As a business expands, it’s crucial that all sales channels work with a single integrated inventory view, to provide real-time information on “available-to-promise” inventory and on inventory for future demand. This can be realized by a real-time visibility system.
With visibility systems information can freely flow across channels and networks, providing an always updated inventory view for all locations: how? By processing events like stock movements and customer orders in real-time, the system can compute the availability of a specific SKU at any given moment. Visibility systems are also fundamental to promote collaboration amongst the partners in the retail ecosystems and to quickly identify, communicate and react to any issue or change.
A dynamic Order Management System (OMS) is another key piece of this puzzle. This system supports the allocation of orders to different preparation centers (warehouses, stores and dark stores), managing shipping, sales, and order transfers. The system takes into account different business requirements and parameters: available stock, delivery method, preparation time, zones of delivery and more, to select the optimal fulfillment location.
Secondly, for dynamic fulfillment to work, every location must manage its inventory effectively, starting from the warehouse. For retailers, having an efficient Warehouse Management System (WMS) in place is vital: not only for overseeing general warehouse operations, but also to report SKU counts and order statuses in real-time, to help synchronize inventory across different channels as previously described.
The same applies to brick and mortar stores, which retailers can leverage as local fulfillment centers. These additional operations however need to be effectively integrated into the store environment and here is where dedicated in-store logistics systems come to play. They are essential for inventory management processes, such as POS integration, cycle-counting, and inter-store transfers, and for order fulfillment processes, through efficient picking, packing and dispatch processes.
Finally, another option available to the retailer is to forgo maintaining inventory altogether, by adopting a dropshipping model. Through a dropshipping model, the retailer can transfer customer orders to the supplier (either the manufacturer, another retailer, or a wholesaler) who then ships directly to the customer. This comes with many benefits for the retailer. Due to the improved collaboration and integration between retailers and suppliers, the dropshipping system monitors orders in real-time and improves inventory management. The retailer also has the possibility to offer a broader range of products on their e-commerce platform, without the additional costs (since the suppliers handle the goods).
Convinced that meeting your customers where they are is the right strategy for omnichannel success, but don’t have the technology to make it happen? If you are looking to bring your inventory management to the next level and harvest omnichannel retail opportunities, don’t look any further.
LEA Reply is the latest evolution of logistics software: a digital platform for efficient, agile and connected supply chains, based on a microservices architecture. A suite of business microservices covering all omnichannel needs, from inventory and fulfillment with LEA Reply™ WMS, LEA Reply™ In-Store Picking and LEA Reply™ Dropship, to delivery with LEA Reply™ Last Mile and last but not least, end-to-end visibility with LEA Reply™ Visibility.
We have extensive experience in the retail industry, having worked with some of the biggest names in retail in the world, and we will support you to bring your omnichannel vision to life.
Visit our website: www.lea-reply.com // Get in touch with us : email@example.com