Consumer expectations for omnichannel are raising the bar for fulfillment. Omnichannel consumers today demand rapid shipping, and accurate, up-to-date inventory and delivery information regardless of how, when, and where they shop.
In fact in a recent survey, Forrester found that 52% of eBusiness professionals ranked omnichannel integration as a top technology investment priority. Easier said than done, and many retailers struggle with connecting existing channels and systems to make this possible. An omnichannel-ready order management system (OMS) is the key. It should be optimized to balance order processing and fulfillment factors like fill rate, service levels, delivery times and freight costs to make the best decisions about how to allocate inventory and service the customer.
Does your current OMS allow you to be prepared for the omnichannel world? While there are hundreds of factors that you must consider, we have condensed it down to four major ones. Take the following OMS Readiness Test and see where you rate. Rate yourself 1-5 on the following requirements, with “5” being the most prepared.
End-to-end inventory visibility is essential. Do you know where your inventory is located across all supply chain channels? Retailers can’t guarantee delivery without being sure of product availability. They can’t set delivery schedules if they’re not sure the product will be ready for shipment as promised.
What is your OMS’ current level of visibility? (Rate yourself 1-5)
When a consumer visits a retailer’s site, it’s supposed to accurately display what is available. Delivery of an incomplete, incorrect or delayed order is less and less tolerated by consumers who have so many other options on where to purchase. And they have no patience for anything other than a seamless returns process, regardless of channel.
What is your OMS’ current level of accuracy? (Rate yourself 1-5)
Omnichannel support requires that you respond to expected and unexpected events. For example, when a brick and mortar customer changes her mind on what she’s just purchased, can the store associate immediately locate the right product either in store or at a warehouse and arrange to have it shipped to her home or the store? Can a customer call center associate respond to customer request to change a ship-to address while the shipment is already in transit? Your system should allow appropriate users to create, modify and manage orders in real-time across every touchpoint.
What is your OMS’ current level of flexibility? (Rate yourself 1-5)
An omnichannel-ready OMS must be able to understand dissimilar drop shipper data formats, order processing, account setup and billing practices. It will need flawless logic to synchronize shipment of a complex order from multiple distribution centers. And perhaps its most important characteristic, it must be able to maximize efficiency throughout the supply chain to control costs.
What is your OMS’ current level of efficiency? (Rate yourself 1-5)
Total it up. If you scored 15-20 you are in pretty good shape. Less than that you may want to evaluate your OMS requirements and become more like the 52% who realize this is an investment priority.