Success of a food business depends on quality and freshness of the food and the efficiency of internal processes to get the food delivered, as ordered.

Rapid response to client requests matters.

The old-fashioned pen and paper method to write down order information is tedious and time consuming. It’s a bottleneck and a point of failure. Why?

B2B food manufacturers have a short production cycle for perishable food products. They receive tomorrow’s orders within 1-2 hours at the end of today’s working day.

This is where order management software helps extensively. Businesses can control and manage client orders quickly and correctly.

What opportunities does order management software provide? How does it work?

Read our answers to these questions based on IT Craft’s expertise of building custom order management software.

Yes, order management software does take our clients’ business to the next level.

What is order management software?

An order management software system introduces an efficient method for businesses to receive and manage client orders. The system tracks the order information, such as a list of items, item quantity, client notes on order details, etc.

Custom order management software makes it possible for a small team to efficiently process a high number of orders. Clients place orders via an online order management system or a dedicated smartphone/tablet app. Managers check order details and confirm orders.

Complexity of order management software varies. A simple app can be launched as a stand-alone solution—no data exchange with the rest of a company’s ERP system. The software stores data in its own database. Customer managers forward a file with daily orders after they have checked and confirmed it.

Order management software can also be integrated seamlessly to the manufacturer’s software system. In this case, order management software exchanges data automatically with software used by operations, accountant or delivery departments.

Order management software can be adjusted for both B2B and B2C. We focus on B2B solutions in this article but develop both.

How does order management systems software work?

Order management software for small businesses includes:

  • client app
  • special functionality for managers
  • tech functionality for app administrators (optional).

It covers the following essential steps of ordering process:

Clients:
  • 1

    Select items.

  • 2

    Fill out order form.

  • 3

    Place order in the system.

Business’s managers:
  • 4

    Check and confirm each order.

  • 5

    Collect orders at the end of the day.

  • 6

    Send order information for further processing.

There are three main categories in the system: clients, managers, and app administrator (optional).

Clients
  • Search through the catalog of available items.
  • Select item and amount required on the list.
  • Verify and submit the order.
Managers
  • Review details and confirm orders.
  • Contact clients if needed for clarification or any issue.
  • Forward information to required department at the end of the day.
App administrator
  • Supervise user roles in the system.
  • Manage availability of catalog content.
Would automating order processing give you less stress?

Contact us to see how your idea becomes a reality.

How does custom order management software help?

Perhaps you are asking yourself, “What makes purchase order management software different? Where is the value in sales order management software?”

The value lies in clarity, transparency, and efficiency. What your clients order is what they get. And how does such software help you? You get to spend your evenings with family and friends relaxing, enjoying life more.

To emphasize the difference in approaches, let’s analyze different approaches to order management.

  • Outdated.

    Before the age of the computer, customer managers used ledgers. They received requests via phone calls, faxes, or in-person client visits. Managers noted order information and wrote orders for other departments. Both client and company needed a large catalog to check items. Handling orders consumes a great amount of time.

  • Computerized.

    In the computer era, managers handle via phone calls, faxes, and emails. Customer managers enter order information into Excel tables or a CRM. They email collected orders via an internal system. This is faster than handling paper orders. Order management takes less time.

  • Online.

    Many businesses use social networks and free-to-use messengers (e.g., WhatsApp or Facebook messenger) to collect orders. Customer managers copy and paste single orders to Excel or internal CRM system. They must regularly check notifications ensuring instant response on requests. This can be stressful and works well only for low order volumes.

What is the difference?

When using B2B order management app, clients get a self-serving system where they see everything at a glance.

An order management app eliminates uncertainty in order handling on both sides. Clients see what they order. Manufacturers see what clients order. No extra checks in the catalog needed. No information is distorted unless anything extraordinary happens.

Benefits from custom order management software development

Here are direct benefits for food manufacturers:

  • Decreased processing time

    Time required for order handling decreases drastically. Customer managers neither enter order details to the system manually nor copy them from messengers. They only need a little time to check and confirm.

    A complex system automatically confirms and sends orders for further processing.

    Done and dusted. No worry here. No late nights.

  • Increased accuracy

    The old way means possible error-prone workflow. The risk of a customer manager pasting details to the wrong file no longer exists.

