If you’re wondering what order management is, then you’ve come to the right place.

Maybe you run an ecommerce business. Perhaps your boss asked you to implement an order management system in your organization. Or maybe you’re just curious about this concept.

Either way, we have you covered.

In this quick and easy guide, we’ll show you exactly what order management is, some of the best practices surrounding it, and how to use software to maximize your efforts.

If you’re game, let’s get into it.

What’s order management?

In essence, order management is the practice of, well, managing customer orders. It involves all the activities from the moment a customer places an order all the way through the delivery of the product.

The main goal of this process is to help you track, manage, and deliver orders in a cost-effective way, but also to keep your customers happy — by delivering orders faster, you’ll increase customer satisfaction.

Now, order management is actually a subsidiary process of the supply chain ecosystem within an organization.

Some of the activities involved in this process include:

  • Order placement: the customer visits your store, selects a product, and enters shipping information.
  • Payment processing: customer accepts terms and submits payment.
  • Order fulfillment: your team processes the customer order and sends the invoice to the customer.
  • Warehouse management: your team makes sure your product is in stock and then picks it and packs it so it’s ready for delivery.
  • Shipping and delivery: you send the product to your customer.
  • Order tracking: you provide the customer with a tracking number.
  • Returns and refunds: if the product is defective, then you refund the customer or send a new product.

Why is order management critical for the success of your business?

According to Reuters Events, 24.7% of supply chain professionals claim delivery costs are their biggest challenge.

Besides, with the increasing number of customers demanding a faster delivery, 30% of teams have set order fulfillment process improvement as their top business priority.

Now, what does this mean for you?

Without a proper sales order management process in place, you’ll probably end up trailing behind competitors.

For example, let’s say you run a healthy food delivery company.

In that case, you must have a system in place to notify your team once an order is made, right?

But that’s just the beginning.

First, you need a well-managed inventory to make sure you’ve the ingredients available for each order.

Second, since you’re delivering food, you must ensure fast delivery so the order arrives on time and is still hot.

You should also store information from previous customers so you can follow up with them and drive recurring sales.

Between all these activities, there’s a lot of delays that can happen.

Try to do it all manually and you’ll experience a true nightmare.

The best way to overcome these challenges is through order management software.

Get started with monday.com

What is order management software?

Order management platforms are auxiliary systems that consolidate all your orders and customer information into a single and reliable source of truth.

You see, this is crucial.

In today’s day and age, most businesses use multiple channels to reach their customers —email marketing, social media, search engines, influencers, etc.

But multichannel order management can be a huge challenge for teams.

Without a system that helps you understand which of these channels is bringing sales —as well as keeping your inventory organized — you’ll struggle making sense of your data.

Order management software isn’t exclusive to ecommerce, though.

Research suggests that, by 2024, 60% of manufacturing organizations will rely on AI platforms to support their supply chain and order management processes.

Think about it: Traditional businesses deal with tons of labor-intensive operations, and many of them aren’t effective at handling multi-location sales.

With the use of software, they can centralize and automate these processes and send all this data to a single platform.

The right order management solution helps you build an interconnected “ecosystem” to manage your order processing, oversee your inventory, and improve the customer experience — all while optimizing your costs.

What should you look for in any order management solution?

At this point, you’re probably wondering how to choose an OMS for your organization.

Not an easy task, of course.

If you head over G2.com — one of the largest software reviewing networks — and search for “order management,” you’ll find over 200 results.

G2.com's order management software reviews

Even if you know exactly what to look for, the ocean of platforms available can lead to what Barry Schwartz calls, “the paradox of choice” — the fact that humans struggle to decide when there’s an abundance of options.

So, instead of giving you a huge list of software to choose from, we’ll focus on the traits and features you should look for.

Hopefully, this will ease your decision-making.

1. Workflow automation

In a world where every minute and cent counts, you must look for ways to maximize your resources without sacrificing quality.

Of course, you could hire more people to handle the increasing volume of tasks, but that’d ramp up your overhead costs too and, thus, decrease your bottom line.

Fortunately, there’s a smarter — and more cost-efficient — way: automations.

By automating your workflows, your team doesn’t have to second-guess their actions. They can simply move on the next step, which will reduce the risk of error.

So, before choosing a specific platform, make sure it offers workflow automation that’s simple and easy to set up.

For instance, at monday.com we offer something we call “automations center.”

There, you can find hundreds of automation recipes you can implement in seconds. These recipes are predefined combinations of triggers and actions you can use to automate repetitive, tedious tasks.

monday.com's automations center screenshot

For instance, imagine that you’re a clothing brand trying to optimize your processes.

In that case, you could use monday.com to create an order form that collects customer information and sends it directly to one of your boards. This way, you can keep on track of every sales order.

A monday.com board tracking new orders

Then, you could use one of our automation recipes to send an email to your team once the product is shipped.

monday.com's automations in action

Also, you could set another automation so that every time an item gets out of stock, you send a notification to a key team member. This way, you’ll avoid dealing with delayed orders due to a poorly-managed inventory.

monday.com's automation example

And that’s just scratching the surface.

Here’s a more thorough overview of how our automations work:

2. A flexible platform

Paraphrasing Darwin’s Origin of Species, “it’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It’s the one that’s most adaptable to change.”

If this is true for a species, you bet it’s true for businesses.

To survive, your business must be adaptable — you should grow, change, and adjust your strategy according to the needs of your market.

But here’s the thing: the software you choose must also be adaptable. Otherwise, it’ll fall short to meet your increasing needs.

For instance, let’s say your sales start to skyrocket, so you need to expand your operations team to make sure the boat keeps floating. But when you try to bring new members to the platform, you realize that you’ve maxed out your limit.

