Preparing to Shop for a New Order Management System

Blog, Order Management

Ready to jump on the omnichannel bandwagon? It’s not too late to join! Omnichannel is all about providing your customers with a seamless brand experience – regardless of channel.

Retailers have a lot on their plates, including order, inventory, and shipping management. The work load explodes once a retailer begins to sell on multiple channels. Third-party channels like Amazon and Walmart have stringent requirements, and working with them can be daunting. But, don’t let that stop you from pursuing them or the myriad of other available marketplaces (eBay, Sears, Jet, Newegg), and shopping cart applications (Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Volusion, Zoey). They all have complicated integration methods, and unless you have developers on staff, you could wind up paying one to build custom integrations for each storefront.

A better solution is shopping for a software system that already has built-in integrations with the most popular shopping carts and marketplaces, and is customizable to your special processes or circumstances.

Researching this prospect can be motivating, and exciting, but don’t let your enthusiasm rush you through solid planning. The single most important thing to do before you pick up the phone or fill out an online form is to fully understand and document your data and existing processes.

• Freshen up each department’s documentation on their current processes. (You do already have this, don’t you?!) Meet with all departments and designate someone from each to clean up (or create) this documentation. What works, and what are pain points.

• Make sure your IT team reviews these documents and processes. They can fill in gaps, as they have a view a level above distinct departments.

• Document your current storefronts, marketplaces and websites, make sure you have access credentials for the admin panels/tools for all.

• List any new Carts or Marketplaces you’d like to roll out on, and the time frame.

• Document where your product data comes from, and if you thought of redesigning your SKU schema, now would be the time.

• Document any special services, functions or processes your customer service teams provide. Find out what their pain points are, because those are the same pains your CUSTOMERS feel.

• Do flow diagrams of all order types and sources from receipt to shipping, including payment types and terms you accept. Document any states for which you are liable to collect Sales Tax.

• Document your returns and exchanges policies and processes.

• Document all your shipper info, such as UPS, FedEx, Endicia, and LTL/other shipping services, including account access credentials.

• Document all your drop shippers, and the products they provide for your customers.

• Document all your vendors and the products they provide.

• Document your warehouses. Do you have multiple internal warehouses and do you use a location system? Do you utilize 3rd party warehousing?

You must be willing to think outside the box. KNOW your business. Know your data. Now is the time to clean it up and start fresh. Stop thinking in terms of “this is how we always did it.” Think about “how we can now do it better.” SalesWarp’s Order Management System can help you do just that – improve retail operations and increase efficiency, allowing you to handle greater order volumes while using fewer resources.

Now, pick up the phone or go online and schedule a demo and check out SalesWarp’s Advanced Order Management System today.