Have you ever been in the situation where you discover a pallet of product in your warehouse that nobody knew was there? Its frustrating right, and you really don’t know how long its been sat there. How about the times when you don’t know whether you have enough stock of a certain product to fulfill an order and then when you physically count it you discover you are short one or two items so have to go back to your customer and apologize. Well these situations are where an online order management system can revolutionize your business.
What is an Online Order Management System?
An order management system is a piece of software which offers advanced order and inventory tools to synchronize your order and inventory warehouse management using an EDI solution. This then allows complete visibility of your ordering and stock levels even when you have multiple sales channels and stock locations. With an order management system manual entry is reduced to a minimum and data is integrated through EDI with your accounting and back office systems for billing and ordering.
Whether orders come in from retail partners who use EDI, your own eCommerce channels and eplatforms, or from traditional non-EDI customers the order management system takes that order data and filters it through into the business.
Live Stock Level Data
The power of having live data on stock levels from your order management system is key to customer satisfaction. By making a customer aware of stock availability at order stage their expectations are set for the whole order process. If they know you have enough stock and can allocate their quantity and choose a deliver date, their confidence in you as a supplier is greatly increased. Even more so when the order management system follows through on that order and ensures the stock is allocated and shipped on time.
This data also feeds through to the manufacturing or sales manager who can set thresholds on stock levels that trigger re-ordering of stock from suppliers, or production planning to meet demand and sales forecasts based on data which is live and historical.
Add Dropship Suppliers with Confidence
When you have a slick order management system in place that delivers product on time every time for your customers it then gives you the confidence to source and integrate new suppliers. Online order management systems allow for integrating dropship suppliers who keep stock at their own warehouse and ship directly to your customer. As long as they adopt an EDI system which allows for order management then their stock level information and ordering fulfillment will be just the same as if their product was in your own warehouse.
You can also integrate your own shipping supplier in the system so that they have the data they require to exceed your customers expectations on delivery. If they can see exactly where your stock is and what multiple orders they will be picking up at each location, then they work as an extension of your team.