As we approach the end of 2018 and begin to wrap up the holiday peak, we start to look forward to new order management projects in 2019. Now is a better time than ever to look at how your supply chain software is performing for you. Remember back to your sales cycle and motivation for your last OMS implementation. It was likely the new features that drew you to the product you selected. You likely were told of hundreds of different features and toggles, all to increase your sales and improve overall customer satisfaction.
Now, fast forward to your new system post go-live. Are you utilizing all the features you intended to use when you started the project? Are you dynamically able to make updates to your system in order to achieve your seasonal, closeout, and peak omnichannel strategies? Are your store fulfillment volumes in line with your expectations? Now is the time to look back at last year’s metrics to determine if you are meeting your current goals. Rather than jumping to new, large implementations in 2019, start by understanding the current state of your systems and understand the gains that you can achieve with configuration changes and active management of your tools. It is also the time to understand where you have room for improvement and begin to plan projects for the upcoming year. An in-depth analysis often looks beyond just your current performance metrics and seeks to identify future opportunities within your enterprise.
I am reminded of a specific retail client that was having a very high cancelation rate for ‘Buy Online Pick-Up In Store’ orders. Their first thought was that a systemic inventory issue was causing the shorts in store. They initially planned on introducing new software to accomplish in depth and repetitive cycle counting procedures to help improve the inventory accuracy in stores. Soon after beginning research on the root cause of the issue, it became apparent that most store shorts occurred after an item was picked and was waiting for pickup. The apparent inventory issue was not a system issue but rather an operational issue. Store employees were selling the ‘picked’ unit to a customer at the register if the unit was the last in stock. By addressing this operational procedure, the cycle counting upgrade project was postponed in order to reprioritize more important and cost saving projects. Simply put, understanding your data and getting to the true root cause is critical for optimal decision making and planning your strategy for the next calendar year.
If this sounds like your company, we would love to help you accomplish your 2018 review and strive towards your 2019 goals!
Contributors: Will McAleer, Supply Chain Principal at Bricz