I recently needed to buy some earphones as my old pair was getting, well, too old and I was feeling it was time for an upgrade. After carrying out some very brief research I decided to go with a cheap pair of wireless ones. They turned out (unsurprisingly) very limited in their functionality and capability.
Issues with inconvenient button placements and spotty bluetooth strength were clear signs that cheap alternatives don’t always pay off. And that before you decide to use something, knowing the core qualities of what you want will more likely set you up for getting a great product.
The same can be said for when choosing a technology platform, or more specifically to this article, an order management system. They range from the basic but widely popular WordPress and super-simple Pico to the powerfully functional Adobe Experience Manager and Salesforce Order Management.
And to help you in your quest for figuring out the best qualities in a top-class order management system, we’ve put together a list of noteworthy qualities that any order management system worth considering will have.
So here we go. Let’s take a look at the qualities.
Schedule for delivery and service
First off, a great order management system has the ability to match a brand or retailer’s delivery commitments to its inventory and resources. In plugging in these connecting points, it allows the service requests to be addressed better and more efficiently.
Customer engagement tech
It doesn’t make sense to use the latest tech without empowering customer service agents and other customer-facing staff with the powers of a platform. The best order management systems enable these sectors of your workforce to see a holistic view of the customer, as well as access to information regarding back-end inventory, in order for them to help customers realize their purchases.
Inventory data in real time
Nothing hurts as much for customers as when they find something they want, and go through checkout, only then to be turned down by the brand after realizing that they’re out of stock. Here is a case of communication failure between the store (or website) and the warehouse. And the line of communication between the two is the order management system.
Here is where having real-time inventory visibility becomes very important to keeping track of what’s in stock and what requires refilling, so that customers are never put in a misleading situation where they think they’re going to receive an order that cannot be delivered.
And getting inventory data in real time allows a company to be flexible with which products they stock and at what level. If they notice seasonal changes in what’s popular they are able to quickly shift between gears to stock up on the right stuff at the right time.
The more information you have and the more data you know about customers, the better placed you are to know which types of shipment they prefer. Through the analysis of customer data, a great order management system will recommend the best types of delivery options depending on the person.
Whether it’s our purchase of new sneakers or our late-night takeout, we’ve come to expect full transparency surrounding our deliveries – when it’s being processed. When it’s ready. When it’s been picked up by the delivery driver. When it’s on the way to your home. The whole order lifecycle. This is what the best order management systems provide not only for a company but also its customers.
They say that because humans get more intelligent by the decade (dubbed the Flynn effect), even those with an average IQ score from decades ago would be considered very limited if they were around today.
The same is true of technology – always getting more complex, smarter, more intelligent. (Actually, some studies claim to have identified a reversal of the Flynn effect, in which average IQ scores are actually dropping in developed regions from the UK and Scandinavia to France and Germany… oh dear.)
Smarter order management systems have built into them a high intelligence, such as Salesforce Order Management, which comes into play as soon as a customer makes an order online. What is the payment type of the customer? What is the currency that they’re paying in? The address to which it’s being delivered? And tax format? All of this data is identified and tracked using artificial intelligence.
So there you have it. A bunch of qualities that separate a good and popular order management system from a great order management system that serves the needs of not only the brand but also its customers.