Retail

Order Management Systems: Designed with the customer experience in mind

17 Sep 2019

Unlike traditional inventory management software, state-of-the-art Order Management Systems (OMS) are designed with the end-customers’ experiences in mind.

The latest breed of OMS is fundamental to omnichannel retail because it generates a centralised, 360-degree view of customer orders and available inventory across all sales channels. Crucially in today’s competitive retail landscape, an advanced OMS can help retailers satisfy more complex omnichannel customer orders, and meet the high expectations of demanding shoppers, while also optimising margin.

Ambitious retailers aspire to this as the software offers greater stock and customer order visibility between stores, the ecommerce channel, distributors, fulfilment centres and customer service channels.

Vastly improved visibility drives cost reductions 

The benefits to business cannot be under-estimated – improved customer satisfaction, improved share of wallet, and revenue growth as retailers are in a better position to “never miss a sale”. Retailer C-suites are increasingly looking to their chosen OMS to drive efficiency and therefore deliver cost reductions across the omnichannel operation.

The right OMS will also boost operational efficiency and flexibility, helping the retailer to adapt to ever-evolving commerce channels and rising customer expectations. As IHL Group states in its comprehensive study of OMS vendors: “OMS has quickly become THE CORE system that allows for Unified Commerce to be successful.” IHL says 24% of global retailers are looking to make an OMS purchase in the next two years.

Critical features of a world-class OMS

Every retail organisation is unique, and a world-class OMS will have additional features and flexibility to meet each company’s precise needs. IHL Group’s research report, The Order Management Market Guide 2019, analyses and compares the different OMS software vendors available to the retail sector today, setting out the critical features retailers should consider when investing in this technology. Choosing correctly is imperative, as increasingly retailers are finding that their OMS is the lifeblood of their commercial entity.

Here are some key benefits of the latest OMS software:

One version of the truth: Retailers are looking for a single version of customer information across channels, so that the store experience looks and feels more like that found online. With a central commerce ‘hub’ it’s possible to handle customer, product and supplier data, to provide one version of the truth for each unique order.

Powerful integration – A retailer’s OMS will share information with the Retail and ERP systems, ecommerce storefront (e.g. Shopify, Magento, Prestashop, Hybris and others), PoS systems, warehouse management system and more. As the driving force in unifying systems it will fully enable Unified Commerce and all the customer service benefits that entails.

Outstanding customer service – A world class OMS will support a retailer’s omnichannel service aspirations. It becomes possible to offer customers BOPIS (buy online pickup instore), BORIS (buy online return instore), endless aisle, ship from store, and other newly-emerging fulfilment options.

Cloud-based – With cloud capability, data and applications are available 24/7 from anywhere, with minimal technical support required.

Forecasting and inventory insights – With the latest OMS software, stock visibility and optimisation across a retail business are achieved. This allows for consistent inventory management across all sales channels and ensures availability or other fulfilment options to be realised.

Today’s OMS market

The fact that so many retailers are investing in OMS confirms how highly valued this supply chain software is within the industry. IHL projects that the OMS software worldwide market will grow 63% from $710 million in 2018 to $1.16 billion in 2023.

The majority of this growth will be in SaaS implementations which are expected to grow a phenomenal 182% between 2018 and 2023, says IHL. The majority of retailers looking to invest in OMS software want to use it as a base for their next Point of Sale technology. OMS upgrades can also ensure retailers are GDPR compliant, and able to fully integrate microservices in their warehouses, which are increasingly being deployed to boost picking efficiency and other tasks.

The researchers at IHL take the view that worldwide retail winners – those experiencing more than 10% annual sales growth – are 208% more likely to have centralised order management in place than laggards.

As the report states: “OMS is one of the key areas that retailers must invest in for success.

The key driver behind this globally-recognised enthusiasm for the latest OMS technology is the need for retailers to engage with their customers across multiple channels and multiple borders. Indeed, IHL makes the point that with profitability in multi-channel being often such a challenge to secure, finding the right OMS solution for a company’s unique growth strategy has never been more important.

Cegid’s credentials as an ‘OMS leader’ in retail

Cegid has a strong track record in deploying retail OMS, with a razor-sharp focus on helping retailers never miss a sale as they progress on their omnichannel growth journeys.

So it’s fitting that Cegid has this year been endorsed by industry analyst IHL Group as a leading OMS software specialist, with acknowledgement of our wide experience and international reach. The Order Management Report 2019 states: “Cegid are one of the leaders with regards to retail specific OMS installs, with over 300 of them, and over 1,000 retail clients.”

The report notes our fast, efficient installation process, saying: “Cegid supports the most diverse set of architectural delivery models and has one of the quickest installation times.”

Retailers with an international portfolio also require key vendors to have knowledge and representation around the world. Again, Cegid can offer this, with the report stating: “Of all the vendors we queried about their global OMS footprint, Cegid was a leader with installations in 50 countries worldwide.”

Unified commerce is within reach for many retailers. Choosing the right technology partner that can offer expert knowledge, support and flexibility will be vital to progress on this make-or-break endeavour.

Customer experience is everything: Are you ready to learn more about the power of the latest Order Management Systems, and find the perfect solution to take you forward? As the IHL report urges, now is the time to secure your future as winner, rather than a laggard, of 21st century retail.

Report

Download your copy of IHL’s Order Management Market Report 2019 today.