August 24, 2015 | Written by: John Mesberg
Categorized: eCommerce & Merchandising
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It is generally accepted that Omni-channel is the future for B2B and B2C businesses alike. Today, however, only 16 percent of companies are able to serve multiple channels profitably*. Are you one of the profitable?
A key reason for this problem is that often order fulfillment systems are not integrated with other critical systems. What’s more, traditional order fulfillment and processing systems often force shoppers to make trade-offs between convenience, product selection, and cost as they shop across channels – culminating in a frustrating experience. And today, customers are in an unprecedented position to demand a great experience.
According to Wayne Usie, senior vice president of retail at JDA, “The convergence of physical and digital retail has changed how you need to deliver on the customer buying experience. The customer is the new boss and they want their product, at their moment, at their price, delivered their way. As a result, companies need to offer personalized, differentiated customer experience while delivering the order as promised. “
The rewards are real. For example, one large retailer hoped to break even in the first year of its Omni-channel investment that provided a full view of inventory across all stores and distribution centers. However, once inventory visibility was available, the new customer experience was able to drive unprecedented results that achieved 10x ROI in the first year.
At IBM, we want our clients to deliver the perfect order and reap the benefits. That’s why we announced new integrated fulfillment capabilities with JDA Software that combines the power of JDA Intelligent Fulfillment™ and Labor Productivity solutions with IBM Order Management. With this announcement, IBM and JDA can offer flawless customer buying experiences such as:
- “Click and Collect” ordering that transforms, what used to be, an expensive option for brands into a simple and personalized customer experience by integrating order management, warehouse management, and transportation management systems to fulfill each order profitably.
- “Rescue the Return” capabilities that provide visibility and alerts about inventory that has been returned to the store so it can be resold, minimizing the cost of product returns. By including returned items as part of available inventory, retailers can proactively fulfill orders and reducing the number of mark-downs in order to minimize lost sales and maximize margins.
- Destination-driven demand that shows the true source of orders, be it from a store, or from another channel, and even when an item is ordered in one location and shipped from another. By ensuring that your systems reflect accurate information about demand, you can make better inventory allocation decisions and optimize the margins in your business to control inefficiencies.
The delivery of these kinds of capabilities to the market offers retailers the operational efficiency they need to meet customer expectations and build loyalty. “As Omni Channel retailing continues to advance, we believe that integration between physical and digital channels is vital, as is tighter integration between eCommerce, Order management and all elements within the supply chain,” said Peter Swann, Operations Director, Debenhams. “This will be key to driving better customer service through increased responsiveness and at the same time, improved business efficiency.”
With new solutions, brands can delight demanding customers with engaging Omni-Channel experiences and order fulfillment options in real-time, without losing sight of their own financial goals. Want to learn more? Read our whitepaper or view our videocast today.
*Global Retail and Consumer Goods CEO Survey: The Omni-Channel Fulfillment Imperative, PwC, December 2014