“The world is now a global village,” This is not a quote anymore but a reality. Retail stores have taken over the internet and become highly tech-oriented giants like Amazon, Alibaba, and more. Retail is no more a heavy operations business. With the entry of OMS (Order Management Software), businesses have managed to cut costs and grow at an unimaginably tremendous pace while keeping up with one of the vast markets of the Internet.
Before we begin to discuss this in-depth, order entry management is nothing more than the traditional process of capturing customer orders and fulfilling them efficiently.
To be at par with today’s fast-paced retail environment, businesses must focus on their core competencies while ensuring that their order entry management process is seamless and efficient. One way that is gaining popularity is outsourcing order entry management to third-party providers. One of the prime examples of such outsourcing is third-party provider Shopify which, as of 2023, is helping over 6 million stores have a global presence.
This article will explore order entry management from different angles and why it makes sense for retailers to outsource their order entry management.
What is Order Entry Management?
Order Entry Management is receiving and processing orders from products to services for customers. In retail businesses, it involves managing the end-to-end process of receiving customer orders, checking product availability, validating payment, processing the order, and fulfilling the order.
Order entry management in cases of consumer-oriented businesses like retail is one of the key factors to its success. As we know, it is how a business acquires a customer’s orders to the end journey where they fulfill them efficiently. This journey involves capturing orders through various channels, such as via phone, email, or online websites, to verify and process details of the same.
Order entry management is not just limited to order fulfillment but also includes operational tasks such as inventory management, shipping, and tracking customer orders until they reach the end consumer. Such operational tasks may seem insignificant to the profitability of a retail business. But in reality, they are the backbone of any retail business.
An efficient entry process ensures that consumer orders are fulfilled accurately and quickly, leading to increased customer satisfaction and retention rate. And, since order entry management directly affects customer satisfaction, it is one of the most critical aspects of retail businesses. Therefore, order management ensures your current business goals and results in increased customer loyalty, which in turn gives return business.
Why is Order Entry Management Important?
We have already touched on why Order entry management is crucial for any retail business to succeed. But let us discuss in-depth some key value adds of its to retail or any business in general:
1. Improve Customer Satisfaction
As the saying goes in any retail business, “consumer is the king.” And what experience your consumer gets from placing to receiving their order is more important at times than the product itself. The way order entry management provides a consumer with end-to-end support and helps them get their order quicker and more accurately leads to greater customer satisfaction.
2. Increase Efficiency
Any streamlined process helps businesses reduce errors, minimize manual intervention, and save time, thereby increasing efficiency. Such is the case with order entry management as well. They are efficient and can lead to cost savings and ultimately increase profitability for any business.
3. Manage Inventory
Any successful retail business requires a rich inventory to ensure order fulfillment. Though just keeping a rich inventory is only one of many challenges. Order entry management can help businesses overcome other challenges by keeping track of their inventory, monitoring stock levels, and ensuring they have the necessary stock to fulfill customer orders. All this can reduce waste and minimize stockouts, resulting in business costs and time savings.
4. Enhance Profitability
We have already discussed how a well-managed order entry process can help businesses save costs and reduce waste. Moreover, it also aids in achieving a reduced need for manual intervention, minimizing errors, and improving the efficiency of the order fulfillment process. The combination of all ultimately paves the path to profitability for any business.
Why Outsource Order Entry Management?
Outsourcing order entry management, apart from letting a business focus on its core competence which could be anything like manufacturing the product, can also provide several other benefits for businesses, including:
1. Cost Savings
Performing any task in-house requires hiring, managing, and training staff, which is hectic and takes time and focus away from other core tasks. Therefore, outsourcing order entry management can help businesses save costs by reducing the need to hire and train in-house staff, invest in technology and infrastructure, and manage the associated overhead costs. This thereby helps cut costs which is very important for any growing or even established business.
