Order Management (OM)
Order Management, simply put, is the process of efficiently tracking and fulfilling sales and service orders. It includes the cycle of people, processes, and technology to create a positive customer experience. The order management process starts from when a customer places an order, to keeping track of that order until it is fulfilled.
Order management software is designed to facilitate and automate the order fulfillment process, reducing the time in the order-to-cash cycle and improving order processing efficiency for suppliers and wholesalers.
Order management software lets business users easily enter and convert orders or quotes, maintain a visual on stock levels, search and identify trends from past invoices, verify shipping preferences, and modify pricing all from within a single system.
Order management products often integrate with Billing software, and will occasionally overlap in functionalities. Order management products may also integrate with CRM software and Subscription Management software depending on the product or service being offered and the number of customers for which the user needs to maintain records.
Order Management Components
An order header will contain detail about the customer specifically and will include details pertaining to the account that will be invoiced and accounting details. An order item will contain details of the specific physical or logical inventory items (not available on the header) and any sales credits.
Bundles are groups of products or services sold together with special terms and conditions such as discounted pricing or special product or service offers. Bundle management assists order management systems by enabling them to handle the complexities of bundles typically seen in the service provider space.
A bundle is often presented to the customer as one product but really a bundle is a collection of specific products and services. All the constituent line items have different and unique attributes, and may all be provisioned in different ways. An order management system must identify the characteristics of each individual product or service, preserve the concept of the bundle, and then pass the information to downstream systems.
Approvals are a key component to both contract and order management systems. In order for approvals to be effective, they must be communicated automatically to the right people, provide visibility to those involved, and be actionable to all participants. When a contract or an order satisfies certain criteria, approvals are triggered and sent to relevant parties. The approvals are typically sent via e-mail, but they can be sent via text message or other forms of mobile communication.
The approval notifications either contain enough information to allow the user to make an actionable decision, or they redirect the user to the originating system where they can view details of the contract or order. Once an actionable decision has been made, the contract or order is automatically moved to the next logical step, and the process is repeated, or it reaches a completed state.
Order decomposition refers to the ability of an order management system to break down and accurately track the different components necessary to activate or “turn up” a product or service.
For example, imagine a customer purchases internet service from a local telecommunications company. The order is for internet service, but there are many individual components that are contained in the service and must be tracked. A physical modem is sent to the customer, the DSLAM is turned on at the local exchange, a truck roll may need to be initiated, and the customer may need to connect and activate the modem once they receive it.
All of these steps need to be tracked individually and completed before billing can be initiated.
Workflow, or business process management (BPM), is a set of tools, methodology, and training for defining business processes across an organization. Workflow tools allow an organization to manage these business processes more effectively, providing:
- Visibility to real-time status of in-flight processes
- Specific task lists that allow everyone to know what they are assigned and it should be completed
- Reporting to understand the efficiency of processes
A workflow environment provides a number of high-level benefits, including:
Workflow streamlines business processes by immediately routing tasks to the right people at the right time, and escalates if it is not done on time.
Workflow enables expense reductions by more efficiently managing transactional workload.
Often times an order management system needs to interface with 3rd party vendors to manage fulfillment of particular goods and services. Traditionally, the term gateway is used to describe the ability to integrate with 3rd party systems. Today, this integration is common and a basic requirement of all Q2C systems. This integration is commonly performed through web service APIs.
Key Order Management Vendors
HQ: San Francisco, CA
Company Type: Privately Held
Delivery Method: Cloud
DocuSign is a company that specializes in electronic signature solutions. With DocuSign, companies are able to accelerate the movement of contracts, approvals, and workflows using Digital Transaction Management (DTM) and eSignature solution, their key offerings.
DocuSign also integrates easily with systems and services their customers are already using such as Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, and Apple.
DocuSign targets companies of all sizes across various industries. These industries include real estate, financial, travel, and agriculture, among many others. Over 100,000 companies and 50,000 users in 188 countries have used DocuSign.
- Community Energy
HQ: Dublin, CA
Company Type: Public
Delivery Method: Cloud
CallidusCloud is a leading provider of cloud-based sales, marketing, and learning solutions. They enable organizations to accelerate and maximize their lead to money process with a complete suite of solutions that identify the right leads, ensure proper territory and quota distribution, enable sales forces, automate configure price quote, and streamline sales compensation — driving bigger deals, faster.
Their Cloud Computing platform enables customer access to:
- Rapid time to value
- High availability
- High performance
- Bullet-proof security
- Anytime, anywhere access
CallidusCloud tends to target small, medium and large enterprises across multiple industries globally that want to optimize the lead to money process to close more deals for more money quickly and efficiently.
HQ: San Jose, CA
Company Type: Public
Delivery Method: Cloud
Adobe eSign Services (formerly EchoSign), with Adobe Document Cloud, provides web-based digital electronic signature solutions. The company’s technology attaches a digital signature to secure electronic documents and creates electronic records of agreements, transactions, and electronic commerce to and from documents in various formats.
With Salesforce integration, Adobe eSign services has been a consistent AppExchange favorite since 2006.
Adobe eSign services tends to target a wide range of company industries including high tech, data storage, and cloud-based companies that range from mid-sized businesses to global enterprises.