An ERP order management system takes in orders on the front end and fulfills those orders on the back end.
On the front end, the system captures data such as customer number, product part number and due date for routing and indexing when an order arrives, no matter whether the order is in the form of a fax, phone call, email, or whether it is paper-based or electronic. Captured data is then transferred to an order management application.
In the back office, the manufacturing order management makes sure that the order gets fulfilled -- and at the lowest cost, said Greg Aimi, a research director at AMR Research who analyzes clients' demand-driven supply networks.
Key ERP order management functions include:
- Automated order entry, viewing and tracking
- Real-time availability of order status and transaction data
- Controlled handling for canceled transactions
- Validating orders and credit limit checking
- Checking for duplicate orders
- Information on all customer order management processes
- Reports on process time and volume, queued orders, exceptions and delivery dates
In an ERP order management system, all the data is integrated between orders, inventory and an organization's warehouse to make the fulfillment and shipping of orders run smoothly.
"Most systems interact with information processes like customer service (prioritizing shipment) or manufacturing (product availability)," Aimi said. "All of these are outside of the execution of these systems, but it's good information to have for a holistic approach."
The key benefit of an ERP manufacturing order management system is faster order fulfillment and more effective sales administration. It can help increase data entry accuracy and improve cash flow, reduce order errors and fulfillment delays, and improve customer satisfaction. Reporting and analysis features balance workloads and identify process bottlenecks.
Many ERP order management systems offer automatic confirmation sent directly to the customer once the entry is created in the ERP system. This additional tracking of all incoming documents from creation in the ERP to fulfillment adds another layer of process monitoring and control.
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About the author: Catherine LaCroix is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore. She covers technology used in business, education and healthcare.