The Forrester Wave™: Order Management Systems, Q2 2023

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Unlock more control and get real-time inventory visibility

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Accurate inventory visibility increases revenue and customer satisfaction

Accurate inventory visibility means less overselling and underselling. That means more revenue, profit and happier customers—not to mention hitting your sales goals.

But many ecommerce leaders struggle. It’s hard to get accurate inventory visibility across channels, regions, and brands. Yet it’s essential to know, and be able to control, what you have available to sell where, and when. Why?

Because buyers now demand instant and seamless commerce. Just like when they shop on Amazon. And you can’t afford to disappoint them with out-of-stocks, canceled orders, or fulfillment delays. One bad customer experience can mean the difference between repeat sales and a lost customer.

You know you need visibility, but don’t know how to get it

The key to knowing and controlling what’s Available to Promise (ATP) is accurate inventory visibility. With a single view of inventory, you know what you have available to sell—which is essential for making good sourcing decisions. But often, inventory data is siloed.

Do you sell across multiple channels, regions or brands? Is your inventory data stored across several systems? Like ERPs, Warehouse Management Systems, and Point of Sale? It’s a common problem. And important for you to solve. Why?

Because a single view of inventory continues to be the main lever for increased profitability and customer satisfaction on every order. You can’t afford to be reactive. Because when buyers experience gaps in their journey, they look elsewhere. So if you’re struggling to accurately view your inventory across various channels, marketplaces or brands, you need a better solution.

What’s more, when information lives in different—and often disconnected—legacy systems, it’s complicated, time consuming and costly to get an accurate view. And what if you need to make changes? With legacy systems, it can take a lot of development time and resources to do so. Sometimes it’s still not accurate. And what if you want to add third party inventory from Drop Ship Vendors to the mix? How quickly can you add a new fulfillment location?

You need to be agile in order to satisfy buyers’ demands, plan for future growth, and manage increasingly complex global supply chains. The old way of cobbling together inventory updates with clunky, older systems is slowing you down. So how can you ensure a single view of inventory?

You need a flexible, cloud-native Order Management System that moves and grows with you.

Using Order Management Software to Get Accurate Inventory Availability

To properly manage inventory across channels, regions, brands and suppliers, you need a distributed order management system. One that lets you expand and control what you have available to sell. Fluent Order Management enables you to achieve an accurate, single view of inventory. So you can see what you have available to promise across all your systems and locations. What’s more you can see detailed stock status too.

Not only what you have available, but what’s in process, and ready for pickup or shipment. You can also virtually segment physical inventory. That way you can configure what’s available to promise by sales channel or region. What’s more, you can promise against future inventory. That means you can accept pre-orders, or backorders. It lets you configure custom fulfillment rules too.

For example, you could create a different logic based on key attributes. Think customer loyalty status or product attributes (like heavy or fragile items). What’s more, Fluent Order Management keeps inventory data in sync across all your systems. That includes your ERP, WMS, POS, etc. So you can reduce online out of stocks and increase sales.

Let’s look at some use cases.

Product Availability

  • Product Details Page (PDP) – Show customers what’s Available to Promise (ATP) on the Product Details Page (PDP). This includes stock from distribution centers, stores, 3PLs, drop shippers, stores, etc. And the location and available pickup time for Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) or Click and Collect orders.
    • Show buyers what’s in stock before the buy button so they’re more likely to complete the sale
    • Reduce canceled orders with safety/buffer stock management
  • Checkout – Show the expected delivery date or pickup date and time for all products in the shopping cart. This includes orders shipped from a Distribution Center, or via Ship to Store, or store fulfillment, and split shipments.

Order Fulfillment

  • Smart Order Routing – Automatically route orders based on your specific business rules. This could be to prioritize delivery time or cost or reduce split shipments. You can also create biases in your fulfillment rules.  Like fulfill from the store with the lowest throughput, or lowest number of orders in process. Or you could prioritize one store store grade or type over another.
  • Automated Rerouting – Reroute orders automatically if the first location can’t fulfill them in time. Whether due to an out of stock, capacity issue, or damaged item.

Order Updates

  • Up to date order status – Show customers real-time order status updates online. Or trigger status notifications powered by the Fluent Order Management platform.

Order Customer Self Service

  • Cancellations/Exchanges/Refunds – Let customers initiate full or partial cancellations/exchanges/returns/refunds. Validate eligibility based on order status, product type, or product attributes.

How Does Fluent Order Management Work?

Fluent Order Management is a powerful, cloud-native platform. Unlike traditional, legacy systems, Fluent Order Management is made to fit your omnichannel fulfillment strategy—and not the other way around. With a flexible API-first architecture, you can scale as needed anywhere around the globe, and be confident in your ability to handle growth.

And with Fluent Order Management Experience (OMX), it’s even easier. It is the low-code platform for order management. Which means it is easy to use, rapid to implement, and seamlessly integrates with other tools. This flexibility enables users to make changes quickly as market conditions ebb and flow.

Another key advantage? Fluent Order Management lets you track stock availability in near real-time. It  serves as your availability master and gives you total control over what you have Available to Promise in every market, sales channel, or region. What’s more, it is built to easily integrate with all of your other systems.

Now, you can be confident that you know what you have available to sell, and where. You’ll be able to track your stock—in near real-time—which means you can reduce out of stocks and increase sales.

And Fluent Order Management gives you the visibility to not only know what is in stock, but also what is being processed and ready for pickup or shipment. Across all your stores. And distribution centers. And marketplaces. And more. Talk about visibility!


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See how Fluent Order Management makes it easier to manage your inventory and track stock availability in near real-time.

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