Or, imagine that you want to design a new workflow to optimize your inventories, but you discover the platform isn’t customizable.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

That’s exactly why any effective order management software must be fully customizable, flexible, and scalable.

When you create a monday.com account, you immediately get access to more than 21 dashboard widgets, over 40 column types, and dozens of drag-and-drop elements with unlimited combinations.

monday.com's drag-and-drop features in action

This way, you can build a platform that really feels like it’s yours.

Besides, our platform is pretty “scalable” too. You can start with as few as 3 team members and grow your way up to more than 200.

3. Integrations

Nowadays, most businesses rely on different platforms and apps to manage and implement their processes. This includes marketing automation software, CRMs, live chat apps, project management tools, you name it.

To get the most out of your order management efforts, your software must integrate with all of these tools.

For instance, to provide better customer service, the support team needs to have access to order histories for specific customers.

The marketing team can also use this information to improve their campaigns.

And the operations team can use the same data to optimize any business process.

By centralizing all your information in one place, you’ll get rid of silos between departments, improve communication, and grow your business.

At monday.com, we understand that fact.

That’s why we help you integrate your favorite tools and apps.

The best part?

You can do it in just a couple of clicks.

Besides, with our integrations center, you can create dozens of “if this, then that” kind of recipes to automate crucial processes.

monday.com's integrations center screenshot

For example, you could integrate Slack and create a recipe so that every time an item runs out of stock, it notifies your #Inventory channel.

You could also create a Shopify automation that changes the status of products that are no longer available.

And this is just a small example of what you can do.

In practice, the sky’s the limit.

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4. Templates

In today’s world, there’s no time for guesswork.

If something is too complicated or confusing, people simply won’t do it.

An order management platform isn’t the exception. If your team can’t figure out how it works, they’ll resist adopting it.

Templates make the job much easier because they’re ready to use. You just need to adapt them to your needs.

For instance, at monday.com we have more than 200 templates for different use cases. All of them are fully customizable.

monday.com's templates center screenshot

The most exciting about monday.com templates is that you can install them in just a click.

Simply scroll down through our templates center and, once you find a template that suits your needs, click the little blue button that says “Use.”

It’s really that simple.

monday.com's templates in action

In the context of order management, you can use our inventory management template to monitor the status of your products, manage prices, organize suppliers, and make sure you’re always solid.

monday.com's inventory management template screenshot

And our supply orders template can help you calculate the cost of your orders automatically, divide your supplies into categories, and visualize your data in a way that makes sense.

monday.com's supply orders template screenshot

Using our templates is so easy it almost feels like cheating.

You can take a look at the full templates list here.

5. Reporting and dashboards

You’ve got all of this data coming into your business day in and out — orders, contacts, zip codes, names, phone numbers, emails, etc.

If you don’t use this data to improve your decision-making, you’re leaving a huge opportunity on the table.

For example, you could use zip code data to understand which cities buy the most products and focus your marketing budget there.

You could also identify, say, your top 10 buyers and schedule a call with them to understand why they bought from you instead of a competitor. This could help you understand your differentiator.

The point is that, by interpreting data, you can make smarter decisions for your business.

That’s why the order management software you use must offer advanced reporting and data dashboards.

At monday.com, you get access to fully customizable dashboards that help you understand the data that’s most relevant to you.

Our dashboards look something like this:

monday.com's dashboard example

Cool, isn’t it?

And again, these dashboards are fully customizable, meaning you can move these blocks around at will. We provide you with more than 21 dashboard widgets that help you visualize data from different perspectives and angles.

For example, with our workload widget, you can keep a close eye on your resources. In this case, each “bubble” represents the total amount of units available in your inventory.

monday.com's workload widget screenshot

Also, the chart widget helps you track specific information from your boards.

In this example, the company in question is using the widget to measure the number of orders by type of hat, but you can use it to track any number that’s relevant to your business.

monday.com's chart widget screenshot

To help you out, here’s a more complete explanation of our dashboards and how to use the different widgets we offer.

How to manage your orders with monday.com

With all of the hints we’ve given you so far, you’re probably wondering whether monday.com is the right order management system for you.

To help you make a more informed decision, let’s quickly cover what monday.com really is and how it can help your business.

What’s monday.com?

monday.com's homepage screenshot

First off, monday.com isn’t just an order management system, it’s a customizable Work OS.

What does this mean for you?

Well, it means that with monday.com, you’re not limited to a specific way of working. Instead, we let you build a platform that suits your specific needs and wants.

With our platform, you can’t only manage orders, but also track your inventory, collaborate with your team, manage projects, build software, organize your workflows, and more.

That’s one of the reasons more than 100,000 companies — including Coca-Cola, Universal Studios, NBC, Deezer, and Adobe — trust us to manage their organizations.

In short, if you’re looking for a platform that meets all the traits we covered in this guide, then monday.com is probably a good fit.

Now, let’s talk about our main features.

Benefits and features

  • Automations: automate up to 250,000 tedious tasks and repurpose that time on more productive activities.
  • Integrations: integrate your favorite tools and apps to create unlimited integration recipes.
  • Multiple views: visualize your data through different views, including Kanban, Timeline, and Gantt chart.
  • Dashboards: build data dashboards that make sense to your business and help you see the data that really matters to you.
  • Reporting: get advanced reporting features and turn raw data into insights.
  • High-level security: keep your data secure with a platform that’s been used to build airplanes.

And to be honest, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

To get a full overview of our product, please visit this page.

Level up your order management game

Now that you understand what order management is and how the right software can revolutionize the way you approach this process, it’s time to put that information into practice.

In today’s world, no business can handle the increasing volume of orders manually. To compete, you must embrace technology.

If you’re looking for a platform you can start using fast, monday.com might be a good fit for you.

Why don’t you take a look at our fully customizable inventory management template and decide for yourself?

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