Order Management Best Practices

Proven Order Management Department Leading Practices to Adopt

  • Best Practices (#113) / Order Management / Order Processing

    Best Practice (Good)
    Identify redundant orders (same order number) immediately and call them out in the order management system. An automated notification is sent to the correct parties to ensure that no duplicate work takes place.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Use a simple yellow warning, but no automated communication, or "hard stop," to call out redundant orders in the system.
    Benefits: Reduces process and approval steps, expedites payments, and frees up AP processors for other tasks.
  • Best Practices (#114) / Order Management / Order Processing

    Best Practice (Good)
    Consolidate order placement by offering only one or two placement channels, preferably the channels that receive the highest volume of orders and are quickest to process by returns staff.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Consolidate order placement by offering only one or two placement channels, preferably the channels that receive the highest volume of orders and are quickest to process by returns staff.
    Benefits: Decreases potential for human error, order processing cycle time, and total staff training time. Allows for a greater strategic approach on how to automate each channel to cut down on cost of labor for each processed order.
  • Best Practices (#115) / Order Management / Return Processing

    Best Practice (Good)
    Stage saleable merchandise by a putaway zone. Most of the returned merchandise is generally in saleable condition and will be returned to the storage area. To streamline the subsequent putaway process, saleable products should be staged on pallets by destination zone.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Place returned merchandise, saleable or not, in any open space available before returning to higher priority duties. Saleable merchandise can be restocked at a later time.
    Benefits: Increases integration with the warehouse and speeds up the return process. Once orders are received, they can be immediately shipped to their subsequent destinations.
  • Best Practices (#116) / Order Management / Return Processing

    Best Practice (Good)
    Separate responsibility for physical inventory from responsibility for customer credits. Employees should be focused on accomplishing their sole task, rather than mastering other tasks and going through the entire returns process.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Assign returns processing staff multiple roles so they handle all aspects of the returns process. This is done in an effort to minimize staffing costs.
    Benefits: Decreases the product returns process cycle time. Also decreases staff training time as it focuses on a more narrow task, rather than mastering the entire returns process, and allows for a level of mastery that will help staff identify issues more quickly.
  • Best Practices (#117) / Order Management / Return Processing

    Best Practice (Good)
    Distinguish between return reasons and physical disposition. The former describes why customer returned it. The latter describes physical state of the merchandise. Credit clerks must understand return reasons. Warehouseman must understand the dispositions.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Designate returned items to either be scrapped or resold by the reason customers returned the item.
    Benefits: Minimize scrap rate and the rate at which credit clerks issue credits for returned items. Increases the resale rate of returned goods.
  • Best Practices (#118) / Order Management / Return Processing

    Best Practice (Good)
    Track un-saleable merchandise with a bar-coded label. Any merchandise that is not saleable and cannot be discarded is usually stored according to vendor guidelines. While some vendors simply require an inventory report to issue credits, others will send a sales representative to inspect the goods or to ship to the vendor.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Store returned, unsaleable merchandise in a designated area in the warehouse to await being scrapped.
    Benefits: A complete audit trail consisting of return reason, date of initial shipment, date of return, customer name, etc. will assure legitimacy of the claim and improve supplier relationships.

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