(This post was originally published on April 1, 2015. We’ve updated it for accuracy and completeness.)
As your sales increase, your manual order processing can begin to break down. You take too long to enter data, you’re prone to critical errors like shipping to the wrong address, and you can’t easily track orders for customers.
At this point, your online business is ready for an order management system (OMS), or software built to help you centralize your order processing across sales channels and fulfillment methods. It automates your workflows and helps you control your customer experience.
However, there’s no shortage of order management software available today. To help you narrow down your choices, we compare the top 5 order management systems for you.
Tell-Tale Signs You Need an Order Management System (OMS)
Before you start researching software options, you should first identify if your need is big enough for an OMS. In other words, is implementing a new system worth your time and money?
Do you struggle with any of the following?
- Processing more than 10 orders a day
- Managing orders from multiple channels like a webstore, marketplace, and brick-and-mortar
- Fulfilling orders with multiple suppliers or 3PL
- Making critical errors like shipping the wrong product or to the wrong address
- Processing time takes days causing slower delivery times
- No visibility or reporting into current processes
These signs all point to the need of a better way to process your orders for fulfillment. They can also help you identify your weakest point in your process to prioritize first.
How to Calculate ROI of an Order Management System
Another way to determine whether to invest in a new OMS is to calculate your return. You can determine your ROI by considering the following:
- How much employee time will the new software save you by eliminating manual tasks?
- How many processing errors will you avoid?
- What else could you be doing instead of only processing orders?
- Can you cancel and replace a current software system?
For example, let’s say you have one employee dedicated to manually processing orders. With your new system in place, can you cut their time in half? Then, you can calculate your ROI by multiplying their saved time by their hourly wage. How much time and money do you save over a 12 month period? Are your savings more than your investment?
Once you decide that you’re ready for a new system, you can start researching how an OMS helps and which system is best for your business.
What Does an Order Management System Do?
An order management system helps improve your order-to-cash cycle (OTC), which is how your business receives, processes, manages, and completes customer orders. This includes everything from collecting payment, shipping the items, creating invoices, and reporting.
The order to cash cycle is critical to the success of your online business. It impacts your bottom line and the customer experience.
This also means that order management systems provide a wide-range of functionality that help manage the people, processes, and integrations involved with completing an order from any sales channels:
- Inventory, or stock levels
- Suppliers or 3PLs
- Returns and refunds
- Pick, packing, and shipping
- Financial integration
- Reporting and analytics
It’s easy to see how an OMS can help with most of your backend processes.
But, can’t I process orders in my ecommerce platform or ERP? While there’s overlap in functionality between an OMS and your eCommerce/ERP system, an OMS typically works alongside these systems. It’ll be your centralized platform to perform and track order processing across all sales channels, and then sync key information as needed into other systems.
In fact, experts like the IHL group view order management systems as the center point for any sellers trying to achieve unified commerce. An OMS becomes the central platform to manage all of your critical processes for both online and offline sales channels.
The Best Order Management Systems
While there are many solutions available, we narrowed down our list to these top order management systems.
- Quickbooks Commerce
- Freestyle Solutions
How to Choose an Order Management System
When looking into order management systems, it can be difficult to decipher what’s actually important to you. Many companies have a long list of features. You have to determine which features are must-have or just “filler.”
Here are main areas to focus on when choosing your order management system:
- Price: Features you get relative to investment and any tiered pricing by order volume or users
- Shipping: Route orders based on warehouse or customer location
- Inventory: Update inventory levels across systems and sales channels
- Customers: Track orders for customers and update accounts
- Financial: Help with returns and refunds
- Integrations: The ability to sync data with your other platforms such as sales channels, fulfillment partners, financial systems, and POS.
- Offline Capabilities: Help with Buy Online, Pick Up In Store and/or Endless Aisle processes
- Reporting: Visibility into your process to track performance or alert of any issues
These features provide a guideline when comparing your options.Of course, be diligent before committing to one platform. It’s always frustrating to implement the wrong system for your business, especially for something as critical as an OMS.
Comparison of the Top 5 Order Management Systems
Best for Small Businesses on Quickbooks Online
Formerly TradeGecko, Quickbooks Commerce is a centralized platform to manage orders for small businesses. The catch? Right now, Quickbooks Commerce is only available to new Quickbooks Online customers. But, they are working on expanding to the rest of the users.
If you’re a Quickbooks Online userm, Quickbook Commerce is an affordable option — pricing plans start at $20/month for the first 12 months. With it, you’ll be able to list products across sales, update inventory levels, set up automated shipping workflows, and integrate your financial data from Quickbooks Online.
Saying that, Quickbooks Commerce is still best for small businesses only. They don’t support sellers selling over 30K orders a month, more than 20K SKUS, or inventory items with individual serial numbers.
Best for Medium to Enterprise eCommerce Businesses
Brightpearl is an all-in-one operations platform. It integrates with popular sales channels like BigCommerce, Shopify, Amazon, and eBay. They also offer key functionality like: automated order fulfillment, returns management, multiple sales channels, and POS integration for Buy Online, Pick Up In Store.
With ERP-grade functionality, Brightpearl is a system that scales with your business as you go from 1,000 orders a month to 30,000. This also means that Brightpearl can blur the lines of an ERP and OMS, and can better serve medium to enterprise businesses with their range of functionality.
Sellers will need to contact Brightpearl to receive pricing information.
Best for Small and Growing Businesses
Skubana is also an all-in-one solution that covers more than your basic OMS functionality including inventory management, sales channel integration, order tracking, and comprehensive reporting and analytics.
