September 27, 2023 By Sudhir Balebail 3 min read

The relevance of a promise

The fundamental principle of commerce is the concept of a “promise.” A promise of accuracy in product detail, product capabilities, quality, price and delivery.

The promise of accuracy in inventory—or, more importantly, in the availability of inventory—is very important when there are competing demands for the same unit of inventory and unpredictable disruptions to sources of supply. It becomes very challenging to uphold the promise when so much is changing in the processes that trigger demand and supply.

The challenges of keeping a promise

The challenge is particularly true in highly competitive areas like omnichannel retail or even B2B domains—wholesale distribution and dealer-based after-market parts. This is a space where IBM Sterling Order Management and IBM Sterling Intelligent Promising have been leaders since the early days of eCommerce.

The secret to success is making sure that changes to supply and demand are tracked and processed at ultra-scale in real-time and that an accurate Available to Promise quantity (ATP) is presented to the channels of promise. It is not enough to just present a quantity; demanding shoppers also want to see an expected date of delivery—not an estimated date of when a product will be shipped, but a precise date of delivery at their doorstep or a confirmed date for in-store pickup, etc. This means keeping track of stock availability, capacity availability and possibly, the availability of specific delivery slots for pickup. In the wider context of flash-sales, in-store campaigns, marketplaces and omni-channel connected commerce initiatives, staying on top of this dynamic environment can be very challenging to companies.

Welcome to a new era of intelligent promising: IBM’s Sterling Intelligent Promising approach

IBM Sterling Intelligent Promising addresses this challenge by providing powerful promising and inventory services that deliver accurate, real-time information to power an enhanced shopper experience. Implementation and deployment of this solution are not difficult and can very quickly help companies simplify the complexity.

IBM Sterling Intelligent Promising delivers what next-generation shoppers expect from modern commerce experiences:

  • Certainty of product availability, delivery estimates, actual delivery and promptness.
  • Choice of how to order, where and when they can have it delivered or picked up, and their post-order service options.
  • Transparency of the entire customer order journey, from order tracking to returns.

Key features and benefits

  • Strengthen shopper loyalty: Confidently deliver choice and transparency to every shopper throughout the buying journey.
  • Manage accurate promises: Increase digital conversions by presenting precise promise dates on the product list page, product details page and during checkout.
  • Maximize inventory productivity: Reduce order cancellations and optimize inventory by dynamically providing shoppers with enterprise-wide inventory views.
  • Take advantage of fulfillment optimization: Balance predefined business rules with real cost drivers to make the best fulfillment decisions for business outcomes, optimizing across thousands of permutations in milliseconds.
  • Increase omnichannel profitability: Drive higher conversion and in-store sales with accurate promise dates, choice in delivery and pickup, and upsell of related products.

Try IBM’s Sterling Intelligent Promising solution today

Commerce, inventory and fulfillment managers can envision how to improve digital and in-store conversion, omnichannel revenue and profitability via contextual, transparent and accurate delivery estimates at every stage of the order journey. To help them experience this journey ahead of the actual purchase of the service, IBM has made available a “try before you buy” trial experience for IBM Sterling Intelligent Promising.

Users and architects can try a 30-day trial experience that features the powerful capabilities of the promising and inventory services and the pre-configured data that powers the shopper experience. The trial experience will also demonstrate the architectural elegance and automation provided by the underlying Kubernetes container-based technology. This Kubernetes Operator pattern design brings simplicity and scalability to the management of interconnected ecosystem solutions.

The walkthrough of our solution will demonstrate the trust and confidence your customers have on your word. Learn how you can make accurate promises and how you can keep those promises—profitably.

Start your free trial of IBM Sterling Intelligent Promising
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