Global Supply Chain Forum

What to consider when evaluating order management software 

Mon May 10, 2021 07:13 AM

Leading organizations explain how and why they invested in IBM

With so many claims made by supply chain offerings on the market, it can be hard to choose what your organization really needs. Introducing new technology requires a significant financial investment, as well as introduces personnel and change management challenges. Businesses need to be sure they are making the best choices for the current and future needs of the organization.

An advanced order management system (OMS) can help you orchestrate your entire fulfillment network, tracking orders from inception to delivery, and enabling automation of previously manual processes to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Investing in order and inventory management technology can positively impact your customers’ experience, while driving lower inventory costs and enabling higher cash flow.

And with the way that retail and customer shopping habits have changed in the last year, you need a best-in-class OMS that can scale for unprecedented demand, satisfy customer needs across channels, adapt to new fulfillment methods, and provide quick time-to-value at a low cost.

Let’s explore these areas in more detail, with leading organizations explaining how and why they made their choice:

Scalability to meet business demands

COVID-19 pushed many businesses to scale quickly to meet record online demand. Many were unable to see what inventory they truly had available and were left struggling to keep customer promises. When customers were disappointed, they instantly looked to other retailers.

To succeed, businesses leaned into their existing OMS to evolve, and also to manage operations at unexpectedly low or high volumes. The ability to be agile and adjust to demand peaks, while rebalancing for demand troughs, has been proven as a competitive differentiator.

JOANN Stores used IBM Sterling Order Management software to see exactly what inventory they had on hand to fulfill orders when their online ordering skyrocketed at the start of the pandemic. Since nearly half of their chain had to be closed to foot traffic, they needed alternative ways to meet demand, especially since they were providing critical materials for homemade Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). JOANN was able to fulfill orders, strengthen their mail delivery, and enable curbside delivery across more than 850 stores nationwide.

“The biggest thing that would have been difficult for any other solution to do is to be able to scale quickly. And at the same time, IBM was able to bring to the table resources which could quickly help us do that and make the system work” – Varadheesh Chennakrishnan, CIO, JOANN Stores



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