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The Ultimate Guide To Selecting OMS-SalesWarpWP

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The Ultimate Guide To Selecting OMS-SalesWarpWP

  1. 1. SALESWARP.COM 9 critical components retailers must evaluate when selecting an omnichannel order management system SALESWARP WHITE PAPER SERIES | ORDER MANAGEMENT THE ULTIMATE GUIDE SELECTING AN OMNICHANNEL ORDER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM < TO >
  2. 2. SALESWARP WHITE PAPER SERIES | ORDER MANAGEMENTAGEMENT SALESWARP.com P. 2 Order Management Systems are not new technology by any stretch of the imagination, and have been used in countless industries for a number of years. However, for the average online retailer, the demand for a comprehensive, robust Order Management System (OMS) has never been higher. That’s because the way people shop has changed drastically–from in-store, phone, catalog, Web, and mobile–consumers are increasingly using a wide array of channels to buy merchandise.1 Retailers such as Amazon that have incorporated robust Order Management Systems have seen significant growth. Forbes reported that Amazon sales have grown by 23 percent so far in 2014, mainly on the back of the merchant’s order management and fulfillment capabilities.2 Services such as ship-from-store, same-day shipping, endless aisles and other similar offerings are now expected by today’s shoppers, and retailers without the tools and technology required to deliver on that end will find themselves losing customers. In fact, one recent report from Starmount and Retail Systems Research (RSR) suggested that retailers struggle the most when it comes to order fulfillment capabilities.3 The report includes data on retailers across six different dimensions, including inventory management, customer service and technology integration, and concludes that retailers are least mature in the area of order fulfillment. This white paper will discuss what a robust Order Management System can do for retailers, the benefits of such a system and the critical areas retailers need to evaluate when looking into implementing omnichannel order management software. - - - - 1 http://www.pewinternet.org/three-technology-revolutions/ 2 http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2014/08/25/amazon-grows-rapidly-traditional-retailers-struggle-should-brick-and-mortar-retailers-partner-with-google/ 3 http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/07/01/tx-starmount-idUKnBw016023a+100+BSW20140701 INTRODUCTION “Amazon sales have grown 23 percent so far in 2014, mainly on the back of the merchant's order management and fulfillment capabilities.”
  3. 3. SALESWARP WHITE PAPER SERIES | ORDER MANAGEMENTAGEMENT SALESWARP.com P. 3 WHAT IS ORDER MANAGEMENT AND WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR RETAIL ORGANIZATION? Managing orders has become a complex task in recent years given the rise of new sales channels and the increase of fulfillment options, but the right Order Management System can go a long way in helping enterprises iron out many of the complexities. Set up with highly specific business rules, an OMS exists to determine the most efficient and cost- effective way to manage, route, and deliver orders to customers. An Omnichannel Order Management System provides retailers with a single, centralized view of all orders from every sales channel, while providing real-time inventory visibility across all fulfillment locations. Regardless of whether retailers serve a consumer-facing audience (B2C) or resell to other retailers (B2B), or both, an OMS can handle all types of orders in a seamless and streamlined fashion. “An OMS exists to determine the most efficient and cost-effective way to manage, route, and deliver orders to customers.”
  4. 4. SALESWARP WHITE PAPER SERIES | ORDER MANAGEMENTAGEMENT SALESWARP.com P. 4 UNDERSTANDING THE NEED FOR MODERN ORDER MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS One of the biggest challenges retailers face is the fact that their technology is just not keeping up with the times. With the rise of digital stores and the omnichannel experience that shoppers expect, the industry has only become more competitive. Some of these challenges include: • Reducing time and resources needed to fulfill and process orders. • Delivering to the customer when and how they want it delivered. • Supporting new omnichannel buying patterns and consumer expectations. However, very few Order Management Systems were designed to be so forward thinking. Most of these solutions are products of their time, designed to only meet the needs of the single channel merchant. This can be a real problem for retailers using legacy, disparate, or siloed systems, which are not often replaced simply due to the perceived high upfront cost of upgrading and the potential downtime during implementation. The ability to identify where inventory is located and expedite picking, packing, and shipping is a benefit immediately seen with the use of a robust Order Management System.”
