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Transform B2B Operations with Order Management Software

Transform B2B Operations with Order Management Software

B2B order management is essential for efficiently handling orders and inventory in a business-to-business ecommerce operation. Choosing the right order management software can optimize your entire order process from order acceptance to fulfillment and delivery. This article will explore the key benefits of a B2B order management system and how to select the best solution for your needs.

An order management system (OMS) centralizes and automates your order processing workflows. Instead of juggling orders across disparate sales channels and spreadsheets, an OMS unifies order data into one system. This gives you a single source of truth for real-time inventory visibility, order tracking, and order orchestration across your fulfillment network. An OMS seamlessly integrates with your ecommerce platform, ERP, accounting software, shipping solutions, and other backend systems. This eliminates manual order processing and reduces human errors.

Why Do You Need B2B Order Management Software?

Research shows 60% of B2B buyers will switch suppliers if ordering and fulfillment expectations aren't met. An OMS optimizes this. For B2B ecommerce businesses, efficiently managing orders and inventory can be extremely challenging without the right solutions. B2B orders tend to be high-value, complex orders with multiple line items, custom configurations, and special delivery requirements. Juggling these intricate orders across various sales channels and siloed systems creates bottlenecks that lead to errors, delays, and poor customer experiences.

A B2B order management system provides the features you need to fully optimize your B2B order operations including:

  • Multi-channel order centralization
  • Automated order processing flows
  • Real-time inventory visibility and order tracking
  • Rules-based order orchestration
  • Integration with ERP, accounting, shipping solutions, etc.
  • Scalability to support business growth

With these capabilities, you can fulfill orders faster, reduce errors, keep customers happy, and scale your B2B ecommerce business.

How Does B2B Order Management Software Work?

B2B order management platforms act as a central hub to connect and orchestrate your sales, inventory, fulfillment, and financials data. Leading OMS platforms integrate out-of-the-box with over 85% of common ERPs, accounting software, ecommerce platforms, etc.

Here is a high-level overview of how a B2B OMS works:

  • Orders flow into the OMS from all your sales channels like your ecommerce store, EDI, sales reps, etc.
  • The OMS centralizes this order data and applies business rules to automatically route orders to the optimal fulfillment location.
  • Inventory availability is checked in real-time across the fulfillment network. If items are out-of-stock, intelligent sourcing rules dictate how to proceed.
  • The OMS seamlessly communicates order status updates, inventory changes, shipping notifications, invoices, and other details to connected ERP, WMS, 3PL, and other systems.
  • Custom order processing workflows automate steps like payment capture, export compliance, shipping preparation, etc.
  • Customers receive real-time order tracking and status updates throughout the entire process.

This automated order orchestration eliminates manual bottlenecks and accelerates your order-to-cash cycles.

Key B2B Order Management Features to Look For

There are a number of must-have capabilities to look for when evaluating B2B order management platforms:

  • Omnichannel order centralization - Unify orders from all channels into a single repository with an easy-to-use order workspace.
  • Real-time inventory visibility - Check stock across the fulfillment network and make intelligent sourcing decisions.
  • Rules-based order orchestration - Configure system rules to automatically route orders based on inventory, logistics, costs, etc.
  • Fulfillment optimization - Select optimal warehouse and shipping options and enable drop-shipping when needed.
  • EDI integration - Seamlessly integrate orders from EDI and other B2B integration methods.
  • Accounting system integration - Sync order and inventory data bi-directionally with your ERP, accounting platform, etc.
  • Customer management - Maintain customer records and histories, apply specific pricing and rules.
  • Workflow automation - Build custom workflows to map your unique order processing steps and requirements.
  • B2B order modifications - Allow for B2B-specific changes like partial shipments and serial/lot tracking.
  • Scalability - Handle increasing order volumes and new sales channels as you grow.
  • Reporting and analytics - Gain insights into your order operations and inventory performance.

Prioritizing these features will ensure your OMS has the end-to-end order management capabilities your B2B ecommerce business requires.

Key Questions to Ask B2B Order Management Vendors

As you evaluate solutions, come prepared with questions to assess how well each platform meets your needs:

  • How easy is it to centralize orders from all our sales channels into your system?
  • Can you handle our order volumes and complexity? Are there any limitations?
  • What ERP, WMS, 3PL, and other back-end systems can you integrate with?
  • How do you exposure real-time order status and tracking to customers?
  • How flexible are the order processing workflows? Can we easily map our custom processes?
  • Can you support omni-channel fulfillment from multiple warehouses and drop-ship locations?
  • What B2B order modification capabilities do you support?
  • How does your system scale? What is your track record with high-growth B2B brands?
  • What analytics and reporting is available out-of-the-box? Is custom reporting possible?
  • What level of customer support do you provide?

Thoroughly vetting vendors on these critical aspects will help you select the right OMS partner for the long haul.

Key Takeaways for B2B Ecommerce Order Management

Managing B2B orders without software automation leaves too many gaps for human errors to creep in. Orders fall between the cracks, inventory visibility suffers, delays happen, and customers become frustrated.

Investing in a purpose-built B2B order management system brings all your order data into one place for streamlined order orchestration. This eliminates disjointed manual processes to help you deliver exceptional purchasing experiences.

The right OMS provides the scalability and agility you need to keep up with business growth and increasing complexity. With a solid order management foundation, you can focus less on order minutiae and more on strategic initiatives that drive growth.

Specifically, solutions like NEX software help companies effectively handle B2B order management with powerful workflow tools that integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks and other financial management platforms. This automation and connectivity optimizes the entire order lifecycle.

Quick Summary of Main Points:

  • B2B order management software centralizes orders and provides real-time inventory across all fulfillment channels.
  • Automated order processing improves accuracy and speed.
  • Integration with backend systems like ERP eliminates disconnected workflows.
  • Key features include omnichannel order management, rules-based orchestration, EDI, and workflow automation.
  • Thoroughly evaluate vendors to choose the right solution for your needs and business growth.
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