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Business Challenges Solved

We understand you have a choice when selecting a technology partner. You need to select a partner who will listen, who understands your needs, has the experience and technical proficiency in supply chain strategy and technology solutions to deliver, and whose primary goal is to empower your organization. At Bridge Solutions Group we’ve had the privilege of working with many organizations who have experienced the same challenges that you’re facing now. Here are a few case studies that demonstrate our experience.

Retail

Large Mexican retailer reduced inventory sourcing from 6 hours to 3 minutes

Industry: Retail

Service: Consulting – Business Process Review

Solution Deployed: IBM Sterling Order Management System

A large retailer in Mexico wanted to expand their ecommerce capabilities by expanding the number of stores from which you could buy online and pickup in-store, but first they needed to improve their inventory allocation process to address two key business issues:

  1. It was taking three people six hours to do inventory sourcing (identifying which inventory location should be used for optimal order fulfillment) for a single day’s worth of orders.
  2. They were losing sales because their ecommerce site would often indicate an out of stock when in fact inventory was just in an offline location.

First we conducted a business process review and were able to help them eliminate many manual processes and apply retail best practices to their order fulfillment process. Next we implemented IBM Sterling Order Management System (OMS) which provided the retailer with a global view of all their inventory in all their locations.

As a result of the business process review and OMS implementation inventory sourcing was reduced from six hours to three minutes per day.

We also integrated the new OMS with their ecommerce solution, so customers had access to accurate inventory information when they were placing online orders, thereby saving sales. The retailer was also able to offer their customers the ability to buy online and pickup in-store from all store locations, thereby providing a seamless, convenient, cross-channel experience.

Large Mexican home improvement retailer achieved Global Inventory Visibilty and a true cross channel customer experience

Industry: Retail

Service: Consulting – Solution Implementation

Solution Deployed: IBM Sterling Order Management System

A large home improvement retailer in Mexico had no ecommerce capabilities and wanted to allow customers to order online and offer in-store pickup or home delivery.

First we worked the retailer to define an effective rollout strategy for introducing both initial and expanded functionality of their new ecommerce platform.

We implemented IBM Sterling Order Management System (OMS), which provided a global view of inventory, enabling the retailer to determine the optimal fulfillment center for each order. We then integrated the OMS with the ecommerce solution thereby providing customers with live inventory information, the ability to order online, and select either in-store pickup or home delivery.

 

Leading South American retailer replaced multiple ERP systems to reduce costs

Industry: Retailer

Service: Enterprise Application Integration

Solution Deployed: IBM Sterling Order Management System

A leading South American retailer, having grown through acquisition, has identified the need to reduce the number and complexity of ERP solutions in order to reduce costs and drive consistent business practices throughout the company. The cost and challenge of supporting multiple ERP solutions and managing these IT organization has become a significant pain point for the company, hindering their growth-through-acquisition strategy.

Bridge Solutions partnered to implement IBM Sterling Order Management System including the call center module in order to support their home delivery business and deliver common best practices and shared services to multiple divisions. The overall solution was also developed to provide the ability to quickly on-board other divisions in multiple countries, along with new acquisitions, into a single ERP solution.

The benefits of the new platform implementation include:

  • Increased inventory visibility across over 80 stores and several distribution centers.
  • Reusable on-boarding policies and procedures to facilitate rapid adoption of the platform across location and drive business process consistency
  • Increased ability to identify customer buying habits across all their retail store brands so they can anticipate customer needs.
  • Increased ability to collaborate and promote cross-divisional market penetration

Manufacturing

US Manufacturer replaced legacy and paper systems across 85 warehouses

Industry: Manufacturing

Service: Consulting – Business Process Review

Solution Deployed: IBM Sterling Warehouse Management System

A US based electronics manufacturer with 85 warehouses worldwide was looking to replace both their legacy order management system and the paper based system that was in place in some of their warehouses, and improve overall order fulfillment efficiency.

We brought in warehouse management experts to review their business processes, make them more efficient and align them with IBM Sterling Warehouse Management System (WMS) processes, thereby enabling them to achieve the maximum business benefit from the implementation.

Next we implemented WMS in one of their warehouses and mentored their staff to improve their WMS skillset to that they could maintain and expand the functionality of the solution.

The client was satisfied with the results and has engaged us to rollout the WMS solution to their remaining warehouses starting in 2014.

North American manufacturer unified warehouse management across 290 distribution centers

Industry: Manufacturing

Service: Consulting – Business Process Review

Solution Deployed: IBM Sterling Order Management System and IBM Sterling Warehouse Management System

A leading North American manufacturer of factory automation products has grown their distribution channels through acquisition. The 290 distribution centers were using everything from paper-based to legacy mainframe solutions. Every distribution center has developed its own independent processes. There were no standards or best practices supporting the overall approach.

