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Why Order Management Should Be Your First Priority

The Foundation of eCommerce Success 

Whether you’re launching your first eCommerce site, upgrading your current one, or migrating to a different platform, start with Order Management. A beautiful new storefront is useless if you cannot fulfill and service orders. For B2B businesses, where a significant portion (70% – 90%) of orders come through EDI or other non-storefront channels, a robust order management system becomes even more critical. A first-class order management system lays the groundwork for future growth, allowing the business to scale efficiently as order volume increases. Most importantly, a smooth order fulfillment process, facilitated by a good order management system, directly translates to customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

The Importance of Integration 

Having a robust order management system is crucial, but why prioritize it? In one word: integration. While an eCommerce platform and OMS might be tightly integrated with each other (like Salesforce B2B Commerce and Salesforce Order Management), the fulfillment process often involves several other systems. At minimum, it requires data exchange with an Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP) for inventory allocation, with a Warehouse Management (WMS) for picking and packing, and potentially with a Transportation Management Systems (TMS) for shipping and delivery. Integrating your order management system with these fulfillment-related systems and optimizing these data flows significantly impacts order servicing, your ability to create an optimal ordering experience, and ultimately, the ability to delight your customers. 

Real-World Scenario: Simplifying Order Servicing 

Let’s take one of the simplest order servicing examples possible: a customer places an order and now wants to cancel one of the items on that order. If the order has not been sent to the ERP or WMS for fulfillment processing, this is a straightforward process as it can potentially be completed all within the order management system. However, if the inventory is being held outside of the order management system, in an ERP system, integration is already in play because as soon as the order is placed, a message needs to be sent from the order management system to the ERP system to hold, or reserve, the quantities of items being ordered. A business decision is now required. Do you allow that item to be canceled once the order has been sent to the ERP? To the WMS? Once an order starts its fulfillment journey, the more difficult and costly it becomes to perform certain order servicing tasks. However, if you build the customer ordering experience around your order management system, the fulfillment process can be optimized, and business rules put in place to ensure profitability all while creating a wonderful experience for your customer. 

Reducing Costs and Errors 

Even if you have considered all your fulfillment processes, without a solid order management system and integration to relevant systems, your costs to service the order can pile up. What system is the source of truth for your orders? How many systems does your customer service team have to ‘swivel chair’ between to service an order? What are the cost implications of human error in a non-automated fulfillment process? Take, for example, the customer service agent that sent 30 pallets of product from the warehouse in Trenton, NJ to a customer in Los Angeles, CA when the exact same product was available in the Long Beach, CA warehouse. 

The Necessity of a Well-Integrated OMS 

In today’s competitive eCommerce landscape, a well-integrated OMS is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. B2B companies, in particular, need to be able to provide a unified ordering experience across multiple order capture channels, whether it’s through a storefront, EDI, punchouts, or static documents. By focusing on order management from the outset, businesses can lay the foundation for efficient growth, exceptional customer service, and long-term success.  

Take the time to evaluate your current OMS situation and explore integration opportunities. Remember, a happy customer is a loyal customer, and a smooth order fulfillment experience is the key to achieving that happiness.  

AAXIS can help you evaluate your current OMS and explore integration opportunities. Schedule a free 20 minute consultation. 

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