Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

The term “omni-channel” is being used to the point that it’s becoming a marketing buzzword — but that doesn’t mean you can ignore it. As omni-channel trends take hold of the retail industry, supply chain managers must take notice.

Providing customers with consistent experiences throughout the research, shopping, purchasing, and fulfillment processes (regardless of channel) is almost a necessity today. However, supply chain processes of the past won’t be sufficient in the age of omni-channel.

If you want to keep pace with omni-channel trends, your supply chain processes have to adapt.

The Omni-Channel Challenge

The world’s largest retailers are accelerating their efforts to implement omni-channel functionality such as ship to home/return to store, online order/in-store pickup, and anytime/anywhere access to inventory.

The experience from order processing to fulfillment all the way through pickups and returns has to be seamless or customers will simply move to your competition. This places significant pressure on supply chain managers who have to redefine their planning designs and segmentation capabilities.

Proper segmentation allows you to isolate inventory levels against plans and helps you pick up the shifts across channels that are difficult to see without analytical tools. Not only that, proper segmentation enables you to rebalance inventory as you notice overstocked conditions in one segment versus understocked conditions in another.

However, none of this segmentation is possible without visibility into service requirements. Understanding how to sync deployment with demand makes it possible to keep up with omni-channel challenges.

The problem is that planning and segmentation are easier said than done as supply chain processes transform. Putting an inventory optimization solution in place will help you catch up to Best-in-Class organizations.

Redefining the Supply Chain with Inventory Optimization

Supply chains have traditionally been static and inflexible by design, in an effort to ensure predictability and stability. Today’s supply chains must be more dynamic to support eCommerce efforts and omni-channel strategies. Consider the following three requirements for a supply chain optimized for omni-channel.

  • Cleaning up inventory data sets to gain actionable insight into customer preferences that affect your supply chain
  • Bolstering your packing and shipping capabilities to meet demand for minimal delivery times
  • Adopting measurement tools to track improvements in finished goods turns, carrying costs, and service levels

Your path to redefining the supply chain can take many different shapes, but our research found that implementing inventory optimization provides a significant advantage. In terms of supply chain segmentation, planning, and design capabilities, companies with inventory optimization are:

  • 23% more likely to succeed in measurement of customer service levels during the planning business
  • 24% more likely to segment inventory based on distribution channel properly
  • 13% more likely to utilize IO/MEIO for network optimization decisions

No supply chain manager wants to get stuck on the wrong side of the classic “having enough but not too much” inventory dilemma. A dilemma that is amplified by omni-channel challenges, as companies place greater pressure on their supply chain managers.

If you want to learn more about why Best-in-Class organizations are turning to inventory optimization solutions to get ahead of evolving supply chain demands, download our free white paper, Inventory Optimization: Juggling the Tradeoffs Between Service Level and Inventory.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail