Automated Order Management in B2B Commerce | Liferay
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Making the Move to Automated Order Management in B2B Commerce

Learn more about how to achieve maximum efficiency and accuracy in B2B order management.
Making the Move to Automated Order Management in B2B Commerce.jpg

Order management in B2B commerce can be complex, particularly when processes are not automated. Multichannel marketing and keeping up with changing customer demands can prove to be even more difficult, but having an order management system can simplify this process.

How to Achieve Maximum Efficiency and Accuracy via Automated Order Management Systems

A B2B ecommerce portal offers a wealth of benefits for businesses who sell to other brands. They often include an order management system (OMS), which is an integrated, digital way to manage an order lifecycle. From order entry, inventory management, and fulfilment, to after-sales service, an OMS provides visibility to both the customer and the business.

Why is Automated Order Management So Important?

Convenience is key. B2B buyers are looking for the same kind of digital ease and convenience they regularly enjoy as a B2C consumer. Ecommerce portals connected to inventory and ERP systems can conveniently house up-to-date, real-time stock levels and automate order management. 

Think about it: you make an order from Amazon or any other major online retailer and the experience is almost always smooth and automatic. Orders are fulfilled quickly and accurately. This is worth a lot to consumers – and corporate customers are no exception.

Digital integration of systems enhances the user experience. Any organisation’s B2B customer experience can be greatly improved with an ecommerce portal that facilitates back-end integration, allowing for a more accurate and complete view of each customer. Modern interfaces allow for personalisation and recommendations based on individual needs. 

Furthermore, if these processes become fully automatic, then it’s no longer something that your staff have to do manually. Not only does this improve morale among teams, but it also saves time and money. Automated order management leaves less room for human error and rapidly picks up the pace of processes.

Benefits of B2B Ecommerce Portals

B2B ecommerce portals will improve business performance on several counts. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Improve the Holistic Customer Experience and Reduce Support Staff Load

It’s the proverbial two birds with one stone. In order to stand out among other competitors in the B2B space, it’s a similar story to B2C retail - you need to ensure that purchases are simple and seamless to foster a good user experience. A robust, well-functioning B2B ecommerce portal helps to enable this. 

Automated order management provides users with additional convenience, choice, and control – especially important as according to Statista, the share of ecommerce as a percentage of total retail sales is projected to reach 24.5% in 2025, compared to 7.4% in 2015. A few key ways that automating order management processes improves customer experience include:

  • 24/7 availability to shop online with real-time information (automated inventory management)
  • Quick and secure payment
  • Efficient order fulfilment
  • Frequent tracking updates from order to delivery
  • Simple return processes

Additionally, with manual order fulfilment, there are a lot of operational steps that staff have to supervise, which costs a business both time and money. With automated order management, your support staff are free to do what they really do best - interact with clients and offer personalised service.

2. Increase Accuracy and Speed of Order Fulfilment

Customer satisfaction and trust depends largely on the experience from order to delivery, with 82% of customers agreeing that it was important that sellers proactively communicate every fulfilment and delivery stage. This level of communication helps to set clear expectations, provide reassurance, and increase confidence. When orders arrive on time and are exactly as the customer expects, businesses ensure an overall positive experience from start to finish. This can have a great impact on customer loyalty and retention, with customers more likely to come back and repurchase. If their expectations are not met, however, there is the risk of churn, which should be avoided at all costs.

Ecommerce tools have raised the bar for supply-chain performance. The moment calls for businesses to achieve new levels of predictability and responsiveness – or in the long run, you might pay a heavy price.

With automated order management, you can guarantee more efficient response times and more accurate order fulfilments. Ecommerce portals help to increase efficiency, particularly when integrated with a company’s ERP or CRM, as they help to streamline ordering workflows and offer frictionless buying experiences. When comparing this with manual processes, the risk of human error is significantly reduced.

Such efficiency is likely to contribute to increased satisfaction among customers, which can then lead to customer retention. Consistently hitting your order lifecycle targets is key to developing a sustainable B2B business model.

3. Measure and Act on Order Data to Streamline Business Operations 

When you automate your order management, you can receive immediate, real-time status updates on your stock. Accurate inventory management can also help you to resolve restocking issues with ease. Furthermore, data can be collected from all stages such as sourcing, production, warehousing, transportation, point-of-sale, and post-sale.

A lack of data surrounding your order process can lead to a range of issues:

  • Overselling - You might accept an order that you aren’t able to provide. You’d later have to cancel that order, leaving a client unsatisfied. 
  • Overstocking - You might not be aware of your full stock, and thus order too much too soon. Aside from wasting costly warehouse space, this will create dead stock that is harder to shift. 
  • Forecasts - How do you really understand what your clients need if you don’t collect data on their orders? It’s important not to miss peaks or drops in demand, especially so that you’re able to modify business strategies based on patterns or trends identified in the data.

In regards to the post-purchase stage, an automated platform also allows you to collect data on customer orders and begin to analyse it in an organised way. Analytics from a B2B ecommerce portal can show you which channels or personas are the most valuable to your business, so you can identify your high potential audiences and areas of growth. 

Portal data also displays customer engagement patterns to help you see where you are gaining or losing their interest. These can be cues for you to invest time and energy on specific improvements. For example, if clients abandon the purchase process during the checkout stage more than at the beginning of their search, this can indicate that your platform might have user experience issues during the checkout process. For example, this could be related to payment methods or unexpected costs. With the pattern identified, you can take direct action to fix any issues and improve the user experience and customer satisfaction.

Also See: 
How a B2B Ecommerce Portal Can Benefit Your Business
Speed is everything in today’s dynamic business world. A well-designed B2B ecommerce platform with automated order management will help get your business on track for success and scalability. Learn more about how B2B ecommerce portals can empower your decision-making and business success by downloading our whitepaper.
Download the Whitepaper

The Right Automated Order Management System For Your Business

Efficiency and customer centricity are key to business growth, and automated B2B order management systems can be a vital step in achieving this. A study by McKinsey, for example, showed that more than 50% of B2B decision makers are willing to spend over $50,000 on a new product or service category through end-to-end digital self-service and remote purchase processes. It’s clear that efficient digital processes are a profitable pathway in the B2B space.

Plus, the transition to a B2B ecommerce portal gives your company more options when it comes to scaling. As businesses expand, the volume of customers, orders, and data increases. Automated order management systems are designed to handle this increase, making businesses more flexible and ready to scale. 

Find out how Liferay’s B2B ecommerce solution can simplify B2B ordering, reduce cost-to-serve, and encourage repeat orders. There’s never been a better moment to bolster your online revenue and set your business up for sustainable growth.

Originally published
November 3, 2022
 last updated
November 3, 2022
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