Staying ahead of customer demand and delivering orders is a huge challenge for most companies. If you don't have enough inventory in stock you can lose the sale, but overstocking presents even more costly problems. A very effective way to address this is issue if via the use of an order management system.
Given the diverse geography of South African many companies are forced to set up regional branches to ensure that they meet their service level promise to their customers. In theory this is fine as you should have the item available as and when a customer wants it, in practice it places huge amounts of pressure on the supply chain from a fulfilment, transport and inventory carrying perspective.
Most wholesale/industrial and retail companies that we have interacted with are forced to supply their branches/ stores almost daily in uneconomic order quantities either because the branch doesn't have the storage capacity to take full pallet or full case quantities or their ordering patterns are representative of the small infrequent order profiles of their customers.
During or after the process of order taking, an order management system determines the best way to source the inventory based on a number of factors:
Determining the ideal inventory source often determines how quickly the order can be shipped. That, in turn, often influences what kind of overall experience the customer has with your brand. What if when your customer places a call with your telesales representative they could choose their delivery date based SKU price (which more than likely includes all distribution costs)
Here are some factors that can play a role in determining the right source:
Considering the number of possible inventory sources and factors influencing fulfillment, companies should consider a process that will:
Bottom Line: It's all about saving the sale whilst meeting your customer service level requirements and improving your profitability.
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