Outsourcing order entry management allows businesses much-needed flexibility in scaling upwards or downwards based on their business needs, without having to worry about managing the associated overhead costs. Thus businesses can be more responsive to changes in demand without incurring significant costs.
Instead of pivoting, outsourcing order entry management to a specialized service provider can provide businesses with the needed in-field expertise, enabling them to benefit from best practices, cutting-edge technology, and the latest tools and techniques. Thus, outsourcing automatically improves the efficiency and accuracy of the order fulfillment process.
4. Reduced Risk
Outsourcing order entry management also helps businesses to mitigate risks by ensuring that the third party already complies with regulatory requirements and industry standards. Thereby, outsourcing provides disaster recovery and business continuity planning. It also helps reduce risks of disruptions to the order fulfillment process, which can significantly impact customer satisfaction and loyalty.
5. Focus on Core Competencies
Most retail businesses do not have order entry management as their core competency. Most have other expertise, such as product development, marketing, and sales. Outsourcing the order entry management lets them have add-on competence without shifting their focus from what they are good at, leaving the operational details to the outsourcing service provider. It enables businesses to improve their competitiveness and focus on their strategic objectives.
Why Outsourcing Makes Sense for US Retailers?
The US retail market size as of 2021 was 4.55 trillion and was growing continuously at a CAGR of over 3%. Though the market size is humongous but is cluttered and has cut-throat competition, thus Retailers in the US face several unique challenges, especially when it comes to Order entry management which includes:
1. High Labor Costs
One of the higher labor costs in the world could be seen in the US, which can make it challenging for retailers to maintain profitability while managing their order entry process in-house. As when the competition is as cut-throat as in the US, the profit margins are as slim as it gets. Therefore, it makes more sense to outsource.
2. Complex Regulatory Environment
A range of federal, state, and local regulations are in place, which can make it challenging to manage the order fulfillment process for standard retailers. It could be easier for a specialized outsourced third-party vendor instead.
3. Technological Advances
As a leader in technological advances, retailers in the US also need to keep up with the latest tools and techniques to remain competitive. It is not easy for small or medium-sized businesses with inadequate resources to invest in the latest technology.
4. Increasing Customer Expectations
With rising competition in supply, customers demand faster, more accurate, and personalized services, which can be challenging for retailers to deliver in-house, especially during peak demand periods. Thus, an outsourced order management system gives an edge to a retailer and enables them to keep the product quality.
Thus, US retailers can overcome various challenges by outsourcing order entry management. This approach enables them a cost-effective, scalable, and customized solutions that meet their requirements. By outsourcing this aspect of their operations, retailers can concentrate on their key strengths while the service provider handles the operational details. It is, therefore, a standard practice. Over 60% of businesses are seeing outsourcing in one or another kind.
To Sum Up
As seen, managing order entry is a crucial process for retail companies as it affects their key components, customer satisfaction, and loyalty. By outsourcing this process, companies can achieve cost savings, scalability, access to expertise, and the ability to focus on their core strengths, which reduces risk.
US retailers encounter distinctive obstacles in order entry management, such as high labor expenses, complex regulations, technological advancements, and rising customer expectations. By outsourcing this function, US retailers can tackle these difficulties and maintain competitiveness in the rapidly changing retail industry.
ARDEM is a leading provider of retail industry outsourcing solutions, serving a wide range of clients across the country. The retail industry faces various challenges, and one of the most significant ones is maintaining an efficient process to deliver quality work within a strict deadline.
This is where ARDEM’s outsourcing solutions can help. We provide a range of services, including order entry, invoice processing, conversion costs, document management, and other tasks that can help reduce workload pressure, allowing you to focus more on improving customer service. With our expertise in manufacturing industry outsourcing solutions, you can streamline your processes, improve efficiency, and enhance the overall quality of your work.
ARDEM provides Business Process Outsourcing and Business Process Automation Services to established companies to help them improve operational Efficiency and Reduce Costs. For more information please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 908-359-2600.