If your business has several sales platforms, as most do, and also a diversified supplier base, which is likely unless you’re the manufacturer, then you’ve probably struggled as your business has grown to integrate the main business functions of stock and order management with your retail platforms and your back office. A web based order management system will take away the need for manual data entry, help you have live stock and financial information in one place, and automate ordering and fulfillment.
What is a Web Based Order Management System?
A web based order management system is ideal for distributors as it is a piece of software that integrates all other systems including eCommerce platforms, ERP systems, accounting software, drop ship data, and cloud EDI services.
On the order management side you have your retail outlets, e-commerce site, any e-platforms for retails and non-EDI orders coming in from various sources. You need these orders to tally with your inventory and receivables system and ideal automate and synchronize the process of customer ordering and supplier delivery. In fact its your purpose as a distributor to make this process as efficient as possible so that your suppliers realize they can’t replace you, and your customers realize they can’t go direct to the supplier. Your value as a distributor is dependent on your ability to provide your customer with visibility of their order, and ensure they get it on time and to specification.
Advantages of a Web Based Order Management System
A web based order management system maximizes inventory control through synchronizing multiple orders with current inventory status, while accessing accurate fulfillment status information to provide customers with visibility of the process. Lack of visibility results in dissatisfied customers who use the time of your sales and customer service team costing you money.
Order processing with your suppliers is integrated with EDI and automated once a stock level triggers the process. This greatly reduces manual data entry and also reliance on humans to notice that stocks levels are low. The stock level is triggered when customer orders are made rather than when the product levels the warehouse, giving perhaps an extra day of notice to your supplier to re-stock that item.
Improvement of the order management system and related efficiencies allow you to add more SKUs and supports bulk ordering of multiple SKUs from a supplier.
Add in drop ship suppliers and more eCommerce platforms and your system will become more efficient if you are using a web based order management system, than if you were manually integrating and managing stock. Effectively you can manage numerous suppliers and retail platforms without any more complication.
There is no doubt that the businesses who adapt to become more efficient are the ones that adopt systems that are integrated. Holding back on integration only magnifies the issues as the business gets bigger and deals with more orders. Often its better to iron out these issues and implement solutions while the business is smaller and adoption is easier.
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