November 16, 2007, 12:00 AM

Retailers have their say in shaping new OrderMotion software

All the enhancements in the latest release of OrderMotion’s software come from retailers’ suggestions of how to improve the technology for managing orders and customer data.

OrderMotion Inc. is relying heavily on input from its retailer customers in deciding how to enhance its software for managing orders and customer data.

Retailers that use OrderMotion’s hosted service can suggest improvements on the company’s online IdeaExchange site, and other retailers can see those suggestions and endorse the ones they consider most important. OrderMotion has issued two releases of its software since introducing IdeaExchange in the spring. 60% of the enhancements to the 9.1 release in August came from Idea Exchange and all of the new features in the October release of version 9.2, says Kimberly G. Free, executive vice president of product at the Boston-based technology provider.

Among the most enthusiastic participants in IdeaExchange is Kent Krueger, vice president of SitStay.com, a web-only retailer of dog supplies based in Lincoln, NE. Several of his suggestions have been incorporated into the recent OrderMotion releases, and Krueger likes OrderMotion’s willingness to listen.

“It’s nice to have the user community guide the company in what the new features and capabilities should be,” he says. “With other software companies they just say, ‘This is the way it’s going to be and I hope that’s helpful.’”

Among the features Krueger likes in the latest version of OrderMotion is one that gives him the flexibility to reshuffle the orders being sent to his warehouse in order to get expedited orders out on time.

Another enhancement helps with products that are sometimes shipped from the retailer’s warehouse and other times drop-shipped from a supplier. “We may drop ship an item 99% of the time, but when a customer returns the item we can put it back into inventory. The system is smart enough to say when the next order comes in, ‘you’ve got one in your inventory, so I don’t need to drop ship. But if you need two, and you only have one, I’ll ship both from the drop shipper,” Krueger says.

Other new features in the OrderMotion software enable retailers to decide whether to replenish stock by location, zone or warehouse; streamline maintenance and set-up of eBay auctions; and enable retailers to comply with regulations in some states that impose special taxes on luxury items.

OrderMotion initially made the IdeaExchange accessible only by administrators and others with manager-level security authorization at its retail clients. However, with the recent release, the company says the suggestion site will be accessible by all of a retailer’s employees with access to the OrderMotion order and customer management system.

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