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Automating Key Order Management Operational Decisions

David Packman, Senior Content Manager

Published Date
February 21, 2024



This is the second in a series detailing the key capabilities any brand needs to manage its orders efficiently and cost effectively. Prior posts have covered how to drive down parcel costs through software.

We were promised flying cars, personal robots, and commercialized galactic travel. Sadly, those seem quite a ways off…but the future we are all day dreaming about is often powered by the unsexy and unsung advancements built so quietly you don’t even know you’re benefiting from them.

Today’s blog post, and associated video, drive directly into one such life improving benefit: automating key operating decisions to manage DTC and B2B orders smarter, faster and cheaper.  Managing fulfillment across multiple sites and multiple channels is complex; order management-based automation can ensure operations run correctly.

Analysis Paralysis

In the world of supply chain, you and your teams are bombarded with countless decisions. Which box do you use? What facility should fulfill a given order? What carrier method?

And these decisions get more complicated as you scale volume-wise and team-wise (with more opportunities for human error). What are the specific requirements of this marketplace? What happens if the customer needs to update her address? How about an out-of-stock SKU - what do you do then?  What can you do??

For many brands, these scenarios are handled on a one-off basis. Manual. Inflexible. Costly.

While this may be your standard way, it is now also the stone age way. So many decisions to make, so many issues to solve, and your team will slow down or stall out completely trying to solve each individual’s order issue as it arises. Result? A paralyzing experience that can constrict your entire operational efficiency.

Deus Ex Automation

Automation may not be as cool as a flying car, but it can be your salvation, within the world or order and inventory management.

Let’s take a relatively common example within your fulfillment workflow. An order comes in for three items or SKUs. Two items are available but, oh no, one of them just sold out. How do you handle that? Without automation, your team is going to struggle. 

Here are some instant decisions they need to make:

  • Does your associate pack the two items and send without the missing SKU?
  • Do they wait and hope that new inventory arrives soon? 
  • What if you have the SKU available in another location (should you send two packages)?
  • Does your customer service team even know about this missing SKU issue? 
  • Do they proactively alert your customer? 
  • Do they know when the missing item might be available?

Without automation your team slows down and behaves like a multi-headed hydra that is blind to whatever the other is thinking or doing. What would happen to your customer experience if your team ships only the two items, and your customer service team does nothing? Likely you will receive an angry and confused customer email and damage your chance at forming a loyal repeat customer.

WITH automation, things flow very differently. Because you, a savvy leader, have implemented a modern order management system (OMS), you have already defined automated workflows that instantly go into effect upon encountering this exact issue.

Because your OMS has automated workflows your team instantly knows that they can fulfill the order – in full – by pulling the missing SKU from a B2B inventory pool that isn’t needed for another week. They also know the exact carrier method to apply to ensure the cheapest rate while meeting your promised delivery date. And your customer service team doesn’t have to engage with your customer.

Or perhaps the missing item won’t be available, so your teams know to send the two items as is, and the customer service team knows to proactively alert the customer that two of its three items are on the way, and that the third will be available in a week.

Seamless. Smooth. Effortless. What once was an ad hoc, chaotic process, is now as easy as pie. All hail the gods of automating key fulfillment and order management decisions.


Your order management system can be more than just a record of your inventory and your orders. To be competitive it simply has to be more than a database of product and/or order status. A modern OMS powered with intelligent, self-service automated workflows can bring your business meaningful optimizations that improve your customer experience and drive down your parcel and operational costs.

So you can stay in the stone age, struggling with labor-intensive problem solving for each and every order…or you could talk to one of Stord’s OMS experts to see how a modern software solution could make things nearly as cool as commercial galactic travel.

Automating Order Management Workflows Video Transcript

Managing a B2B and a DTC brand today is extremely difficult.

You're supporting complex business requirements for the multiple channels that you manage. But handling these multiple channels manually is extremely nuanced and cumbersome. It's not flexible, and it's not automated. 

Hi, I'm Cameron Ure, I'm a Senior OMS Product Manager here at Stord.

What you need is a more automated way to handle these. Systems today allow you to automate these workflows so that you can handle multiple aspects of your business.

Three areas that can benefit from automation are customer experience, fulfillment, and delivery. 

Your customer experience teams often have very manual tasks that they have to execute. This could be editing the address on the order, editing the SKUs within the order, or even how to handle an out of stock situation when a certain SKU isn't available. 

Your operations team is busy. They don't have time to go through and select how every single order should be fulfilled. That's why you need automated workflows that automatically do this decision for them. 

You can set up these automations to be fulfilled how you want the order to be fulfilled.

You can factor in time, factor in costs, or simply your organizational preference. 

These automated workflows let you configure and decide which carriers and which service methods are gonna be delivering your order so that every order is delivered on time to your customer. 

Having these automated workflows in place, benefits your customer experience team, your operations team, and your logistics team. 

It reduces the manual effort required to make sure that every order is perfect.

It automates the decision making process for you across all of your demand channels. 

It lets you know that each of your orders is optimized for cost and customer satisfaction.

These current systems give you an intuitive user experience, so it's easy for you to configure and edit these workflows as needed. This allows you to save time and money and handle the complexity of your business. 

If you want to learn more about how to automate your business, we'd love to talk.

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