How to Leverage an Order Management System for Your Small Business

Posted on April 10, 2024 | Updated on April 18, 2024

An order management system (OMS) is a digital tool that helps businesses track sales, orders, inventory and fulfillment. It is a central hub, managing the journey of an order from start to finish. 

For small businesses, an OMS is crucial. It streamlines processes, reduces errors and saves time. Small business owners can focus more on growth and customer service by automating various aspects of the order process rather than getting bogged down by manual tasks.

In today’s fast-paced market, an efficient OMS can be transformative for small businesses, helping them compete effectively and manage operations smoothly.

1. Streamlining Inventory Management

Order management systems automate inventory tracking, a vital upgrade from the 24% of small businesses still using pen-and-paper methods. This automation updates inventory levels in real time as sales occur and workers replenish stocks, significantly reducing manual effort and the risk of errors.

Real-time updates provide immediate insights into stock levels, facilitating informed decision-making to prevent stockouts and overstocking. It streamlines operations and enhances responsiveness to market demand, a critical advantage for small businesses aiming to improve efficiency and stay competitive.

2. Enhancing Customer Experience

An OMS significantly improves order accuracy by automating the entry and processing of orders. It minimizes the chances of human error, ensuring that customers receive what they ordered.

Additionally, it can optimize delivery times by efficiently coordinating inventory management, order processing and logistics. This streamlined approach reduces the time it takes for products to reach customers, enhancing their overall experience.

Businesses can utilize the data in their OMS to personalize customer communications. For instance, by analyzing past purchase history and preferences, companies can tailor their communication, such as sending personalized product recommendations, special offers or updates about items of interest.

They can also use an OMS to send timely and relevant notifications about order status, delivery updates or even follow-up messages post-purchase. It keeps the customer informed and fosters a more profound sense of engagement and loyalty.

3. Utilizing Data Analytics

An order management system is a rich source of sales and customer data, capturing detailed information on buying patterns, product preferences, peak sales periods and more. This data is invaluable for businesses, as it can identify trends, forecast demand and understand customer behavior.

Leveraging this information, businesses can make informed decisions about inventory management, marketing strategies, product development and customer engagement initiatives. For instance, understanding which products are the best-sellers or which times of the year yield higher sales.

With this approach, businesses can adjust their stock levels, tailor marketing campaigns or offer targeted promotions to maximize revenue and enhance customer satisfaction. This strategic use of OMS drives business growth and ensures concrete insights drive organizational decisions.

4. Integrating with E-commerce Platforms

Connecting an OMS with online sales channels offers significant advantages, especially in streamlining and synchronizing sales processes. One key benefit is the ability to show real-time inventory status on online retail platforms, making it easier for shoppers to see if an item is in stock, on backorder or out of stock.

This transparency dramatically enhances the customer experience, as shoppers can make informed decisions and are less likely to encounter disappointments like ordering an unavailable item.

Many e-commerce platforms can integrated seamlessly with various OMS solutions. For example, Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce offer robust integration capabilities, allowing real-time updates between the online store and the OMS.

This integration ensures sales data appears across all channels, inventory levels are up-to-date and order processing is more efficient. By connecting their OMS with these e-commerce platforms, businesses can manage their online presence more effectively, ensuring consistency in customer experience and streamlining their operational workflow.

5. Improving Supplier Relationships

An order management system manages interactions and orders with suppliers by streamlining the procurement process and maintaining a transparent record of order histories, quantities and timelines.

This systematic tracking allows businesses to analyze order patterns, assess supplier performance and identify cost reduction or process improvement areas. Armed with this data, companies can negotiate better terms with suppliers. For example, they can leverage insights into consistent order volumes for bulk purchase discounts, while data on fast-moving items might lead to negotiating quicker restock times.

Further, a clear understanding of order frequencies and lead times enables businesses to request more favorable payment terms, strengthening their cash flow management. The OMS becomes a powerful tool for enhancing supplier relationships and optimizing supply chain efficiency.

6. Scaling Business Operations

An OMS significantly aids in accurate financial reporting by providing a comprehensive and up-to-date view of sales, returns and inventory costs. This centralized data streamlines the process of financial record-keeping, ensuring accuracy and consistency across all transactions.

With real-time orders and inventory tracking, the OMS ensures that financial statements reflect the current business state, aiding in better financial planning and analysis.

Moreover, the role of an OMS in meeting regulatory compliance and audit requirements is paramount. It maintains detailed records of all transactions, crucial for adhering to tax laws and financial regulations.

During audits, having an OMS simplifies providing necessary documentation and transaction histories. The system’s ability to track and report detailed financial information helps businesses comply with industry standards and regulations. It minimizes the risk of non-compliance penalties and reinforces the integrity and reliability of the business’s financial reporting.

7. Automating Order Processing

Automating order entry and fulfillment processes through an order management system involves setting up a system that directly captures orders from various sales channels and automatically inputs them into the fulfillment workflow.

This integration eliminates the need for manual order entry, significantly reducing the likelihood of human errors such as incorrect product entries or address mishaps. In the fulfillment phase, the OMS can automatically assign orders to the appropriate warehouse and generate packing slips and shipping labels, streamlining the process.

This automation accelerates the order-to-delivery timeline and increases operational efficiency by allowing staff to focus on more value-added tasks instead of manual data entry and order processing. It results in a more streamlined, error-resistant and efficient order management cycle.

8. Enhancing Financial Reporting and Compliance

An OMS aids in accurate financial reporting by consolidating and automating the tracking of sales, returns and inventory expenses, which ensures that financial records are precise and up-to-date. This level of accuracy generates reliable financial statements, aiding in sound business decision-making. 

Additionally, it is vital in regulatory compliance and audit preparedness. The OMS maintains detailed transaction records to adhere to tax laws and financial regulations.

During audits, the system simplifies providing necessary documentation and transaction histories, facilitating compliance with accounting standards.

9. Optimizing Shipping and Logistics

Order management systems streamline shipping processes by automating and coordinating the various stages of order fulfillment, from picking and packing to dispatching. By integrating an OMS with shipping carriers, businesses can benefit from real-time updates on shipping status and tracking information.

This integration allows automatic generation of shipping labels, selection of the most efficient shipping routes and carriers based on cost, delivery speed, destination and immediate update of tracking information to the company and customer.

This seamless coordination between the OMS and shipping carriers speeds up the shipping process and enhances transparency and customer satisfaction by providing customers with timely and accurate delivery information.

10. Ensuring Mobile Accessibility

Mobile access to an OMS is crucial for on-the-go management, especially in today’s fast-paced business environment. It empowers business owners and managers to stay connected with their operations anywhere, anytime.

With mobile OMS access, users can monitor real-time sales data, inventory levels and order statuses, making immediate decisions and adjustments. This flexibility is invaluable for responding quickly to market changes, managing unexpected issues and maintaining continuous oversight of business operations.

Additionally, the ability to access real-time business insights remotely enhances responsiveness to customer needs and improves decision-making efficiency, overall business agility and customer satisfaction.

Maximizing Small Business Growth with an Order Management System

Leveraging an order management system can transform the growth and efficiency of a small business. Streamlining operations, reducing errors and providing real-time insights enhances productivity and customer satisfaction.

Moreover, the ability to manage inventory, orders and customer relationships more effectively positions small businesses to compete more strongly in their markets. Companies must consider implementing an OMS that aligns with their needs, unlocking the potential for tremendous success and efficiency.

About The Author

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog in their RV, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or curled up with a good book with her cats Gem and Cali.

You can find more of Eleanor's work at

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