Every company deals with inventory issues, right. And getting delivery perfect is a hassle for all businesses, correct?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that order management is bound to be difficult and imperfect. But in fact, there are next-generation tech solutions that are improving order management in new and exciting ways. The companies that upgrade don’t just spare themselves a lot of headaches. They are also gaining a competitive advantage and laying the ground for long-term success.
In order to keep yourself from falling behind the curve, look for these six signs you are overdue for order management software:
- You Have Inventory in Multiple Locations – Few business rely on a single location to house the entirety of their inventory. Unfortunately, tracking stock across multiple warehouses, manufacturing facilities, distribution hubs, and third-party storage providers is almost impossible without the right tools. Quality order management software is specifically designed to bring inventory data from multiple sources together under one centralized umbrella.
- The Cost of Returns Is Out of Control – If your business regularly deals with customer returns you understand how the attendant costs can grow unexpectedly. Technology can help you resolve the issue by making it easier for customers to return products and easier for you to convert the returns. For instance, if you have both online and in-person stores, allowing in-store returns makes it possible to exchange a product rather than offer a refund. Being eager and able to accommodate the customer’s preferences also builds goodwill for your business.
- Out-of-Stock Issues Are Affecting Your Brand – Few things are more frustrating to today’s consumer than learning the product he or she wants to buy is out of stock. Order management software integrated with a broader order-to-cash solution helps you better estimate your required inventory. But it also helps you located items in different locations and ship them to customers who are willing to be a little patient rather than order from your competition.
- Delivery Is a Persistent Issue – Companies that can’t offer fast, easy and affordable delivery options won’t survive long given today’s customer expectations. With the right order management solution it’s possible to route orders to the best shipping option based on speed, cost, or other variable.
- Discounts are Cutting into the Bottom Line – Offering markdowns is an easy way to get rid of excess inventory. But if excess inventory was eliminated, companies would not have to compromise on price. Understanding how much stock is necessary and how to make smart use of excess stock is relatively simple with order management tools in place.
- New Markets Are Untapped – Expanding into a new market creates both opportunities and obstacles, especially when it’s an international expansion. Smart order management tools store the business rules that govern international transaction in a interactive database, then apply them to every order. That way you abide by all international laws and tax rules without having to carefully consider each purchase from abroad.
It is hard to overstate how much operations improve once order management software is in place. Obviously outcomes are more consistent and reliable after more of the human element is eliminated. But the human input that is required is simple and seamless, freeing staff up from performing basic administrative tasks.
The effect on customers is just a profound. Order management is not about the quality of the products you sell. It’s about the quality of the selling process. In competitive markets consumers always have alternative ways to buy what they want. The companies that make the customer experience as perfect as possible are the ones who ultimately attract loyalty and evangelism. Order management software is the first step.