Automated Ordering System to Streamline Sales Order Fulfillment
Leveraging 32-year experience in software development, ScienceSoft offers software development services for the implementation of high-performing automated ordering systems.
Automated Ordering System in Brief
An automated ordering system centralizes orders from all sales channels, streamlines order processing and routing, and tracks order fulfillment in real time. The system is widely used by ecommerce and restaurant businesses to decrease order fulfillment time and costs and avoid human mistakes related to manual order handling.
Order processing and distribution
- Order and customer data aggregation from online and offline touchpoints (a company’s website, marketplaces, offline stores, call center, etc.).
- Automated order confirmation.
- Notifications to sales agents on orders requiring manual confirmation (e.g., if the payment is pending).
- Automated entry of order-related data into sales orders, invoices, shipping labels, etc.
- Order routing to the best fulfillment location (based on inventory availability and delivery address).
- Automated order status tracking and sharing with customers (via a self-service portal or integrated sales channels).
- Order modification and cancelation (upon a customer’s request via any channel).
Order delivery management
- Setup of delivery priority rules.
- Automated estimation of order delivery time (including for pre-orders and backorders).
- Order delivery scheduling.
- Order merging (if a customer makes several orders via the same or different channels).
- Automated creation of pick and packing lists with SKUs, product quantity, required packaging, etc.
- Order assignment to shipping carriers (can be partially automated by setting up default carriers for particular products).
- In-built integration with payment systems (PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, etc.).
- Capturing transaction requests and transferring them to payment providers.
- Payment data encryption.
- Auto-filling of customer data at checkouts.
- Support of multiple currencies and payment options (credit and debit cards, gift certificates, split payments, etc.).
- Template-based invoice generation.
Customer self-service portal (for B2C and B2B)
- Customer accounts with order history across all sales channels, contact and delivery information that can be added and edited.
- Real-time delivery tracking.
- Request submission and tracking: for re-orders, returns, repairs, etc.
- Automated notifications to customers (e.g., once their order is available for pickup).
- For B2B:
- Creating main and subordinate accounts (e.g., for regional offices).
- Overview of issued invoices.
Return and warranty requests management
- Submitting customer requests for return, repair, and exchange from integrated sales channels or a self-service portal.
- Verification of customer requests based on pre-defined rules.
- Auto-linking of return, repair and exchange requests to related sales orders.
- Automated calculation of the refund amount (based on the return policy).
- Return order creation and routing to a fitting inventory location.
- Return order tracking (back to the assigned location).
Analytics and reporting
- Customizable dashboards for sales and customer service managers and agents (e.g., information on KPIs, current orders, customer requests via a single interface).
- KPIs tracking (e.g., fill rate, orders completed per day, carrier success ratio).
- Customer demand forecasting (based on historical and real-time order data).
How an Automated Ordering System Looks
On the B2B customer self-service portal, the customers can overview issued invoices, view order statuses, search for digital invoices, and more
- Sales channels (a company’s website, marketplaces, offline stores, etc.) - to consolidate all orders and streamline their processing.
- Payment service providers - to process customers’ online payments securely.
- ERP / Financial software - to generate invoices and ensure error-free financial reporting (e.g., monthly statements on sales revenue from fulfilled orders).
- Warehouse management software (WMS) - to get visibility into inventory levels and accurately prepare ordered products for shipment.
- Shipping carriers’ systems (for businesses using outsourced shipping services) - to estimate shipping costs, choose the most cost-efficient delivery options offered by shipping carriers, and track order delivery.
System tailored to the business specifics of order fulfillment processes (e.g., rules for routing orders to fulfillment locations, prioritizing deliveries, confirming return requests) to maximize software payback, such as order execution speed and accuracy.
Real-time inventory visibility at all inventory locations to ensure accurate order promising and efficient distribution of orders to fulfillment locations or suppliers.
System scalability to support business growth (launch of new sales channels and fulfillment locations, customer base expansion, etc.) and high performance to withhold peak ordering times, e.g., during Black Friday or Christmas Sale.
