Things to consider when selecting an Order Management system

Make sure you choose the right Order Management system for your business by considering these 7 questions.

Selecting a new Order Management System (OMS) is probably just one of a million things on your mind right now. You just want a quick solution to end all your order management issues so you can move onto the next task but it’s important that you don’t rush it. The best thing you can do for your business right now is to take your time with this decision.

It’s easy to jump straight into discussions with vendors and before you know it you’ve signed up for something that doesn’t even do what you need.

So, before you rush into contacting vendors, take some time to think about what you want from your order management system. Trust us, spending a bit of time now will save you a lot of money and headaches in the future.

Things to consider:

1. WHAT DOES YOUR ORDER MANAGEMENT PROCESS LOOK LIKE?

Is processing an order a simple task or is it complex with lots of different people, departments and 3rd parties involved?

Thinking about what your processes look like and documenting how orders flow through your business is a great way to work out what you need an Order Management system to do.

This will then make it easier to explain to vendors the way you operate and what you need to be able to do in your new system.

Don’t worry if you’re not 100% sure about this as its just a starting point. At CaseBlocks, we work together with out clients to define their processes and create a solution that works for them.

Tip: Get people from different roles and departments to give their view on how orders are processed. Each person will have a different perspective and experience to generate a more in-depth discussion.

2. WHAT MUST THE OMS BE ABLE TO DO?

Each OMS will have a different list of features for managing orders. Some may only have a few features to get you up and running while others will have a whole library so it’s important that you have a rough idea of what you want.

Before you start looking at systems, try listing all the things that you want to be able to do, noting what capabilities are deal breakers and which would be nice to have. Once you have your list, have a look at some solutions and see if there’s any you missed. Here’s a quick link to some of our Order Management features.

This will help you create a shortlist of vendors that meet your needs and weed out those which can’t.

Now you have your shortlist it’s time to set up some demos.

Tip: If there’s a particular company that you’d like to work with but their system doesn’t tick all the boxes, try asking if they would be able to add what you need. Companies often come to us with suggestions and requests for new features and we’re more than happy to accommodate them.

3. DO YOU WANT TO INTEGRATE YOUR OMS WITH OTHER SYSTEMS?

If the answer is yes, then make a note of all the systems that you want your OMS to integrate with. This makes it easy to check with vendors if it’s possible to do, bear in mind that the more integrations you need, the higher the cost is likely to be.

Don’t get distracted by the number of integrations available because you’ll probably never use most of them. Instead, try to focus on vendors who can integrate with the solutions that you currently use or plan to in future.

Tip: Just because the integration isn’t listed on the website doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Try shooting a quick email or pick up the phone and ask them, they’ll be more than happy to help you out.

4. HOW MUCH ARE YOU PREPARED TO SPEND?

Your Order Management system will play a crucial role in the success of your business so while low-cost solutions may be tempting, it is worthwhile considering more expensive solutions that can be configured to match your process.

The cost of an Order Management System will vary from vendor to vendor so make sure you have a budget in mind. Consider how much you’d ideally like to spend and the absolute maximum amount you are willing to pay.

It’s important to be realistic when setting your budget and keep in mind that there may be setup fees. The price will often be affected by the complexity of the system, the number of integrations and users, and project timescales.

So, if you’re looking for a complex system with lots of integrations within a couple of weeks then prepare to pay a hefty sum.

5. ARE YOUR PROCESSES LIKELY TO CHANGE?

Think about how often your order management processes evolve. If they are rigid and unlikely to change then flexibility may not be a big concern.

On the other hand, if your processes are continually changing to incorporate the latest technology or react to a competitor then flexibility will be crucial for your business.

If you need a flexible order management system then try to find out how easy it is to make changes and if these can be made by yourself as some vendors will charge a fee.

Our order management system is highly flexible and allows you to create custom solutions and edit them quickly and easily. Changes can then be rolled out immediately to all new orders and can also be applied to historical orders in your system.

6. WHAT HARDWARE AND OPERATING SYSTEMS DO YOU HAVE?

If you don’t know already, find out the specifications of your existing computers and equipment. It’s important to know this so that vendors can advise whether their software will work on your current setup.

This can help whittle down your vendor shortlist by removing those that won’t work.

However, if you’re planning to buy all new equipment or upgrade existing kit then make sure you get vendors to provide accurate specifications of what you will need.

Cloud-based solutions like CaseBlocks are great as they are accessed through your web browser rather than installed on your desktop so all you really need to worry about is having an internet connection.

7. WHAT SKILLS DO YOUR EMPLOYEES HAVE?

Think about the employees who will be using the order management system daily. Are they familiar with computers or are they used to paper-based processes? Do they have any technical skills? How steep is the learning curve with the new software? Do you need to hire employees with different skills?

While some order management systems only need some basic training, others may require users have some technical skills or participate in an in-depth training course. It’s important to consider your team’s existing skills and the amount of time and money you want to invest in training.

Implementing an overly complicated system can result in a low adoption rate, poor morale and increased mistakes if staff aren’t comfortable with it, however, although a simpler system may be more productive initially it may not be able to do everything you need in the long run so it’s important to consider the trade-offs between systems.