Timing – Too soon and you potentially allocate to wrong location, too late and risk missed SLA to customer if goods aren’t actually in a shippable state.
Optimized Picking and Packing – Over engineering the picking sequence in the OMS sometimes yields marginal time increases but enforces too much rigidity to retailer, especially where planograms / floor-sets often change.
Generic Labor CapacitySettings – Not all stores should have same labor capacity, and the operations team responsible for setting these can waste substantial time and energy keeping up with configurations if too many different classifications of store capacity is coupled with poor OMS system design for configuring in-mass.
Inventory Protection Strategy – The challenge with designing an all encompassing setup, regardless of SKU category or the location of the inventory, is how to balance the overhead of feeds/configurations within OMS that manages millions of SKU + location relationships with the desire to optimize sales and avoid order issues.
“Real-Time” Inventory – Core to OMS is the ability to track and promise available inventory, but this is only reliable as the inventory is accurate and kept current. Many retailers struggle to keep the inventory positions across DCs, Stores and extended suppliers (drop-ship) aggregated and fed to requesting systems in real-time.
Systems Integration – From a technical standpoint, the returns and exchanges process is often poorly designed, leading to disconnected systems with differing and sometimes inaccurate views of the returned status, if tracked at all.
Returned Inventory Visibility – Oftentimes, returned inventory is either immediately added back (when it should not be) or not added back until long after it should have been. The challenge most retailers have is positioning the returned inventory in real-time and deciding whether or not to make it available again (for the website), damage out, ship back to vendor or so sell at a discount.