There are thousands of things that can go wrong in the time between a customer’s purchase and when the product reaches their home. Even the slightest human error, like the wrong letter or number on an order, could disrupt the entire process and put the company’s reputation at stake.
Yet, shockingly, many businesses haven’t automated the process. According to the Small Business Report by Wasp Barcode, 21% of businesses use a spreadsheet program for tracking inventory, 18% do it manually with pen and paper and a brazen 8% don’t do it at all.
That’s truly astounding, especially when you consider all the possibilities available today.
With the advances in technology and software solutions, businesses no longer have to rely on outdated methods to track their inventory, invoicing, billing and shipments. Nowadays, advanced order fulfillment software solutions leave almost no room for mistakes.
But how do you know which order fulfillment software is right for your business?
Top Order Fulfillment Features
As is often the case with business-oriented software, there’s a lot of overlap between the different types. The best match for your business largely depends on the scope of functionality that you require.
The most important thing you need to understand is the core functionality that it should offer.
Here are some of the features that you should be looking for:
While some businesses still prefer on-premise software solutions, the possibilities of real-time tracking and analytics that come with cloud-based solutions have huge potential for making your business more efficient. Businesses find that the benefits of cloud-based inventory management solutions are simply impossible to ignore.
The order fulfillment software that you choose should be able to integrate itself easily with your existing systems. Alternatively, it could be part of a larger solution that goes beyond order fulfillment, like an ERP.
Enter, Edit and Search Orders
Quickly entering and sorting through your orders is essential, so the software should have a convenient approach to doing that. Many of today’s solutions are even adopting consumer-grade UX, making this task easier than ever.
A crucial feature of order fulfillment software is its ability to alert you to any abnormal changes in inventory. The sooner you know about a shortage or an issue with capacity, the sooner you can address it.
A comprehensive order fulfillment solution should have an efficient way to confirm and process returns.
Reports & Analytics
Finally, you should look at the data and analytics that the software is able to provide you. This can go a long way in making your order fulfillment process more productive.
These are just some of the core features that you can get with a modern order fulfillment software solution. But which software options are the most popular in the market today?
Top 5 Order Fulfillment Software
Here are 5 of the most well-established and popular providers that you should strongly consider:
SAP rates highly across the board and includes pretty much all you could want in an SCM. During order processing, SAP is with you every step of the way. This system backs process planning, process order execution/process management and order closing activities.
Furthermore, you can make decisions with the confidence that they’ll be carried out using the most reliable and up-to-the-minute data. Each user having access to the same set of information fosters collaboration — a key asset for larger companies with many working parts. However, this system isn’t recommended for SMBs.
Oracle has a major incumbent advantage as their SCM fits seamlessly with their other industry-leading software. This makes them an easy choice if integration is a top concern.
Oracle also strives to reduce the errors known to degrade reputation. With their Global Order Promising (GOP), you can more dependably inform your customers when their favorite products will be available. GOP analyzes supply and demand to precisely determine the date of delivery.
One major downside of this software is its reporting capabilities. All reports are generated as ASCI text instead of PDFs or spreadsheets. This makes it difficult to quickly share data when making ultra-important financial decisions.
Sometimes known as Sage ERP X3, Sage goes above and beyond the order fulfillment process. But then you have to decide if your company is in the market for an ERP with SCM functions, or an SCM standalone.
Even though it’s an ERP, it’s exceptional sales order processing capabilities are what earn it a spot on this list. Sage has got you covered on everything from invoices to deliveries. However, it lacks in analytics and transportation management, where some of its competitors exceed.
Manhattan SCOPE offers an extensive range of supply chain solutions. In addition to order processing, it provides excellent analytics and inventory management.
It gives a comprehensive look at your inventory and helps fulfill demand in the most advantageous way. Use their software to predict outages and delivery problems and prevent messy customer service issues.
Supply Chain Now is made with mid-sized businesses in mind. It’s useful for those that have goals concurrent with larger businesses but don’t have as much time to accomplish them. JDA understands the need to minimize risk while keeping costs as low as possible. Their software takes all this into account and maximizes revenue to ensure the opportunity to grow.
With this system you’re also able to monitor the order process across multiple channels, enabling you to see the entire order lifecycle. This feature allows for the most organized execution of your supply chain strategies.