The supply chain world is short on silver bullets, but order management software comes pretty close. The nuances and complexities of the modern supply chain are such that any attempt to tackle all the variables and answer all the questions lies outside the scope of virtually every solution, so it's important that the tools companies do invest in can optimize as many functions as possible. To that end, order management systems cover a dazzling array of key processes and supply chain workflows, and are a key part of the foundation for any supply chain build out.
Customer satisfaction is, of course, an important aspect of an enterprise's overall mission, but what about business satisfaction? As internal computing systems and supply chain processes become increasingly complex, it's important that the tools organizations rely on are dynamic, user-friendly and able to scale to align with the times. As business users tasked with leveraging software platforms and applications worry about being inundated with bloated systems and overly complicated processes, it's important to be able to offer them tools that help them do their jobs well and accomplish as many tasks as possible in the fewest number of steps. The same goes for the employees of business partners and any other stakeholder involved in order management and supply chain processes. In this sense, it's really not much different from the way a company approaches its B2C relationships, since the goal is to optimize the user experience without simplifying anything to the point where it becomes a problem.
Order management software can help organizations strike the proper balance. Here are five ways that organizations can use order management software to improve their business users' satisfaction:
- Streamline order management workflows: Processing orders can be a time-consuming and error-prone task, with personnel obligated to coordinate the many different steps that arise as the order management process travels from a customer's placed order to the final delivery. As Practical Ecommerce contributor Armando Roggio noted, order management software can be used to connect and automate key workflow processes, from delivering order notifications to storing the correct measurements and printing shipping labels. This can greatly decrease the number of independent steps that must be undertaken to prepare an order for shipment, as well as ensuring accuracy, specificity and timeliness in all orders.
- Build multi-channel support: There are many channels involved in order management processes, from front-end customer service professionals to those in charge of warehouses and transportation on the back end. Once other stakeholders are involved, the number of supply chain employees multiplies. It's crucial to use a solution that can support order management via the variety of systems customers now use, including the Web and mobile devices, to interact with products, sales reps and customer service centers. An order management software provides multi-channel support in an easily utilized and configurable framework.
- Optimize scheduling processes: Keeping tabs on all aspects of delivery and shipment scheduling can be taxing, particularly for organizations with wide-ranging supply chains, those dealing with many variables or even companies that are in the midst of a system changeover or upgrade. It's important to reduce potential headaches and ensure accuracy in all order management processes, which an enterprise can do by investing in a order management software. With responsive, comprehensive scheduling tools at their disposal, personnel can make more empowered decisions about inventory and customer fulfillment, which in turn enable the enterprise to strive toward higher levels of service.
- Go mobile: The rise of mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is having a dramatic effect on how businesses function in this day and age. Just like customers are increasingly making purchases with their smartphones and tablets, business users are becoming more adept with mobile technology and seek to utilize it more for business processes. As Marketing Interactive pointed out, an order management system can help make the use of mobile devices on both sides of the B2C equation more fluid, improving customer fulfillment efforts while also giving supply chain, sales and customer service professionals more nuanced ways to do their own jobs.
- Leverage analytics for smarter decision-making: People and analytics are increasingly a match made in business optimization heaven. By leveraging complex analysis of the performance of key tools, users and processes, organizations can make smarter choices about their approach and resource allocation, among many other points. Analytics tools can come baked into order management software, providing actionable, metric-based visibility into system performance and allowing administrators to identify and address variables that could be improved. At the same time, making results more quantifiable can also empower users to make more effective decisions, promoting collaboration and interactivity within the entire organization.
Business user empowerment starts with an order management system that solves many problems at once, and then makes success maintainable. The IBM Sterling Order Management solution provides a cross-section of tools and features that not only help companies build better relationships with their consumers, but improve the position of valued team members as well.
Enjoy this article? Read more on the topic from Lightwell:
- Why go omni-channel? For your customers, of course.
- Getting over common hurdles in omni-channel commerce
- A problem-solution approach to a successful omni-channel commerce strategy
- What direct e-commerce on Twitter means for your business
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