Can Process Manufacturers Benefit From Omni-Channel Order Processing?

November 8, 2018 Gary Neights

Most people are familiar with multi-channel ordering.  You have many avenues to purchase a branded product; from the manufacturer’s store or portal, pure e-commerce portals like Amazon or eBay, or brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy or Bloomingdale’s (which may also have online ordering), to name some. Complexities can arise in fulfilling non-physical store orders. For example, if multiple products are on the order and stocked in different warehouses the order may need to be split into multiple shipments. Different products arriving at different times can be an issue in a time sensitive situation like an outfit for a party.  Also, the supplier will incur higher transport costs. 

Process manufacturers have similar issues that can lead to cost increases and customer dis-satisfaction. In fact, they often have more challenging order fulfillment situations.  Stocking out a customer’s manufacturing facility may be much more financially significant than a mis-matched outfit.  A fundamental issue is variability.     

  • Customer variability – Orders arrive in different formats – from emailed spreadsheets to EDI data streams. The order processing system needs these translated into a readable format (for example, a SAP IDOC) so the orders can automatically post. Data may need to be converted and enriched – for example from a street address to a location code.   Work process requirements vary with some customers providing prescriptive order requirements while others send scheduling agreement data and let the supplier figure out new or changed requirements. Still others let the vendor manage their inventory based on monitoring inventory levels and demand. Some orders come direct from the customer, while others are drop ship orders placed via an agent or distributor, and others come in via a network inter-connects.
  • Your internal variability - Many process manufacturers are in a constant state of acquisition and divestiture flux. Part numbers, processes, and systems are a moving target.  For example, an acquired business line may result in a single customer order with multiple products that needs to be split into different ERP instances.  Some part numbers may be obsolete.

Supply chain variability is on the rise as companies evolve to stay competitive within their industry.  A lack of an omni-channel solutions for all customers can lead to internal management of external variability which can lead to errors, extra work, sub-optimization of your ERP investment, and reduced customer satisfaction. The flip side is effective and systematic management of variation can increase your company’s flexibility and value.

Elemica is an easy button for omni-channel customer success. Unique with its omni-channel order processing, Elemica solves external and internal variability challenges. Our new 2.0 PLATFORM supports the order to cash (OTC) process via multiple channels and in multiple formats. We routinely process EDI, email, IDOC, and XML orders received directly from a customer or another network into our clients’ order processing systems. At a data level our ENRICH solution handles custom transformations including conditional logic to manage, for example, product ID, packaging, and unit of measure differences between the buyer and seller.  Different orders or order lines may need to flow to different sales organizations and Elemica easily supports this.   

Elemica PULSE and TRACE visualization and alerting solutions provide a consistent view of your orders across channels, partners, regions, and systems. In addition to managing all your customer variations, you can view the entire order life cycle from order entry though proof-of-delivery (POD) and financial settlement, with predictions and alerts. You can provide your customer service staff and your customers with an easy-to-use omni-channel dashboard, eliminating the need to log into multiple systems to support all regions, customers, or carriers. 

Wouldn’t you like an omni-channel order capture and visualization platform that offers visibility from end-to-end across the supply chain and easily integrates clean data from multiple systems into the appropriate order processing system, optimizing processes and delivering the best customer experiences?

 Elemica is the omni-channel platform for process manufacturers.

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