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Search Results for: Retail

GDPR Compliance and IBM Sterling Order Management System (IBM OMS)

May 9, 2017 by The Bridge Solutions Group Team

GDPR Sterling Order Management Implications

The ability to completely erase customer data across all systems is just one of many GDPR compliance considerations.


ay 25, 2018 is the enforcement date for the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation. Given that penalties could be 10-20 million euros or 2-4% of global revenue (whichever is higher), any company that sells to, or otherwise processes the personal data of EU citizens, needs to ensure compliance.

Fortunately, IBM OMS is structured in a way that provides many compliance options. Depending on how your organization’s Data Protection Officer decides to comply with GDPR (and any other data protection obligations), you may want to consider the following:

Hosting  & Deployment

  • Move your IBM OMS instance to a hosting provider that is GDPR compliant and allows you to choose whether your data is stored in the EU
  • Host the IBM OMS database shard containing EU customer data at a GDPR compliant hosting company or a host located solely within a GDPR recognized country
  • US based companies may choose to self-certify for the Privacy Shield Framework and self-host IBM OMS

User Authentication

  • Use a User Authentication tool that enforces strong security protocols, such as Active Directory


  • Ensure that any updates to your customer master are propagated to IBM OMS quickly and correctly
  • Ensure that any customer data updates (including deletion) are pushed to other applications (e.g, eCommerce, email marketing, etc.) and third party vendors (drop shippers, 3PLs, etc.)

3rd Party Vendors

  • Develop a notification trigger that automatically sends customer data updates or deletions to 3rd parties with whom you’ve shared your customer data
  • Review all contracts with 3PLs and drop shippers to ensure they update or delete your customer data as necessary


  • Develop a way to track whether a person is an EU citizen and display this information to Call Center representatives
  • Develop a mechanism for a System Administrator or Call Center representative to easily erase all personal and transactional data so you can comply with requests within one month
  • Develop a mechanism to easily export individual customer data (including transaction data) into a structured, commonly used, and machine readable form, such as CSV, either for self-service download from a web site, or generation and email by a call center representative (for data portability compliance)

Start Today

Time is short. With the deadline less than year away, and the risk of penalties is high, you need to act now so you’ll have enough time to:

  • Prepare your systems
  • Update vendor contracts
  • Develop new business processes
  • Train your employees

With deep expertise in IBM OMS, global deployment management, and complex system integrations, Bridge solutions Group is uniquely positioned to assist you.

Contact Us to learn more.

Filed under: Order Management, Retail

Is your agency making promises your brand can’t keep?

May 3, 2017 by Nicola Kinsella, Director of Marketing

Late delivery breaks promises

A late delivery damages brand trust. How well do you fulfill orders?

Each year brands spend billions of dollars to entice you to interact with their brand. Armed with a ‘brand goal’ or ‘key consumer insight’, agencies invent unique ways to inspire consumer interaction. Often, they succeed. Brand engagement rises. But can you keep the promises they make? Keep the brand momentum going? Can you deliver well? Is it important?

You bet. In 2016 IBM surveyed 1,500 U.S. consumers on their retail expectations. Results included:

  • 59% of customers in their 20s are likely or very likely to not shop with you again if they experience a delayed delivery
  • 79% of consumers want easy pickup of online purchases
  • 71% of 13-39 year olds want to skip the checkout line
  • 63% of 13-39 year olds say Same Day Delivery is important when choosing where to shop
  • 96% of consumers say that performance consistency is essential for maintaining trust

The lesson? Protect your brand. Keep your promises. Fulfill orders well.

If you’d like to learn more about fulfillment preferences for your target demographic, schedule a briefing today.

Filed under: Omni-Channel, Retail

Top 9 Order Management Integrations

May 1, 2017 by The Bridge Solutions Group Team

Distributed Order Management Integrations

The true power of a distributed order management application comes from the integration of information across multiple channels. While the Sales Order might be the central focus, just as important are inventory visibility, and integration with external services such as tax solutions and credit card processing services.

