In the midst of COVID-19, we as individuals are faced with personal challenges, including keeping ourselves and our families safe. For businesses, and especially retailers, the challenges continue as you look to support the struggling economy and maintain sales while in-store traffic is significantly reduced.
To remain agile during this time – and during any disruption to your supply chain – retailers should take advantage of an omnichannel strategy and rules-driven order management system to adjust the way you do business throughout the disruption. With the correct technology and strategy in place, you are prepared to make instant changes to your supply chain and reduce product fulfillment issues for your end customers.
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Here are three order management strategies you can use to adjust during this unknown environment.
- While retail locations remain open, take advantage of that network to reduce operational costs and expedite shipping. Utilize in-store teams to carry out fulfillment tasks, as they have increased capacity due to lower-than-normal traffic.
- Distribution Center-Only Shipping
- While a lot of retailers are closing stores and/or reducing hours of operation, it’s important that your order management system automatically adjusts and fulfills customer orders from your distribution centers. This strategy looks simple, but it can only be executed correctly with an order management system that understands the reduced labor capacity and other restrictions.
- Same-Day Delivery
- Use your physical locations and order management system to identify nearby locations with inventory and deliver to nearby customers in need. In the current climate, it’s most pressing for merchants who carry everyday essentials – like groceries, personal products, and cleaning supplies. But as customer expectations are set, we’ll start to see this become the standard across other products and industries – like clothing, furniture, and decor.
We are currently working with our retail clients to modify their order management roadmaps to react to the current COVID-19 situation. For example, one of our beauty retailer clients quickly shifted their priorities to enable ship-from-store capabilities to address the current supply chain challenges. Understanding the importance of serving their clients, we are working around the clock to get this functionality rolled out in three weeks.
Depending on your organization’s digital maturity, enabling new order fulfillment capabilities does not require a large investment or extended roadmap. And, it will result in not only a significant ROI but an increase in your overall customer experience, both in times of uncertainty and times of stability.
If you’re having supply chain challenges in the current crisis, please reach out to our experts who can provide mission-critical advice to get you through.