The Forrester Wave™: Order Management Systems, Q2 2023

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Large Retailer Leverages Fluent OMS for Click and Collect

Real-time inventory expands retailer’s offerings and reach

Wine glasses are better picked up in-store
Now the retailer can expose store inventory for fragile items, like glassware, online because they have the ability to just make them available for Click and Collect and not Ship from Store.

By Movyn John

Feb 13, 2020

When a large department store was ready to replace their legacy inventory eCommerce database, they turned to Fluent Order Management (Fluent OMS).

The challenge

While the retailer could quickly look up inventory across almost 300 stores, they were struggling to combine their online and offline channels. As a result, entire product lines weren’t available online, and they couldn’t offer consumer-friendly services like same day Click and Collect.

The cause? They had no way to create customized views of inventory that could support different use cases. For example, fragile products that are difficult to ship, like glassware, could only be sold in-store, not online. Why?  Because they had no way to make them available for Click and Collect but exclude them from Home Delivery or inter-store transfer orders.

What’s more, the retailer wanted to leverage their large store network. This would let them better utilize stock by sending orders to stores where there were higher inventory levels.

The solution

To solve this problem, the retailer replaced their legacy inventory database with Fluent OMS. Fluent OMS takes feeds from their Point of Sale (POS) systems and calculates what’s Available to Sell (ATS) via each fulfillment method at each location. Now their online store receives a real-time inventory feed that includes all store sales throughout the day.

Fluent OMS currently processes about 700k-800k inventory positions per night and at least 1M inventory changes from stores during the trading day across the retailer’s 300 stores nationally. Along with inventory processing, Fluent OMS also provides the ability to enhance order/carrier routing logic so they can maximize their store fulfillment rates and reduce shipping charges.

By offering more products online and fulfilling locally, they’ve been able to use their stores as neighborhood distribution centers. This has essentially created demand where it previously didn’t exist.

Taking it to the next level

Since the initial implementation of Fluent OMS, the retailer’s development team has fine-tuned their fulfillment logic. They now consider even more factors when determining the best way to fill an order, such as:

  • Capping the number of orders or shipments that can be sent to a store based on the total number of orders and the number of in-progress orders being processed at the store, and
  • Sending orders to stores that haven’t yet reached their minimum order volume vs one that has, as long as the order could still be fulfilled on-time.

This has optimized fulfillment across their store network, which has reduced shipping costs and improved margins.

Two key advantages of Fluent OMS are the flexible way you can add more stores, and the real-time inventory availability it provides. This means the online store can show more delivery options, arrival estimates, and delivery costs. What’s more, they change based on the products in the cart and the delivery type chosen by the customer.

Fluent OMS’s ‘Fulfillment Options’ workflow powers this flexibility. The workflow is a business process that contains the retailer’s fulfillment rules and logic. Because it’s configurable, changes can be rapidly developed and tested without impacting the eCommerce integration.

The Results

Traditionally, tier-one retailers have endured long delivery cycles driven by their legacy systems and processes. But the workflows and rules in Fluent OMS allow more rapid prototyping and configuration. By using Fluent OMS as the foundation of their eCommerce environment, the retailer can roll out new offerings in less time. In fact, business value changes can be rolled out within weeks instead of months. Some highlights include Same Day Click and Collect and dynamic delivery costs.

For more information on how Fluent OMS can help your business, schedule a demo today.

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