Food business success depends on food quality, freshness, and an efficient B2B order management to get the food delivered exactly as ordered.

Rapid response to client requests matters.

The old-fashioned pen and paper method manually writing down order information is tedious and time consuming. This error-prone bottleneck is 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 an efficient B2B order management software helps extensively. Businesses can control and manage client orders quickly and correctly.

What opportunities does B2B order management software provide? How does it work?

Read our answers to these questions based on IT Craft’s expertise of building custom B2B order management software.

Yes, a B2B order management system does take our clients’ businesses to the next level.

What is B2B order management software?

A B2B order management system introduces an efficient method for businesses to receive and manage client orders. The system tracks order information, such as a list of items, item quantity, client notes on order details, etc.

Custom B2B 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 B2B 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.

B2B 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 IT Craft develop both.

How does a B2B order management systems work?

A B2B order management system for small businesses includes:

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

It encompasses the following essential steps of the 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 a custom B2B order management system 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 deal of time.

  • Computerized.

    In the computer era, managers handled orders via phone calls, faxes, and emails. Customer managers entered order information into Excel tables or a CRM. They emailed collected orders via an internal system. This was faster than handling paper orders. Order management took 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 an internal CRM system. They must regularly check notifications ensuring instant response to requests. This can be stressful and works well only for low order volumes.

  • B2B order management app.

    Today’s forward-thinking businesses use B2B order management apps.

    Ordering lies with their clients who 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 something extraordinary happens.

Benefits from custom B2B 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 need only check and confirm.

    Even better, if you choose a more sophisticated, complex system, it 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 place an order and specify a 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 the 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. A custom B2B order management system is part of a manufacturer’s brand. An order management system helps sales representatives easily show prospects the great benefits of using an ordering process.

Top B2B order management software

Best order management solutions provide automation tools for the food industry.

However, choosing the best order management system for your business presents its own challenges. Some solutions provide specialization (for restaurants or bakeries). Some general software might integrate extra features (billing) causing feature overlaps between different software a business uses. Also, businesses need software that fits in best with workflow.

Below is a list of the best B2B management solutions:

  • FlexiBake

    FlexiBake

    FlexiBake is specialized ERP software for bakeries to manage interactions with wholesale customers. It supports the entire cycle: planning, order management, workflow management, including recipes and nutrition facts, and more.

    FlexiBake offers different, independent modules (product costing, labeling, fresh production, etc.) to help food businesses start with a low budget and expand as their business grows. To accomplish this, the company’s pricing is divided in four plans based on the number of purchased modules.

    For FlexiBake, a cloud app and desktop software are available.

    A free trial is available.

    This software is best suited for small and mid-sized bakeries. The learning curve might be steep for non-tech-savvy users. Still, FlexiBake supports scalability to help bakery businesses grow.

  • Ordermentum

    Ordermentum

    Ordermentum provides a simple yet robust order management solution for various food suppliers.

    Software users benefit from a simple, intuitive interface and fast onboarding. Users create and update a catalogue. They can easily place orders and manage them throughout the entire workflow. They can also set up custom pricing terms for different customer groups. Multiple integrations are possible. Ordermentum also provides a “Growth Engine” feature to help suppliers gain more customers.

    Ordermentum offers its software as a Web app and mobile iOS/Android apps.

    A free trial is available.

    Pricing depends on the number of orders processed in the system.

  • Mountain Stream Bakery Software

    Mountain Stream Bakery Software

    Mountain Stream Bakery software is aimed at decreasing the number of phone orders. This solution focuses on production management and invoicing and works the best for both wholesale bakeries and food manufacturers. It covers the entire order management process: vendors and recipe management, production planning & reporting, accounting and payment management, and more. Real-time delivery tracking is also possible. Data export to accounting software is easy.

    System owners can set up different permission levels to prevent unauthorized access.

    Mountain Stream Bakery is available as a SaaS solution.

    Both a free version and free trial are available.

  • Conexiom

    Conexiom

    Conexiom strives to transform and make sense of complex data that it turns into accurate automated transactions. This software captures information from order emails received and creates an order in a customer’s system while applying business rules on data mapping. Business rules can be defined and incorporated during initial setup stages.

    Conexiom automates order management substantially decreasing order processing time. Software functionality also helps detect order errors and discrepancies.

    Clients mention a simple integration process and a highly responsive support team among benefits.

    There is neither a free version nor free trial.

    Demo is available upon request.

  • Now Commerce

    Now Commerce

    Now Commerce is a special ordering platform for QuickBooks that enables controlled access to commercial data. It includes three components: customer portal, sales rep portal, and fulfillment module.