    Double checking is still available. If customer managers detect an unusual order, they can get in touch with the client’s manager and confirm the order.

An online order processing system is a long-term investment. It improves food businesses indirectly in the following ways:

  • Increases customer satisfaction

    Both food manufacturers and their customers spend less time handling and completing orders. This frees up resources who would otherwise spend vast amounts of time making calls, waiting for confirmation, etc.

    Predictability motivates long-term clients.

  • Preorder

    Customers can still enjoy early orders in addition to their day-by-day orders. They can make an order specifying delivery date.

  • Cost-effective scalability

    Food manufacturers focusing on B2B segments receive calls for daily orders within just 1-2 hours. When a business is growing, it adds extra servers to handle growing number of orders. No large investment is required.

  • Profitability

    Decreased size of customer management department, higher accuracy per order, no misplaced orders, no misread orders. Businesses optimize costs. Fewer wasted resources. Fewer claims. Fewer returns.

  • Planning

    Businesses see data at a glance. Catalog is managed more effectively. Manufacturers see their marketplace: what becomes the new thing, what falls out of favor, etc. A precise, faster planning cycle is possible and helps prevent overstocking.

  • Visibility

    Last but not least. Custom order management software is a part of a manufacturer’s brand. An order management system helps sales representatives demonstrate to prospects on the ease benefits of using an ordering process.

Custom order management software development: what to consider

Offerings are multiple. Which should you choose?

Your decision is based on:

  • number of orders per day (i.e., number of users in the system)
  • catalog size
  • planned budget
  • readiness to store order data at a third-party provider (or deploy own infrastructure with 24/7 server availability, emergency channels, etc.)

The following points help you determine implementation plan:

  • Custom vs. packaged

    Many small businesses do well enough using off-the-shelf software. They pay a predictable, fixed price for functionality which they customize on their own. Data is stored on provider’s servers—no extra maintenance costs.

    Why bother with custom development? If you want to grow your business, you need custom software development for small business. Custom software lets you retain control over your clients’ data. You tune software flexibly to your changing needs.

    Also, the pricing plan often depends on how extensively a company uses software. At a certain point, long-term costs of order management system software become less expensive than when you purchase order management software on a subscription basis.

  • STAND-ALONE vs. integrated

    Order management software can be deployed as a stand-alone solution.

    But you might want to seamlessly integrate a new app with your existing software.

    A stand-alone solution is simple, but it requires more direct input from employees.

    An integrated solution is complex, but it automatically processes data in the background and requires little to no effort from users.

    The difference lies in development and maintenance price.

  • Simple vs. complex

    The good news about custom order management software development: a simple app has rather low entry barriers.

    An experienced development team can launch a simple order management app—from requirements to production—within 450-500 development hours.

    A simple app includes functionality needed to:

    • display available offerings
    • select items
    • finalize and send the order
    • consolidate daily orders in the system
    • download file with all daily orders at the end of the day

    The entire process is covered. Nothing extra.

    A complex order management software requires 700+ hours. For it, end users more instruments needed to track the order across the entire workflow:

    • analytics system
    • configurators
    • real-time order tracking
    • payments and invoicing
    • advanced administration panel
    • automated synchronization with accounting department

    ….and more.

  • Online order management system vs. mobile app

    Would you like another great reason to start custom order management software development?

    It is easy to launch a mobile app.

    An app for custom order management services can be cross-platform. The same source code can be used to launch a Web app and mobile apps for both Android and iOS platforms. Your business can be present on all major platforms with only a little fine-tuning.

    A mobile app saves effort. It is easy for retailers to place an order from the same tablet they use as a point of sale in their shops. They do not need to keep a browser open or navigate through bookmarks. No churn. No confusion. Ever.

Tips on custom order management software development

Successful launch of sales order management software is the result of careful work at every step. Check out these top tips to get the most from custom order management services apps:

  • Identify needs, requirements, and limitations.

    As with any digital system, an order management software can be expensive to implement and maintain. It needs careful planning.

    Make sure you have clear goals before you start developing an app for custom order management services. Compose a list of priorities and expectations. Make sure they are clear to the development team.

    The development team needs this to prepare a realistic estimate on costs and timeline and to design a system your business really needs.

  • Choose cross-platform development.

    Cross-platform development means your business launches fast on all platforms. Maintenance costs are lower.

