Business to business (B2B) operations can be very challenging, especially for a growing midsize wholesale distributor trying to scale.
As a B2B business, you will face a variety of decisions from how to build customer relationships, choosing a product offering or an ERP system to justifying a CRM solution.
This gets even more difficult when you have to manage sales orders on a daily basis, especially if you are not tech-savvy or using manual processes. That is why, B2B order management software is essential to help streamline the order fulfillment process.
But what is B2B order management software? Let’s learn more…
What is B2B Order Management Software?
B2B order management software, as the name implies, is concerned with keeping track of orders and managing the people, processes, and partnerships required to fulfill them.
This software can help your growing B2B business automatically manage and coordinate the entire order lifecycle, integrating multiple operations (order taking, inventory management, shipping tracking and delivery) into a single system.
This software also integrates with your current ERP system, providing real-time insight and visibility of each order placed by inside or outside sales representatives, automating end-to-end order fulfillment.
How does a B2B Order Management Software System Work?
A B2B order management system refers to the entire workflow which starts with receiving and confirming a new sales order, usually placed by an inside or outside sales rep, then coordinating picking and packing, and finally delivery, which completes the order fulfillment. Let’s take a look at the infographic below:
Problems Faced Without a B2B Order Management Software
Lack of insight into inventory levels
A lack of insight into inventory levels often results in two big headaches: stockouts, that occur when inventory becomes unavailable and over-stocking that happens when businesses acquire more items than they sell. In fact, this type of inventory distortion cost approximately $1.1 trillion worldwide according to Harvard Business Review. Manual inventory management is often the go-to process by many small-to-medium-sized companies, but it can be time-consuming, costly and inaccurate, hampering company growth.
Costly human errors
Human errors are one of the most expensive aspects of running a B2B company that handles large amounts of sales data, costing up to 10% of a company’s revenue (source). 10% is alarming becuase it can mean the difference between a good and bad year for distributors.
Even with highly qualified personnel. Manual work often results in error in order forms, which subsequently turn into order delays, incorrect order shipment, missing orders, and reshipping costs, among others. This also results in inaccurate warehouse inventory levels, which effects products sales and ultimately your bottom line.
Logistic issues due to communication problems
When a B2B wholesale distributor is using manual processes to inform different departments of changes in customer orders, this inefficient workflow puts a strain on business resources and finances. The lack of communication and real-time insight, increases the order processing time, costing more money per order and elongating the order lifecycle.
Problems with order accuracy and delayed shipment due to manual processes can lead to customer dissatisfaction. According to Harvard Business Review, “acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” Customer dissatisfaction is costly and poses a huge risk of losing future orders, customer’s confidence and creates a negative reputation for the overall image of the business.
Benefits of Using B2B Order Management Software
A faster response and workflow
This is perhaps the most important benefit of B2B order management software. Many processes, such as assigning and fulfilling orders, updating shipping information, and updating inventory, can be automated with this software, making the process efficient and quicker, so your orders will be ready to be delivered faster.
Easier access to data across all business channels
B2B order management software helps businesses manage orders conveniently by simplifying tracking for both distributor and customer. Relying on B2B order automation helps to streamline the process of updating information in real time. This guarantees accuracy, increasing confidence and peace of mind in both parties.
Fulfill your customer’s needs
As a growing B2B wholesale distribution business, understanding the needs of customers is crucial to your success. By utlizing B2B order management software you will have access to customer purchase history and sales trends to better meet their needs in the future, helping nurture long-term relationships.
Ensures order accuracy
Order management can be complex, with multiple departments and third-party vendors involved. With a B2B order management system, wholesale distributors have complete visibility of the ordered products, and can provide reliable and accurate information to the customers throughout the order lifecycle. This feature for B2B buyers according to a survey by Forrester Research indicates that 78% of these buyers consider the ability to track and trace orders as very important to their satisfaction with suppliers. Meeting this customer need can greatly improve customer satisfaction which potentially means more sales.
Increasing Revenue by Increasing Efficiency and Reducing Expenses
All these benefits result in increased revenue by increasing efficiency and reducing expenses for your wholesale distribution business. Using a B2B order management software with the right features that adapts to your needs helps you to optimally manage the available resources, provide unique insights about your entire business and its processes. So what are you waiting for?
Take control of your sales order cycle. B2B order management software is a must and a great investment for midsize B2B businesses. Not only does it optimizes order management, but also gives great visibility into sales, inventory, and customers needs. The key tools required for scaling a wholesale distribution business and slaying the competition.
Orders in Seconds helps wholesale distributors increase sales with cloud-based mobile apps. Our mobile apps facilitate the order lifecycle, from end-to-end and integrate easily with popular ERP systems. Click here to see how OIS can level up your sales game.