How to Optimize Your Order Management for E-Commerce – Order management is one of the key processes in many companies’ warehouses, as well as being the one with the greatest impact on customer satisfaction.
With the expansion of e-commerce and online sales, businesses are looking for ways to maximize order management performance. With what objective? Prepare, ship and deliver the goods requested by customers in the shortest time possible and without making errors.
Table of Contents
What is order management ?
Order management includes the set of activities from the moment a customer makes a purchase until he receives the product . This process includes planning, organization, execution, and control of all operational cycles relating to orders and their subsequent distribution.
To achieve successful order management, companies must have the required products, at the right time and in sufficient quantities . How is this achieved? Thanks to perfect coordination of all supply chain processes: from choosing the appropriate suppliers and carriers to having complete inventory control.
The order management process is tied directly to inventory management . Companies organize their resources based on future needs and orders to prepare. For example, maintaining the right quantity of products to avoid stockouts , which could cause delays in deliveries.
Likewise, order management has a direct effect on the picking process. How to achieve greater efficiency and speed in this operating cycle? Focusing on technology and digitalisation allows you to eliminate errors and deliver a greater number of orders in shorter times.
Thus, with solutions such as the container shuttle system or automatic container warehouses , companies can prepare orders according to the “goods-to-person” criterion (also known as goods-to-person ). This working method speeds up picking operations by reducing operator movements in the warehouse. In turn, the management of processes, resources and documentation related to order preparation is carried out more efficiently through warehouse management software .
How to Manage Orders Management
Order management includes several phases, from when a customer purchases a product until he receives it in the conditions requested by him.
The first phase consists in the purchase of the product by the customer . For this reason, in physical stores it is essential to be aware of the exact existences to answer the question. In online shops, in addition to stock availability, payment methods and shipping conditions must be clear and easily identifiable.
The next phase takes place in the warehouses. Before you can manage orders in logistics installations, you must receive prior notice of the sale. When customers purchase a product, the enterprise management system ( ERP ) must communicate the requested items to the warehouse management software , which organizes the operational cycle and sends the exact instructions to fulfill the orders.
Picking can be organized according to the goods-to-person method (automatic handling equipment such as container conveyors bring the goods closer to the operators in the picking stations) or person-to-goods (the operators move around the warehouse identifying the items necessary and take them to the consolidation area). A third method is automatic picking , which is carried out with machines such as industrial robotic arms that move the goods in total autonomy.
The next step is to wrap and package the product for distribution, so that couriers can pick it up and deliver it to customers.
Finally, order management includes the coordination of any returns (so-called reverse logistics). Once the products return to the warehouse, the operators examine their status and, following the returns policy, decide what to do: whether to put the item back on the market or recondition it or repair it first.
Order management in a company requires coordination between different departments and actors . It is not an isolated process, but a complex and integrative work whose objective is that customers receive orders. Everyone plays their role: from the purchasing office, which must buy the goods to fulfill the order, through the warehouse, suppliers or couriers.
What is the importance of order management ?
Order management affects all the processes that make up the supply chain and plays a crucial role in the success of any company.
The correct organization of the preparation and sending of orders is essential for many companies, especially in the current moment of omnichannel expansion. Customers expect to have a satisfying experience and receive their ordered products as soon as possible, regardless of the purchasing channel they used.
To improve customers’ perception of a brand, companies must guarantee a good logistics service and excellent order management. The priority of any company is to ensure that products reach the hands of consumers at the agreed time and place, thus meeting their expectations. All this leads to the strengthening of trade relations.
With order management, companies also optimize resources . Efficient coordination of all logistics processes (from receipt and storage to distribution of goods) helps companies reduce costs and avoid problems such as lack or excess stock.
Order management is also important because it has an impact on business planning : by distributing goods efficiently in the warehouse, companies can organize the procurement of materials more rationally and plan product shipments in advance. With meticulous forecasting, companies are able to respond more quickly to market demands.
How to Optimize Your Order Management
To optimize order management, companies can implement different strategies and practices:
Automate and digitize. Technology increases efficiency and reduces any possibility of error. For example, warehouse management systems provide detailed monitoring of the entire order picking and shipping process in real time.
Inventory control. Having the right products ensures that customers receive their requested orders on time. The necessary stock in the warehouse is calculated based on the demand planning , i.e. based on the sales estimate.
Optimize operating cycles. Companies can apply various measures: from minimizing the routes that operators must travel in the warehouse to locate the goods to automating the creation of labels. In this way the preparation and distribution of orders is carried out more quickly.
Increase communication. Good order management implies perfect coordination of all the actors that make up the supply chain. Warehouse management software must integrate with the ERP to organize order preparation and procurement activities. It must also communicate with the transport agency software to facilitate and speed up the distribution of the goods.
Evaluate suppliers. Working with reliable and efficient suppliers is essential to achieve excellent order management. Businesses establish strong relationships with suppliers and couriers that ensure on-time deliveries and a constant flow of products.
Order management: the customer comes first
Thinking about customer needs in detail helps achieve more efficient order management in the long term, increasing the overall efficiency of the company . Putting the customer at the center of decisions allows you to organize order management processes in an optimal manner.
With digitalization, companies can achieve tighter control of the entire order preparation and shipping process. By detecting inefficiencies, you can introduce productivity-boosting changes in the preparation and distribution of goods.
This develops software that powers the supply chains of all types of businesses. With Easy WMS companies can optimize order management and simplify the preparation and distribution of goods. Contact us to learn about the advantages offered by our software and find out how to adapt it to any logistical need.