When managing business processes, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is second to none. Suppliers and manufacturers can continuously update financial resources across business units while managing data efficiently. However, most companies don’t realize that when it comes to order fulfillment, ERPs fall flat. They fail to maintain inventory visibility internally, and lack the capability to provide an omni-channel experience for customers. ERPs aren’t meant to be agile or reactive, which is where Order Management (OM) systems come into play. By integrating an OM system with an existing ERP solution, manufacturers can create a solution that is more effective to sell around customer needs at a scalable level.
Expand Order Orchestration Opportunities
One of the primary benefits of an OM system is streamlined order orchestration. While ERP systems are designed to handle the financial aspects of order orchestration, an OM system takes care of the actual order fulfillment and inventory management. Implementing an OM system enables a more agile and consistent order process through improved inventory visibility, more accurate order tracking, and smoother returns processing.
For example, retailers who want to do split shipments based on product availability need to know the closest location of inventory so they can fill the order. Not only will the order arrive at its destination faster, but shipping costs will be reduced, and inventory will be more strategically allocated, thus reducing clearance and markdowns. This complete view of inventory and updated supply chain data not only improves general order management processes, but expands order fulfillment options such as drop shipping and self-service ordering as well.
Meet Customer Expectations
By integrating an OM solution with an existing ERP system, businesses can improve their customer experience exponentially. A streamlined order fulfillment process provides the ability to ship items from the closest locations, enabling quicker shipping. And an improved inventory view means customers can see the status of their order at every stage of fulfillment, from packaging to transit. By enabling sellers to provide that kind of visibility to their customers, OM systems can reduce the number of canceled orders and increase new orders.
Provide a Seamless Technological Transition
Integrating an OM system with your ERP not only offers new levels of scalability to your business efforts, but also provides a smoother transition between the order fulfillment process and the financial stages that follow. In some cases, an organization may have multiple ERP systems operating parallel to one another. Separate business units may all be using different systems that aren’t communicating. By putting an OM system in place to work between all these different platforms, order fulfillment can be streamlined before transitioning the financial stages to the appropriate business unit’s ERP.
In addition, most ERPs aren’t designed to manage high volume orders, but OM systems are designed to take factors like high order seasons into account. OM solutions are also programmed to be agile when filling orders. For instance, when a customer’s needs change or they become a higher priority, their fulfillment needs change as well. OM systems are intelligent enough to prioritize high-value customers to ensure they get inventory that is in limited supply first.
As your business changes, you need a platform that can scale to meet your needs. When integrated with an ERP, an OM system can provide the agility and breadth of functionalities to expand order orchestration processes, improve the customer buying journey, and provide the necessary support to continue to scale your business.