Order management

Through proper, streamlined order management, a company can easily and effectively coordinate the total fulfillment process. Learn how order management involves overseeing the whole order process, from collecting orders to managing inventory and service availability to delivery.

What is order management?

Order management is the system by which a company processes incoming orders of its products or services. Management extends from the moment the customer places the order to when they receive the service or product delivery.

What is an order management system?

Through an order management system (OMS), your company can digitally manage the lifecycle of orders you receive. An OMS tracks all information and procedures relating to managing orders, including:

An OMS gives your company’s process for managing orders total transparency. With it, both you and your customer maintain visibility of an order’s processing and fulfillment throughout each stage. Almost in real time, your customers can track and monitor the status of their orders. Your company can also glean insights into ways to improve efficiency.


Why is order management important?

Nearly every supply chain system and process impacts how a company manages orders. Most businesses now use multiple partners to help process orders rather than keeping the work in-house. These partners include components and parts suppliers, packing or assembly services, distribution centers, warehouses, and shipping carriers.

Outsourcing order management distributes responsibilities across partners with pertinent specialized skills, but it can also hamper control and visibility. A company may have to employ manual procedures to track the order management cycle, which can be inefficient. With a proper OMS to automate manual procedures and reduce errors, you can better control your costs and improve revenue.

Order management is also important because it directly impacts a customer’s perceptions of your company or brand, especially if you primarily sell online. With appropriate and effective order management, you can provide your customers with a seamless experience.


Airhouse helped Superculture save 15 hours per week on supervising fulfillment operations. Learn how.

Who is responsible for order management?

An order management specialist is the team member responsible for executing orders at any company. This professional ensures that the order flow runs smoothly from placement to delivery to avoid errors and complaints.

The primary duties of this specialist are to:

  • Monitor sales orders
  • Confirm the accuracy of delivery details with customers
  • Verify whether the package or service ordered is available
  • Ensure quality before shipment
  • Track and update the database of customer account information, including order verification and payments posting

What is the order management cycle?

Workflow can vary depending on your business’s needs, but the standard process involves these three steps:

  1. Placement: The customer uses an automated form to submit their order. The specialist reviews its details and verifies the order.
  2. Fulfillment: Depending on the size of your company, either a member of your warehouse team or the specialist takes this on. They will generate an invoice based on the shipping details and pick, pack. and ship the order.
  3. Inventory management: The specialist monitors inventory levels and ensures availability according to the fluctuations of business demands.

What are the components of order management?

Within each of the steps outlined above, there are additional tasks required to ensure order quality. To maximize efficiency, your OMS should have the following attributes: 

  • Flexibility: To adapt to each customer’s needs and break down orders into events, channeled to the proper resources or systems
  • Visibility: To clearly show the full supply chain and isolate each event to anticipate issues and improve processes
  • Intelligence: To hone order procedures to best fit your and your customer’s requirements, procedures, and goals
  • Real-time inventory: To clearly understand what inventory you have in stock or transit and your present customer demands. This prevents you from overselling or overstocking.
  • Service and delivery scheduling: To efficiently coordinate package pickups and meet delivery commitments 
  • Fulfillment optimization: To analyze  results and innovative ways to improve shipment factors like cost and delivery time
  • Customer engagement: Toprovide personnel with a pertinent picture of each customer's order, including all back-end resources and inventory, to efficiently execute transactions

How to improve your order management

One way that many companies today are improving their OMS is by switching from a multichannel to an omnichannel system.

In both multichannel and omnichannel systems, companies employ more than one method of processing orders and engaging with customers, including:

  • Selling through more than one location or physical store
  • Selling through digital channels, like a website or app
  • Selling through marketplaces like Amazon or Wayfair
  • Communicating with customers through email or text confirmations and status updates
  • Leveraging telephone call centers and live web chat features to address questions and concerns in real time

In a multichannel environment, each of these channels operates independently of the others. In an omnichannel system, the channels are integrated into a single interface. This creates a seamless customer experience free of hassles, and errors.

In a multichannel system, retail store orders are processed using their own system and stock, as are online sales. In-store and online orders are processed by different departments using different systems. When parts of a machine don't talk to each other, confusion arises. In a multichannel system, you may not be able to return something that you bought online to a retail store. This is inconvenient for customers. As a company, you want a seamless brand experience for the customer, and to get the whole picture of their buying habits, both in-store and online.

In an omnichannel model, this is not an issue. Resources, stock, and customer service are shared across all channels, which creates a seamless experience for your customers.




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