As customers’ shopping habits diverge, it’s getting more difficult to manage inventory and fulfill orders quickly. To serve in-store shoppers, retail businesses need to have inventory in the back to stock shelves and end caps. But to fulfill online orders, they need systems in place to pack, ship, and deliver products to customers’ homes. If shoppers choose a hybrid option -- like in-store pickup or curbside delivery -- the process gets even more complicated.
For that reason, many retail and eCommerce businesses turn to order management systems (OMS) to easily handle all types of shopping. But selecting, purchasing, and implementing an OMS takes a lot of finesse. To do it right, you need to get your employees on-board, and you need to optimize your processes.
How to Successfully Implement an OMS in Your Business
Create New Positions to Manage It
While an order management system can (and should!) be used by many of your employees, you want to make sure you have someone who can manage the solution on a daily basis.
One of the best ways you can do this is by creating a new position -- like VP of eCommerce -- to handle the logistics, data, and use of the omnichannel OMS. Then, you can shift an employee into that slot or simply hire someone new with expertise in omnichannel operations to maximize the ROI of your new solution.
This enables your business to continue running smoothly and your employees to focus on their own job responsibilities, while you scale your operations to accommodate your eCommerce sales.
Restructure How Reporting is Done
Reporting is key to making your business run efficiently. But when you’re selling products across multiple channels, standard reporting often isn’t enough. The data simply gets too complicated to untangle. However, by adopting a new reporting method -- like business intelligence -- you can get your eCommerce platform and brick-and-mortar stores operating at peak performance.
You can see how each channel is performing and identify which products are being sold the most. And key decision-makers can pinpoint the best locations to store inventory and make better decisions on where to sell products -- i.e. online only, in-store only, or both -- to maximize sales and minimize overstock.
With an omnichannel system like Radial, you can get order management software and business intelligence packaged into one solution. This means you can easily manage orders from every channel and get clear data every step of the way.
Streamline Reverse Fulfillment
Reverse fulfillment can quickly bog down an omnichannel order management system if there aren’t clear processes in place for eCommerce returns. However, by tapping into the reverse fulfillment features of your OMS, you can create a set of return options, effortlessly.
For instance, you can give customers the option to print shipping labels and return products through the mail or make their return at a store register. Regardless of how they bought the product, you can log it back into your inventory from anywhere, including POS systems.
Educate Your Teams
While they may not be using the omnichannel order management system directly, your employees will be updating and logging information in the system on a daily basis. So naturally, it’s important to educate them on the ins-and-outs of the new solution. Here are some things you might want to cover:
- Why your company decided to adopt an omnichannel order management system
- How the OMS supports your operations on an organizational level
- How your employees will use it to accomplish their tasks
- Any changes the OMS makes to your current procedures and processes
Regardless of what you cover or how you do so, discussing the ins-and-outs of the solution will give your employees the framework they need to use the new order management system effectively in their day-to-day work.
Making the Switch to Omnichannel
Omnichannel order management systems can make a huge difference for retail and eCommerce businesses with multiple shopping options, but implementing one is no simple task. Not only does it require the buy-in of multiple stakeholders, but implementing can demand a change in procedures and processes. Fortunately, the right omnichannel order management system can make this easier for you, by providing business intelligence reporting and reverse fulfillment tools. And, when coupled with the strategies above, these features will ensure you’re well equipped to handle the switch to an omnichannel OMS.