    With cross-platform development, the development team prepares one code base using a cross-platform framework (e.g., Ionic, Flutter, etc.) It then adjusts source code to different platforms.

    Having the same code base makes it is easier to track changes, make updates, and publish them on all stores simultaneously.

  • Do beta testing on a small audience.

    User acceptance is crucial. Show your app to a limited number of regular clients to see if they are comfortable with the new workflow. Provide support and training, if needed. Ensure end users spend less time when they place an order on an app than on the phone. Adjust (e.g., make bigger fonts or place buttons on another part of the screen) if many end users provide critical feedback.

  • Promote app among clients.

    People will not use the app unless they hear about it—unless you tell them. Ensure you notify your clients of order management software. The app is visible on your website and in your social network profiles.

    Convince your audience. Demonstrate benefits. Provide help when managers are not completely sure how to use the system. (A webinar can help!)

  • Maintain multiple communication channels.

    Although an app is the main communication channel for order placement, it shouldn’t be the only channel. Backup channels are crucial.

    Clients can lose Internet connection. New clients or prospects may not be ready to launch your app.

    Make sure you are available via different means of communication. Customer managers check messages regularly. Ensure everyone can still order from you. You’re not closing doors. You’re just opening better doors to build your business and save time.

How IT Craft’s reliable team saves you time and stress

One crucial component you must get correct for a successful app launch: choose the best development team. A great team makes it possible to save development costs and launch your software on time, on budget. No exceptions.

To choose wisely a team capable to deliver results, you need to understand the anatomy of software outsourcing.

This is what makes IT Craft a reliable tech partner for its clients:

  • Expertise

    IT Craft has been in custom software development business for over 20 years. We have helped food manufacturers launch both simple and complex purchase order management software.

  • Full life-cycle development

    Development teams dive deeply into project requirements to clarify all details and only then work on app components. We focus on order management software for small business, so you can focus on your business goals.

  • Equal treatment of every project

    IT Craft treats all projects, all clients equally. We do our best to ensure source code meets industry’s standards and best practices. We help you build a stable tech basis for your growth.

  • Transparency

    As a product owner, you are an important part of the team. You participate in project planning. You get regular reports and access to completed functionality. Upon launch, you receive all source code and necessary project documentation.

  • Post-launch guarantee

    As a product owner, you are an important part of the team. You participate in project planning. You get regular reports and access to completed functionality. Upon launch, you receive all source code and necessary project documentation. --- Project launch does not mean a sudden end to cooperation. The development team remains in constant touch with the client for 1 – 3 months to ensure stability in the software.

Do you want to know what clients think about IT Craft’s services? Check out testimonials about IT Craft.

Conclusion

Still relying on last-century’s old-fashioned method of phone, paper, Excel tables or social networks? Isn’t it time you seriously consider order management software?

With your list of regular clients, you can use an app to ensure swift, error-free ordering process for them.

You spend less time on order processing. So do your clients. A total win-win!

You don’t need a complex solution to start saving. You can deploy a simple system soon. You just need to start …now.

Are you in or out?

FAQs

  • What is food ordering system?

    A food ordering system is special software that lets its owner receive, confirm, and manage orders from customers. Depending on a business’s needs, this can be a B2B or B2C solution, a mobile app, or an online order management system.

  • How does a B2B food order management system work?

    An order management system consolidates orders that clients leave using a special app.

    Here is how a simple app for custom order management services for food industry works:

    Using the app menu, clients choose items and amount on a daily basis. They confirm their order. The system registers the order which is then confirmed by customer managers.

    Upon reaching the EOD deadline, customer managers download file with daily orders and send them other departments.

  • Why is order management system important?

    Order processing software is crucial for company’s operations optimizations. The same number of customer managers can process a bigger number of client orders.

    An order management system:

    • shortens sales time
    • decreases order processing time
    • supports company’s growth
    • minimizes costs of misplaced orders

    …and more.

  • How do you create an online order management system?

    Here is a four-step path outlining custom order management software development:

    • Discovery – Identify client requirements and goals. Transform them into technical requirements.
    • Software development – Prepare UI. Develop app code. Test it.
    • Launch and post-guarantee support – Launch app in stores. Ensure it works smoothly.
    • App support and maintenance – Organize app 24/7 uptime and timely updates.

Start improving your business today.