Order management: the challenge

Man on the phone in front of laptop

Man on the phone in front of laptop

Digitization Order management: the challenge

Published on 26.01.2022 by Markus Peter, lecturer in online retail and online retail logistics at various universities of applied sciences

Communication with consumers has changed for good over the past few years. This is why the customer journey is becoming increasingly important.

A straightforward order and delivery process is key to the customer experience, and consumers expect deliveries to arrive on time. This is regardless of whether the delivery is made via a parcel service provider, same-day delivery or a collection point. At any rate, consumers want to be kept up to date about the status of their order at all times.

To ensure everything runs smoothly, they require professional order management that fully covers their needs as retailers and those of their customers.

Customers want an easy time

Network your online/offline sales channels, logistics, storage and order system as effectively as possible. This will give your customer service a comprehensive overview of all the most important information, allowing them to respond quicker and more efficiently.

Quick and flexible shipment and delivery

Customers appreciate having several different shipping options to choose from. One such option is Click & Collect, in addition to various shipping options with differing prices.

Then you have returns: getting these right will score you points with your customers and save you money.

Access to all information in a single place

With a cross-channel order system, you have all information stored in a single place, which makes it easier to keep track of data-based insights.

The strategy for implementing an order system and choice of system will be based on a company’s business goals and processes. Unfortunately, companies often just engage in navel-gazing, and lose sight of their customers. The customer experience should take the utmost priority. Or, to put it another way: how companies are perceived from the outside. Why is that?

Consumers are increasingly using different channels to place their orders. The classic customer journey per se has essentially ceased to exist. What’s more, the channels used keep changing.

This is why an order system should offer the flexibility required to add new channels. This ensures customers are able to use the channels of their choice, that they receive a tailored service during/after a purchase and that they are kept up to date promptly and transparently at all times.

Use a roadmap to underpin your order management strategy.

Analyse your current order management approach

What are the processes like today? What things are good already, and where are there issues/what’s lacking? How are customer requirements met, and what do customers expect?

What are the requirements and priorities of the various distribution channels, marketing, logistics and the customer service? Do these priorities correspond to the company goals?

Align the scope of services of your order management system with all areas of the company. This will allow you to compile a priorities list detailing must-have and nice-to-have elements.

Record figures such as stock turnover, customer satisfaction, processing time for orders, accuracy of stock data, storage costs and goods rotation. Can these be recorded in the first place, and are they actually useful?

At the same time, compile a list of customer expectations, which can be compiled with ease in collaboration with your customers.

Set benchmarks against which you can measure the success of your newly introduced solution.

Are your employees ready for a new system?

There is probably no getting around the need to train your employees to use the new system. Before you introduce omnichannel services, for instance, you should provide your branch-based staff with intensive, focused training. In some circumstances, it can be useful to train superusers in your branch offices.

Analysis and implementation may occasionally take a lot of work. Does your company possess the necessary expertise, and do your employees have the time for such a project? Treating this sort of endeavour as just a side project rarely ends well.

Additionally, if you are already tackling this kind of project, it is definitely worth getting external insights. Casting a critical eye on processes and habits. This is why, in order to implement the project successfully, it may pay off to do so in consultation with external experts.


Markus Peter, Post CH Ltd

Lecturer in online retail and online retail logistics at various universities of applied sciences.

Portrait Markus Peter

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