While it is possible to undertake basic online fulfilment using just a website and ERP, if you’re looking to unlock true omnichannel capabilities, you will want to consider an Order Management System (OMS).
An OMS which enables a global view of sellable inventory across your entire fulfilment network (including Stores) can promise from not only physical stock, in-transit stock but also future supplier stock (perhaps from a drop ship vendor) as well as non physical sellable items such as installations and gift wrapping.
This full inventory picture is a must if you want to provide your customers with omnichannel services such as:
Click and Collect
Ship to / return to Store
Increased availability / save the sale via Store Fulfilment
In addition to these customer-facing / revenue enhancing benefits, a global view of sellable inventory (alongside the implementation of dynamic business rules) will facilitate intelligent sourcing decisions.
This will allow you to reduce the number of shipments (parcels) required to meet your fulfilment promise. Intelligent sourcing will enable you to meet premium delivery service options such as same day / next day / nominated day by selecting the fastest possible fulfilment location in order meet the promise. All this delivers benefits in terms of:
A sizeable reduction in logistics costs, through fewer shipments.
An enhanced delivery proposition (with the option to charge a premium for these services)
The opportunity to reduce markdown through exposing inventory from slow selling locations for faster sell-through online.
Leveraging new capabilities such as reservations, safety factors and reallocations, you can ring-fence stock to avoid overselling. If a stock location can’t fulfil an item, OMS logic will reallocate the line to another location with stock – ensuring that the customer promise can be met.
An OMS can be seamlessly integrated with a Warehouse Management System (WMS) to facilitate distribution centre packing. In the case of Store Fulfilment, a good OMS should have an intuitive User Interface, which handles tasks such as order collection and order fulfilment efficiently. The application should be compatible with store scanning software, for ease of use by Store colleagues. The production of the shipping labels and documents required to ship orders to customers should be handled by this same application.
Through implementation of an omnichannel Call Centre Application, Customer Service Agents have full visibility to order status and information, allowing them to answer order queries with ease. The Call Centre also enables services such as order amendments, exchanges and appeasements, as well as collections booking for returns. A best of breed Call Centre Application will come complete with monitoring and alerting functionality as standard, enabling call centre agents to be made aware of (and resolve) order issues before customers are impacted
An OMS can also be seamlessly integrated with external partners, such as marketplaces or external suppliers who supply stock to be sold via a concession, consignment or vendor model. This allows you to sell your products through additional channels or to supplement your stock with that of other suppliers. This provides greater exposure for your brand and wider choice to your customer.
Payment processing and fraud checking services are handled by OMS, with configurable business rules that allow you to set these processes up to match your business model.
An OMS will produce finance feeds to your existing finance systems, ensuring all order and return data is current and correct. Last (but never least!) reporting; OMS can be integrated with your existing Business Intelligence systems, making real time reporting (both management and operational) a reality.