How Flexibile is Your Order Management Process?
Thursday, May 31, 2018

How Flexible is Your Order Management Process? Did you know the attention span of an average human in 8 seconds?

Did you know the attention span of an average human is 8 seconds?  This has fallen from 12 seconds in the year 2000.  Why is this important to a retailer’s Order Management process?  The way a customer might buy is changing just as fast. If you are not able to change with them you are endangering your retail business.

When Black Friday rolls around, your Order Management process will change, right? Earlier in the year you wanted to fulfill online orders from closest-proximity stores. But a few weeks before Black Friday you need to change this to fulfill online orders from the DC. It makes sense as Black Friday will be busy enough for your in-store staff. Plus, you want to have enough stock in your stores when the customers come ready to buy. That’s where you need quick flexibility. But having the functionality to change according to a date is not good enough. Can you adjust your processes on a moment’s notice?

Order Management solutions need to adapt to buying scenarios. These are controlled by the customer in seconds, not days or weeks. In other words, the rules that you set up for your Order Management process need to be easily configurable. You cannot count on having a coder make these adjustments, when you need them. It should be as easy as having several conditions and actions to choose from, on a drop down menu. Is that your experience today?

 

Related:  Retail Strategy: Order Management 3.0

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Platform vs Out-of-the-Box: Which Retail OMS is the Best?

 

OMS 1.0 and Custom Build Systems

An agile & flexible Order Management process is as important as having one in generalMany OMS 1.0 solutions give you the basics.  This could be their top 10 industry basic order routing settings or a simple single way to set up a safety stock level. These systems are tailored to what the OMS 1.0 envisioned the industry to be. But, reality is that retail is constantly changing. So those are great for retailers and brands that plan to stay in business for a couple of years.

The other type of system that you might want to steer clear of is a completely custom built system. It looks agile for now but that is only “now”.  Often, these providers will tell you and show you a solution configured to your current business. Sound amazing but beware. Your customer will change based on demographic, styles, wants/needs, technology and attention span. Your OMS needs to be adaptable, to change with your market’s needs.

Both the custom build and OMS 1.0 systems provide love when you call to add “new” features. This means more revenue for them + more expenses for you.  This is not just spending more money on a software solution you thought was complete but lost revenue for you to react to the changing customer.

But They Are Not in Today…

Retail Order Consolidations - What is It?Another thing that could cost you are certifications. A system that needs ‘certified-only’ users or developers to run them, are warning flags. What happens if you need to change something in how you provide a service to a customer? What if you need this in a flash? What if your “certified user” is out sick that day? Besides paying for a certification that needs to be updated annually, you are paying for a special “certified” staff. Agile 3.0 applications let any type of business user work on them with minimal training.

During NRF, I spoke to a retailer that had a pre-released product sprung on them last minute. They needed to adapt to the pre-release and the demand from the customer. However, they were not able to do so. Why? They couldn’t do it because they had an OMS that needed “certified” developers for any changes. The product hit the shelves during the holiday season. It resulted in a huge loss in sales due to to their un-agile solution. They just could not adjust in time.

Having an agile and flexible order management process is as important. Customers’ shopping behaviors are like their attention spans. They change in a flash. To keep up, you need to adapt. You need to be agile. You need to be flexible to keep up with today’s customer. You need a system that will support these changes on the fly.

 

Author:  
Adam Moncrieff - Account Executive at OrderDynamicsAdam Moncrieff has been in Retailing and Technology Solutions for 17+ years. He has worked with large and small retailers globally, with brands like Walmart, Staples, GoDaddy. Reach out to Adam directly at: Adam.Moncrieff@OrderDynamics.com