David Hogg, VP Business Development of Logistyx Technologies, recently contributed a guest commentary to Internet Retailing explaining why successful omnichannel fulfillment is the key ingredient for retailers and manufacturers looking to deliver on their customer promise. As David explains, “digital” in the 21st century is really a proxy for online, mobile and robotics. It has been increasingly pervasive, with online/mobile delivering easy order capture and robotics delivering evolutionary warehouse and distribution processes – all requiring significantly less human intervention.
David also points out that while B2C “omnichannel” is often defined as many purchasing channels working in harmony to allow consumers to meander from product search, to investigation, to check-out, it’s important to note the journey always ends in fulfillment. And it’s this end-point that makes B2C and B2B omnichannel the same. Though the journey has different meanderings and different inventory characteristics in B2B manufacturing and wholesale distribution, it too always ends in fulfillment – which means parcel shipping, parcel tracking, and meeting “Amazon-like” shipping demands are the name of the game.
Whether there’s a consumer or a business on the end of the purchase, you can’t afford to assume the Availability to Promise (ATP) is covered by the Order Management System (OMS) and Warehouse Management System (WMS). Chances are, information in either of these systems about carrier vehicle availability and the possibility to ship from anywhere to anywhere is limited. A Transportation Management System for parcel shipping, however, can certainly fill this gap, and with global online sales projected to be 15% of all retail trade within two years, David advises rethinking your B2C or B2B customer journey and incorporating parcel shipping into the customer shopping process.