Within the last few years, distributed order management (DOM) has surpassed from a top trend to a necessity. Retailers must leverage DOM capabilities to provide a seamless customer experience across sales channels. In doing so, retailers can meet customer expectations.
However, distributed order management is a dynamic change from traditional order management. It can be difficult for merchants to make the necessary changes in their processes. See what DOM is and why it’s key to your retail success.
Improving Your Customer Experience
Customer experience is always a top priority for merchants and will continue to be. In the coming years, merchants expect to compete mainly on customer experience. With so many choices available to customers, they’ll shop with whoever provides a more favorable experience. Price and product will no longer be the top deciders.
To improve the customer experience, merchants must gain real-time inventory visibility across all their channels. A single, holistic view of all inventory allows companies to optimize order fulfillment, allocation, and distribution.
In turn, your customers gain a better experience when shopping with you. Customers can enjoy:
- Accurate product availability across channels
- In-store associates can find and ship out-of-stock items in-store to a customer’s home
- Faster, accurate order deliveries at a lower cost
- More fulfillment options like “buy online, pickup in store”
- Better replenishment of inventory to avoid stock-outs
This type of customer experience leads to better customer retention rates and an increase in sales. But, merchants must first understand how distributed order management helps provide this type of experience.
What is Distributed Order Management?
Distributed order management meets today’s complex business requirements like drop shipping and order splitting head on. It utilizes all the practices and technologies needed to replenish an order.
In simple terms, DOM optimizes order fulfillment across a complex network of systems and processes. It relies on a single, global view of inventory across an entire organization to intelligently manage orders so they are fulfilled accurately and cost effectively. Distributed order management technology improves the efficiency of your supply chain, allowing you to better meet customer expectations.
What Problems Distributed Order Management Solves
Unlike traditional order management, distributed order management is much more dynamic. It uses more modern technologies that allow your company to be more agile. It treats all parties involved in order replenishment process as if they are in the same organization, even though they aren’t. Merchants benefit from more information of and visibility into their supply chain which alleviates some of their former pain points.
DOM solves common fulfillment problems, which allows for accurate fulfillment of drop shipped items, optimized shipping costs by using the most affordable shipping processes, supplier fulfillment to stores in smaller, more frequent batches, and purchasing from the most affordable supplier always.
With visibility across the entire supply chain, there’s no more guessing or wondering the status of your orders. This makes it easier for you to communicate to your customers too.
Distributed Order Management Adoption by Retailers
Recognizing the importance of DOM, some merchants are starting to adopt DOM capabilities.
The 2016 RIS/Gartner Retail Technology Study found that the top areas of investment in supply chain management are real-time inventory visibility and distributed order management. In both areas, nearly 40% of retailers say they are currently working on an upgrade or will begin by the end of the year.
If you aren’t looking into these two capabilities now, you should consider doing so. If you don’t, you might be risking being left behind by the competition. But, how do you get started with DOM?
Distributed Order Management Software
DOM is a big idea. It takes dedicated technology to provide visibility into your entire supply chain processes.
To get started with DOM, you must first look at your current processes. Figure out what you do well and what you don’t. You should know what your pain points are. Think about what type of customer experience you want to provide.
Once you understand your needs, you’ll be ready to start looking at software options that specialize in distributed order management capabilities. Some options for you could be our own nChannel order management platform, NetSuite add-on OrderMotion, or well-known Manhattan Associates.
It’s all about what meets your needs the best!
More DOM Resources
Distributed order management is complex. It’s going to take more than a blog post to get your head around the subject. Check out these other resources to learn more about DOM.