Order Management System Integration: Part 1
Order management systems bring a lot of value to the table for merchants, allowing them to simplify the way they deal with orders across all channels (digital or physical) and fulfillment locations (brick-and-mortar stores or warehouses). An effective OMS allows merchants to effectively gain a true view of their retail ecosystem, helping them to not only serve customers more effectively, but also improve their own operations and promote greater efficiency.
However, much like a puzzle, in order to get that complete picture, merchants must ensure all the pieces are assembled properly. With an OMS by itself, retailers will not be able to get the most out of their investments. The OMS must be integrated into other technology solutions, such as the warehouse management system and enterprise resource planning software. This gives merchants the ability to handle incoming orders with ease and confidence, allowing them to prioritize the right orders, fulfill them from the right locations, track customers and their purchases, and automate financial tasks.
Sellers understand the importance of order management system integration, but unfortunately, it is one of those things that is easier said than done. Considering all the different solutions and software merchants are using, along with other factors such as the age and incompatibility of systems, many merchants often struggle to get everything on the same page. One study conducted by Forrester Consulting even found while only 49 percent of retailers currently use an OMS, even fewer have optimized these solutions to support cross-channel offerings.
Yet, at the same time, 85 percent of respondents said an OMS would play an important role in the execution of their omnichannel retail strategy, helping them to reduce costs and improve fulfillment efficiencies. Retailers need to not only deploy an OMS, but also integrate it with key solutions.
Integrating with the ERP
By integrated an order management system with an ERP, you can increase insights into your finances and streamline financial planning and performance management. With all of your orders in one place, the ERP only needs one point of integration, which prevents errors from occurring by synchronizing sales, purchases, payments and credit memos from a centralized hub of data.
Integrating with the WMS
While the warehouse management system and OMS typically share similar responsibilities, there is no denying that having both can lead to numerous advantages. As the F. Curtis Barry & Company noted, a WMS can improve many capabilities, such as inventory management and picking processes, which is why many merchants utilize both WMS and OMS.
However, these solutions need to communicate with each other to get the most out of them. The OMS needs to know critical information, such as the supply of inventory at any given distribution center and the stress level at a warehouse at any given moment, so retailers can send the order to the appropriate fulfillment location. Failure to integrate properly may lead to less efficiency, slower turnaround times and other critical issues. Picking, packing, shipping, locating inventory.
The OMS is a critical piece of software, and to get the most out of it, merchants must integrate properly. This can be achieved by carefully selecting the optimal OMS and working with a vendor that can aid with the integration process.