Deploying a single, centralized order management solution is a must for enabling the ever-changing, omnichannel customer experience that shoppers demand. Merchants that do so gain the ability to efficiently manage orders from all sales channels and automate their order promising, allocation, orchestration and execution process across their entire business.
But what’s left? How can merchants use visibility, automation and execution to further enhance the customer experience by delivering the perfect order?
Intelligent omnichannel order allocation gives you the ability to make optimal decisions around executing the perfect order. Specifically, you can automatically and intelligently determine how best to fulfill orders based on your global inventory availability and business rules – essential technology of a centralized order management solution and a key component in delivering the perfect order.
The perfect order means delivering the right products at the best price, when and where the customer wants, at the optimal cost and efficiency. This increases profitability while delivering what customers expect: A unified, omnichannel experience of buy, fulfill and return anywhere.
With intelligent omnichannel order allocation, your order management processes allow you to make smarter order fulfillment decisions. With real-time inventory visibility across all of your warehouses, stores and 3PLs, you can dynamically set up and apply business rules to automate processes, reduce costs, speed delivery or combine a number of factors to profitably meet customer expectations.
For example, a merchant can assign a variety of criteria and rank them when fulfilling orders. Examples include shipping from the closest location for fast delivery, or shipping an entire order from a single location that has all the items on the order to minimize costs. Maybe you want to ship from a warehouse since it’s typically cheaper and requires less time than shipping from a store. Or you want to ship first from a store because it’s closer to the customer, saving on shipping even if fulfillment costs are higher.
If the fulfillment location is a store, you can use intelligent order allocation to manage the store’s fulfillment capacity and protect a portion of the stock for walk-in customers. All the while, fulfillment managers have full visibility into the process – released orders, fulfillment status and order exceptions.
And finally, a system is only as good as it can be measured and improved. It must provide the metrics to gauge your success and help determine how to further optimize processes. For example, how do you know if you’ve achieved the perfect order? What happened and where can you improve? Insight into your order management processes and generating KPIs are crucial to determining efficiency, profitability and your ability to meet customer expectations.
From promising and allocation to orchestration and fulfillment, payments and returns, your systems should enable you to not only attempt the perfect order but accomplish it with intelligence.
Allison Manetakis is Director of Commerce Product Management at the Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit