Retailers operate in a highly customer-centric world with the purchase cycle predominantly controlled by customers. Today’s digitally-savvy customers decide when, where, and how they want to consume a product, and expect retailers to fulfill their demands quickly. As a result, retailers who are in the process of transitioning from the traditional retail to an omni-channel format face a multitude of challenges. Some of these challenges include optimizing services, cost of fulfillment, and dynamic demand distribution across channels.
The building blocks of omni-channel fulfillment are demand shifting and shaping strategies, unified view of inventory and orders, and omni-channel network design. In conjunction with omni-channel transportation and reverse logistics, these blocks help meet the functional requirements of supply chain management solutions. These requirements include omni-channel supply chain planning, digital retailing, rules and inventory management, order management across sales channels, and demand patterns identification.
This paper discusses the unique challenges affecting the omni-channel supply chain, and enumerates best practices that leverage technology to help transform the supply chain process to improve costs and efficiencies.