Inventory and order management software: How an OMS enhances inventory management

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Imagine if your inventory could talk – what would it say? 

Probably something like, “Hey, don’t forget to reorder me before I run out!” or “Psst, that other product isn’t really moving, maybe stop ordering so much of it?!” 

If you mix the inventory world with order management software (OMS), your inventory almost does speak, keeping you updated, optimized, and organized without all the chatter. 

An OMS serves as the central nervous system of your business, keeping your products moving smoothly and your customers smiling. 

With benefits spanning reduced order fulfillment errors, increased efficiency, and enhanced customer experiences, it’s no wonder OMS is gaining popularity – the market is set to reach a massive USD3.17 billion by 2030 as everyone grapples for a slice of the pie.

So, isn’t it time you let your inventory management get a little… smarter?

What is the relationship between inventory and order management software?

Imagine if your inventory and orders got married and had a super smart baby – that’s essentially what an OMS is. This whiz kid not only keeps tabs on your stash of goods but also makes sure they reach their new homes on time and in tip-top shape.

An OMS is always on the ball, managing everything from who bought what to when it needs to ship out. Some key features include:

  • Real-time inventory tracking: Keeps you updated faster than you can refresh your browser.
  • Order processing: Turns the chaos of orders into a well-oiled machine.
  • Customer management: Keeps tabs on customer preferences like a thoughtful friend.
  • Analytics and reporting: Delivers the scoop on what’s hot and what’s not, helping you make smarter business moves.

A basic inventory system might remind you a bit of a notepad, good for jotting down what’s in stock. On the other hand, a comprehensive OMS is more akin to having a smartphone – it’s got the brains to forecast, analyze, and optimize your entire inventory and sales operations, ensuring you’re not just tracking, but planning like a pro.

What is the role of an OMS in inventory management?

An OMS is your inventory’s personal superhero, always on duty, ensuring that your stock levels are monitored and managed with precision.

Real-time inventory tracking

An OMS always keeps its eyes on the prize – your products. It tracks every item in real time, giving you a live feed of your inventory as if it were broadcasting its own reality TV show. This means you can wave goodbye to the guesswork and say hello to knowing exactly what’s in stock at any second of the day.

Automatic updates

Whenever a sale is made, new stock arrives, or a return is processed, the OMS updates your inventory figures faster than you can say “inventory”. This automation reduces errors, saves time, and means you’re always prepared, whether it’s for a sudden surge in demand or a routine stock take.

Accurate stock levels

Accuracy in inventory levels is the cornerstone of customer satisfaction and financial health. With precise stock data, you avoid the pitfalls of overstocking (hello, wasted space and capital!) and understocking (goodbye, missed sales, and unhappy customers!). An OMS ensures your inventory accuracy is spot on, helping you maintain the perfect balance and keeping your customers coming back for more.

How to streamline order processing with an OMS

An OMS turns the maze of order processing into a clear path. 

Automating order processing workflows: manual tasks are replaced by automated processes. Orders are processed quicker and with fewer touches. You now have a super-efficient conveyor belt for your orders, ensuring they are always moving forward without delays.

Integration with various sales channels: an OMS acts as a central hub, connecting all your sales channels – from online marketplaces to brick-and-mortar stores. This integration ensures that order data flows seamlessly across platforms, providing a granular and unified view of all sales activities, wherever a sale is made.

Reducing human error: automation minimizes the chance of human error, like data entry mistakes, order fulfillment, or oversights in order tracking. By delegating these tasks to an OMS, you’re not just speeding up the process but also making it more reliable.

Businesses using an OMS often report significant improvements in processing time. Orders that once took days to process can now be completed in mere minutes. In turn, efficiency boosts productivity and enhances customer satisfaction by ensuring faster delivery times – it really is a win-win.

How to enhance inventory forecasting and planning

Level up your inventory game with an OMS that not only predicts future needs but also ensures you’re always two steps ahead in your planning game.

OMS isn’t just about keeping tabs on what you have, it’s your crystal ball for what you’ll need in the future. By analyzing past sales data and market trends, an OMS can forecast demand, helping you avoid the dreaded stockout or the equally frustrating overstock.

Getting demand forecasting right means you can say goodbye to panic ordering and emergency stock clearances. With accurate predictions, you maintain the perfect inventory balance, meet customer demands fluidly, and keep cash flow as steady as a metronome.

Tips for smarter inventory planning

  1. Seasonal trend analysis: just like fashion, inventory has its seasons too – an OMS helps you plan for these fluctuations.
  2. Safety stock levels: keep a cushion of stock to cover unexpected surges – this is your inventory’s safety net.
  3. Reorder point formula: automate when to reorder based on sales velocity and lead times, so you’re never caught off guard.
forecasting tutorial

How to improve supply chain visibility and coordination with an OMS

An OMS has significant potential to improve the way you coordinate and maintain an overview of your inventory. Let’s consider some of the ways this happens: 

End-to-end supply chain visibility

With an OMS, you’ve got the ultimate insight into your inventory’s comings and goings. It’s like having a backstage pass to every show in your supply chain, from the opening act of ordering to the final curtain call at delivery.

  • Visibility dashboard: Catch live updates of your inventory levels, shipments, and deliveries.
  • Real-time alerts: Stay on your toes with notifications that instantly keep you in the loop.

