In today’s unforgiving market, ensuring shopper’s loyalty is the biggest challenge that retailers constantly deal with! Retailers that operate without a synced-up “end-to-end” order promising to order fulfillment risk losing shoppers, increased costs, and falling behind competitors who can meet customer demands more efficiently. Several negative consequences can arise in this gap including:
1. Inaccurate Delivery Estimates
Customers may receive unreliable or overly optimistic delivery estimates, leading to unmet expectations and dissatisfaction.
2. Stockouts and Overstock
Inventory may become imbalanced, resulting in stockouts or overstock situations, further leading to extra inventory holding, increased costs and negative impact on cash flow.
Poor coordination can lead to obsolete or perishable goods, contributing to unnecessary markdowns, wastage and financial losses.
4. Higher Operational Costs
Inefficient resource allocation and inability to match supply-demand increases operating costs. Inefficient order management can erode profitability for businesses and potentially lead to higher prices for consumers.
5. Lost Sales Opportunities
Stockouts can lead to lost sales opportunities as customers turn to competitors with available products.
6. Disrupted Supply Chain
A disturbed supply chain can affect suppliers, logistics, and overall business efficiency.
7. Data Inaccuracies
This can cause businesses to make inaccurate promises, leading to ineffective order management.
Imagine a customer ordering a much-needed appliance for an upcoming special occasion. After receiving the order, the company somehow misjudges the inventory availability, resulting in delayed delivery. This will lead to the customer receiving the appliance a week later – missing the event and experiencing frustration and disappointment. The disconnect between inventory availability, its visibility and fulfillment not only disrupts the consumer’s plans but also erodes trust in the company’s reliability. And that’s why order promising plays an important role.
Within the realm of order management and customer service, order promising occupies the vital aspects of precise estimation and communication of expected delivery dates to customers. It ensures visibility into inventory and capacity with advanced fulfillment decision-making, enabling retailers to enhance inventory efficiency, provide dependable and precise order commitments, and optimize fulfillment choices on a large scale.
Order promising ensures promises are kept, customers are delighted, and chaos is transformed into orderliness. There are plenty of benefits to this harmony:
1. Improved Customer Satisfaction
Accurate delivery estimates and reliable order fulfilment enhance customer trust and satisfaction. This leads to higher conversion rates and fewer cancellations.
2. Efficient Resource Utilization
Optimized inventory, production, and logistics such as consolidated shipping reduces wastage and operational costs.
3. Reduced Delays
Coordination between order promising and order management minimizes delays and ensures timely deliveries.
4. Enhanced Brand Reputation
Consistently meeting delivery commitments strengthens the brand’s reputation for reliability.
5. Lower Operating Costs
Better inventory control and resource allocation lead to cost savings.
6. Streamlined Supply Chain
A well-coordinated system ensures a smoother and more efficient supply chain operation.
An often overlooked yet increasingly crucial aspect is the significant contribution that top-notch order fulfillment makes to sustainability initiatives. This includes minimizing carbon footprint through optimized route planning and reducing excess inventory to mitigate waste.
How this “Promise” can be achieved?
Adoption of cutting-edge technology enables retailers to ensure the most accurate “Promise” to their Shoppers! IBM’s Sterling Intelligent Promising (SIP) solution offers ‘greater certainty, choice and transparency across shoppers’ buying journey’. It is designed to revolutionize order promising and fulfilment in the ever-evolving world of commerce.
IBM SIP: Real-world Applications
IBM Sterling Intelligent Promising presents a diverse array of valuable applications, including:
- Real-time Inventory Visibility: Provides instant visibility into inventory levels across the supply chain, enabling businesses to promise orders based on available stock and future stock.
- Dynamic Order Promising: Adapts promises based on various factors focused on speed and cost, such as order priority, location, and production capacity, to meet customer expectations.
- Customer-Centric Promising: Provides tailored order promises to the specific customer preferences, such as delivery windows and delivery location options
- Multi-Channel Order Promising: Offers consistent and accurate order promises across various sales channels, including e-commerce, retail, and wholesale.
And then there are other impressive capabilities such as optimized fulfillment, demand forecasting, exception handling, supplier collaboration, performance analytics, and cost optimization.
Don’t Go by Our Word
IBM Sterling Intelligent Promising solution has time and again proven its worth across the globe. The solution stands on a foundation of market dynamics and consumer behaviour understanding. Here are a few examples of its impact:
For a Beauty Retailer in the US
For a German Shoe Manufacturer
For a Retailer and Distributor of Beauty Products
One of the largest beauty retailers in the US sought to turn fulfillment into a competitive advantage and differentiator. They replaced their homegrown OMS with IBM Order Management and Store Engagement to deliver the Buy from Anywhere, Fulfill from Anywhere and Return to Anywhere services.
A trendy and celebrated German shoe manufacturer adopted SIP to adjust to highly variable demand with auto-scaling, provide accurate inventory views and real-time updates to ensure high availability and avoid overpromising.
An international specialty retailer and distributor of beauty products and supplies was on a journey to transform their legacy business processes and solutions to support full Omni channel capabilities. They adopted SIP with the aim to allow their customers to buy, fulfill and service their orders from any channel, seamlessly.
• 1,000+ Full-Service Stores/Salons
• 31M Items inventoried and tracked daily across stores & 5 DCs
• 70k Average hourly transaction volume
• 215k Peak hourly transaction volume
• Managed over 500K+ demand for comfort loafers during the COVID year
• Zero business outage during cutover and rollout of new capabilities
• Accelerated OMS implementation in less than 100 days
• 5,000+ Company owned and franchise stores
• 3 Continents served (North America, Europe and South America)
• 2 Channels (Direct to Consumer and Professional Beauty Consultants)
Charting the Future: Acuver along with their esteemed partner IBM and their cutting-edge technology
Our foundation is deeply rooted in the realm of order management (OMS), as this is where our journey commenced—it’s in our DNA. Over the years, we have collaborated with an extensive array of retailers, from small independent stores to large chains, enabling us an in-depth understanding of the intricate needs of the retail industry. This foundational experience empowers us to be more than just consultants; we are trusted advisors to our clients. Regardless of the intricate web of technologies, systems, or processes in place, we stand as beacons of expertise, guiding our clients toward optimal solutions.
Our commitment to excellence is further exemplified by our deep-rooted partnership with IBM, particularly within the order management space. For over a decade now, we have been closely working with IBM to ensure we deliver our clients adaptable, scalable OMS solutions.
And SIP is a future-ready solution in the OMS space, it ensures customers receive their orders on time, fostering trust and loyalty. SIP can employ AI and predictive analytics to anticipate demand, optimize inventory, and offer customer-centric promises. In an increasingly complex supply chain environment, it collaborates with suppliers for synchronized commitments, helping businesses stay agile and responsive to market shifts. IBM Sterling Intelligent Promising is not just a solution for today but a strategic asset for the future.
Watch our webinar to know more where David Hogg, IBM Sterling Supply Chain Leader, EMEA, IBM Sustainability Software and Krishna Raj Kodoth, Director, Business Development, Acuver Consulting shared their insights on the changing shopper loyalty and the need to adapt to cutting-edge technology like IBM Sterling® Intelligent Promising. Get in touch with us today and simplify your operations with our top-notch Order Management Services!
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