Often compared to Brightpearl, Skubana can fall short in some features and options. It’s also only available as a web-based platform. For those reasons, Skubana usually better serves small and growing businesses.
Best for Small and Mid-Size Businesses
Formerly Dydacomp in 2015, Freestyle Solutions helps growing businesses centralize and streamline their order processing. You can sync your inventory levels across your channels, integrate the shipping process like drop shipping, manage multiple warehouses, and make informed decisions with built-in reporting.
Users can take advantage of Freestyle Solutions’s system without being charged by number of users, channels, or SKUs.
Odoo — Best Open Source OMS
With over 5 million users ranging from startups to enterprises, Odoo is an open source platform that offers a suite of business apps that include everything from eCommerce to CRM and inventory management. They offer 30 main apps built by Odoo and another 1600+ apps developed by their own active community.
Odoo is a different solution on our list because it’s open source, meaning that end users can download and customize the code of the platform. In other words, you have full control to configure the software to meet your unique needs. This also means you can easily integrate Odoo into other systems as you need like eCommerce, ERP, or shipping software.
While they offer some basic inventory and warehouse functionality pre-built, you can easily modify and scale the software as your processes evolve. In some cases, open source software is both cost-effective and flexible for OMS functionality.
See Odoo’s a la carte pricing plans.
What To Do Next: Integrate Your OMS
Choosing an order management system is the first step in simplifying your order and inventory management. This list of systems can help you narrow down your research on solutions that can work for your business.
No matter what system you choose though, integration into your sales channels and other fulfillment systems is key. After all, you want your OMS to become the centralized place where you process and track all your orders. Learn more about how nChannel can help integrate your retail systems.
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Nice job to gather all companies….I am checking internet and found a company name with Orderhive…..I think you have to add it….This company have mention very good things, you should go through its website, check its features and list at your next blog or here.
This is my personal opinion….
TradeGecko is a SaaS startup that lets business owners manage inventory and orders without resorting to spreadsheets or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. It is targeted toward B2C retailers as well as wholesalers.
If you are still confused in selecting the right software for your business, you can take help of software discovery platfroms available like TechnologyAdvice, SoftwareSuggest, Capterra, Getapp, etc,.
If you are planning to sell online, you will really need to manage your product records. This is because selling online brings its own share of problems – managing customers, orders and inventory being some of them. SaaS based solutions are the best and easy to use. We’ve used a SaaS based software solution for our operations, and it was quite helpful, starting out as well as while scaling up. Vin eRetail, by Vinculum Solutions was a good call. This solution makes it really easy to sell online. Check them out! Hope this helped.
Thank you, John Haselden, for sharing such an informative post. This post will be helpful for anyone in choosing right order management system. But I think Vin eRetail OMS should also be listed here. My experience with Vin eRetail OMS was excellent. As before one year, I was facing the order management problem in my business of T-shirt printing. With the help of Vinculum group, I have resolved this issue.
I recently read about some information about inventory management tools. It more interesting, if you’re planning is control all process without difficulty. Try Apptivo, this tool contains inventory, order management, purchase order, suppliers apps and items management. Try to check out it is pretty good tool.
Great post and good curation of amazing products.
With time and technology advancements, there are plenty of new softwares in the market who are doing a lot of buzz. One of among them is EMERGE App (http://emergeapp.net).
I think you should consider adding EMERGE App to this list. Businesses can connect to various other third party channels (shopify, Magento, Woocommerce) to simplify order and shipping related tasks. Also, Business will have a clear picture of stores performance in real-time. Complex sales and purchase relationship for companies keeping full, partial or completely no stock.
Keep up the good work.
Hello. Does anyone know how to find a company that act as a seller – thus doing the invoice – when our customers decide to buy from our website. I’m not looking for a retailer since we don’t ask that storage-shipping company to buy the products before these are sold to the end-customer. We are located in Europe and look for selling in the US.
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What do you guys think about Symphony Commerce and Enspire Commerce? https://www.symphonycommerce.com/ https://www.enspirecommerce.com/
Great work in shortlisting the top 5 companies. It is very helpful for companies who are planning to get OMS. Please consider http://mobilityecommerce.com/solution/ as they provide many other features along with inventory and order management.
This is a great list put together. Very useful. Has anyone considered a custom, tailor-made order management system? In case you are looking for something more bespoke, check out http://inventrik.com
Great stuff, actually I was looking for these kinds of Order Management Systems and I took the services from Deliv Agent (https://delivagent.com/), this is the right software that I was looking for. But in future I will remind these 5 names also.
Order management systems are a crucial development in the financial services industry because of the real-time monitoring of positions, the ability to prevent regulatory violations, the speed and accuracy of trade execution. An OMS can also improve workflow and communication between managers, traders, and compliance officers. Thanks for sharing here top order management software here.
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Great comparison of order management systems we just recently finished up our search and we’re able to go through a ton of demos with different providers.
We ended up not going with 2 of the solutions even though they we’re on our shortlist.
We actually ended up going with a packaged solution that had an order management and warehouse management system all in one called Shipedge (https://shipedge.com/shipedge-order-management-system/) since several of the above systems required separate solutions for order fulfillment.
When you decide to hand off fulfillment, you’ll be seeking out a third-party logistics company, or a 3PL. These fulfillment partners will store your products in their warehouses.
It really interests me to read such articles, thanks for sharing Blogs like yours and info. It really helps me learn more day by day
You did an excellent job on this article. I read every single one of your articles. It is very helpful for me to understand the things that are beneficial to my business. Order management systems are very useful for any business to manage stock and reduce human error.
I am a client of one of the companies.
I recommend it to anyone who requires an Order Management System.