Supplier and vendor coordination

Keep your supply chain ensemble in perfect harmony. Remember, your OMS is the communication hub that keeps all your partners playing to the same beat, ensuring smooth and synchronized operations.

  • Unified communication tools: Direct the traffic of discussions and decisions from one central dashboard.
  • Integrated schedules: See all your timelines in one glance, perfectly synced and ready for action.

Reducing lead times

Fine-tune your supply chain, cut down on wait times, and speed up delivery. It’s all about keeping things moving quickly and smoothly, ensuring your customers get what they need without missing a beat.

  • Process optimization: Zero in on slow spots and streamline them for faster throughput.
  • Enhanced routing: Make sure every delivery takes the smartest, quickest route to its destination.

Real world win

Modern OMS systems are revolutionizing supply chain management. A recent survey by Deposco found that 77% of supply chain execs believe that investing in OMS/ WMS tech enhances profitability. 

How to reduce costs and increase efficiency with inventory and order management software

Chiseling down costs and cranking up efficiency doesn’t have to be just a pipe dream, it can very much become reality when you integrate an OMS into your inventory management.

Saving costs 

An OMS not only tracks your inventory but also optimizes your entire spending process. 

It aligns your stock levels precisely with demand, ensuring that every dollar spent is an investment, not just an expense. No more wasted budget on excess goods or emergency orders.

Reducing overstock and stockouts

Keeping your stock balanced is key. 

An OMS provides the data insights needed to maintain optimal inventory levels. You’ll steer clear of the clutter of overstock and the stress of stockouts, ensuring that you have exactly what you need, and when you need it.

Enhancing warehouse efficiency

Streamline your warehouse operations with an OMS that automates and organizes your inventory process. 

With better inventory control, your team spends less time counting and more time fulfilling orders efficiently, turning your warehouse into a hub of productivity.

Real world win

Businesses that harness the power of OMS report often reduced labor costs, lower inventory holding fees, and faster order processing times. These benefits translate into real dollars saved and heightened customer satisfaction, proving that an efficient system is a profitable one.

Enhancing customer satisfaction

While the primary function of an OMS is to keep your stock in check, it’s also a key player in driving customer satisfaction through the roof. 

Sharpening order accuracy and speeding up fulfillment, an OMS ensures that customers get exactly what they ordered, and fast. This level of precision and efficiency can significantly cut down on errors and wait times, which translates to happier customers who are more likely to come back, again and again. 

The real CX magic happens with real-time inventory data. It allows customer service teams to provide immediate and accurate responses to inquiries about product availability. No more guesswork or vague promises – just solid, tangible information that helps customers make informed decisions. This transparency and granularity help brands to build trust and foster a stronger relationship with customers.

Efficient inventory management also plays a crucial role in maintaining customer satisfaction. An optimized inventory system ensures that popular products are always in stock and that seasonal demands are met without a hitch. This reliability means customers aren’t disappointed by stockouts, further enhancing their overall experience.

Integrating with other business systems

Integrating an OMS with other business software like ERP and CRM systems could be a game changer for your operations. It creates a unified system that streamlines communication between different departments, ensuring that everyone is on the same page, with the same information. 

When your OMS talks directly to your ERP and CRM, data flows seamlessly across the business. This significantly reduces errors and saves tonnes of time by automating data entries and updates across various platforms. Imagine updating stock levels automatically across sales, finance, and customer service – no more silos, just smooth operations.

But a smooth integration is key to getting off on the right foot. Start with a clear plan.

Integrating your OMS with other systems, such as automated invoices, email communications, and customer ticketing results in faster order processing, improved customer satisfaction due to better service, and reduced costs through streamlined operations. By connecting the dots, you can turn your diverse systems into a cohesive, efficient machine that drives business growth.

How to choose the right inventory and order management software for your business

Selecting the right OMS should feel like finding the missing puzzle piece for your business – it needs to fit just right. Here’s how you can make sure you pick the best one…

  1. Start with scalability and flexibility – can the system grow and adapt with your business? Consider the software’s compatibility with your existing systems to ensure a smooth integration. Also, don’t overlook the user interface; it should be intuitive and easy for your team to adopt.
  1. Look for key functionalities that meet your specific needs — such as real-time analytics, mobile access, or the ability to handle multi-channel sales. A robust OMS should improve order accuracy, reduce processing times, and provide detailed inventory forecasts.
  1. Do your homework — Compare several OMS providers, focusing on customer reviews, support services, and total cost of ownership. How well do they support businesses in your industry? What’s their track record for uptime and customer support?

Tips for a successful implementation

  1. Plan your rollout carefully. 
  2. Start with a pilot program to work out any issues before going company-wide. 
  3. Provide ample training and resources for your staff.
  4. Keep communication open between your team and the software provider to swiftly address any concerns.

Become the master of your inventory with Linnworks

Now that you have all the pieces to the puzzle, it’s time to put them together for the ultimate inventory and order management system. 

Linnworks can transform your inventory operations, enhance order efficiency and increase customer satisfaction through the power of just one solution. Book a demo today and see how we can help streamline your business processes!

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Claire Rhodes


Enthusiastic tech translator. Ecommerce storyteller. Claire has worked in the B2B SaaS and tech space for the last 6+ years. With a love for words, grammar and tech, she prides herself on her product know-how and the inner workings of the complex solutions her clients offer. When not crafting B2B tech content, Claire spends her time traveling around the world, freediving, scuba diving, and making friends with the local critters.