  5. 5. SALESWARP WHITE PAPER SERIES | ORDER MANAGEMENTAGEMENT SALESWARP.com P. 5 The implementation of an automated order fulfillment system may increase overall efficiencies by 150 to 300%.” BENEFITS OF A MODERN OMS A modern OMS brings a lot of value not just to the retailer, but also to the consumer. An accessible and flexible Order Management System helps retailers improve customer service, expedite delivery and offer more purchase, delivery and return options to cus- tomers, thereby bolstering customer satisfaction, improving the shopping experience and allowing brands to gain a competitive edge against other sellers within their niche. On the internal side, an OMS plays a pivotal role in communicating with external systems to eliminate manual tasks and reduce fulfillment errors. This improves productivity and maximizes efficiency, which can result in greater revenue and higher profit margins. According to Eric Cameron, VP of Sales at Bastian Solutions, the implementation of an automated order fulfillment system may increase overall efficiencies by 150 to 300 percent.
  6. 6. SALESWARP WHITE PAPER SERIES | ORDER MANAGEMENTAGEMENT SALESWARP.com P. 6 WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN ORDER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM Forrester Research analyst Peter Sheldon made a poignant metaphor when he compared trying to sell products to customers without an Order Management System to going into battle with a wooden stick.4 These solutions ensure the entire process, from receiving the initial order to getting it out to the customer, is much more efficient and cost-effective. Not having the right system in place, one that is equipped to handle every order fulfillment scenario in a streamlined fashion, could be a big detriment. So, what does a retailer look for in an Order Management System that can deliver on their omnichannel initiatives? We have outlined nine key components retailers must look at when evaluating Order Management Systems. 1. INTEGRATION Technology has become commonplace in today’s retail stores and is constantly evolv- ing, from computer-based POS systems to cloud-based systems that can be accessed on a tablet or smartphone. Merchants also use tools and solutions for everything from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to inventory tracking to accounting, product management and more. For example, to view and control inventory in real-time, an OMS must seamlessly integrate with diverse systems across the organization, including Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), Warehouse Control Systems (WCS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Having a seamless integration provides optimal fulfillment execution, allowing operations to effectively balance automated equipment demands, labor needs and costs. Integration with Point-of-Sale (POS), eCommerce platforms and online marketplaces is also critical for an Order Management System to be able to automatically pull and consolidate orders into one place, making it easy for retailers to manage orders as they progress through the order flow process. Order Management Systems must be woven into many existing solutions and communicate effectively with them in order to maximize their use.” - - - - 4 http://blogs.forrester.com/peter_sheldon/14-07-29-announcing_the_forrester_wave_omnichannel_order_management_q3_2014
  7. 7. SALESWARP WHITE PAPER SERIES | ORDER MANAGEMENTAGEMENT SALESWARP.com P. 7 Order Management Systems must be woven into many existing solutions and communicate effectively with them in order to maximize their use. If various tools cannot be integrated, merchants may have issues with transparency and efficiency, even if the desired system would, hypothetically, be perfect for their needs. 2. DISTRIBUTED ORDER MANAGEMENT Distributed Order Management (DOM) provides a single view of all orders and available inventory across the complete distribution network including fulfillment centers, retail stores, suppliers and even orders in-transit. This allows retailers to manage every order from every channel from a single, centralized platform with one set of order orchestration rules and processes. In essence, the OMS becomes the centerpiece for all channels and distribution centers, providing sellers with real-time intelligence about the status of all orders and allowing retailers to fulfill purchases in the most efficient way possible. 3. INTELLIGENT ORDER SOURCING With consumers making purchases from a variety of channels and merchants leveraging a number of sources to fulfill these orders, it is crucial that retailers are able to source orders in the most effective way possible. Sometimes, leveraging a nearby retail store to fill an online order instead of a regional distribution center may not only be more cost effective in terms of delivery, but could also get the order to customers quicker while getting rid of excess inventory that may not be selling in-store. Another crucial function to look for is the ability to fulfill different line items of a single order from one or more fulfillment locations whether an internal warehouse, distribution center, retail store or drop-shipper. Distributed Order Management enables order sourc- ing and fulfillment from the location best suited for each line item, based on complex, pre-defined rule sets and logic algorithms, as well as the customer preference. However, in order to execute automated rule sets to determine how, when and where products are fulfilled, retailers must also have inventory visibility. An OMS that can provide rules and automated processes to identify the most optimal fulfillment method, whether based upon inventory levels, costs or customer fulfillment preference is absolutely necessary in today’s omnichannel world. Distributed Order Management enables order sourcing and fulfillment from the location best suited for each line item.”
