B2B wholesale order management refers to the business-to-business (B2B) process of order fulfillment. This process includes taking orders, updating inventory, and shipping products. With the help of wholesale order management software, you can make your order fulfillment procedures more efficient. In this article, you’ll get an overview of how it works, but first, let’s figure out what exactly order management is.
What is Order Management?
Order management involves tracking the fulfillment of customer orders. Order management begins when the customer places an order and ends when they receive their package or service. This enables businesses to coordinate the entire fulfillment process—from order collection, inventory, and shipping visibility to service availability. The workflow involved can vary based on company needs, but a typical order management process includes three steps:
The customer places the order through order entry software or automated form. A member of the sales team verifies the information and approves the order.
An employee of the warehouse verifies the shipping information, creates an invoice, and completes the order—picking, packing, and shipping in a warehouse management system (WMS).
Inventory levels are tracked in the WMS system because they change in response to business demands.
Why is Order Management Critical?
Order management is an essential part of the sales and order fulfillment processes. Here’s why:
First, it enables you to prevent problems with stock levels. The two biggest are understocking, which results in backorders, and overstocking, which creates dead stock (see definition of dead stock). Both problems may lead to decreased sales and even client churn.
Additionally, it avoids shipping mistakes. Your eCommerce shipping team might be sending orders to the wrong addresses, delivering orders to the wrong customers, or simply moving slowly. You can prevent these problems and boost customer satisfaction by taking charge of your order management, perhaps with the aid of a multichannel order management platform.
Lastly, it saves your company money and time. You waste resources if you don’t streamline your order management. You’ll pay the price for your team’s extra time spent on fulfillment. To reduce this waste, consider investing in an order management system.
What is an Order Management System?
An order management system is a software application that completely automates the management of orders. You can easily access all of this information from anywhere at any time by managing your inventory, sales, and customer data in one location.
You can automate tasks like order processing, shipping, billing, payment collection, and more with the help of an order management system. It gives both customers and businesses visibility into orders and inventory in real time.
What are the End-to-End Steps in the Order Management Process?
The order management process flow, also known as the sales order management process, involves six steps that a customer’s order goes through.
1. Order placed
There are various ways that customers can place orders. They could be conducted over the phone, in person by a field sales rep, through a B2C or B2B eCommerce via an online store or eCommerce app, or somewhere else.
2. Order received
After the order is placed, it must be sent to the fulfillment department. Usually, this happens automatically in real-time, but there might be a delay for various reasons.
3. Items picked
The fulfillment team must find the items once they have the order. Making use of effective warehouse management software will prevent time from being lost by looking for items scattered throughout the warehouse.
4. Items packed
The items are collected, assembled, and then put in eCommerce packaging. The packaging should protect the items during shipping and have branding to help with business promotion.
5. Order shipped
The items have been packaged and are now prepared for delivery to the customer. You’ll need to keep the customer updated along the way. The carriers used and transit times may differ. Customers usually anticipate receiving their orders within a few days, unless you’re shipping in bulk.
6. Order delivered
Finally, the customer receives the order. If you manage your orders well, they will have received the proper items on time. Otherwise, you’ll need to put in some effort to get your system up and running properly.
What are the Best Practices of Order Management?
Follow these five best practices when looking to improve order management.
1.Centralize Your Orders in One System
As they all strive for omnichannel selling—selling both online and offline—wholesalers sell their products on a variety of portals. Keeping a final record of everything in one location is therefore imperative.
Online sellers can easily sync all of the orders from each selling channel using centralized sales order management software, making it simple to access any data and carry out tasks in a single system.
2.Sync All the Information in Real-time
You can track your orders with the help of real-time syncing of information such as stock levels, order status, placement, shipment, and other updates related to orders. Instant order processing capabilities enable timely and accurate order fulfillment, giving you more time to expand your market. Using order management software that syncs in real-time, you won’t have to worry about updating the stock level following each sale.
3.Pay Attention to Analytics-Driven Insights
In the supply chain, analytics are useful for much more than just inventory management. Analytics makes it easier for you to comprehend a variety of processes, including carrier management, inbound freight management compliance, supplier delays and opportunities, and fulfillment rates.
Analytics reveals the techniques for demand forecasting that are nearly 100% accurate and outlines the steps you should take to reach your objectives. Utilize supply chain-spanning analytics to learn how what happens eventually becomes what ought to happen.
4.Automate the Order Fulfillment Process
An order management system can be configured with action-based automation, which will greatly simplify and accelerate your order fulfillment tasks.
Automation can turn inventory management into a turnkey process, suggest new products to customers, and eliminate labor costs associated with packing, labeling, and shipping. Just think of the labor hours that could be saved by having the connected systems handle product reordering, online cart checkout, and shipping information automatically. Additionally, it has implications for improved teamwork and communication.
5.Integrate with Suppliers
Order management doesn’t always entail dealing with customer order issues or situations where customer orders exceed the available stock. The supplier’s end also experiences problems with order management. In some cases, suppliers don’t always have the item you’re looking for; they run out of stock, or you need a product right away but it’s not readily available. Well, in these situations, you undoubtedly wish you had known a little sooner. This is why integrating with your suppliers makes sense.
Once you are integrated with them, you have complete visibility or transparency regarding the inventory of goods. Additionally, since the suppliers are aware of your stock level, they can alert you when you run out of stock. The procedure is made more transparent and effective in this way. You can always be aware of the availability, prices, and other key details regarding your suppliers’ and your own stock.
What is the Best Sales App for Keeping Track of Orders?
Order management software is used to track order deliveries, check stock availability, and store and share information on customer orders. This improves the data’s dependability and accuracy while also raising customer satisfaction levels, which leads to more sales.
This software offers information on the total number of orders and the order cycle time. With Orders in Seconds sales management software, you can monitor the price per order, the typical number of orders, and the time it takes to process and deliver an order. For further information about our solutions, please contact us.