Getting Stores and Distribution Centers on the Same Omnichannel Track

operations-summit-2014-300-65As more retailers are going omnichannel to address the “anywhere, anytime, anyhow” expectations of mobile and digital-savvy consumers, there are a lot of moving pieces to address to achieve success.

What needs to happen from a platform and process standpoint – on the store and the distribution center side – to make omnichannel a reality?

Kevin Gardiner
Kevin Gardiner

Kevin Gardiner, Director of Store Operations and Strategy at Macy’s, says the advantage of distribution centers is that they are built for storing, packing, and shipping merchandise. But the advantage of stores is that they exist in closer proximity to many customers.

[RELATED CONTENT: Managing Inventory in an Omnichannel World]

But how do you get store operations and distribution center operations on the same page?

“Your customers do not care where the merchandise is shipped from, as long as the merchandise arrives on time, in good condition and accurately,” says Gardiner, who will speak about omnichannel fulfillment trends at Operations Summit 2015 April 14-16 in Louisville, KY. “The picking processes in a store will often be less automated and less natural than they are in a distribution center, but you must hold distribution centers and stores to the same packing standards and timing standards.”

Walter Wallace
Walter Wallace

Walter Wallace, Senior Manager of Ecommerce and 3PL at Tory Burch, says omnichannel alignment for distribution center and store operations can be furthered when there is an overarching set of priorities, deliverables and goals. They are less about channel specifics or functional silos and all about giving the customer a great experience.

Wallace, who is also speaking at at Operations Summit 2015, says both stores and distribution centers can benefit greatly from taking a shared and collaborative approach in process and operations design to support omnichannel.

“In the ever-evolving world of omnichannel fulfillment, distribution center and store operations have to be aligned in order to ensure that a great customer experience is delivered in a seamless manner, regardless of where the customer chooses to engage in the purchase and/or return cycle,” Wallace says.

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.