Is an OMS the missing link for omnichannel commerce?
The digital commerce landscape is getting ever more complex by the day, with all the opportunities and challenges that it presents. High-street retail chains are extending their digital presence, meanwhile “traditional" pure players are opening physical stores, and brands are selling directly to consumers: whether you are a B2B, B2C, D2C or even facilitating C2C, you have to connect to an increasingly diverse range of sales channels. This means a continuously increasing complexity of business processes and IT structures.
Let’s say you are a multi-channel retailer. Then very likely, your eCommerce platform is dealing with orders received online and your POS systems are handling your brick-and-mortar business. Before you know it, you will have a number of solutions in place to handle the incoming orders, and you’ll find yourself trying to fit this increasing complexity into your ERP systems. These ERP systems have never been known for their ability to cope with agility. Rather, they were conceived as enterprise centric applications that replicate internal business processes in a very standardised way.
Order Management System to the rescue
Here is where an Order Management System (OMS) comes in. An OMS will process incoming orders from all available sales channels. But it is not just a tool for capturing orders, processing and forwarding them to a warehouse location. Sure, an OMS can do all that, but there is much more to it. The key strength of a proper OMS, like Intershop OMS, lies in the fact that an OMS is specifically designed for multi-channel order processing, making it the missing link in evolving your business from multi-channel to truly omnichannel experience.
An OMS provides a 360-degree view of your customer and all their orders - regardless whether an order (or return for that matter) was received via an online store, off-line store, field sales, EDI connection or marketplace, and irrespective of the warehouse or vendor where your products are sourced from. Your OMS will act as a central hub, merging data and processes from multiple channels and an OMS will offer additional specific and customer-oriented functionality that will improve your CSAT scores across all channels.
This is exactly what our customer INDI - a large wholesaler active in the MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul) market - has done. But INDI went even one step further. Being a greenfield operation, they were able to skip an ERP altogether. The Intershop OMS performs the logistic orchestration to make sure orders are fulfilled as quick as possible and in one delivery, even if products have to be sourced from different vendors. Having an OMS taking care of this part of the business enables INDI to add new vendors or logistical partners almost with just one click. Furthermore, changing business processes like including an option to invoice weekly instead of per order has become “a piece of cake”.