The cost of implementing a custom ordering system is from $200,000 to $400,000, with cost factors including:
- The number and complexity of functional modules (for custom solutions) or the number of users (for out-of-the-box solutions, as a basis for their license cost).
- Complexity of data migration procedures required to transfer order-related data from spreadsheets or other software.
- Complexity and the number of integrations (with sales channels, ERP, WMS, etc.).
Payback for an ordering system can be expected within 3 months.
Key financial outcomes of ordering system usage
Decreased order fulfillment costs
Optimized order delivery timing and costs
Reduced human errors (e.g., missed or misplaced orders)
Platforms We Recommend for Order Fulfillment
Magento Order Management
Recognized among strong-performing order management software by Forrester. Companies leveraging Magento’s ordering system are Brown-Forman Corporation, Rural King, Frankfurt Airport Shopping Mall.
- Intuitive UI.
- Support of diverse order fulfillment workflows, including an in-store fulfillment option.
- BI-powered reporting on orders, shipments, returns, and payments.
Midsized and upper-midsized businesses looking for an easy-to-adopt ordering system.
Request Magento Order Management implementation cost.
Note: The product is a part of the Magento Commerce platform offer.
IBM Sterling Order Management
Recognized among leading order management software by Forrester. Renowned clients of IBM’s OMS are Nike, CVS Health, Staples, Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, and FleetPride, Inc.
- A powerful rules engine for the solution’s customization.
- Support of the whole order life cycle, including after-sales and returns management.
Available upon a request to a vendor.
Oracle NetSuite Order Management
Recognized among strong-performing order management software by Forrester. Among companies using NetSuite OMS are Jimmy Jazz, Guthy-Renker, Lovesac.
- Support of custom system triggers to create order fulfillment scenarios specific to a business (can be done directly via UI).
- Basic reporting capabilities (advanced reporting is available within a separate analytics solution).
Midsized businesses without very complex fulfillment scenarios.
Available upon a request to a vendor. Note: The product is available within the NetSuite platform license.
When to Choose a Custom Ordering System
ScienceSoft recommends a custom ordering system as a more feasible alternative to platform-based software in the following cases:
- You need an ordering system to include advanced functionality (e.g., AI-based analytics for customer demand forecasting) or functionality that is usually a part of another software, such as procurement software or CPQ (“configure, price, quote”) software to automate cost estimation for configurable products. In such a case, you may opt for an all-in-one custom solution that wouldn’t require additional integration efforts.
- You need a blockchain-based ordering system for facilitated traceability of customer order data, order delivery and relevant financial flows.
- A large number of employees will use an ordering system to take care of the customers’ orders and requests. As the license cost of out-of-the-box solutions usually depends on the number of users and is recurring monthly, investing in a custom ordering system may be more cost-efficient in the long term.
- You need to integrate an ordering system with custom legacy software, which may be more complex in case of platform-based software.
Having 32-year experience in software development, ScienceSoft offers consulting and development services to implement automated ordering systems that speed up order fulfillment and improve customer service.
Ordering system consulting
- Analyze your order fulfillment workflows and define an optimal set of features for an ordering system.
- Help decide between a platform-based and a custom ordering system, taking into account mid-term and long-term benefits of both.
- For a custom solution: design a secure and scalable software architecture.
- Prepare an integration roadmap (with sales channels, ERP, PIM, etc.).
- For a custom solution: prepare UX and UI software prototypes (optional).
- Estimate implementation costs, time budget and expected ROI.
Ordering system development
Our development team:
- Elicits implementation requirements for an ordering system.
- For a custom solution: designs a secure and scalable software architecture.
- For a custom solution: develops the front end and the back end of an ordering system.
- For a platform-based solution: configures and customizes software.
- Integrates an ordering system with other systems (online and offline sales channels, ERP, PIM, etc.).
- Covers end-to-end quality assurance of the system.
- Provides post-launch support and software evolution (if required).
ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. We provide consulting and development services for businesses to implement ordering systems that automate order fulfillment processes end-to-end and help meet the unique requirements of their B2C or B2B clients. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified, we rely on a mature quality management system and guarantee your data security. Check out our software development offer for more details.