  8. 8. SALESWARP WHITE PAPER SERIES | ORDER MANAGEMENTAGEMENT SALESWARP.com P. 8 This level of visibility is critical as it allows merchants to make smart decisions about how they leverage their stock.” 4. INVENTORY VISIBILITY Order management can also be a valuable tool for helping retailers manage their inventory. In siloed retail operations, in which each channel and distribution center are considered separate entities, it would not be unusual to see inventory managed by different solutions, such as a Warehouse Management System for distribution centers, an ERP for large organizations, or a POS system for brick-and-mortar retailers. A cross-channel Order Management System can effectively be the one source of all of this pooled information, giving retailers better control over their different channels. This level of visibility is critical as it allows merchants to make smart decisions about how they leverage their stock. For instance, after receiving an order, a retailer can use the OMS to ping different fulfillment locations and check inventory levels. Merchants can then choose wheth- er they want to pull stock from a source that has plenty of inventory, from a store that has excess stock, or from the closest fulfillment location to the customer. This can also help improve transparency for customers, letting them know which locations have stock available and when they can expect to receive their shipments. Inventory is the lifeblood of retailers, and with the right Order Management System in place, merchants can gain real-time visibility into their entire stock. This not only improves the efficiency with which merchants use their inventory, it also helps shoppers make better purchasing decisions.
  9. 9. SALESWARP WHITE PAPER SERIES | ORDER MANAGEMENTAGEMENT SALESWARP.com P. 9 Retailers want to have as few manual steps as possible between the time a customer places an order to the time they receive their order.” 5. AUTOMATED PROCESSING AND STREAMLINED ORDER FULFILLMENT Order processing can be a tremendously time consuming process, particularly when merchants are executing this process manually. When an Order Management System is integrated into retail operations and all steps around billing and order checks are identified, retailers can begin to automate this process. This will expedite the time between a customer making a purchase and all the necessary steps and checks that have to occur in order to process an order. In addition to automation, an Order Management System is vital to improving order fulfillment efficiency; as these back-office technologies help aid employees responsible for executing warehouse management procedures. For retailers with their own internal warehouse or retail stores, an OMS with pick-pack-ship and barcode scanning capabilities will be required for order verification and to complete order fulfillment. Bin and lot tracking may also be a re- quirement in an OMS for retailers who need to track bin locations in a warehouse and the items in that bin that are reserved for an order. The ability to identify where inventory is located and expedite picking, packing, and shipping is a benefit immediately seen with the use of a robust Order Management System. At the end of the day, retailers want to have as few manual steps as possible between the time a customer places an order to the time they receive their product(s), as this can create complications and delays.
  10. 10. SALESWARP WHITE PAPER SERIES | ORDER MANAGEMENTAGEMENT SALESWARP.com P. 10 Fraud costs eTailers as much as $3.5 billion annually in 2012.” 6. BILLING Billing is an important part of processing orders and managing refunds. Order Management Systems can help merchants accomplish this goal through billing capabilities such as pay- ment capture, refunds, invoiced billing and recurring billing. Moreover, these capabilities can be used by any retailer, regardless of whether they are engaging B2B or B2C clients. If businesses are using a third-party payment system, the OMS should be easily integrated into these systems as well, maximizing the value these solutions bring to the table. 7. FRAUD PREVENTION For retailers, fraud is a huge concern. One report from CyberSource suggests fraud costs eTailers as much as $3.5 billion annually in 2012 – that is a huge loss the industry needs to be aware of.5 Modern Order Management Systems should come complete with fraud prevention capabilities (or at least have integrations with stand-alone fraud solutions), such as exception reporting and order scoring, which can help merchants identify potential fraudulent transactions. The ability to automate fraud check activities can significantly reduce delays and errors while simultaneously helping retailers meet customer expectations. - - - - 5 http://blogs.forrester.com/peter_sheldon/14-07-29-announcing_the_forrester_wave_omnichannel_order_management_q3_2014
  11. 11. SALESWARP WHITE PAPER SERIES | ORDER MANAGEMENTAGEMENT SALESWARP.com P. 11 Today’s consumer not only wants to be able to buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere, but also to be able to return anywhere.” 8. CALL CENTER AND CUSTOMER SERVICE APPLICATIONS If omnichannel retail is all about the customer, then merchants need to have the right tools to better serve the customer and how they want to shop. Call centers and customer service agents can improve customer service times and gain more insight into customer preferences with a centralized Order Management System. The main perks of using an OMS for call center and customer service purposes are providing these agents with access to a complete view of the customer profile, past order history along with real-time information on current orders. With access to customer and order information, customer service agents can identify order status and make the necessary modifications to the order, such as editing or adding new items, processing a refund or delaying the shipment until the complete order can be sent to the customer. 9. RETURNS Returns can be an expensive part of retail operations, particularly in regard to online purchases that must be shipped back to sellers. Today’s consumer not only wants to be able to buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere, but also to be able to return anywhere. For instance, a customer may want to return an online purchase to a nearby store. An OMS that allows the retailer to quickly process the return and update inventory count will help get the item in question back into circulation as quickly as possible. An OMS that will accept returns from all channels, fulfill exchanges, and manage refunds can extend the seamless omnichannel experience to the return process.
