Order Processing Software. Order Fulfillment and Tracking Software
In this post I will tell you what order processing is, what features Virto Commerce B2B platform has in this subject area and how it integrates with the existing order processing system of your company.
In general, order processing and order fulfillment software for ecommerce is produced both by independent vendors who specialize in this area, or this could be a part of universal ecommerce platform such as Virto Commerce. Usually, the retail, manufacturing and distribution companies that are embarking on digital transformation and implementing an ecommerce solution, already have order processing software they use for traditional offline commerce.
That is why most often in our team's practice we offer integration of Virto Commerce order processing and order fulfillment module with the same kind customer's system at their back end for two-way data flow.
What Is Order Processing Software?
Order processing software is a system specifically tailored to manage businesses’ time properly by reducing the length of the order processing within the company. With a good order processing software, your business will be able to improve operational efficiency, increase revenues, eliminate billing errors, and deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction.
The right order fulfillment software enables you to track order-to-cash processes and to integrate unique billing capabilities. If you sell products online, you'll need a system that integrates with your ecommerce platform. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you'll need a system that can track inventory and process in-person payments.
And if you sell through multiple channels (online, in-store, and over the phone), you'll need a system that can handle all three and has integration with company’s back end systems like ERP, CRM and PIM.
Why Order Management Crucial for Businesses?
- Order tracking software that incorporates business processes across all branches of the company;
- A price-tracking system to account for the latest discounts and price rules;
- Sales order tracking software for monitoring the shipping process through major delivery companies, such as USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and others;
- A returns process with quick authorization and order tracking software;
- A sales order processing system for faster invoicing, billing, and record creation.
Multichannel Order Processing
In today’s times, multichannel order processing is a necessary component of ecommerce and your order fulfillment software should enhance this capability. Advanced order tracking software will help you streamline and centralize your operations. The most important functions it should be able to perform are:
- Synchronizing orders, and
- Handling returns and refunds.
Aligning Order Processing within the Organization
In addition to unifying order processing across channels, order processing software must allow the key players in the order processing pipeline to work together and communicate effectively.
Too often, stakeholders simply don't have the right technology to focus on the most valuable aspects of their work. To solve this problem, every sales order must be properly documented and fully visible to all concerned team members so they can optimize their daily tasks.
The best order processing software will bring together all your stakeholders, from sales and service representatives and supervisors to fulfillment specialists and financial managers, in a centralized system. This collaborative configuration in order processing software also helps customer-supplier relationships thrive.
Pros and Cons of Using Order Processing and Management Software
The main benefits of using such software are faster turnaround times and the ability to implement order tracking software.
Other pros to incorporating efficient order processing software are:
- Automated invoices. Servicing payment terms and billing processes;
- Backorder management. Tracking inventory, registering newly arrived items for backorders, and moving orders to processing so they can be shipped;
- Stronger customer relationships. Enabling order self-service, along with the ability to inquire about orders, delivery, and payment information for the customer, all help increase customer satisfaction;
- Improved cash flow management among your finance and sales departments;
- Streamlined order management process. Reducing times for report creation while maintaining full control of quote and order processing with an intelligent workflow for approval routing, pricing, and special discounts;
- Improved efficiency of order processing. A high-quality system allows you to ship products from multiple warehouses and automate order routes to the right fulfillment center. Plus, a multichannel inventory management solution lets you send orders from any sales channel to your centralized system, saving massive amounts of daily work time;
- Order combining and prioritization. Bulk order picking and prioritizing order processing and fulfillment;
- Improved sales thanks to order tracking software;
- Multi-tier support. This allows your order tracking software to evolve with your retail and wholesale business, providing flexible pricing options and order management capabilities;
- Reduced costs resulting from eliminating manual data entries;
- Increased data control eradicating human error by using order fulfillment software;
- Increased business efficiency with the ability to expedite delivery through a high-end order tracking system with real-time, continuous access to daily tasks, unfulfilled daily sales, and critical order-related information; and
- Increased customer satisfaction because of the reduced paperwork load on your team, enabling them to serve clients more efficiently.
Order processing software cons include:
- Weak integration with the ecommerce system. This is typical for versions implemented before a company’s digital transformation. Such software is difficult to integrate with modern ecommerce systems.
- Use of scheduled data replication. Order processing software can be built on a client-server model, in which data from different sales channels are sent to the server on a schedule at long intervals, e.g., once a day. This application architecture is currently considered obsolete.
- Unprofitable price/performance ratio of the application. Some order processing applications are unnecessarily expensive. If the vendor doesn’t pay enough attention to the product development roadmap, the feature set can fall behind the needs of modern ecommerce and multichannel sales.
- Having a high-functioning order fulfillment system is extremely beneficial to your business, giving you more flexibility, better performance, and essential sales order tracking software.
Virto Commerce Order Processing Integration with Our Customers’ Systems
The order tracking module within Virto Commerce introduces best practices when it comes to order fulfillment, which helps manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors reduce costs, improve customer support, and start selling globally without having to process orders manually.
In case you prefer to use order processing as a client-owned back-end application, this module can be integrated into the Virto Commerce platform using Virto's composable architecture and its atomic-like structured components. In general, there are two methods for integrating an order processing system, as well as any other ERP, PIM, or other customer's corporate system, into the Virto Commerce platform.
First, because orders arrive at the online store in real time, Virto Commerce was intended as a real-time program from the beginning. Therefore, the capability of the third-party app to also operate in real time is critical for effective performance. To build the integration, a new custom order processing module for Virto Commerce will be created that communicates with the customer's application in real time. The new module can be written by the client-side development team or their implementation partner, or the task can be fulfilled by Virto Professional Services.
A second option takes into account that not all third-party applications work in real time—for example, most ERPs do not. In this instance, while waiting for a response from the third-party application, the store portal will also freeze. In order to achieve the best integration, the Virto team proposes using so-called asynchronous integration as an alternative solution.
The asynchronous method uses integration middleware instead. Virto Commerce contains a copy of the client data, order detail, and other valuable info. This copy provides information on the client, and the business API is used on top of this software architecture layer.
We use the low-code Azure LogicApps service, which sends data from a third-party app to Virto and, in reverse, sends updated data back. This integration works asynchronously to support the independent operation of the third-party app and the Virto Commerce platform. Even if a third-party app like an order processing system is not available because of a technical issue, the ecommerce platform will still not freeze.
Integrating your ecommerce platform with third-party software can streamline your order processing and fulfillment operations. However, it's important to define the scope and objectives of the integration up front, choose the right technology stack and tools, and thoroughly understand the system architecture. Testing is also critical to ensure a smooth transition to the new software.
Order processing software integration can be used to manage orders from multiple channels in one centralized system. This can help streamline order processing by reducing duplicate data entry and eliminating errors. In addition, incorporating order tracking software provides visibility into the status of orders and helps you resolve issues that arise.
If you're considering integrating your ecommerce platform with third-party software, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Define the scope and objectives of the integration up front. What are your goals for the integration? What software needs to be integrated?
- Choose the right technology stack and tools. Will you be using an API or webhooks? Do you need to integrate ecommerce with multiple back-end systems?
- Make sure everyone involved understands the system architecture. What data will be shared between the two systems? How is the information workflow between them?
- Test, test, test. Once you've completed the integration, it's important to test it thoroughly to ensure everything is working as expected. Start by testing a small number of orders, then gradually increase the volume to ensure all orders are being processed correctly.