Without orders and order management, your company wouldn’t be in business. How you handle those orders is essential for not only serving your customers but giving them a reason to come back. A great customer experience turns into repeat business. But bad customer experience can cost multiple sales when word gets around on social media.
A 3PL can help companies by taking on their supply chain functions and let their customers focus on their core competencies. Since a 3PL’s core competency is a supply chain from start to finish, it also offers a better customer experience.
Two of the most important tools a 3PL can have are management and processing for orders.
Order Management Systems
It’s the question everyone asks: “Where’s my order?” Anyone who has ordered online has asked it at least once. It could be a customer who ordered a book, yoga equipment, or electronics from Amazon. Or it could be a B2B customer waiting for an entire truckload shipment of a product needed for the next day’s business. Everyone wants to know where it is and when it’s arriving.
Order Management Systems (OMS) bring together all of the functions involved in order from the second a customer sees it through the moment they receive it, and beyond. If a customer isn’t happy with the item, received a damaged order, or no order at all, an OMS captures the entire process. OMS is particularly important for companies engaged in omnichannel marketing and offers multiple methods for ordering and receiving.
At the outset, the OMS processes orders from an array of sources, and handle payments and shipment for these orders. OMS is an all-in-one system that also handles:
- Call center management
- CRM/customer service
- Inventory and warehouse management
- Marketing channels
The right OMS integrates all these functions and more into one place to help businesses run efficiently, keeping all of a company’s important processes and data in a singular system.
For a 3PL, an OMS is essential for any company that’s outsourcing their supply chain and allows experts to take over these functions.
Order Processing Systems
An order processing system is one that handles just the ordering process itself and is the crux of order fulfillment. Encompassing picking, packing, and delivery, order processing takes the order from the distribution center and puts it into the customer’s hands, or as close as it can get.
These systems vary from company to company and can be as simple as manual handling with paper records, all the way to the most sophisticated automated systems. Software that oversees this process is known as Warehouse Management Systems or WMS.
Order processing has four basic steps:
- Picking, or gathering product in the warehouse to prepare for shipment
- Sorting, according to their ultimate destination
- Packaging, weighing the package, then packing and labeling for shipment
- Consolidation, loading the packages up for transport and creating a bill of lading
There are multiple versions of these steps, depending on the type of product involved. There is no standard process for all freight since the type of product determines how it is packed and shipped.
Sales order automation saves time and money as well as decreases mistakes in the process since it’s primarily a hands-free system. Eliminating data entry means no more key errors and fewer returns. For a 3PL that handles multiple customer’s products, getting orders correct and to the right recipients is vital to the company’s success. Customer orders are handled quickly and accurately, from receipt to shipping, and shipments can be tracked as they travel to their destination.
3PL companies that employ an order processing system can offer their clients a better shipping experience.
3PL Worldwide Is Your Supply Chain Partner
3PL Worldwide can offer your company a full range of logistical services. We also offer additional services such as a call center, bicoastal warehouse space in Southern California, and Connecticut, as well as transport nearly anywhere. We’re based in Southern California but work with customers nationwide. We’re ready to help, so contact us today at (888) 456-1920 or use our online contact form.