We rapidly deployed IBM Sterling Order Management System and IBM Sterling Warehouse Management System to support the immediate need, implementing multiple clusters to address the future needs, and initiating capacity planning and long-term architectural definition/implementation to create a highly scalable and robust environment.

The implementation yielded the following benefits:

  • A common platform across all warehouses that provided increased visibility and flexibility
  • Reusable policies and procedures facilitating rapid adoption of platform across all warehouses
  • Consistent processes across multiple business units

Wholesale

North American wholesaler replaced unsustainable 30 year old legacy system

Industry: Wholesale

Service: Consulting – Business Process Review and ETL

Solution Deployed: IBM Sterling Order Management System

A leading North American office products wholesaler needed to replace their legacy system which was handling many messages out-of-sequence. The custom logic used to process these messages was had been developed over thirty years, and the technology skill sets required to maintain the system were becoming more and more difficult to find as it was based on older languages such as UBL. Due to the architecture of supporting systems, the new solution needed to be phased in over a couple years, running both systems in parallel.

After a comprehensive evaluation period with the wholesaler, we identified a message sequencing solution which could manage this with minimal customization to either system, using IBM Sterling Order Management to enforce the proper messaging business rules. The solution would be:

  • Highly recoverable so that dropped or out of sequence messages could be easily reprocessed.
  • Deployed across all business process messages.
  • Easy to understand with high visibility.

Reduced support costs through Re-usable algorithms, built-in features, and inherent extensibility.

Next we implemented IBM Sterling Order Management System (OMS) to drive common best practice processes while providing a flexible architecture that would allow additional modules to be rolled out separately, ensuring complete and consistent adoption of one implementation phase and set of business processes before rolling out the next. We also provided ETL services to extract legacy data and load it into the new OMS.

The resulting system was one that could handle a wide range of messages and fulfillment options. The wholesaler’s volumes varied widely throughout the day, with their core line of business averaging more than 75,000 sales orders per day, with the vast majority of these orders coming in through various channels in a short 2-4 hour window each day, averaging 1.8 lines per order. Seasonal peaks could result in increases of up to 80% above regular volumes. Due to the highly automated nature of their dealer interactions, performance and SLA requirements, even at peak volume, were extremely high.

Benefits of the new IBM Sterling Order Management System included:

+ Reducing the number of sequencing errors by 98%. Errors encountered now are true content or business process errors.
+ Greater visibility into errors and potential issues.
+ Robust recovery capabilities for both partial and full failure of messages.
+ Reducing need for coordination by middleware.
+ Reducing day-to-day support by technical staff.
+ Ability to take down portions of the process for maintenance, and recover later as though the system never went down.

Custom application enabled customer to eliminate payment authorization woes

Industry: Wholesale

Service: Consulting – Business Process Review , Custom Development

Solution Deployed: IBM Sterling Order Management System

A US based wholesaler was using third-party payment gateway to handle settlements. Since no authorization was performed at the gateway, settlements often failed and constant manual intervention was required to resolve them.

We were already implementing IBM Sterling Order Management System (OMS) which has the ability to handle end-to-end payment processing when orders are being processed. The client accepted our recommendation to integrate the external payment processing system with the OMS. We developed customized code to perform critical payment-related authorization thereby enabling the client to perform seamless payment authorization, settlement, and invoicing.

As a result orders are processed on time and there is no wastage of raw materials. The need for human intervention is eliminated as the entire payment processing is automated.

Healthcare

Custom application enabled US based healthcare organization to eliminate manual steps when bringing on new customers

Service: Custom Development

Solution Deployed: IBM Sterling File Gateway

A US based pharmaceutical and Healthcare Information Provider had a custom application to manage the interaction between their business product offerings and their customers. Sterling File Gateway provided back end services to the customer facing application. The organization required a higher degree of integration between Sterling and its own custom application. Additionally the organization wanted to reduce operator intervention as much as possible to rapidly on-board new customers.

We developed custom code to automate the creation of mailboxes, trading partner profiles and dynamic routing rules based upon customer and application requirements.

Loosely coupled architecture and well-defined interfaces were established to enable multiple development streams. The project was delivered ahead of schedule and under budget.

The organization now has a system that requires next to no operator interaction to bring on new customers. The custom application provides the master data and Sterling File Gateway automatically processes the information to provide a seamless environment for the customer and the organization.

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