What does an Order and Inventory Management system do?

Order and inventory management is the process that runs in the background from the time you place an order until it is received by the customer. It keeps track of customer orders and handles all the steps involved in fulfilling them. The process generally follows an accepted order:

Order Management process and task flow

How does order and inventory management help businesses?

Your company’s cash flow and inventory are simplified when there is an organised and well-defined process for managing orders. Subsequently, every order management process is itself made up of many individual processes, each linked to departments from across your business. All these must integrate seamlessly from start to finish. Primarily, your company will operate more efficiently but you can also predict demand volumes and resources more accurately. Additionally, it is more likely you have the products your customers are demanding when they want them. Forecasting helps outline your business requirements, expenses and can help pipeline your sales and understand your budgets going forwards. Over time analysis of this data will help keep to a budget, improve cash flow and predict resources, inventory, customer retention and profitability. 

What are order and inventory management systems?

In the past purchasing almost always occurred at a store. Businesses could rely on a simple spreadsheet to track their orders. Today, eCommerce and the subscription market models are commonplace. Business like to be agile and respond more quickly to trends and pivots. They collect data in CRMs or accounting packages that give valuable insight and this trend extends to order management and inventory systems. After all, it is no longer enough to use a simple spreadsheet as today’s needs are far more resource driven.

How are they helpful?

Order management or Inventory systems helps keep track of all these aspects. Being work-ready and customer-focused means recording sales, tracking purchase orders, sales bills, picking, packing shipping and tracking. As a result, it also allows business owners to keep better track of bills and invoices. Today’s order management systems allow you to send automated, real-time updates across all your channels and warehouses to minimise error, saving time and resources. 

Smart systems

Today, we see order management systems doing far more than ever before. These are no longer standalone solutions with expected integrations with inventory systems, CRM, sales, finance, ordering, shipping processes. We see solutions supporting multi-channel applications, both in sales and shipping, employing RFID and Barcode functionality to simplify end-to-end tracking, order and inventory management. Warehouses are connected directly to orders, sales and shipping. This enables efficient order management and processing through serial and batch number tracking. 

In our next inventory focused blog, we will look at the frequently asked questions around order or inventory management systems, how to choose one and its key features. In the meantime visit our Zoho Inventory product page and see the benefits it  can bring to your business.

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