When a customer visits your store or website, they select an item, they purchase it, and your staff updates inventory records to reflect that purchase. At its most basic level, this is the order management (OM) process.
Traditionally, order management has been viewed as an internal process necessary for conducting business—but today’s customers expect to be in the loop. IBM research suggests that up to 72% of consumers make purchasing decisions based on the availability of expedited delivery, while 66% will forego future trips to a store if their desired item cannot be located at a nearby location.
Customers want to know what is in stock and where. They expect an intuitive user experience when they visit your website and want multiple delivery options. Once an order is made, customers expect a precise delivery window and regular status updates.
With demands for more personalized product experiences delivered quickly, order management can no longer be viewed as a transactional process. It must be viewed as a value-added process and a key business differentiator.
Before discussing how successful companies are reimagining order management, let’s first dissect the basics of order management and how it fits into your operations.