The involvement of advanced technology has changed the face of the order management process in many organizations. The process of procurement can turn out to be frantic when not monitored in the right way. As a solution, automation has carried most of the business processes to supreme efficiency.
Once an order is placed, multiple tasks go into the order management workflow. With the help of an automation solution, your business acquires profound order workflow management. Know how you can effectively manage the order management workflow and create a work order workflow with our workflow automation tool Cflow.
What is an Order Management Workflow?
An order management workflow includes all the processes starting from receiving an order to delivering the product to the customers. It is an undertaking of any business to fulfill all the orders that they acquire. A specialized workflow is followed to obtain a seamless and efficient functioning of this procurement process. With the convergence of different functional areas into this process, it is essential to maintain a level of standardization.
Therefore, an elaborate process management system is a must to offer a superior customer experience. Order processing management will empower your workforce to maximize the business output as well as save resources like time and money, minimize errors, and let you make timely decisions.
Steps in Order Management Workflow
1. Receiving an Order
The order management workflow starts when the department receives a customer’s order. No matter the source of order placement (it could be from a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop), it is all brought together at one space for further processing.
2. Order Processing
What is order processing?
It is the systematic processing of the workflow after a customer order comes in. There are two situational possibilities when it comes to processing an order, either the company follows in-house processing or opts to use the third-party logistics service. Traditionally, the stages of the order processing management are manually scrutinized and the status of each order is simultaneously updated. A confirmation is also sent to the customers verifying their orders. The order status at the business end is updated as well.
3. Picking and Packing of the Order
In most business places even today, manual labor is put in the task of picking and packing the orders. In some of the in-house businesses, following a traditional setup, orders are manually picked and transported to the packing center.
The packaging of a product is also done manually, packed into order boxes and other safety materials to ensure the safety of the packed product. During the packing of the product, the order and the picked product are verified to match the right customer. As this process happens, it is completely documented for clarity and status updates.
4. Shipping of the Product and Tracking
The shipping of the product involves several steps. The business will be integrated with a shipping carrier to specifically carry the order management workflow forward. Even though shipping seems to be a task for shipping carriers, there are a few responsibilities that the companies must take care of. When the packaging is done, the packing team marks the packaging with the right shipping label. Eventually, the order status is changed to “Shipped”, and the tracking information is shared with the customer.
5. Delivery of the Product
Once the order is shipped, the customer receives the shipping confirmation status through an SMS or email and eventually receives the order. Once the order is delivered, the status of the order is again updated to “Order Delivered”.
This process tends to get more complicated when multiple orders come in at the same time. Therefore, there is a necessity to deal with these tasks in a much more orderly manner. Businesses must look for a more centralized tool that will be flexible with the activities within this order processing management.
Limitations in a Manual Order Management Workflow
According to the traditional business culture, most processes are performed manually. This management workflow is achieved either through an e-commerce tool or a spreadsheet. Due to this approach, the process is exposed to errors and delays. An e-commerce platform can only manage selective tasks within this workflow.
In most situations, the status of the order can only be tracked on the e-commerce site. Due to this, your brand might not independently stand out and will be referred to in association with the e-commerce platform. A manual order management workflow will hold the following limitations:
Labor-intensive and Increased Complexity
Moving from order placement, payment, inventory scanning, packaging, and shipping, there is a huge involvement of labor. With multiple orders, a large team must be appointed for the chain of processes to peacefully happen. This again increases the complexity and also more resources need to be spent.
Longer Time in Processing-Picking-Packing
Once a customer order is received, the processing is carried out manually. The order is scrutinized by an in-charge person and the status is also updated simultaneously. In the absence of automation, this verification is done through manual three-way matching that involves cross-checking the order, invoice, and receipt since most often the payment is already done. This processing takes a longer time to be done and this will further delay all the other following processes.
Difficulty in Tracking
In a manual system of work order workflow, tracking becomes a hectic task. In such a setup, the employees have to manually enter the data regarding the status of the order, inventory status, etc. In the case of multiple warehouses, the tracking becomes much more complicated. In this workflow, the team makes necessary changes to the workflow when they complete their assigned task. Eventually, they have to keep updating the status for the other processes to advance. This step can take a long time due to the communication gap between different stages.
