Delivering the Perfect Omnichannel Order: Myths vs Reality

Marissa Kinsley, Manufacturing and Distribution Industry Marketing Lead

May 18, 2018

The definition of the perfect order has radically changed in the omnichannel era. For customers, the perfect order means getting the right products and services at the best price, whenever and wherever. For merchants, it means accomplishing this at the optimal cost and efficiency.

Delivering the perfect order requires a delicate balance of inventory visibility, routing logic and strategies for dealing with exceptions. Unfortunately, too many retailers don’t possess these capabilities.

Here are a few things we hear from merchants when they’re trying to execute the perfect order strategy.

1. “I don’t have to change my organization structure to deliver the perfect order”

If you don’t align the organization to meet your goals, it’s going to be difficult to achieve the perfect order. To become an omnichannel organization you need to do the following:

  • Align behind a single, empowered decision maker.
  • Put the customer at the center of your organization philosophy.
  • Sell the benefits of omnichannel to each stakeholder.
  • Allow cross-functional teams to implement the end-to-end process. 

2. “I can just put a layer on top of my disparate processes and systems and it will be fine”

It’s extremely difficult to eliminate fracture points in the customer experience when you have those discrepancies between multiple systems. Merchants need a unified source of truth for real-time order, item and customer information. If you have different sources of truth that you’re trying to integrate, you’ll experience those fracture points. The perfect order begins with a centralized order management solution(opens in new tab) that holds all information from the order management process, including order, sourcing, payments, and fulfillment.

3. “I know what I want and I don’t have to change my processes”

Choosing the right mix of fulfillment strategies is harder than it looks. The right strategy depends on your business type and objectives. For example, furniture companies can experience expensive shipping costs. Some solutions can be shipping from the closest location first or drop ship from a vendor. The system you decide to implement needs to be flexible and configurable for your business needs now and in the future.

4. “Once I get my new processes and systems in place everything will be perfect”

A key part of delivering the perfect order is expecting the unexpected. The best approach is to do everything you can to avoid exceptions including:

  • Setting capacity limits and inventory buffers to help avoid issues.
  • Letting your system manage exceptions for you.
  • Designating employees when systems can’t.
  • Creating work queues and empowering employees to problem solve.
  • Putting policies in place for cross-channel returns. 

5. “I can do it all now”

You can’t migrate your systems and change processes all at once so it’s important to have a realistic plan in place. The first step is assessing your omnichannel order management maturity. Then plan each step. NetSuite’s SuiteSuccess(opens in new tab) program delivers an agile and staged pathway for our customers to succeed by engaging with them continuously throughout their lifecycle. 

6. “Adopting omnichannel is no big deal – there’s not that much change required”

Change management is very important(opens in new tab). You need to consider sales training, operational readiness, operational training and system training. And don’t forget to test, test, test. People often forget to set enough time aside for adequate testing to ensure a seamless transition.

To deliver the perfect order you need to organize, operate and plan for success. It all starts with deploying a single order management solution that is unified with your front end and other back end systems. This will streamline your business and serves your customers better.

Learn more by watching the on-demand webinar - The Perfect Omnichannel Order: Myths, Realities and Best Practices(opens in new tab).

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.