The average B2B online sale is more complicated than the average B2C online sale. They frequently have a higher client acquisition cost, and their average buying cycle is longer than average, necessitating the use of more modern technology such as punchouts, RFPs, and EDI.
Your organization can increase operational efficiency and overcome the obstacles sometimes connected with B2B order management by combining online order management software with best-practice workflows and a solid strategy.
What Is An Order Management System?
Any platform, tool, or technology used to centralize or track orders, inventory levels, and shipments is referred to as an order management system. Even though we'll go through your alternatives in greater detail later, there are five common forms of order management systems:
- The backend of your eCommerce store.
- Order management software that runs on its own.
- ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software is a business management software.
- Platforms for retail and B2B activities
5 Ways To Boost B2B order Management:
1. Manage Orders Overall Sales Platforms
The best B2B management software enables you to implement multichannel or omnichannel strategies in your company. This means you may take orders wherever your consumers are browsing and purchasing and process them according to your procedures and practices. This will save time for both your client and yourself by decreasing the conventional back-and-forth between you, such as B2B inventory management, order creation and updates, and payment processing.
So whether your B2B customers place orders online, by phone, via EDI, or in person, you will easily be able to keep track of them all. If you are a hybrid B2B/B2C company, your systems should be able to collect sales from other platforms where your retail client's shop, such as Amazon, eBay, brick-and-mortar, and other stores.
2. Go Paperless
Most of today's order management solutions are cloud-based. By the end of 2022, up to 67 percent of enterprise infrastructure will be cloud-based. The most important reason for the popularity of cloud solutions is they allow organizations to go paperless. This helps you enhance business productivity by allowing you to access data from anywhere globally while also reducing the number of papers you use.
With cloud-based technologies, direct mail, faxes, and handwritten letters are no longer necessary. Instead, you can engage with your customers and take orders using email and specialized web platforms.
Along with the environmental benefits of lowering your paper usage, you'll free up money that would otherwise be spent on paper, ink, and toner, which can be used for other business purposes.
3. Centralize Information Across Multiple Channels And Reduce Supply Chain Complexity
All of your orders and inventory will be tracked in one single platform, whether your B2B customers buy from you online, in person, over the phone, or EDI. This assures that no matter how or where your customers place orders, your business will be supported by accurate, consistent, and reliable data.
- You'll be able to better oversee your inventory across the globe by centralizing your orders and inventory data.
- You'll be able to track orders from the moment they're placed, through choosing, packaging, and shipping, and leave comments on their current status.
- You'll be able to do this not only for your warehouses and businesses but also for warehouses belonging to third-party logistics (3PL) providers and marketplace fulfillment centers such as those managed by Amazon.
4. Standalone Order Management Software (OMS)
The first step B2B enterprises take to improve operational efficiency is implementing standalone order management software (OMS), an eCommerce platform, and independent accounting software.
Order management systems (OMS) allow you to centralize your order data across many channels, and some even incorporate inventory management and reporting capabilities. This type of arrangement falls short of integrating with other technologies, such as shipping and fulfillment software and accounting systems.
Comparing and correlating data across departments takes longer and necessitates double data entry, not to mention the near impossibility of accessing real-time data.
5. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software
When a company's operational inefficiencies are caused by siloed data and systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is the next most popular solution.
Order and B2B inventory management, financial management, purchasing, CRM, warehousing and logistics, and even human resources and payroll are all covered by ERP systems.
Despite its extensive feature set, ERP software is frequently not suited to specific industries or business types, which means you could be paying for functionality you'll never use or need while potentially missing out on valuable industry knowledge and best practices. Furthermore, they are often tricky to navigate and learn, and they take a long time to adapt compared to other B2B technology.
Take Orders In Person
As mentioned, your B2B customers will typically have different requirements than your B2C consumers. One of them is the requirement for placing orders at face-to-face encounters. You'll be able to take orders on the road without missing a beat if you use a cloud-based order management system with offline mode capabilities.
Get Orders Out The Door Faster
For both staff and consumers, manually managing the B2B sales order process is time-consuming and irritating. By implementing a sophisticated order management system, you can automate various time-consuming activities, such as order allocation, fulfillment, warehouse routing, shipment updates, inventory updates, and more. This will allow you to get products shipped out the door and into the hands of your clients much more quickly and at a lower cost.
Track Orders And Keep Customers Happy
You'll be in an excellent position to keep your clients satisfied if you track your client's orders successfully.
If your customers want to know where their orders are or need to change to a previous order or invoice, your team can keep them up to date in real-time, ideally, regardless of who they speak with around the company. You'll also lessen the danger of errors and costly blunders while speeding up operations and enhancing your client's entire customer experience by using technology to share the grunt work regarding ordering management, fulfillment, and inventory changes.
So there you have it – five tips to help boost your B2b eCommerce order management efficiency. By following these simple guidelines, you can streamline your process and spend less time on administrative tasks, allowing you to focus on what you do best – running your business! Need help putting these tips into practice? Contact our team at Simpl and let us take the burden of pick, pack and shipping off your shoulders. We promise you won’t regret it!