Streamline your entire transaction journey
What Is Order Management?
Order management is concerned with anything related to the order of goods or services. It includes the taking, processing, tracking, fulfilling, and organizing the entire transaction journey. Agents who perform this service also handle the inquiries about a product, cancellation of orders, order follow-ups, and requests for a product upgrade. The primary objective of this business function is to relay a customer’s information and process their orders efficiently.
Agents use order management system (OMS) tools to help them execute their work efficiently and accurately. The OMS automates and streamlines order processing for businesses. These tools provide agents updated inventory information, a database of vendors and customers, a record of customer returns, refunds and order processes, and information on billing, payments and the general ledger. In addition to fulfilling customer orders, order management could also help secure and track transactions for GDPR compliance standards and better business insights.
Humanizing the order management is crucial. It is not only concerned with the process, the function also involves managing the people and partnerships that make up the transaction. The agents are acting as the middlemen between the suppliers and the customers. Here’s why.
Humanizing Order Management
The tracking of orders includes managing crucial customer data. These data have memory, which is the consumer’s past order history. It provides insights to help businesses find target customers and know their buying habits. Do they pay on time? Are they high-volume customers, or not? The list goes on.
But these are not the only data needing tracking. Despite having an inventory of goods and services, it is also a standard business practice to secure a safety net of accessible vendors during the peak business seasons. In this way, keeping track of partnerships and business to business relationship records is also part of order management.
As such, the order management is a major part of the internal network for connecting two major business functions: the selling and producing necessary to help enterprises function smoothly. There are two metrics that could measure the efficiency of the entire process.
The first deals with measuring the order to cash (O2C) flow, which is all about delivering the product to the consumer. The latter deals with bills to cash (B2C), which is concerned with receiving payments. To understand further, let us break down the process.
The Order Management Process
What happens when the customer places an order, receives it, and pays for it?
- Customer places order
- Sales or Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) enter the order into the system
- Warehouse carries out the inventory to fill the order
- Vendors replenish the parts or stock when inventory runs low
- Shipment delivers order to the customer
- Customer receives the order.
- Customer pays the order.
- Sales or CSRs from the back office generates invoice and accepts the payments
- Sales or CSR updates the accounts receivable, accounts payable, and the general ledger records.
Order Management Best Practices
- Automate data entry systems to minimize human error
- Digitize order forms for legible and organized data
- Centralize and integrate database systems
- Use real-time analytics for proactive solutions
- Optimise all functions of the business with parallel standards for ease of workflow.
- Have a dedicated order management team equipped with essential customer and inventory intelligence needed to satisfy customers with efficient services and sell more strategically.
- Maintain a single point of contact for each account
Benefits of Outsourcing Order Management
Order management sits at the front line of fire of the business. It is directly in contact with the customers and the partnerships involved. As such, it contributes to the overall face of the brand to the public. Businesses typically choose to outsource order management for the following reasons:
To reduce overhead costs.
Many businesses primarily choose outsourcing for its cost advantage. In this way, they no longer need to worry about the tools and utilities of the employee-in-charge of orders. It is already included in the payment package.
Increase order management efficiency.
Minimizing delays and back orders are one of the essential, but non-core function priorities of the modern businessman. This dilemma of today’s business manager: to focus on creating quality products to their customers while also retaining the trust and relationship that is best delivered by an impeccable customer service, can be solved simply through outsourcing a dedicated team.
Improve sales visibility.
Having a specialized team gives businesses the advantage of requesting agents to include cross-selling and up-selling in their tasks. Outsourcing is a 24/7 operation that gives businesses the option to have round-the-clock services for order taking.
Boost customer satisfaction.
Regardless of online options for ordering, some customers still prefer to place orders through phone. They feel more assured about their order with a live person confirming their decision. With the choice to place orders via phone under the guidance of a competent agent, businesses could significantly improve customer satisfaction.
Accommodate large call volumes.
Order volumes vary for businesses. For example, a flower shop can expect a higher volume of orders during the months of February and November. Outsourcing relieves businesses looking for immediate talent.
Order management deals with sensitive customer data. Outsourcing a specially trained, ISO-certified team to process this data properly and securely will help resolve one more issue companies today face in this much needed data protection legislation change.
Industries That Outsource Order Management
Food & Beverage
When to Outsource Order Management
It’s pretty obvious when your business has serious problems with order management. It usually happens when businesses start expanding and the influx of order demands start increasing. There are a lot of responsibilities tied to this business function. As it is, there are also lots of areas where things could go wrong. Here are the issues to watch out for and when you should start considering outsourcing your order management:
- Invoicing and order delays
- Warehouse shipment errors
- Order re-entry and redundancy
- Billing inaccuracies
- Customer complaints
- Abandoned customer calls
- Technical issues with records and systems
- Order typos
- Inadequate inventory data
- Build up of backorders
- Limited resources to solve issues
- Business expansion plans priorities