Below is a list of the 9 most common order management integrations:

  1. eCommerce Application – Captures online orders from customers. Order management can be used to display inventory availability and shipment status for online orders.
    Vendors include: IBM Digital Commerce/Websphere,  Magento Commerce, SAP Hybris
  2. ERP/Financial Master – Captures updates to inventory and sales affecting company finances.
    Vendors include: SAP, Infor, Epicor
  3. Payment Gateway – Processes credit card transactions.
    Vendors include: CybersourceChase Paymentech
  4. Warehouse Management System (WMS) – Manages the inventory and process in the warehouse.
    Vendors include: JDA, Manhattan Associates, Softeon
  5. Taxation Service – Calculates tax based on the ship to address and final value of the product after discounts.
    Vendors include: Avalara
  6. Point of Sales (POS) / Store Application – Manages inventory and payments for cash and carry orders at a store, and allows the order management system to provide in-store inventory availability to online customers, and enable multi-channel returns.
    Vendors Include: NCR, Toshiba
  7. Product Information Management (PIM) / Item Master – While most order management systems have their own catalog, as do ERP systems, the PIM provides a more robust item master that can include additional images, video, and other digital content which can be associated with increased conversion rates.
    Vendors include: Enterworks
  8. Email Management – While most OMS applications include the capability to email order creation and shipment status information to the customer, most business leverage their existing email tool for this activity to ensure a consistent branded experience.
    Vendors include: IBM Watson Campaign AutomationSalesforce Pardot, Oracle Eloqua, Marketo
  9. Parcel Adaptor – Estimate the shipping costs for an order and routes the order to the appropriate carrier so businesses can provide accurate shipping charges to the customer or fulfill using the cheapest delivery method to contain costs.
    Vendors include: ProShip, Pitney Bowes Sendsuite, Centiro

There are certainly more Distributed Order Management System integrations, but these are the ones that we see as core.  Once you’ve defined your integrations, how do you integrate optimally?

Optimal Integration Considerations

How you integrate depends on many factors, but you may want to consider the following:

  • Will my integration vendors ever change? If so, you may want to consider using an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) for ease of long term integration management.
  • Which system should be my item master?
  • How often should different systems update each other (batch, trickle feeds, etc.)?

If you’re not sure of the best order management integration strategy for your business, we’d be happy to conduct an Order Management Integration Assessment. Simply complete the form below.

Filed under: Omni-Channel, Order Management, Retail

The Store: A Critical Omni-Channel Component

November 3, 2016 by Jim Bengier, Chief Customer Officer

Retail Store Sales 2016

While eCommerce is expanding the store is still a critical part of your omni-channel strategy.
Ask us about a briefing on the IBM Consumer Expectations Study 2016 to learn more.

What does it really take to be an omni-channel organization? Regardless, if it is retail, manufacturing, wholesale, or B2B, omni-channel retail has four critical requirements: Read More…

Filed under: Omni-Channel, Retail

Shipping Costs and Delivery Dates Impact Customer Satisfaction

September 10, 2016 by Jim Bengier, Chief Customer Officer

Delivery impacts customer satisfaction

Recently, I ordered a hood ornament emblem for my vehicle from a specialty store. This well know website is specific to my auto and I have made purchase here before. But, in this case I have been disappointed.

Read More…

Filed under: Retail

Delivering Merchandise: The Hard Facts

August 22, 2016 by Jim Bengier, Chief Customer Officer

Customers are expecting more

The 13-39 year old group have the highest delivery expectations of all consumers.

Retailers are suffering from customer delivery expectations. The customer wants their order completed the fastest and cheapest way. Studying the trends since 2010, we have found that those in the 13-39 year old group have the highest expectations of all. Read More…

Filed under: Omni-Channel, Order Management, Retail

6 Challenges of Multi-Channel Sales Tax Compliance

June 9, 2016 by The Bridge Solutions Group Team

6 Challenges multi-channel tax compliance

1. eCommerce tax rules are constantly changing
As tax rules change, or as you expand your product line or distribution methods, you’re expected to keep up. What if you hire a remote employee in another state? Or use a third-party for fulfillment that opens a distribution center in a new state? It may impact the sales tax you should collect. And what happens if you fail to collect tax on eCommerce orders? You could face fines and penalties at your next audit. Read More…

Filed under: Order Management, Retail

Omni-Channel Retail: An Appointment to sell

April 8, 2016 by Guy Read, Managing Consultant

Omni-channel Appointment to Sell

Are your store associates ready to maximize the value of a Buy Online Pickup In Store customer?

At Bridge Solutions Group, we’ve noticed a distinct change of late. No longer are our clients asking us why they should become “Omni-Channel”, the conversation is now invariably about how they should transition to an Omni-Channel model and what capabilities can enhance their consumers experience and provide a competitive advantage.

So in this the first of a series of articles we will explore some strategies and tactics that will enhance your brand and your top and bottom line as well.

Read More…

Filed under: Omni-Channel, Retail

Omni-Channel Fulfillment: 5 metrics to include in your business case

October 8, 2015 by Nicola Kinsella, Director of Marketing


Are you building a business case for omni-channel fulfillment? Here are some metrics that can help you.

72% of customers would purchase an out-of-stock item if an associate could locate the item and find a way to get it to them. Read More…

Filed under: Omni-Channel, Retail