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purchase order management software

Best Practices to Purchase Order Management Software

Rejoice. It is time your organization has decided to purchase order management software and reap its benefits. Unfortunately, numerous order management system software vendors exist, and every vendor claims to have the best and biggest solution. Supply chain leaders need to understand the following points to ensure they purchase the right software on the first try.

Justify the Need to Purchase Order Management Software

The biggest hurdle with purchasing software for your organization begins with building the business case. With any luck, your organization has already taken that step. However, those that have not yet secured top-down support for the need to purchase order management software should take a step back and evaluate the current operation. As noted in a prior blog post, answering “no” to any of the questions indicates it may be time to upgrade your WMS, OMS, or both.

  • Do I have visibility and access to item data from inbound to outbound processes?
  • Are routes efficiently designed?
  • Is the system finding inefficiencies in other operations?
  • Does the system handle pack and ship management too?
  • Can the system be deployed across multiple locations?
  • Do I have visibility into multiple locations?

Build the Change Management Team

After justification, it is important to build the change management team. The change management team will be responsible for overseeing the selection, review, evaluation, and implementation of order management software. This team should be comprised of professionals from throughout your organization and all departments. Taking a multi-disciplinary approach ensures all organizations and all departments working with your company will benefit from implementation.

Benchmark Your Operations to Identify and Tabulate Requirements

While benchmarking may seem like the steps to take when building the business case for order management software, it is essential to define the selection criteria for the system needed in your business. Supply chain leaders should benchmark operations, and they must determine the minimum requirements for the system first. Comparable to building the business case scenario, it is best to ask a few questions about what needs the new system should be able to handle. For instance, what needs must the decision to purchase order management software solve for your company?

Gather Information From Vendors

During the information-gathering phase, the change management team should reach out to appropriate system vendors and request information. Also, this stage does not yet rise to the level of a request for proposal. Instead, it is best to take advantage of public resources, such as blogs and publications, to review system availability and capability.

Evaluate Vendors Based on Merit, Development, and Advancement

The next step is the actual evaluation of vendors based on their merit, development, and advancement. Even systems that were designed within the last five years have quickly grown obsolete given cloud-based systems. As a result, it is imperative all supply chain leaders and members of the change management team work together to look at each system’s history and planned developments.

Create the Shortlist of Vendors

The shortlist of vendors should comprise the top four or five software vendors that will be further involved in the selection and implementation process. From the shortlist, the change management team will begin to send out requests for proposals (RFPs). All RFPs should also include detailed specifications for implementation, integration needs, implementation costs, timelines, and resources available to streamline implementation.

Never Purchase Order Management Software Without Negotiations

Although software vendors may set a prescribed price for a given system, supply chain leaders should always attempt to negotiate. Negotiations allow companies to realize lower implementation costs and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO).

Look for OTS Solutions First and Avoid Systems That Promote Heavy Modifications

One of the pitfalls with making the decision to purchase order management software goes back to modifications. With today’s technologies, it is possible to heavily modify any system to force it to fit your needs. However, unnecessary modifications add to the total cost of ownership and result in recurring charges with future upgrades or updates. Thus, organizations should look for off-the-shelf (OTS) solutions first, making modifications only when necessary and minimal.

Also, supply chain leaders should verify the systems chosen perform as expected within a test environment and offer key scalability features. As explained by Shopify, scalable requirements to purchase order management software must include:

  • Automated processes.
  • Multi-channel access, as well as operability in multiple currencies and geographies.
  • Reporting and forecasting tools.
  • Access to an API.
  • Support for third-party and native integrations.
  • Ongoing development from the software vendors.

Take Care When Purchasing an Order Management System to Improve ROI and Lower TCO

After deciding to purchase order management software, the real work of system selection and implementation begins. For help in finding and implementing an order management system, choose Veridian. Get started by visiting Veridian online now.

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