What Is Enterprise Order Management?

Olawale Olayinka

Tech advocate and writer @ fabric.

December 4, 2021
Summary
  • Enterprise order management deals with selling large orders to other retailers.

  • Because enterprise businesses rely on the decision of stakeholders to make a purchase, the sales cycle is longer.

  • To meet demands in peak seasons and off-season, B2B buyers and vendors must invest more in inventory.

  • fabric OMS automates the order management process, enabling vendors to meet growing customer expectations.

Enterprise order management is an order management technology that manages orders, inventories, and fulfillment across enterprise systems. Unlike small retail stores, enterprise e-commerce business processes complex orders, selling wholesale to other retailers and brands.

Enterprise order management system offers inventory visibility, intelligent order routing, analytics, and other functions. However, it also comes with advanced functionality that enables an enterprise to scale and integrate seamlessly with other retail technologies.

Enterprise Vs Small Business Orders

Enterprise and small businesses have similar supply chain processes. However, enterprise businesses are different from smaller businesses in capacity and method of operations.

Enterprise or B2B orders

Enterprise companies mainly supply items in higher quantities to retailers that sell them to other retailers or end customers. For the most part, enterprises don't focus on having a lot of customers like the typical B2C business. Instead, they target fewer businesses that will stick around for the long haul. Their main goal is to support the smaller e-commerce merchants, helping them reach their business goals and win customer loyalty.

In terms of the complexity of the supply chain process, B2B or enterprise businesses have their fair share, but not like retailers that get orders every day. B2B orders mostly:

  • Are shipped via freight or parcel due to the fewer numbers of items
  • Require higher shipment cost
  • Follow government set regulations depending on the type of item (hazardous materials, heavy items, or international).
  • Are time-sensitive and must be delivered on time to build trust

Because of the nature of the business, enterprise companies focus on building long-term relationships with suppliers who match their quality and place their orders with them throughout the year.

Small business orders

Unlike the B2B or enterprise companies, small business or B2C orders are lower in quantities, and retailers deliver them to the residential address of the end customers. That also indicates that small business orders demand flexibility because of their complexity.

For instance, a business that sells smaller orders on an e-commerce marketplace like Amazon will rely heavily on inventory and order management software, warehousing, and third-party logistics (3pls) providers to fulfill orders quickly. Also, the cost of running a business selling smaller orders to final consumers is often high.

Essential Features of Enterprise Order Management

Cycle management

The sales cycle takes longer because enterprise buyers are making a buying decision that could positively or negatively impact their business. Before initiating a buying process, a company's executive conducts rigorous research to find the supplier that best matches their quality and needs.

For a business prospecting to enterprise companies, it's essential to keep track of everything that happens during the sales cycle so you can adjust to their demands and essentially build a stronger relationship. This can mean identifying key stakeholders, learning about prospects' purchasing behavior, or finding out how your products fit into their needs.

Account management

B2B e-commerce isn't about selling to one person. Many people are involved in the buying decision. This leads to having multiple users per account, creating a hierarchy.

For example, one employee can place the order before a finance officer confirms. This leads to a logistics officer now entering the delivery address for the product ordered.

In short, one person among the users has the right to request products before another user approves the purchase. Other users like the marketing staff can only view the product without ordering or approving capabilities.

Thus, companies must maintain a quality relationship with each B2B buyer to ensure a smooth ordering process and accommodate buying preferences. Vendors can also simplify the buying process by letting users self-administer their accounts.

Quarterly budgeting

Budgeting is also an essential feature in both B2B and B2C e-commerce. Most retailers plan budgets to generate a realistic profit and loss to understand the expected revenues and costs of running their business and avoid discrepancies throughout the year.

In addition, because it can be difficult to completely understand sales trends and market demands for the next year, intelligent retailers leverage quarterly budgeting to avoid understocking and overstocking.

According to Deloitte, e-commerce sales will grow by 11-15% during the 2021-2022 holiday season, which means e-commerce holiday sales will reach between $210 billion and $218 billion this season. Also, consumers will be spending more on new year resolutions in January post-holiday season.

For B2B buyers and vendors, this means different things. First, buyers must amp up their inventory as it's the asset they will rely on to meet this growing customer demand—and it also means the intense search for reliable suppliers.

Vendors need to budget a more significant amount for customer acquisition, cycle management, and providing a better customer experience. They must also invest more in raw materials to supply products at a larger scale to meet business demands.

Streamline Orders with Order Management Software

As e-commerce sales reach an all-time high and customer expectations skyrocket, enterprises expect smooth and fast ordering and fulfillment. For vendors, it's hard to meet these demands with a manual ordering process.

Using an automated system like the order management system reduces friction and errors and helps deliver orders more efficiently. Plus, it lets you have visibility into the critical aspects of the supply chain.

Olawale Olayinka author Tech advocate and writer @ fabric.

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