Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

The Importance of Order Management During the Holiday Season

Guest Author

The holiday season is upon us and businesses face an increase in orders as shoppers prepare for the upcoming festivities. According to Deloitte’s annual retail holiday sales forecast, holiday sales are expected to climb 5 to 5.6 percent from 2017, with a 17 to 22 percent increase in e-commerce sales. 

With the uptick in seasonal sales, order management remains one of the most crucial components of a company’s operations. Having a modern and reliable order management system allows businesses of all sizes to get their products to the hands of customers quickly, accurately, and efficiently. While more and more companies are becoming aware of the importance of order management, many small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) are failing to keep up with and adapt to the ever-changing world of business, leading to poor performance and a decrease in customer satisfaction.

So what exactly is changing in today’s modern business ecosystem? The answer is quite simple: the customer. Customers control everything, and in reality, they are what keep businesses afloat. Customer service expectations are rising, as consumers want access to product and availability information, seamless customer service, multiple delivery and return options, and more. Additionally, customers are making use of a wide variety of sales channels such as brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce channels, third-party marketplaces, etc.

With as much access to the Internet as we have, it has never been easier for customers to leave their loyalty behind and jump ship from one company to another if they experience poor customer service. That being said, there is little to no room for companies unwilling to adapt their order management systems and meet the needs of omni-channel consumers.

Because of these changes in customer expectations, SMBs are faced with numerous challenges regarding order management, fulfillment, and distribution. Here are just a few of these challenges:

  1. To start, SMBs are experiencing transportation issues as customers expect faster delivery times, as well as free shipping and free returns. Large companies like Amazon and Zappos can have orders delivered in 1-2 days, which is becoming the norm in the minds of many consumers.
  2. Inventory management is another obstacle businesses are facing as they move toward multiple distribution sites. SMBs are realizing they need more visibility into their inventory and need real-time information about product availability, order status, etc.
  3. Many companies are also seeing scalability issues, as they are unable to accommodate increases in both demand and growth. With more channels for customers to access, SMBs are failing to meet the needs of their consumers and are struggling to handle increases in sales volume.
  4. Finally, SMBs are faced with profitability issues as they are experiencing an influx in both fulfillment costs and shipping costs. Free shipping and free returns can wreak havoc on transportation budgets, but are still services that businesses must offer if they want to stay competitive in today’s world.

To tackle these obstacles head on, companies must change the way that they manage their operations, and the best way to do that is by adopting an Omni-channel Order Management (OcOM) solution. In order to ensure a seamless customer experience for consumers, especially during a busy holiday season, businesses and retailers also need to focus on ensuring a seamless supply chain process with a single OcOM solution.

Unlike traditional order management systems, OcOM processes allow businesses of all sizes to meet the demand of heightened customer expectations, while still keeping their overall operational costs low. With an effective OcOM system, SMBs can improve order routing, gain greater visibility into inventory, and improve overall levels of customer satisfaction – all of which are crucial to remain competitive.

Luckily, Oracle provides an OcOM solution that does all of that for you. Oracle Order Management Cloud offers an omni-channel solution that enables you to serve the needs of your market and achieve greater order profitability. With Oracle, you can unify your customer-facing processes, meet customer requests, optimize order fulfillment, and improve fulfillment efficiency – all with one complete, end-to-end solution. Ultimately, Oracle Order Management Cloud allows you to increase revenue and margin, ensure greater customer satisfaction, and decrease fulfillment errors, by streamlining the entire order-to-cash process.

Are you ready to take the next step in improving your order management process with a best-in-class order management solution? Find out how you can transform your business with Oracle Order Management Cloud.

By Evelyn Tao, Product Marketing Manager, Supply Chain, Oracle

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