  12. 12. SALESWARP WHITE PAPER SERIES | ORDER MANAGEMENTAGEMENT SALESWARP.com P. 12 WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A VENDOR OF AN ORDER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM Although Order Management Systems are largely used to accomplish similar goals, each vendor differs in various ways. Merchants must keep this in mind as they evaluate all of their options and look for the perfect solution. That being said, here are some things to consider when evaluating each vendor: SERVICES: As mentioned earlier, retail is a fast-moving, always-evolving industry. Merchants need to keep up to remain competitive, which means they also need a highly flexible Order Management System that can be modified and even customized to meet the requirements of their specific business. Retailers should identify whether vendors offer customization ser- vices that will help them stay at the top of their game. PARTNERSHIP: When retailers are looking to put systems in place to deliver an omnichannel customer experience, retailers should look to vendors who will participate in a long-term partnership. A vendor who takes the time to understand a retailer’s strategy and who provides a scalable solution that will transform and grow with the company will prove to be a smart long-term investment. It is best to avoid the need to re-platform in the future to prevent operations from being disrupted. SUPPORT: Some vendors offer live help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Others simply have online troubleshooting guides. In either case, the level of support should be evaluated to ensure not being left up the creek without a paddle. In the case of bugs, retailers should ask about response times, what qualifies as a bug, and who monetarily is responsible to get it fixed. These are important questions to ask to ensure teams are prepared for what is expected. COST: Budget is always top of mind for most retailers. While Order Management Systems are important pieces of technology, it is also important for merchants to find a vendor that can provide them with a solution that fits their budget. If cost is an issue, retailers may want to consider a vendor with a cloud-based system or a solution that provides additional bonuses, such as commercial source code, to maximize their investment. A vendor who takes the time to understand a retailer’s strategy and provides a scalable solution that will transform and grow with the company will prove to be a smart long-term investment.”
  13. 13. SALESWARP WHITE PAPER SERIES | ORDER MANAGEMENTAGEMENT SALESWARP.com P. 13 The Order Management System is an integral piece of retail operations, as it plays a critical role in several different facets of order and inventory management, ranging from fraud prevention to order fulfillment to inventory visibility. Merchants must understand what key functionality is needed in an Order Management System, and the type of vendor that will help them deliver the omnichannel experience their customers expect. SOURCES: - - - - http://blogs.forrester.com/peter_sheldon/14-07-29-announcing_the_forrester_wave_omni channel_order_management_q3_2014 http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/07/01/tx-starmount-idUKnBw016023a+100+BSW20140701 http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2014/08/25/amazon-grows-rapidly-traditional-retailers-struggle-should-brick-and-mortar-retailers-partner-with-google/ http://www.pewinternet.org/three-technology-revolutions/ http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2012/smartphones-the-ultimate-shopping-companion.html http://www.retailsolutionsonline.com/doc/overcoming-order-fulfillment-challenges-with-plausible-solutions0001?sectionCode=ArticlestemplateCode=Singleutm_ source=et_6214150utm_medium=emailutm_campaign=ISRET_2014-10-08-Wutm_term=70a97cf7-12c6-491a-95d9-3a969f7159eeutm_content=Overcom- ing%252bOrder%252bFulfillment%252bChallenges%252bWith%252bPlausible%252bSolutions http://www.internetretailer.com/2013/03/28/online-fraud-costs-e-retailers-35-billion-2012 http://www.retailsolutionsonline.com/doc/why-omni-channel-commerce-needs-an-omni-channel-order-management-solution-0001 http://www.saleswarp.com/blog/infographic-how-to-unify-product-data-for-the-multi-channel-shopper/#more-59023 Merchants must understand what key functionality is needed in an Order Management System to deliver the omnichannel experience their customers expect.
  14. 14. To learn how SalesWarp can help your retail organization accelerate growth, visit SALESWARP.com or call 410.276.4600. ABOUT SALESWARP SALESWARP, a provider of omnichannel management software for responsive retail, breaks down the barriers in a multi-channel commerce operation to manage all product, inventory, order, fulfillment, accounting and customer data from one system. By eliminating operational silos, SalesWarp provides retailers with seamless data flow and advanced intelligence that results in more effective decision-making for a profitable, streamlined and responsive retail business. For more information, visit SALESWARP.com.

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