38% of buyers abandon their orders because they won’t get them within a week. A VP of Operations should strive to ensure customers get their orders within a short period of time.
The VP of Operations should convince key decision-makers in the company to consider having warehouses close to customers’ locations.
Communication is important at both the pre-purchase and post-purchase stages. Order management associates should update customers on their orders to earn their loyalty.
Embracing order management systems like fabric OMS can help the VP of Operations ensure a smooth and efficient order management process and deliver an exceptional customer experience.
The best VP of Operations controls all aspects of the order management process, from order processing to ensuring fast order fulfillment. As the customer base expands, brands and retailers rely on the VP of Operations to act as a single point of contact for the order management process, eliminating any potential obstacles, as well as ensuring fast delivery of items to their appropriate destination.
While free delivery is the leading reason why most people buy from e-commerce stores, 58 percent of people will stop buying from an online store after a poor customer experience. A VP of Operations works closely with the warehouse team and other functional areas such as planning, shipping, and credit card control to create a successful e-commerce supply chain.
In this post, we’ll discuss the job descriptions of the VP of Operations and how to improve efficiency and continue to meet growing customer expectations.
VP of Operations Job Description
Supply chain management begins and ends with customer experience. The advancement of technology and the growing numbers of direct-to-customer (D2C) businesses have affected the way people buy online. For instance, research found that 38% of online shoppers abandon their orders because it may take longer than a week to arrive.
To provide speedy delivery and exceptional customer experience, the order management job description must include proactively ensuring the customers get the right goods at the right place, at the right time, and in the right condition. This can require partnering with third-party logistics or private warehousing, as well as powerful automation tools like order management systems, subscription e-commerce platforms, and e-commerce loyalty software that allow you to continue to turn buyers to repeat customers.
Key responsibilities of a VP of Operations
What does a VP of Operations do exactly? Because of the flexible nature of the e-commerce business, the VP of Operations can often wear many hats and possess a wide variety of skills. The order management associate job description includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Responsible for getting accurate orders shipped quickly
- Complete daily inventory checks to ensure order accuracy
- Maintain the company’s order processing manual
- Manages the company’s various shipping vendors
- Set up and document the order process for new customers
- Collaborates with the warehouse team and others to understand processes and meet shared goals
The VP of Operations sometimes acts as decision-makers on any customer returns or order errors. Therefore, the job description should highlight the importance of leadership experience and the ability to make selfless decisions that strike a balance between company goals and customers’ expectations.
For companies using bulk shipping and having multiple warehouses, the VP of Operations jobs should include data entry skills and knowledge of basic automation tools like CRM.
How the VP of Operations Improve Processes
Advocate for fulfillment optimizations
As customer needs and expectations continue to soar, e-commerce brands must have their warehouses located near their customers. This is because nearly half of U.S. customers want their items delivered in two days and having distant warehouses makes that almost impossible.
Amazon realized this and invested in sortation centers, airplanes, trailers, delivery stations, and other CAPEX. Now, 77% of the U.S. population is within 60 minutes of an Amazon delivery station, plus 63% is close to its fulfillment and redistribution center.
That said, the VP of Operations should convince the company’s decision-makers like the e-commerce managers to site warehouses in areas where they have larger customers to improve the order fulfillment process and retain existing customers. This will not only save time and costs, but it can also open up new opportunities for the company at the new locations.
Communicate with customers
According to Microsoft, excellent customer service impacts the level of trust customers have with a brand and it's the number one reason they will stay for long. For e-commerce brands, effective communication is an important element that contributes to the overall customer experience.
It’s not enough to appreciate customers for placing orders, you should engage them after the purchase, too. In this case, email is effective, because 63% of people list email as their preferred communication channel; send relevant emails regarding order status, from the time the order is received and in process, to when it’s been shipped and delivered.
Leverage an OMS
With so many moving parts in the order management process, it can be difficult to manage orders across channels using the manual order management process. Especially when you're working with a large business, you’ll need an additional system to manage inventory and orders from other channels.
The order management system (OMS) provides an end-to-end tool for tracking and managing orders across multiple channels. It eliminates errors and allows you to process and manage orders easily in one single place.
OMS software used by the VP of Operations offers several automation capabilities, including:
- Payment processing
- Routing orders to the appropriate warehouse
- Choosing the best shipping carrier based on customer location
- Printing shipping labels
- Forwarding information to the accounting system
- Updating inventory levels in real-time
- Sending transactional messages like confirmation emails
The order management system also provides required support for warehouse management either through an external warehouse management system (WMS) or built-in functionality. Understanding these capabilities and how OMS software works is vital for winning the VP of Operations job over other candidates.