Order management starts when a customer places an order and ends once they receive their package or service. It allows a business to coordinate the entire fulfillment process — from order collection, inventory and delivery visibility to service availability. The workflow involved can differ based on a company’s needs, but a typical order management process includes three steps:
The customer places the order through an automated form. A sales team member checks the details and confirms the order.
A warehouse employee confirms shipping details, generates an invoice and fulfills the order — pick, pack and ship.
Inventory levels are monitored as they fluctuate with the demands of the business.
What’s your omnichannel order management strategy?
Omnichannel order fulfillment is essential for ensuring revenue growth and customer satisfaction.
An order management system (OMS) is a digital way to manage the lifecycle of an order.¹ It tracks all the information and processes, including order entry, inventory management, fulfillment and after-sales service. An OMS offers visibility to both the business and the buyer. Organizations can have near real-time insight into inventories and customers can check when an order will arrive.
Order management touches virtually every system and process in the supply chain. Most companies no longer contain order management within their organization. They involve multiple partners, such as parts and components suppliers, assembly and packaging services or distribution centers — making it easy to lose visibility and control of an order. This results in costly manual processes to complete and deliver the order without errors. An OMS can help control costs and generate revenue by automating manual processes and reducing errors.
Externally, order management has a direct impact on how a customer perceives a business or brand. In an omnichannel environment, customers expect a seamless experience. A customer may order online but have questions and complete the order through a call center. As the order is being fulfilled, the customer expects to see updates like emails along the way. If there is a problem, they may wish to return it through a physical channel such as a store. Each point in the journey presents an opportunity to provide a great customer experience and boost retention and revenue. The omnichannel journey also presents opportunities to make up-sell and cross-sell recommendations and grow revenue.
Learn why IBM was ranked a leader in the IHL Order Management Market report and see how IBM is positioned for growth and strength.
Find out how IBM Sterling supply chain applications for inventory and order management offer fast, flexible and responsive solutions for B2B and B2C commerce.
View the entire supply chain and isolate events to anticipate problems and develop more efficient processes.
Tune order management processes to an organization’s business rules and performance goals.
Break orders or events into unique work items that can be channeled to the appropriate systems or resources.
Get a single view of inventory, see what’s in stock, in transit and current demand levels — reducing the need to expedite shipments or maintain excessive safety stock.
Match delivery commitments to inventory, resources and skills; allow service requests to be addressed more efficiently.
Give customer-facing personnel a view of the customer, back-end inventory and resources so they can execute transactions more efficiently.
Analyze data and recommend options that consider how and where customers want orders shipped, time-to-delivery and cost.
Learn how Follett Corp unified 1,200 independent online stores with IBM Sterling Order Management.
See how JOANN Stores was able to pivot its supply chain to handle skyrocketing online orders during COVID-19 by working together with IBM.
Fashion retailer Eileen Fisher built a single pool of inventory across channels to improve trust in inventory data, execute more flexible fulfillment and cut customer acquisition costs.
Manufacturing giant Parker Hannifin uses an order orchestration framework that helps deliver a unified buying experience and provides insight into inventory, order and customers.
Order management can quickly become complex, particularly when large volumes or multiple sales and distribution channels are considered. These trends add to the complexity:
Computerized order management systems (OMSs) have evolved to handle this growing complexity and help process orders more efficiently and profitably.
At the heart of an OMS is the distributed order management (DOM) capability, software that enables an OMS to intelligently route orders to the optimum destinations or resources for fulfillment. DOM is critical to managing the business processes associated with an order and helps deliver a seamless customer experience across channels.
Deliver a seamless omnichannel customer experience and optimize order fulfillment across locations in your supply chain.
Get up-to-the-minute inventory tracking and accurate available-to-promise data, even in businesses with high volumes and many SKUs.
Provide store associates with mobile tools that help engage customers and deliver a highly personalized, in-store buying experience.
Get intelligent insights to see, manage and more effectively act on inventory to meet actual demand.
Continuously improve omnichannel profitability, balance fulfillment capacity and reduce total cost-to-serve.
The official IBM Sterling blog, with coverage of key supply chain and business networks topics and trends.
Inventory management is the tracking of inventory from manufacturers to warehouses and from these facilities to point of sale.
A supply chain control tower enables organizations to more fully understand, prioritize and resolve critical issues in real time.
Forrester examined the potential ROI enterprises may realize by deploying IBM Sterling Order Management.