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Retail

You Need To Uplevel Your Order Management System — Now What?

Even if you know your OMS needs improvement, it’s hard to know where to start.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on November 6, 2020.

The COVID-19 health crisis accelerated the growth of ecommerce. In fact, digital revenue grew 20% year-over-year (YoY) in Q1 2020, according to the Salesforce Shopping Index powered by Commerce Cloud. When most of the country was under shelter-in-place orders, getting products to customers on their terms was critical. 

A trusted order management system (OMS) is one way to make the biggest difference for your customers. If brands fail to deliver (literally), nothing else matters. But even if you know your company’s OMS needs improvement, it’s hard to know where to start.

Your guide to trusted order management

Our team of customer success experts have years of experience guiding merchants through order management implementations. They work with leading companies about their OMS challenges all the time. Based on their expertise, these are the five questions your team should ask before you take order management to the next level.

1. What are the key business drivers for your transformation?

For example, your customer service agents may struggle to gain a full view of the customer across the order lifecycle. Or perhaps your highest priority is more flexibility to define new order workflows. Maybe you need to optimize your network of stores and distribution centers to have more flexible fulfillment options. Or are you considering a new shipping service partner? Understanding key drivers will help you focus efforts.

2. How do you get leadership on board?

Digital transformation starts at the top (and not just with IT). Order management impacts marketing, service, development, security, and more. So, it’s important to evangelize the effort across functions. Collaborative executive leadership provides direction, guidance, and enthusiasm, all critical for success. Gain that buy-in first.

3. What does your OMS look like in one year? In three years?

It’s important to design your future experience strategy with your key business driver to lead the way. Focus on the ideal post-purchase experience (with technical, business and security considerations). It should also incorporate all areas of the impacted business. Although it’s impossible to know how your system or budget will look in three years, this prevents you from embarking on one project that seems most important, only to realize later starting elsewhere may have had more of an impact on your customer experience or bottom line. Have a system that gives you the flexibility you need to adapt your business and grow into new regions. 

4. How do you communicate updates and results?

Using your roadmap and a list of key teams, create a regular communication cadence. Notify stakeholders of updates as early as possible. Keep in mind — what will their experience be before and after this project? Where does their expertise lie? Will you need these stakeholders’ help for success? Is security at the fore-front of every decision they’re making?

5. What roles do you need to execute your plan?

Your team will need to include:

  • A strong project manager. Someone to lead the team and coordinate across internal groups and partners.
  • A technical architect. Someone who knows your current systems and data model, someone to help define the architecture and data migration.
  • Order, fulfillment, and customer service experts. People on the front lines with customers who know your internal business processes, how things work, and potential pain points.

Prioritizing these steps is the road toward better and safer order management. But this isn’t a once-and-done exercise. Throughout the process, revisit these steps and make adjustments as needed.

Good order management doesn’t live in a vacuum

Brands need to create exceptional post-purchase experiences that are flexible and safe across channels. Omnichannel fulfillment journeys are no longer an ideal for retailers and brands, it’s a must. Consider this: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Salesforce research found that sites offering store pickup options grew digital revenue 127% year over year. It’s vital to the overall customer lifecycle to be accessible via a mobile app, desktop, or physical store and to ensure each interaction is secure and always available.

To break down these barriers, focus on delivering fast and secure shipping, transparent order statuses, and hassle-free returns at-scale, regardless of channel. Salesforce Order Management can help. Flexible, agile order management is designed to empower any business user to deliver on customer expectations. You can offer flexible shipping options and fulfill complex orders at global scale with tools for location-level inventory updates. Drag-and-drop tools make it easy to visualize workflows and customize business logic. Salesforce Order Management also empowers agents, so they can connect with customers across channels to seamlessly help with order status, pickup options, and order changes and returns. 

To enable this, we work with partners such as Mad Mobile, NewStore, and PredictSpring to bridge the gap between digital and physical.

Takeaways

  • Connect commerce and service for a single view of customer records
  • Give customers the power to self-serve to check order status, cancel, and return orders
  • Prioritize security in every decision that you make 
  • Empower reps to manage returns, cancellations, and other services from a single view
  • Gain instant payment capture — no manual generation and settling of invoices
  • Sell where your customers are leveraging real-time inventory updates to fulfill from any digital or physical channel
  • Optimize costs and performance by dynamically routing orders from the best fulfillment location.

If you’re ready  to make a difference for your business (and your customers) through improved order and fulfillment, check out the Salesforce Order Management demo.

 

Kemberly Gong is Director of Product Marketing for Salesforce Commerce Cloud, who is responsible for messaging and positioning of integrated solutions for Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud. In her nearly three years at Salesforce, Kem has worked on both the Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud, creating content, enabling sales teams and managing event strategy. Kem has more than 12 years' experience in eCommerce, software product marketing and content marketing, and holds a BS in Journalism and a BA in Political Science from San Jose State University.

More by Kemberly

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