Possibility of Errors
With human involvement, the possibility of errors increases. Simultaneous orders can be a handful to handle and they become prone to mismanagement by the employees. Additionally, in a manual system, documentation is practiced through paperwork. There can be entry errors, difficulty in tracking specific entries, and damage to the paper documents.
How Can You Effectively Streamline Order Management Workflow with Automation?
Automating the work order workflow can achieve a lot of benefits for your organization. Yet, certain points must be considered to convey a professional image of your organization and also be an ace in customer service.
The Order Management System (OMS) is an automation process that offers end-to-end management and tracking for your organizational processes. It is a centralized order management system that gives a space to manage all of the orders in a more systematic and standardized manner, erasing bottlenecks. As it assembles all the orders in one place, businesses can plan and organize the workflow accordingly. With automation, most of the processes are streamlined reducing the workforce, resources, and most importantly time.
So, how can you shift to such a practice through which you will be able to gain exposure to hassle-free order sorting and delivery in the industry? Here are some ways in which automation improves the order management workflow.
Order Receiving and Processing
Centralization of the location for all the marketplaces and channels is a must. All the orders and stock levels must be available in one place. Automation offers integration that would assemble all of the orders received by your business and automatically will check and update the stock levels. Processing of the order becomes much easier with the automation of order processing management. Automation software will help you easily integrate with external applications. While processing orders, the software lets you easily connect with third-party logistics service providers,
This stage, we know, is generally categorized into three levels – picking, packing, and Shipping. Orders can be multiple for medium and large businesses. Problems like unnoticed orders, packaging of the wrong product, etc., can bring down the image of your company. Therefore, to manage this, automated order workflow management will effectively converge all of these processes without making them error-prone.
When the products are being picked for the orders, classifying the products into different categories will make it more efficient. They can be put into different warehouses. Automation will aid the stock analysis, constantly letting you know the total number of each product available. With an automated workflow, the shipping of orders can be done meticulously. The status of the order, from the order request to the delivery, is instantly updated on the workflow.
Automation lets you connect with customers easily. An automated order management workflow will show you detailed order statuses. For instance, when a product is picked and packed with an appropriate shipping label, the status on the workflow would be “awaiting shipment” or “ready for shipment”. Once the order has been shipped the status can be changed to “shipped”. This will in turn trigger notifications by email/SMS to the customer as well as the warehouse.
Integration with the Finance System
Once the order is placed, the payment capture has to be regulated simultaneously. This is done through integration with any external payment gateway. In some payment gateways, the payment capturing has to be done manually. A proper set of policies and regulations must be in place to process the payments. Here, it ensures that order confirmation is not given unless the patent is done. In this automated system, proper guidelines are practiced to ensure that there is awareness among everybody when it is captured.
Cflow’s Order Management Workflow Platform
Cflow offers a top-tier workflow creation platform where your employees can generate an order management process flowchart with easy steps. It majorly focuses on ease of use, where the workflows are simple and comprehensive. Our automation enables integration with any essential business tools helping you multiply your goals and profit. Some of the most notable features of Cflow include the following.
SLAs and Escalations
With this feature, compliance can be maintained without being sidetracked. Cflow allows you to set task-based goals and timelines. Automatic reminders and notifications regarding tasks and deadlines can be set to notify the employees to ensure the smooth functioning of all business processes. Awareness of the happenings is created among the employees. Meanwhile, the feature of escalations keeps the stakeholders constantly updated with all of the approval deadlines and overdue.
You will be left with zero stress when you leave your organization’s documentation to Cflow. You can easily track and access any document instantly. Simply scan and upload, and have all your paperwork converted to digital documents. This is a centralized workflow where changes can be updated, and it is easier to track them. You will be able to access these documents through any device anywhere anytime.
