OMNI-CHANNEL is a BUZZWORD, a COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE, an IT CHALLENGE, and YOUR CUSTOMER’S EXPECTATION.
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It’s the path our clients are taking to unlock previously unfulfilled demand while providing customers with a seamless shopping experience. Omni-channel represents a sea change, a chance for consumer companies to re-invent themselves and unlock financial gains previously unreachable. From website clicks, to app swipes, to store shelves, the mediums involved in a sale today are a common retail experience – but are your supply chain systems capable of delivering when and where your customer dictates?
The omni-channel challenges the supply chain to provide “one version of the truth” on product availability with consistent service levels, whether the sale is fulfilled from the e-commerce distribution center or from the local retail store. TO STEP UP TO THE OMNI-CHANNEL CHALLENGE RETAILERS ARE MAKING CHANGES TO THEIR ORDER MANAGEMENT, DISTRIBUTION, AND TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS.
Traditional retail systems were built to be very physical, store-shelf centric and have not kept up to the challenge of maintaining a single view of network level supply and adjusting in real time to the changing channel level demands. This has created opportunity for a new breed of execution systems called Distributed Order Management (DOM) that sit in the center of merchandise allocation, inventory and fulfillment systems and match enterprise-wide supply with cross-channel demand.
In a retail organization, inventory typically resides in location level systems across all DCs and Stores in the network. DOM systems are capable of integrating with these disparate technologies, receiving real time inventory positions and normalizing the data for fulfillment decision making. When a customer is making a purchase from the store that is out of that product, distributed order management by virtue of having visibility into the entire supply chain will find the product if it exists anywhere in the network and promise to fulfill in the way a customer chooses. This core capability enables cross channel selling and fulfillment such as buy online / ship from in store, buy in store /deliver at home, and vendor direct to home to name a few.
Leveraging a DOM system requires the ability to fulfill orders throughout the network from a common pool of inventory and often brings a mix of retail, e-commerce, and wholesale channels inside the same distribution center. The warehouse management system (WMS) design must be flexible enough to fulfill distinct order profiles while meeting efficiency and customer service level expectations.
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