The Role of Distributed Order Management in Ecommerce Fulfillment Strategy
Ecommerce has become a way of life for avid shoppers worldwide; check out these numbers if you don’t believe us – the estimated global online retail sales is $2,489 trillion dollars for 2018, which is 8.8% of total retail sales. Naturally, ecommerce players have taken note and have geared up by putting Distributed Order Management (DOM) systems in place to handle both the outflow and inflow of inventory, and improve customer satisfaction. Amazon is leading the pack with a robust DOM in place to cater to its ever growing customer base.
What is DOM?
Distributed Order Management is a customer service centered system that focuses on delivering the best online shopping experience. It is a system that orchestrates demand with supply, optimizes order fulfillment and inventory replenishment, tracks order status, and facilitates a convenient return system. And this is just scratching the surface of a DOM system.
DOM plays a vital role in enhancing the supply chain efficiency by providing an integrated view into inventory management and order fulfillment through intelligent sourcing. Online retailers get to monitor their supply chain, source inventory from different suppliers, keep tab on orders in transit, arrange for return shipments, and replenish inventory when and where needed.
Here’s how Distributed Order Management benefits ecommerce retailers in maintaining a flexible fulfillment process:
- Accurate Inventory Tracking
Inventory keeps changing constantly as orders pour in, items are returned, and new stocks get added through the day. Keeping track of ever dynamic inventory is vital for successful supply chain management.
Distributed Order Management system gives an eagle eye view of inventory across stores, distribution centers, third party providers and fulfillment partners, and returned item recovery partners. Knowing what is needed and where makes all the difference to facilitate smooth inventory flow throughout the system.
- Prioritized Order and Intelligent Sourcing
A global view of products is available to customer to choose from. They have access to different sellers, third party vendors, different price ranges, economical shipping charges, and option to choose the date and time of delivery. So without doubt customer demand and convenience is the primary focus in Distributed Order Management systems.
DOM system runs on set rules that dictate which seller, third party vendor or distribution centers the items can be sourced from. Rules also decide which shipping option is optimum and affordable for order fulfillment; and this can also be used to surprise customers with same day or early delivery.
- Transparent Order Status Visibility
A Distributed Order Management system makes sure that it tracks every step before and after an order is placed. If the items are out of stock, steps to replenish inventory can be initiated and alternatives can be presented to choose from. An order can be split up to source items from different vendors or distribution centers based on geographical feasibility and to enable economical shipping charges.
The Distributed Order Management system keeps track of when the items are packed and ready for dispatch. It also tracks the in transit status of the package. This helps to accurately locate where the package is and provide an estimate on the delivery date. So if a customer asks for an order status, DOM system can pull out location specific information.
In case of order return, items can be tracked at pick up; and when they are received by vendor or distribution center, a refund or replacement, as per policy guidelines, is initiated.
- Improve Customer Experience
Having a comprehensive view of the inventory helps online retailers stay ahead of their customers – an advantage that comes automatically with DOM. Cross-channel integration and an efficient tracking system ensure that customers always get what they want, just the way they would like it. In an event that a customer wishes to return the product, DOM helps keep a track of that too, ensuring speedy pick up and refund or exchange. When a sales cycle goes so smoothly, it is but natural that customer experience will be topnotch.
- Optimized Fulfillment
Distributed Order management unifies enhanced customer service with profit and sales generation by intelligently sourcing the items from locations best suited to customer location and offering cost effective shipping charges. Every move is monitored and analyzed by DOM to chalk out best order fulfillment route, and this benefits all the parties involved in the transaction.
Related: Impact of Ecommerce on Logistics
All said, getting started with DOM has its set of challenges that only a professional can help tide over and get right. Talk to us if you wish to know more about designing the best customer service experience for your client base. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
S. Karthikeyan, or SK as he is better known, has 19 years of experience in designing, leading and delivering world-class software solutions. His specialties include Product Ideation, Innovation & Strategy, Enterprise & Solution Consulting, Data Science Solutions, and Digital Transformation. As Chief Innovation Officer, SK ensures that experimentation and innovation continues unfettered at Suyati Technologies. He leads the Mekanate team that is developing a Digital Transformation platform using AI, ML, IoT and Big Data technologies. He holds a Masters Degree in Computer Application, and Advanced Certificate in Information Technology Management from IIM, Kozhikode. The opportunity to build technically complex solutions is what runs through his mind all day, and probably keeps him awake at night! Connect with him on LinkedIn.