Note: Today’s post is part of our “Editor’s Choice” series where we highlight recent posts published by our sponsors that provide supply chain insights and advice. This article is from Natalie Walkley, Director of Product Marketing OMS at Koerber.
Despite becoming commonplace in commerce in recent years, companies have yet to unlock the full competitive advantage an Order Management System (OMS) can bring to their operations.
The last few years in commerce have been a whirlwind in many ways. Just three years ago we first heard terms like “curbside pickup” and “contactless” shopping experiences. Omnichannel fulfillment took center stage.
What is omnichannel fulfillment?
Omnichannel is a centralized strategy that enables businesses to coordinate, streamline, simplify and speed up fulfillment of orders that have been placed through different channels (online, retail, etc.). It is making use of inventory that is the easiest/fastest to get to the customer, no matter through which channel the order was placed. This strategy allows logistics providers to remain agile, optimize fulfillment workflows and efficiently handle orders received from multiple selling channels in a single facility.
Numerous supply chain disruptions affected the ability to get inventory in time – or at all – and now that the backlog caught up, many organizations are experiencing a surplus of inventory. Of course, the key to inventory is having the right amount in the right location at the right time to meet customer demand, or face overstocks, high holding costs and eventual markdowns—or alternatively, overpromising, stockouts and lost sales.
So how can an Order Management System (OMS) give you an upper hand in the market? First let’s outline the core functionality of an OMS.
What does an order management system do?
An OMS coordinates the essential functions of an order from browsing and buying, to unboxing and beyond:
Centralized inventory management and visibility (one view)
Optimized order orchestration and advanced routing logic
Improved omnichannel fulfillment
Customer service portal with 360-view of the customer
Centralized inventory management
One of the benefits of a modern OMS is centralized inventory across the business. So, if an organization has multiple inventory sources (warehouses, stores, drop shipping, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), etc.) they have a singular view of inventory and can call that singular file to determine the best place to fulfill orders.
Even beyond standard visibility, advanced features like dynamic inventory allocation (DIA) offer the ability to virtually segment your inventory based on previous analytics and future forecasting and adjust inventory levels accordingly.
Increased revenue with omnichannel fulfillment
Studies show that omnichannel shoppers are known to spend more in both cart size (average order value) and customer lifetime value (CLV). So, uncovering how to engage buyers across multiple channels benefits the buyer in terms of convenience and the vendor in terms of revenue (read: win-win situation.)
An order management system powers extensive fulfillment methodologies like buy online pick up in store (BOPIS), curbside pickup, ship from store, micro fulfillment centers and dark stores— enabling buyers to determine the channel and delivery method apropos to their purchasing situation. Need diapers delivered overnight? No problem. Been eyeing that golf club but only need it in time for your golf outing next week? You got it. Want to order a birthday gift and pickup before the party? My pleasure.
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