What is Order Management?
Order Management is simply a process of receiving, tracking, and fulfilling an order and sending an order to a customer or intermediary. It includes the cycle of people, processes, and suppliers to create a positive customer experience. Whenever any customer places an order, it starts automatically and ends when they receive their package.
What is Order Management Cycle?
The Order Management cycle is a well-defined process that starts with the initiative of a customer that it wants to buy a product. So the beginning process if you read for an E-commerce business and Manufacturing concern differs a lot. In the Manufacturing business, the cycle starts with the Real-time Inventory check procedure. To ascertain the fact that there is inventory enough to satisfy the needs of an order or not. And if it is then, only the business accepts that order, and it gets placed further. And in the E-commerce business, the cycle starts when the customer places an order. But for both types of companies, it ends when the customer receives its order and gets fully satisfied with it.
Now quickly, we should look at each stage of the order management cycle.
1. Inventory Availability Check
Many manufacturing companies provide acceptance to customer's orders only after checking their inventories. So that they know the fact that the appropriate amount of stock is present to fulfill the order. So for them, the Order Management cycle starts with this stage only.
2. Order Placement
The customers, after they receive an acceptance from their suppliers through Quotations or any other thing, place their orders from different places, at different times, across every available channel.
3. Order Routing
Just as the customers place their order and it gets to receive process of passing this information to the concerned departments starts. Accordingly, the departments begin preparing the order, and other requirements are met.
4. Shipping & Delivery
After the departments prepare the customer's order, it gets packed up and ready for delivery and shipping to the customer's place.
5. Order Tracking
It is the last stage when the order gets shipped to the customer. A tracking number is provided both to the supplier and buyer to track the order. And after it reaches the customer's place, a Follow-up is done whether the customer is satisfied with the order or not.
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Problems SMEs have with the Order Management process.
Now let's end the wait for you all about the main thing you wanted to know through this article. And let's talk about the problems SMEs may have with the Order Management process. So to give you all a heads-up, the problem SMEs have is arising because they have not digitalized themselves. Therefore only they are having these following problems:
1. Visibility Problems of Orders
SME owners have the problem that they are unable to locate the order at which stage of the Order Management Cycle is it right now. And due to this, the Management has no clear understanding of whether orders can be delivered on time or not. This confusion can lead to the other customer's order to delay and will ultimately result in a loss for the company.
2. Streamlining Problem of Orders
SMEs try to manage their order fulfilling process majorly through the manual process. They tend to record all the data related to raw material usage, transfer of goods to different processes, and other activity on paper. And this creates a possibility of Human-Error, which is very common to happen. It also requires more resources and labor for manual data entry and creates a communication problem among different departments. Because the departments can not get any updates regarding the order cycle as all the data gets maintained on paper. And to get information about this they have to use special measures to get access to it.
So the solution to this whole problem is that the whole business process, right from inquiry to dispatch and further, should get digitalized. And this initiative will streamline all the business activities, and then this problem will cease to exist.
3. Tracking Problem of Orders
The Tracking Problems which SMEs have is one of the biggest problems and is similar to the Visibility Problems of Orders mentioned above. So the main concerns of SMEs are whether the order got dispatched at on right time or not. And at which process it is taking a lot of time. Also, whether the correct quantity and quality of product got sent to the buyer or not.
And these problems of SMEs tend to increase at a faster rate because of the Manual recording and Data Entry process applied. Because it leaves no choice for the persons in charge to conduct manual tracking of the Order Management process, which takes lots of time and is many times seen as inefficient.
SMEs are facing these particular problems in the overall structure of the order management cycle. And many more other issues they face in distinct stage processes are linked with these 3 main problems only. That is ultimately affecting the Decision-Making Process of the top management and owners of the business. Due to the delayed and sometimes wrong or misinformation, they cannot take decisions efficiently. Because they are not getting the perfect idea of what is going on in their organization about customers' orders. Also, the main goal of Order Management, which is to enhance the customer experience and satisfaction with the products and services, becomes unachievable.
So the solution to all these problems with the Order Management process is to automate the whole business core activities. And it can be done by the digitalization of the organization just by introduction and implementation of new technologies and software. And to aid the digitization process, there are many software solutions available in the market.
Companies and small businesses should choose software considering the nature and size of their organization that the software adds value to them and does not generate problems. And one such software option for small and medium-sized businesses is TranZact. TranZact is a digital transformation tool and platform for SMEs to digitize business processes right, from customer inquiry to dispatch. TranZact team believes in a Freemium policy. As they want every Indian SME to use their software without worrying about silly amounts of money. So businesses should choose the software depending upon their needs that it can get fully satisfied or not.
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