Order Management System: Taking E-Commerce efficiency to greater heights
Order Management System (OMS), as indicated by the name, is critical to a company’s performance and its customer experience cycle (CX). E-Commerce is rapidly taking over the retail domain and despite being a late starter, India has emerged as the fastest growing market in the world with a project CAGR of 51% year-on-year. The Indian online retail market was pegged at $39 billion in 2017, and is all set to touch $120 billion in 2020.
With such incredible pace of growth of the online retail, it becomes absolutely critical to have a robust, Omni-channel Order Management System in place. With an average of tens of thousands of daily shipments (a number that could rise tenfold during major festivals and sales), it would be overwhelming to manually handle the volumes.
To cater to the festive season rush, a rapidly growing E-Commerce platform put in place an OMS, but, within hours of activation, various glitches started coming to notice. Many orders were booked for products that were not in stock. Some of the customers complained about not getting the order confirmation emails despite having made the payment. The spurt in order booking only resulted in the error percentage rising sharply. Eventually, the portal received widespread criticism on social media about failing to deliver products, delivering wrong products etc.
Elements like the integration of inventory management, payment processing, and shipping, etc. are factors that critically impact the entire order cycle. Glitches related to any of these areas can effectively ruin the customer experience or his/her purpose of buying a product.
However, putting in place an efficient OMS that seamlessly integrates the following can change the entire scenario.
- E-Commerce Application – OMS receives orders from customers, and can display stock availability and shipment status
- ERP/Financial Master – Handles inventory and sales updates
- Payment Gateway – Integrates the various online payment processes through cards, Net banking or e-wallets.
- Warehouse Management – Takes care of inventory and warehouse management
- Taxation – Automates the calculation of applicable taxes on the billed value of the product and delivery location etc.
- PoS integration – Integrates the inventory and payment changes for cash purchases made at a retail store and allows the online customers to see the in-store inventory availability.
- Product Information Management (PIM) – Despite the option of catalogue in standard OMS, the PIM feature can include more images, video, and other forms of digital content that can positively impact sales conversions.
- Email Management – The OMS integrates the existing client email tool to ensure a seamless branded email order creation and shipment status information that is shared with the customers.
- Shipping Management – The OMS calculates estimated shipping costs for an order and assigns it to the right vendor enabling the business to provide accurate shipping charges and fulfilment to the customers.
Businesses are individual entities and each company has its unique challenges as well as requirements. Acuver’s vast experience with OMS integrations has led to the insight that an inefficiently or incorrectly integrated OMS can create hurdles to smooth conduct of business operations. Each of the application comes with its own guidelines, best practices and suggestions, but, Acuver goes beyond them to resolve seven critical concerns and extract optimal benefits from an advanced OMS. Those are as follows:
Lack of emphasis on business cases
Quite often, businesses take initiatives based on what their competitors do. They might be prone to measure success on the basis of project completion rather than achieving the business goals. Defining and adhering to business cases for the implementation results in faster impact, better team capabilities and enhanced user experience.
Implemented correctly, the modern OMS can handle scenarios like growth, merger and acquisition strategies, etc. Therefore, it is imperative that future ‘brand acquisition’ and business expansion plans are taken into consideration at the early stages of the project. Taking into account the ‘future’ enables you to create a system that offers scalability and flexibility in the years ahead.
Overwhelming the system
A good OMS caters to almost every element of the fulfilment cycle. However, it doesn’t mean that you should roll out everything at one go, because that will lead to a much longer time required to implement the system and make it more risk prone. The rapid pace of market evolution might result in your business strategies changing even before the system is live. Therefore, Acuver’s expertise enables you to take well-informed and step-by-step route towards OMS integration.
Lack of attention on capabilities
By analysing the ‘capability’ factor, it is possible to determine what is required to integrate a specific vendor, channel or product range. You might have multiple brands, one of which requires a simple integration of limited product lines whereas the other requires a highly complex delivery planning and scheduling infrastructure, so it is imperative to integrating the simpler brand first while working on capability building to integrate the other later.
Lack of timely training to technical team
Barring the scenario where you are outsourcing the whole IT initiative to a provider like Acuver, you need to train your team to independently handle the OMS. As per Acuver’s experience, it can cause major disruptions to wait for the new system to go-live before training the in-house teams on it.
Partnering with the wrong OMS provider
It is of utmost importance that your OMS integration partner is a subject matter expert. While there is no lack of talented IT people who offer OMS services, they might just focus on making live a packaged solution instead of exploring the application to ensure maximum value yield for your business.
Inadequate testing and performance evaluation
While a good OMS is likely to function well most of the time, lack of adequate testing will always be a concern. Imagine how chaotic it would be if your OMS develops snags right in the middle of holiday season when it is pushed to operate at its maximum level. We have witnessed instances where e-commerce sites suffered from a downtime of over a week due to lack of adequate testing. So unless you are not concerned about such potentially catastrophic risks, make sure to align with an expert partner who has testing as a crucial part of the plans, right from the early stages.
Acuver’s client-oriented OMS implementations help cultivate an enduring client relationship based on trust and our ability to ensure that the overall project expenditures remain lower for our clients. Partner with Acuver to get the best out of your OMS keeps you one step ahead of the game, always!