For many consumers, the days of shopping at brick-and-mortar stores are fading. Digital commerce is exploding, and today’s shoppers are using websites and mobile apps to buy what they want, when they want it. With the rise of new omnichannel purchasing methods, customers also expect to pick up products in the store, curbside, or at a delivery window.
As a result, efficient order management is more important than ever for retail, manufacturing, and distribution companies. One delayed order can lead to lost revenue or cause a customer to walk away forever. As companies seek to respond by rolling out new fulfillment services, they are struggling with numerous challenges, including:
- Siloed order systems. Forty-four percent of retailers have data stored in separate applications or systems, with little integration between them. As a result, many enterprises do not have real-time visibility into order management. i
- Supply chain disruptions. Supply chain disruption is creating major supply and demand problems worldwide, and enterprises know they need to respond. According to Gartner, nearly all retailers surveyed are planning to invest to make their supply chains more agile (96 percent) and resilient (90 percent) by 2022ii.
- Lack of agility. Automation is critical for omnichannel order routing, and 56% of companies say one of the most important aspects of supply chain agility is increasing the use of machine learning and AI to drive process automation. iii
Retailers, manufacturers, and distributors know they must overcome these challenges to react quickly to customer demands. However, technology is keeping many companies from moving forward. This is because traditional order management solutions lack the flexibility to meet the needs of modern commerce.
Automating the order lifecycle with cloud-based Intelligent Order Management
Companies can transform order management by taking advantage of modern cloud technology. Specifically, organizations can implement a cloud-based intelligent order management system, which integrates with existing platforms and enables AI, automation, order flow orchestration, and on-demand scalability.
Here are five ways that cloud-based order management software helps businesses compete in an increasingly digital world:
- Create a single source of truth. Orders come in from multiple sources, such as e-commerce, mobile apps, or traditional sources like electronic data interchange (EDI). By using cloud-based order orchestration, companies can optimize fulfillment by synchronizing large quantities of data from any source.
- Provide real-time order visibility. With a single source of data truth at their fingertips, employees can gain better supply-chain visibility by accessing and visualizing data through dashboards. Companies can make their data available to AI-driven distributed order management, which helps automate order routing based on complex variables.
- Orchestrate omnichannel fulfillment. AI and machine learning can help businesses uncover patterns in complex data volumes. By applying cloud-powered AI and automation to real-time order and inventory data, companies can automate routine fulfillment decisions and surface only anomalous cases to employees. This reduces manual processes and helps quickly and cost-effectively identify the best scenarios.
- Build resilience and agility with scalable self-service technology. Supply chain teams can update processes on the fly without any coding by choosing a self-service technology approach based on simple drag and drop tools.
- Modernize faster than the competition. Cloud systems are easier to deploy and easily connect to existing systems such as ERP and CRM platforms. Using a software-as-a-service system, companies can quickly deploy new functionality and accelerate ROI by gaining modern order management capabilities without disrupting the business.
Turning order fulfillment into a competitive advantage with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management
By deploying Microsoft Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management, companies can automate and optimize fulfillment. Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management integrates with existing platforms and centrally manages the order, from capture to fulfillment, using real-time inventory data, AI, and machine learning.
Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management enables companies to customize as many order flows as they need to meet their unique business requirements, helping them easily manage the entire order lifecycle and turning order fulfillment into a competitive advantage. Additionally, Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management enhances the customer experience by giving customers the flexibility to choose home delivery, in-store purchase, buy-online/pick up in-store, and curbside pickup.
Ultimately, these capabilities help businesses transform their ability to deliver on their order promise.
Contact a Microsoft representative at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the next steps in digitally transforming your supply chain.
i The Digital Commerce Imperative – A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned by Microsoft. January 2021
ii Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft. November 2020
iii The Digital Commerce Imperative – A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned by Microsoft. January 2021.