May 12, 2017 by Nicola Kinsella, Director of Marketing
High inventory carrying costs can be offset by Ship from Store, which lets you leverage inventory across all your locations, but first you need complete inventory visibility.
uccess starts with the right tools to enable your business to grow and thrive. Your eCommerce platform lets you take orders online. An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system helps you manage inventory. Your Warehouse Management System (WMS) lets you manage warehouse tasks efficiently. And if you have retail stores, a Point of Sale (POS) system powers your checkout. So what’s missing?
The system that ties them all together. Not just by joining them (like an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)) but an intelligent system that optimizes every order. One that lets you provide a superior customer experience so you can delight your customers and inspire repeat purchases. It’s an order management system. Let ‘s look at 7 signs you might need one…
Warehouses, stores, third party logistics companies. You could have inventory in many places. But most systems aren’t designed to track inventory across locations. Luckily an order management system excels at this task. It’s designed to integrate with all your other systems and provide you with a single view of inventory across all your locations.
If you have physical stores and an online store, this is key. If you let your customers return online purchases in store, you have an opportunity to convert the return into an exchange. Or sell them something else. It’s a great way to offset the cost of returns. But only if the process is easy and convenient.
Are your stores ever out of stock? That’s lost revenue. But what if your store employees could locate that out of stock item elsewhere? It could be in another store or in a warehouse. Chances are, if you can find it, and either reserve it for your customer or ship it to them, chances are you can save the sale.
If you’re struggling with delivery costs or speed, order management can help. As online orders come in, it routes them to the most optimal location. If speed is important it sends the order to the closest location to the customer (and can enable Ship from Store). If delivery cost is a concern, it routes the order via the cheapest method.
If you can reduce the capital tied up in inventory it can be used for other growth initiatives. There are two ways Order Management can help. It can enable Ship from Store, so you can leverage store inventory to fulfill online orders. Or route orders directly to drop ship vendors so you eliminate inventory handling costs as well. You define the business rules, then Order Management automatically sources inventory from the location with the most inventory or slowest moving inventory. This can also help you minimize markdowns. What does that mean?
Say you get an online order for a shirt. The shirt is generally very popular. But in one store sales are low, which typically means you’ll have to mark it down to move the inventory. But an order management system is smart. Instead of routing the online order to your warehouse, it sends the order to the store with excess inventory. Which means less markdowns.
As you expand globally the ability to route orders from cheapest or fastest location, or from the location that provides the fastest route through customs, is essential. An Order Management system houses the business rules that enable this to happen as each order is placed.
If inventory visibility, omnichannel commerce, or global expansion are part of your growth strategy, let’s talk. We’ll share case studies and consumer data to help you build a business case for Order Management.