    Managers can easily manage and customize order forms via customer portal which then repeat customers can use to reduce order placement time.

    Two-way synchronization with QuickBooks makes it possible to transmit and track order information in real time.

    Sales representatives can handle all needed information without direct access to a QuickBooks account.

    Now Commerce provides a responsive SaaS solution and mobile apps.

    A free trial is available. Clients enjoy a free set up

  • Now Commerce

    BlueCart

    BlueCart is a robust ecommerce platform offering a variety of solutions for restaurants and the hospitality industry. The goal is to eliminate manual entries and all the errors and hassles associated with them.

    BlueCart offers an app for sales representatives so they can complete orders and collect payments with their mobile app.

    Among other features, BlueCart makes it possible to receive and track customer orders. This software also automates supply and inventory management and lets users receive instant updates through notifications.

    Both a free and a free trial version of its software are available with access to a Web-based SaaS solution or launch of a mobile app for Android, iPhone, or iPad.

  • NutraSoft

    NutraSoft

    NutraSoft is a Canadian company providing a cloud-based solution for small food and beverage manufacturing businesses.

    NutraSoft software lets users solve problems of transparency and food traceability by providing a large database. Users can pass compliance requirements and track costs more easily. The software core includes such features as calculating nutrition, managing products and recipes, material traceability, and more.

    Order management functionality is available as a part of an extended (Premium) package.

    A free trial is available.

    NutraSoft is available only as a SaaS and a Windows desktop app.

    For more reviews and software alternatives please check G2, Capterra, or Software Advice.

Custom B2B order management software development: what to consider

Offers are many. 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 with a third-party provider (or deploy own infrastructure with 24/7 server availability, emergency channels, etc.)

The following points help you determine an implementation plan:

  • Custom vs. packaged

    Many small businesses do well enough installing off-the-shelf software. They pay a predictable, fixed price for functionality which they customize on their own. Data is stored on the 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 client data.
    • You can modify software to your changing needs.
    • Pricing plans fit a company’s requirements.
    • Long-term costs of a B2B order management system become less expensive than when you purchase B2B order management software on a subscription basis.
  • Standalone vs. integrated

    A B2B order management system can be deployed as a stand-alone solution or it can be seamlessly integrated with your existing software.

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

    An integrated solution is complex, but 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 within 450-500 development hours.

    A simple app includes needed functionality 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 B2B order management software requires 700+ hours and gives greater functionality to track orders through 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.

    Save time and money to be “omnipresent”. Get a cross-platform app for custom order management services. 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.

    Save effort. A mobile app is easy for retailers to place an order from the same tablet they use as a point of sale. They do not need to keep a browser open or navigate through bookmarks.

    No churn. No confusion. Ever.

Tips on custom B2B order management software development

Successful launch of sales order management software happens when work is done carefully and conscientiously 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, B2B order management software can be expensive to implement and maintain. It needs careful planning.

    Define your precise 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 your precise list of priorities and expectations 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 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. Based on critical user feedback, adjust your app (e.g., make bigger fonts or place buttons on another part of the screen).

  • Promote app among clients.

    People will not use the app unless they hear about it—this means, YOU must tell them. Ensure you notify your clients of your B2B order management system. Keep your app visible on your website and in your social network profiles.

    • Persuade your audience.
    • Prove the benefits.
    • Provide help when managers are not completely sure how to use the system. (A webinar always helps.
  • 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 might not be ready to launch your app.

    Make sure you are available via different means of communication. Customer managers must check messages regularly. Ensure everyone can still order from you. Don’t close doors. Open them wider to build your business and save time.

How IT Craft’s dependable 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.

You must be cautious and wise when choosing a team capable of delivering required results. To do this, you need to understand the anatomy of software outsourcing.

This is why IT Craft shines as a reliable tech partner for its clients:

  • Expertise

    IT Craft has been in the 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 B2B order management software for small business, so you can focus on your business goals.

  • Equal treatment of every project

    IT Craft treats all projects and 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. To succeed greatly, we need you to 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

    Project launch does not mean a sudden end to cooperation. The development team remains in constant touch with you 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 to get serious about your business success and consider B2B order management software?

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

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. Deploy a simple system soon. You just need to start …now.

Are you in or out?

FAQs on B2B order management software:

  • 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 clients leave using a special app.

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

    Using the app menu,

    • Client chooses items and amount daily.
    • Client confirms order.
    • System registers the order.
    • Customer manager confirms order.

    Upon reaching the EOD deadline, customer managers download files with daily orders and send them to the correct departments.

  • Why is order management system important?

    Order processing software is crucial for optimizing company operations. Efficiency increases: same number of customer managers process a greater 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.