Why AI and real-time visibility are a game-changer for order lifecycle management

In recent years, retailers, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, and manufacturers have incorporated direct-to-consumer (D2C) business models into their go-to-market strategies to give end customers the options to order from anywhere and ship to everywhere. As the use of these online sales channels continues to expand, so too does the number of third-party fulfillment partners and options to evaluate and incorporate into their supply chain and commerce systems. Organizations with business-to-business (B2B), business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C), and D2C business models, require technology solutions that give them the ability to manage an increasingly complex order lifecycle from order source through orchestration to intelligent fulfillment and delivery.

According to Gartner®, “83 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) stated they were expanding digital channels in 2021, while 79 percent plan to increase the use of self-service by customers and citizens.”1 With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management, companies can stay on top of their game through digital channels, as Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management enhances their digital order and delivery channels. It provides real-time visibility into each order from order intake to delivery, and customizable dashboards to help track and improve operational decision-making across every touchpoint of the order life cycle.

Overcome fulfillment complexity

Managing the entire order lifecycle is about placing your organization in a position to deliver on your order promise with every customer order. But there are other undeniable benefits, such as reducing logistics costs by overcoming fulfillment complexities that await companies, who demonstrate the ability to do this well. Indeed, according to McKinsey & Company, “since e-commerce fulfillments are significantly more complex, contract logistics can charge around 50 percent more than for traditional store fulfillment. Therefore, those companies that overcome the complexities stand to gain the most.”2

Companies can overcome the complexities of e-commerce fulfillment by utilizing Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management rules-based fulfillment orchestration system that uses real-time inventory and AI to optimize order flows. This solution offers advanced analytical capabilities to measure fulfillment effectiveness and business users can use the insights to re-model the order fulfillment journey using drag and drop tools to ensure that their customer needs are met on time and at the lowest possible cost. In addition, Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management provides out-of-the-box pre-built connectors to e-commerce order sources such as BigCommerce, Magento, and Orderful; delivery partners such as Flexe, Körber, and ShipStation, and to tax and rebate management partners such as Avalara, Flintfox, and Vertex. All these capabilities provide organizations the agility needed to overcome supply chain constraints and deliver on their order promise.

Apply artificial intelligence

To profitably manage the entire order lifecycle, companies increasingly need to use AI and machine learning (ML) technologies in the supply chain. In fact, according to McKinsey & Company, “successfully implementing AI-enabled supply-chain management has enabled early adopters to improve logistics costs by 15 percent, inventory levels by 35 percent, and service levels by 65 percent, compared with slower-moving competitors.”3

With Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management, AI and ML are used to analyze data to find and predict patterns in order flows and fulfillment processes. The results help bring new levels of insights that would not otherwise be possible for human team members to spot alone. These results can then be paired with AI-based classification and anomaly detection models to proactively identify and address fulfillment constraints and to improve delivery times, while simultaneously reducing costs. The use of AI and ML enhances decision-making across all order orchestration flows by delivering the capability to sense and predict constraints, disruptions, and opportunities to improve order and fulfillment processes.

Enhance inventory visibility

Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management solution architecture was designed to support the requirements of complex order processing environments, where there are many systems and apps in the overall order-to-fulfillment process. By bringing visibility into many disparate data sources and applications; order flows, inventory, and supporting functions can be significantly improved. Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management ships out-of-the-box with an integrated real-time inventory visibility service that is highly scalable and extensible, and provides a single, global view of all inventory positions across all legal entities.

Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management not only provides organizations with a single, global view of all inventory positions, but its fulfillment orchestration engine also uses real-time inventory data to optimize fulfillment processes to ensure optimal stock levels are maintained across all stock locations. The result is that companies can increase online product availability, improve cash flow by right-sizing stock levels, and guarantee a delightful customer experience by delivering every order on time and in full.

What’s next?

We have seen that Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management is an ideal tool for managing the entire order lifecycle. By utilizing rules-based order orchestration to overcome fulfillment complexities, leveraging AI and ML to derive actionable insights, and optimizing stock levels by applying a real-time inventory visibility service, companies can deliver on their order promise and turn order management into a competitive advantage. Moreover, Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management seamlessly integrates with any enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce, Dynamics 365, and non-Dynamics 365 applications, allowing organizations to skip costly rip and replace implementations.

If you are ready to see how Microsoft Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management can help your organization to manage the entire order lifecycle, we invite you to get started today by contacting us or signing up for a free trial. Or, to learn more about how to meet your growing digital commerce needs and scale easily, while supporting the latest fulfillment methods, check the Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management resources on our website: Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management.


  1. “Gartner, Add Digital Payments as Part of Communications Platform as a Service Offering, Lisa Unden-Farboud, Daniel O’Connell et al, 27 August, 2021.” GARTNER is the registered trademark and service mark of Gartner Inc., and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and has been used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
  2. McKinsey & Company, Unlocking the omnichannel opportunity in contract logistics, March 12, 2021, Tom Bartman, Scott McConnell, Florian Neuhaus, and Isabell Scheringer.
  3. McKinsey & Company, Succeeding in the AI supply-chain revolution, April 30, 2021, Knut Alicke, Valerio Dilda, Stephan Görner, Lapo Mori, Pierrick Rebuffel, Sebastian Reiter, and Robert Samek.