How to Avoid Hidden Costs When Purchasing an
Order Management System

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An Enterprise Order Management System (OMS) is a big purchase. Beyond the software itself, you'll invest time and money in implementation, data migration, and training. It's essential to ensure that no surprise gotchas will pop up the day after the contract is signed.

The top hidden OMS cost

The most common hidden cost in OMS is customization. Imagine that after spending months evaluating and purchasing an OMS, you find that a critical feature doesn't perform the tasks you need it to. You're stuck: the contract is signed and money has already been spent. The only way out is to spend more time and money on complex customizations just to meet your everyday needs.

Too often, businesses end up footing the bill for expensive customizations because they failed to ask the right questions in the purchase process. It all starts with knowing what you need.

Their strengths should match your needs

This may seem self-evident, yet too many companies don't take the time to understand their own needs before they start shopping. With only a vague sense of what they want, a sales rep dazzles them with their shiniest bells and whistles. But the actual features included just don't match their day-to-day business.

Think of it like buying a car. If you need to pick up the kids from soccer every week, you're going to regret choosing a two-seat Porsche Boxster—no matter how cool you looked on the test-drive. You need a product that works for you.

Make a list, check it twice

Start by evaluating and prioritizing your needs. Ask each stakeholder: Which features are most important to you today? What will you need to grow in the next five years? For example, maybe your customer service reps only handle returns over the phone today, but in the future you want to be able to process returns from every brick-and-mortar storefront. That list will be your guide as you navigate the purchase process.

To get you started, here's a list of common OMS features. Every solution has its own feature set—some areas will be more robust, and some may be non-existent. Use this list as a starting point to evaluate your own priorities and must-haves.

  • Distributed Order Management (DOM): Intelligently brokers orders across all sales channels, fulfillment methods, and locations. It works behind the scenes to minimize delivery time, avoid stock outs, and maximize profits.
  • Enterprise Inventory Management: Provides a single, near-real-time view of available inventory. It brings together information from a range of systems and channels, including warehouse management, point of sale, store inventory, and ERP systems
  • Customer Service Channels: Allows your representatives to handle orders, refunds, and exchanges through channels including web, phone, and in-store.
  • Store Fulfillment: Provides local control over all orders that will be fulfilled in store, including ship-to-store.

What Next?

As we've seen, it's vital to understand your business needs and ensure your OMS suits your needs. But that's not the only potential hidden cost you'll want to avoid.

That's why we've put together a detailed guide to protect you in the purchase process. We've even included a list of important questions to help you prioritize features and understand your stakeholders' needs.

Download 5 Hidden Costs to Avoid When Buying an Order Management System today to learn how to identify and stop hidden costs before they derail your OMS implementation.