every one of your customer’s requirements: purchase, delivery, returns…
● Never lose a sale or customer due to a stockout online or in store.
● Sell all the products in your network all year round wherever they are and at a high price.
● Reduce unsold items in store and the number of items that end up on sale or destocked.
3 – How to have a successful Order Management strategy
Distribution patterns are becoming increasingly complex. Customers are becoming omnichannel, wanting transparency and speed along with continuity in their purchasing experience regardless of the sales channel.
3.1 – The first steps in choosing your OMS
Internal needs analysis
Given the complexity of Order Management Systems that can implement many functions, you must define the business requirements as specifically as possible.
Firstly, look to define the functions that you wish to automate, and the aim and expectations of doing so in terms of results.
Once this step has been validated, it is important to benchmark the solutions that will enable you to meet its expectations. This assessment is essential in view of the investments needed when choosing your OMS; a smaller Asset Manager cannot support such loads.
External needs analysis
Secondly, you must choose your OMS by taking account of the benefits and advantages of each OMS in relation to your business needs and in terms of the solutions it provides and the cost of purchasing the system.
However, it is still vital to consider criteria other than your needs and the investment in terms of cost such as the editor and the version of the software package, ease of deployment and use, the integration process, time to market, security and traceability, etc. And of course, the capacity for development and innovation, ensuring that you do not invest in a niche product or one which will be obsolete within just a few months.
3.2 – The rule of 3 locations:
In order to define the right distribution set-up, it is important to observe the rule of 3 locations:
The order location:
● purchase from in-store stock,
● purchase in store with a sales app or interactive terminal,
● sales on an e-commerce site
The storage location:
● e-commerce warehouse,
● national warehouse,
● regional distribution centre,
The delivery location:
● pick-up point,
● France or abroad
In its Market Guide for Distributed Order Management published in July 2017, Gartner chose to include Proximis alongside 19 leading editors.
Proximis is now recognised as a modern and comprehensive solution for optimising order processing and margins in an omnichannel, multi-warehouse and multi-store context.
The Proximis Order Management System has been very simple to integrate, and the wide range of configuration options has allowed us to address our requirements and processes. The scalability of the solution means we can begin planning new high value-added services using Proximis, such as delivery from the store.– Sandra Ridea, Digital Manager at Heyraud.