Go to top
Order Fulfillment

How To Automate Order Management: Workflow & Benefits

Order management automation uses technology to streamline tasks from order placement to delivery, enhancing efficiency, reducing errors, and improving speed

Team Hopstack
April 17, 2024

In this blog

In today's fiercely competitive e-commerce market, efficient order management is not just a mere ritual—it's a critical differentiator. With markets constantly evolving, how adeptly you handle orders can make or break your business. 

To stay ahead, many businesses are opting for warehouse management systems wms or fulfillment software with deeper order management capabilities. By automating order management, businesses can significantly enhance order accuracy, boost operational efficiency, and deliver a seamless customer experience. In this blog, we break down everything you need to know about order management automation. Keep reading to know more.

What is Order Management Automation?

Order management automation is essentially using technology and software to streamline and automate the tasks involved in processing a customer's order, from the moment the order is placed to when it gets delivered. By automating these tasks, businesses can enhance efficiency, reduce errors, increase accuracy, and improve delivery speed. 

Order Management Automation Workflow

Automated order management streamlines the entire process from order capturing to return management, enhancing efficiency and accuracy at each stage. A McKinsey report states that order management automation reduced costs by 10-15% and cut order processing time from 2-3 days to 1-2 hours. Let’s explain how the automated order management process looks like from a high-level perspective:

Firstly, in order capturing, automation involves integrating multiple channels, such as ERP systems and online sales channels, ensuring that orders are seamlessly captured and entered into the system without manual intervention. For example, by integrating Shopify and ERP systems like Netsuite, you can accurately capture B2B wholesale and direct-to-consumer online orders and automatically sync diverse sales channels with the centralized inventory. 

Next, automation facilitates faster picking by prioritizing and allocating stock based on predefined rules, reducing the time and effort required to locate items within warehouses. Similarly, implementing picking automation strategies like batch picking, zone picking, etc, can expedite the picking process and reduce order picking time. Additionally, the integration of robotic or semi-robotic order-picking systems and smart wearable devices helps pickers complete the warehouse picking process quicker by automating repetitive and redundant tasks.

Similarly, in the packing stage, automated systems generate packing lists and various labels such as box labels, pallet labels, shipping labels, etc., ensuring that the correct items are packaged together accurately and efficiently while also minimizing the risk of errors.

In shipping, automation involves selecting the most cost-effective and efficient shipping carrier, printing shipping labels, and automatically generating tracking information. This not only speeds up the shipping process but also enhances visibility for both the business and the customer.

Finally, in returns management, automated systems facilitate the handling of returns by providing pre-authorized return labels, tracking return shipments, and automatically updating inventory levels upon receipt of returned items. This streamlines the return process, improves customer satisfaction, and ensures that returned items are quickly reintegrated into available inventory for resale.

order management automated workflow
Order Management Automation Workflow

What are the benefits of order management automation? 

According to a Gartner study, over 75% of companies will adopt some form of automated warehouse processes by 2027, and order management automation stands at the forefront of this tectonic shift. Below are some of the major benefits of order management automation:  

Increased order accuracy 

On average, the ecommerce industry benchmark figure for order accuracy rate falls between 96-98%. And if your score is below 95%, it denotes that you'll need to improve your order accuracy rate before it causes irreparable damage to your brand. This is where order management automation can help you out.

Automation minimizes the reliance on manual work, significantly reducing the potential for errors caused by human intervention. Furthermore, automation helps process orders systematically, and the built-in checks and balances reduce the likelihood of human mistakes, such as incorrect items being picked and packed, orders being shipped to the wrong addresses, or product mismatches.

Higher efficiency

The advent of Amazon's 2-day and same-day delivery services has significantly transformed consumer expectations regarding delivery speed and helped the retail giant capture the lion’s share of the e-commerce market. Today, with a market share of 37.8%, Amazon indisputably reigns in the e-commerce world. What’s more, this master stroke has now prompted other e-commerce businesses to adopt similar strategies to stay relevant.

Empowering your tech stack is a crucial step towards achieving this goal. Through automation, the entire order management process, from order entry to fulfillment and shipping, can be streamlined and expedited. By eliminating manual tasks and minimizing human intervention, orders can be processed much more swiftly and efficiently.

For example, by automating order validation, inventory management, shipping label generation, and other redundant tasks, precious work hours can be saved. This reduction in processing time enables businesses to fulfill orders faster, leading to quicker delivery times and improved customer satisfaction.

Real-time tracking and inventory visibility

In automated warehouses, barcode scanners and RFID readers are integrated with the warehouse management software to capture data accurately and efficiently. When products are scanned or tagged, the information is instantly recorded in the system, providing real-time visibility into inventory levels and movements, proving WMS for ecommerce as highly valuable.

This automation ensures that inventory records are consistently updated in real-time, reducing the likelihood of errors and discrepancies. This accuracy minimizes the risk of stockouts, overstocking, or fulfillment errors, leading to improved order accuracy and customer satisfaction.  

Enhanced productivity and scalability 

If your business grows, your order volume will also grow, and so will the need for more workforce to meet demand. By automating the order fulfillment process, businesses can effortlessly handle higher order volumes efficiently and ensure that orders are processed quickly and accurately. Additionally, by automating tasks such as order entry, inventory management, and fulfillment, businesses can reduce order lead times and inventory holding costs and maintain smooth operations even during peak periods. 

Moreover, automation can help reduce the deployment of additional workforce — the associated costs — and boost workforce productivity by automating and creating specialized workflows, intelligently prioritizing orders, and efficiently guiding associates through each step of the order management process. 

Hopstack for Efficient Order Management Automation

Hopstack's comprehensive order management software so consolidates both offline and online orders into a single platform, offering enhanced workflow flexibility and visibility.

It offers intelligent and guided picking, packing, and shipping workflows to reduce order lead times and increase productivity and throughput. Hopstack's advanced distributed order management module enables you to expedite your fulfillment cycle and cater to a larger customer base without ever missing an order. Schedule a call with our product specialist today to learn more about how Hopstack can help in effective order management automation.

Modern Order Management and Fulfillment Software

Schedule a Demo Now
Hopstack white logo