What is an online order management system?

From sales to shipping, managing customer orders is quick and easy with an online order management system. Here's how it works...
July 12, 2023
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5-min read

For your customer, placing an order should be a quick and simple process. However, on the business side, order management spans a variety of services and departments.

That provides plenty of opportunities for orders to get lost or errors to be made, particularly if staff don't have a clear understanding of the system. However, when done right, order management can also provide opportunities to make new sales and boost your brand reputation.

In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about online order management systems, including the main features and benefits:

What is an online order management system?

An online order management system is a type of software that allows you to manage customer orders in one place. Order management doesn't just involve one department - it spans your entire organisation, from sales to delivery. With so many different team members working on an order, human error can easily slip in. Orders are lost, important information isn't recorded, sales are missed.

Online order management systems give your team real-time insights into the journey of your products, from the moment they enter your inventory to the second they're shipped to the customer. That saves time and reduces the chance of errors, as all your staff will have access to the information they need at a glance. For example, there's no need for a sales team member to call the inventory management team about the stock levels of a product, as they'll instantly have access to that info.

Key stages of order management

Ordering products should feel like a seamless process to your customers. But, in truth, that process is built up of several key steps that are managed by different departments. Here are the stages that online order management systems should cover:

Inventory management

It all starts with your inventory. There's nothing more frustrating for customers than placing an order for an item that is not in stock. Inventory management involves ensuring that you have suitable stock levels, raising purchasing orders for low-stock items, as well as remaining aware of the bin locations of your products.


From talking with your sales team to purchasing online, there are many ways your customers can place an order. At this stage, your team will need to be able to input orders quickly and efficiently. They'll also need to have access to your inventory data, so they can find exactly what your customers are looking for.


Once the order's placed, it's time to ship out products to your customers. This involves providing bin locations for your warehouse team, carrier integration for shipping, as well as picking, packing and delivery to your customers.

Customer service

Order management also requires great customer service. Customers may have questions about their order, so your teams will need quick and easy access to order information. Returns and refunds are also managed at this stage.

What are the features of an online order management system?

So, how does it work? Order management systems have a variety of different practical features that make it easy to record and process orders. Enterprise resource management software, such as OGL's Profit4, combine order management with other useful features to create an integrated approach.

Some of the key features are listed below...

Customer accounts

When your team is making a sale, they need to know who they're selling to. With order management software, you have instant access to your customers' order history, as well as their payment terms and credit limits. This all saves time for your sales team.

Order tracking

Using order management software means you'll never lose track of customer orders. Track your orders in real time to stay up to date. Your team will be able to see order details and statuses, as well as delivery estimates and courier tracking information to keep customers updated.

Integrated orders

Order management software streamlines your orders and keeps them in one place. Your team will be able to instantly see orders from eBay, Amazon, your ecommerce website and more. That makes it easier to avoid stockouts and keep all your sales in sight.

Order status details

When you have plenty of orders to fulfil, it's easy to let one or two slip through the net. Profit4 helps you avoid that with order statuses that are updated in real time. The statuses include awaiting allocation / assigned / allocated / dispatched.

Carrier integration

Gathering and utilising shipping data manually can be a time-consuming process. Order management systems can calculate shipping costs, print delivery notes and postal labels, send dispatch emails and update your website automatically.

Order prioritisation

As some customers will request faster delivery, it can help to prioritise orders within an order management system. This ensures your warehouse team knows which items to pick and pack first - and your customers receive their orders on time.

Customised dashboards

But what about those niche tasks that are so easy to lose track of? With Profit4, you can create fully customisable dashboards. That means each team member will have full access to the information they need, when they need it.

For example, your warehouse team could create a dashboard with at-a-glance information on outstanding orders, or your marketing team might create a dashboard with sales information about your best sellers.

Sales reporting

Individual customer orders build into trends over time. It's vital for your business to capture these patterns - and you can do just that with detailed, customisable sales reporting. With this, you can pinpoint everything from sales leakage to your biggest sellers.

Manage customer orders with ease

Customer orders are the backbone of your business. So, it's essential for your order data to be accurate and up to date. That's where Profit4's order management system comes in.

With real-time updates, customisable dashboards and detailed reporting, Profit4 combines all the features you need in one system. As it's entirely cloud-based, you'll be able to access everything you need, wherever you are. What's more, you'll have all the tools you need for stock control, finance and accounting, and more.

Sound good? Watch our 3-minute online demo to discover how Profit4 can transform order management for your business. If you'd like to learn more, get in touch with our helpful team today.

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