Little Improvements Mean a Lot

The order management system (OMS) handles such functions as order entry, sales analysis, inventory planning, and accounting, among others. Many of the systems that marketers are looking at today have been on the market for several years. As a result, improvements have been incremental, though noteworthy nonetheless.

For instance, one new addition to OrderMotion’s order management application is its ability to interface in real-time with e-commerce systems, says Niels Christensen, founder/chief marketing officer of the New York-based firm. The company’s OMS, introduced in 2000, handles “everything behind the buy button,” regardless of the channel in which an order originates, Christensen says.

The Web-enabled order management and fulfillment system allocates inventory to the order, processes payment, manages the shipping schedule, and generates the packing documents, among other functions. OrderMotion easily accepts data from and exports information to everyday applications such as Microsoft Excel.

Clients pay for OrderMotion on a per-transaction charge that typically comes out to about 1% of revenue, Christensen says. The application makes the most sense for merchants that process at least 500 orders a month, he adds.

Another name that surfaces in discussions of order management systems is CommercialWare. The Natick, MA-based company’s flagship product is CWDirect, an order management product that handles such functions as order-taking and processing, freight checks, and inventory management. “You get a 360-degree view of inventory, pricing, and promotion across all channels,” says CommercialWare chief operating officer Jane Cannon.

CommercialWare licenses its system; the fee varies with the number of transactions the company is doing. A merchant processing 200,000 orders annually, for instance, could expect to pay between $45,000 and $75,000.

Delray Beach, FL-based Ecometry Corp. is another well-known name in this space. Its suite of products combines applications from Blue Martini, a provider of e-commerce solutions, and Nextor POS, a provider of point-of-sale applications. Ecometry acquired both companies in 2005, says Brian Dean, vice president of strategy and marketing. The Ecometry Commerce Suite, which includes order management, merchandising and purchasing, forecasting, catalog and content management, and point-of-sale functions, starts at $50,000.

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