One of the central challenges of omni-channel commerce is how to manage inventories across channels.
Many companies continue to operate with dedicated inventories by channel, usually leading to higher than necessary total inventory levels and/or lost sales in some channels when channel inventories are depleted.
There is growing recognition that the right solution is to have one pool of inventory from which all channels can draw – if you have the ability to control allocations by channel, customer, or other attributes. To do this well requires sophisticated inventory management capabilities.
Those advanced capabilities are exactly what Softeon brings to the table with its industry-leading Distributed Order Management (DOM) solution for retailers and consumer goods manufacturers. Specifically in the inventory allocation area, Softeon’s DOM provides the following capabilities:
- Inventory allocation policies are set using a sophisticated yet easy to use rules-engine foundation
- Inventory can be allocated at multiple levels and by multiple attributes, such as forecast, history, actual orders, and marketing allocation - and be used in parallel
- In-transit or planned inventories can be allocated as well as on-hand inventory across the network
- Mortgaging of inventory by channels, channel clusters - New Product Introduction, Auction (like eBay) – by channels
- The system provides almost limitless flexibility in defining allocation formulas in situations where overall demand will exceed supply, such as proportional spread, minimum quantities, store clusters and more
- The ability to change allocations on the fly depending on actual sales results or changes in the supply plan
- With the core of these powerful allocation capabilities in the DOM module, the SOA-based architecture that underlies Softeon’s entire supply chain software platform means many of these capabilities can also be easily added to Softeon’s Warehouse Management System solution.
In a recent white paper, the consultants at Kurt Salmon noted that “Network inventory availability systems allow retailers to tap into any inventory within the network, whether it’s currently sitting static in a DC or store or moving between facilities, as in the case of a transfer from DC to store or from store to store.”
It added that “Leading network inventory availability tools also enable monitoring of inventory on order or in transit from external suppliers with full awareness of when that inventory is expected to be available for sale.”
The Softeon DOM system can do all this and more, with inventory visibility and allocation capabilities that can take omni-channel inventory management to a whole new level.
Notes Dinesh Dongre, VP of Product Strategy at Softeon, “Our Distributed Order Management solution, especially integrated with a WMS, is being adopted by a growing number of retailers and manufacturers. Omni-channel optimization is increasingly the key to success for both groups, and in turn the type of technology Softeon delivers is essential to market leadership.”
For more information, please visit www.softeon.com.