Last updated on May 11th, 2022 at 09:23 am
Brands are quickly recognizing that their current systems aren’t equipped to handle modern retail. It’s critical to their vitality to unify physical and digital experiences.
An omnichannel approach––one that provides a seamless shopping experience across channels––requires robust systems, and in particular, a flexible order management system. That’s where distributed order management comes in.
In this article, we explain distributed order management and its many operational and customer-centric benefits.
What Is Distributed Order Management?
Distributed order management (DOM) optimizes order processing and fulfillment. It’s an advanced component of an order management system (OMS). With DOM, an OMS can support multiple channels and use routing logic to fulfill customer orders from the ideal location. This helps retail brands minimize costs and reduce shipping times.
Distributed order management supports a retail brand’s omnichannel approach by optimizing their ability to sell, fulfill, and process returns from anywhere. Replacing legacy systems with flexible OMSs that include DOM ensures inventory visibility. This makes it such that you can process orders from multiple channels and offer various fulfillment options to customers.
With a legacy OMS, you won’t be able to ensure that your physical and digital presences are integrated, and therefore, will likely run into operational and fulfillment challenges. And we all know if you fail to offer quick and convenient fulfillment options, you’ll most certainly lose customers to competitors.
Key Advantages of Distributed Order Management
The ultimate aim of DOM is to improve the fulfillment process. With omnichannel retail, there are multiple touchpoints, and you need an order management system that can work across each and every one. A legacy OMS simply won’t cut it. Below, we outline the benefits of distributed order management.
- Enables inventory visibility across channels: Always know what you have in stock and where. Inventory visibility allows you to process orders placed from any channel and seamlessly accept returns.
- Supports inventory management: With inventory forecasting, a retail business can better manage inventory to ensure current and future demand will be met.
- Reduces transit time and shipping costs: Fulfill orders from the location closest to the customer saving everyone time and money.
- Enables order splitting and merging: Split or merge orders to fulfill orders at the item level and reduce costs.
- Allows for endless aisle: With greater inventory visibility, you can also enable endless aisle, which allows you to sell items to in-store customers that aren’t in stock at that location. With endless aisle, a customer never has to leave the store without purchasing an item they intended to.
- Affords customers different fulfillment options: DOM makes it possible to seamlessly fulfill orders in the various ways that your customers expect. For example, you can offer “buy online pickup in-store” (BOPIS), ship-from-store, and more.
- Boosts ability to adapt: With DOM, retail brands can more quickly adapt to order changes, changes in demand, and supplier availability issues.
- Reduces data silos: With full visibility across channels you get rid of data silos that cause inefficiencies.
Distributed order management can greatly enhance the efficiency of an omnichannel retail brand in ways a legacy order management system simply cannot. In order to stay competitive, you need a modern, flexible order management system with DOM capabilities.
Why Retail Brands Need Distributed Order Management
If you’re a brand that has multiple warehouses, a large number of SKUs, several storefronts, or a growing number of suppliers, then when evaluating order management systems, you’ll certainly want to look for one that has distributed order management capabilities.
When choosing a solution, make sure you also consider your brand’s specific needs. For example, if you want to be able to enable stock pickup, you’ll want a solution that has configurable safety stock and threshold rules to prevent in-store stock-outs.
Retail brands need to be able to connect the channels they sell across and have accurate, real-time visibility into inventory and orders. You also need to be able to deliver a great customer experience, one that includes multiple options for fulfillment.
Ideally, DOM capabilities will reduce operational pain points by prioritizing data connectivity and automation and make it easy to meet customers’ growing expectations. Afterall, getting customers what they want, when they want, and how they want it is the name of the game.
Omnichannel Order Management Is Simple With NewStore
Distributed order management plays a crucial role in managing inventory and fulfillment. By reducing shipping time and costs, you can increase customer satisfaction and elevate your business above less forward-looking competitors.
Replacing your legacy OMS with an omnichannel one that includes distributed order management is key for any brand looking to succeed in the modern world of retail. Learn more about NewStore’s Order Management.