Vacation and Delegation Process
Employees easily apply and get leave approvals in no time. Both parties will receive a notification mail regarding the request. This arrangement will allow the organization to know when an employee is on vacation. The team will be ready to accommodate themselves accordingly by making the necessary changes in the workflow, ensuring the continuous flow of work.
Cflow can seamlessly connect with SMB applications like Slack and Quickbooks, including Enterprise applications like Salesforce and SAP. This integration process can be done in the most straightforward steps. Without leaving the user interface this integration feature gives a smooth working of all the organizational processes.
With Cflow, customizable reports can be generated according to the ideals, values, and objectives of your organization. The report builder in Cflow helps you assess your workforce’s performance by creating graphical reports for landing decisive insights. The dashboard for the report creation is visually appealing, vibrant, easy to use, and easily customizable.
Create Order Management Process Flowchart with Cflow
Cflow is a visual workflow designer. This visual workflow designer is a web-based interface that supports the creation and visualization of workflows. The unique feature of no code allows even a non-technical person to easily use our tool to generate a process workflow. Any employee can initiate a workflow at any given time.
Cflow lets your workforce communicate efficiently with a visually appealing workflow, giving them the clarity they have never experienced before. The employee who is the workflow initiator can insert rules that would instruct the team on how to go about the given tasks. With the rules, the duties, responsibilities, and accountability will be well defined.
The creation of a workflow is just a simple task, the employees can simply drag and drop the elements in the desired stage. Several already existing configurations and icons are available in the Control Center from which changes can be made even after the workflow is published. Pre-designed templates are available for you to do a thematic presentation.
End-to-end workflow automation
Build fully-customizable, no code process workflows in a jiffy.
Best Practices in Creating a Good Flowchart
An order management process flowchart will guide you through the given process in its entirety. It will allow you to identify and manage areas of possible issues and bottlenecks and will allow you to generate a workflow accordingly. Only when you can detect the areas of issues, precise steps can be taken to negate its possibility. Therefore, with the help of a workflow automation tool like Cflow, you will be able to initiate a very professional and systematic workflow for your business processes. We will list out some best practices in designing an effective process flowchart.
Choose the Right Software
Always go for automation software that would meet and erase all the possible issues in bringing the seamless working of the process. Certain software will have the feature to customize the workflow as the team desires. An automated workflow software must be able to give space where the tasks are explained, deadlines are notified, and instructions, rules, and policies are accurately defined. This particular system will ensure the communication of information is intact and will also enable the employers to follow them accordingly.
Proper Spatial Arrangement
Make sure of the arrangement in your workflow flowchart. Every workflow flowchart is designed with specific goals and expectations. To meet them, you have to make the flowchart clear and neat. To accomplish this, spatial arrangement of the elements/icons is essential. Cluttered distribution often leads to confusion and unclarity.
Consistency in Patterns
It is more compelling when there is consistency in the patterns/elements/icons that is used in the flowchart. Parameters like combination colors, themes, shapes, and figures, should be coordinated well with each other.
Use the Right Words
The use of trigger words is more appropriate. Long sentences can be a put-off. The aim is to convey what the task is. Which can be done with minimal words. Trigger words are often straightforward and indicate the action to be initiated.
Benefits of Cflow’s Order Management Workflow
Cflow’s intuitive and seamless workflow generation can be acquired with simple steps. It enables the employees to visualize the entire process of working. With this solution, there are many benefits that the organization enjoys in order workflow management. Some of these benefits include:
- Fluidity in order flow
- Increased revenue generation
- Wider gross margin
- Cancellation of errors/risks
- High customer/employee satisfaction
If your order management processes are still hectic and difficult to handle, it is the right time for you to adopt the top solution offered by Cflow. Customers are the strong pillars of your business. Top-level Customer experience and service can only assure the longevity of your business. To achieve this, it is always crucial to have an effective management system.
A lack of proper order management can affect the rapport with your customers and subsequently your business. With the current technical advancements, many solutions like automation could take this burden away from you. With Cflow, you can centralize your order management workflow skillfully. Visit Cflow’s Visual Workflow Builder now!
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