In the current evolving retail and Ecommerce landscape, retailers need a robust order management solution that will meet the omni-channel needs of their customers. They need a system that can integrate well with their existing systems. It has to be scalable to grow with their business. It also has to provide a solid return on investment. There are a handful of solutions in the market place that meet these criteria. However, in today’s retail market, it’s not usually viable to spend a large amount of time and resources deploying an order management solution. We are seeing that our retail customers require all of the cutting-edge functional and technical capabilities, but also need a short time to market. In this article, I will point out three reasons why it is important for retailers to be able to deploy a best of breed order management solution in a short time period to minimize costs and align with larger organizational goals.
- To Offer A Better Customer Experience
In today’s economy, it is paramount to offer great customer service. Simply put, customers today expect retailers to consistently go above and beyond!
A retailer may want to upgrade their capabilities to compete with other players in their space. If a competitor can offer the same product at the same price, but offers more channels to service the customer, this will ultimately result in lost sales for the retailer. Options such as ship from store, pickup from store, order online pickup in store, return to store, are a few examples of the service offerings that retailers need, just to stay competitive. Today’s customer expects the highest level of customer service and any area where the customer feels inconvenienced can have negative implications for the business. In the new age omni-channel environment, it’s critical for retailers to be at the forefront of the supply chain capabilities curve. Offering the highest levels of customer service, specifically with fulfillment, will ultimately best serve the consumer. A pro-longed deployment can mean slower time to market for features that best support the new-age customer. A competitor with a more nimble OMS and a faster time to market will provide the customer with options and flexibility, leading to better customer experience and brand loyalty.
- To Utilize Up To Date Technology
Another problem with taking a few years to implement a robust system is the lost opportunity to capture the technological advancements made within that period. For example, a retailer may be one year into their implementation, having invested significant resources and capital. A revolutionary and new feature/technology is introduced to the market. What we have often seen is the software vendor with a long deployment cycle time is either unable to incorporate the new feature/capability into the current product, or it can be added at a high cost. In the last few years we have seen advancements, including scenario simulations and predictive analytics that are disrupting supply chain practices. Predictive analytics and scenario simulators are also now being leveraged to make business decisions through the software. We even see increased performance with order routing algorithms that help get the most out of your OMS by decreasing transportation costs. With technological and functional advancements that will surely continue to disrupt supply chains, it’s critical to not lock into long-term engagements that inhibit the ability to adopt new advancements as they hit the market. When selecting an OMS provider, be sure to question their roadmap and understand how and when they plan to offer new and updated features.
- To Lower Costs
System implementations that need long deployments usually add significant costs. The solution may need considerable development work to bring it to life and to maintain it once alive. If the solution does not include enough functionality with the base solution, even more time and money is spent to develop custom features to meet the customer needs. Expensive professional services, travel expenses, and high licensing fees may eat away on the return on investment. Certain (cloud) solutions, however, do not require such large project teams and high overhead. At Bricz, we often recommend that our customers look for a solution with a low total cost of ownership. These solutions can be deployed in only a few months. These bring the advantage of requiring much less development time and effort, which can be done with a significantly smaller project team. Better yet, they do so while offering robust and practical OMS features. They often offer more flexibility with pricing, such as a monthly subscription fee or capacity-based pricing model. Bottom line, consider a solution with a quick time to market that will translate to lower implementation costs, while not sacrificing performance or functionality.
Ultimately, businesses need to remain agile in a competitive environment with rapidly changing technologies. A multi-year implementation may leave a customer with a solution that is no longer relevant to them when they finally go live. Either their customers’ demands have changed, competitor’s capabilities have advanced, or technology has disrupted and leapfrogged supply chain processes significantly. To remain at the forefront of supply chain fulfillment capabilities and to maximize the return on investment, businesses need to remain flexible and adaptable. Solutions that are robust and offer quick deployments can free up resources, capital, and allow new technologies and features to be incorporated as they enter the market. At Bricz, we can recommend cost-effective, flexible, and highly robust cloud OMS solution strategies that work best for your business. Please check out our technology partner, OrderDynamics. For more information, please submit inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.