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Order Management Specialist: The key to client satisfaction
An Order Management Specialist (OMS) is an administrative support role, particularly in the financial services sector.
Responsibilities include back, middle and front-office duties.
I present here, from my own work experience, a detailed description of the tasks and duties involved in this role.
A paramount position
Aside from processing client orders, one of the main responsibilities of the OMS is to serve as the client’s main point of contact.
This requires you to become knowledgeable about different operational areas, including:
- order management.
- credit control.
It is also important to learn the various systems and tools used for these different areas of operation, such as:
- Oracle CRM.
Strong knowledge of these tools allows you to answer customer queries about client’s order status or solve complex billing issues.
With the range of skills developed as an OMS, you can provide support in any industry that sells a product or service to customers. For example, in one of my previous jobs, I worked for a clothing brand, handling orders that would be sent to our customers, from large department store chains to small, independent shops. There are also OMS positions in the medical diagnostic or life sciences sector, working for companies selling devices to hospitals and clinics.
What are the qualities an OMS needs?
As there are many different tasks that the OMS has to work on, the job requires a good combination of skills, such as collaboration skills and teamwork, organizational skills, communication skills, analytical skills and adaptability. It also helps to have, like myself, broad experience and knowledge in the finance sector.
Collaboration is necessary with various teams such as:
- technical support.
- credit control.
The OMS is often in charge of organizing the various teams working on a project or task, particularly when solving an issue for a client, or preparing complicated orders together.
Good organizational skills are also needed to multi-task effectively. I often worked on several tasks at the same time, for different clients and also on various internal projects. A good OMS will need to go back and forth to these different tasks, with different people and teams contacting you throughout the day. Without good organizational skills, you could get lost with the hectic workload.
When working on a project for customers or solving issues for them, it is also important to possess good communication skills. You need to be able to provide updates to clients, and follow-up with internal stakeholders. Since multiple groups are often involved in working on an issue or project, strong communication means that problems can be recognised quickly and orders completed without unnecessary delay, thus ensuring clients receive the best service possible.
There is also the analytical part of the job, which requires problem-solving skills, the ability to work independently and be detail-oriented.
Examples of this work include:
- Going over multiple spreadsheets or reports about a client’s billing or product data in order to prepare for an upcoming order, or as part of a problem-solving task to fix major billing issues.
- Working on a project to locate old contracts and order forms in order for them to be uploaded to a new system, which requires “detective work” and attention to detail.
- Examining compliance reports for multiple third-party data vendors in order to verify that they have been added correctly to a client’s account, following all necessary approvals. Errors in adding third-party data could result in financial penalties for a company.
In addition to all the skills mentioned above, a good OMS needs to be comfortable with change, and be adaptable and flexible.
For example, in one of my previous roles, it was a question of learning new systems and processes when they were implemented in the order management workflow and keeping up-to-date with new product information and compliance rules and regulations.
The OMS and the client
The Order Management Specialist is the main point of contact for the client.
You play a key role in ensuring:
- customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- providing details about new processes that they need to follow.
- solving any business-to-business problems for them.
In particular, a customer comes to you when they:
- have a question about billing, an order form, or a contract.
- when they need product information.
Even when other teams are involved in working to solve a client issue, the client looks to you first to provide answers, information, and support. It is a challenging position. At the same time, there is nothing more satisfying than when clients thank you for a job well done.