How Manufacturers Can Keep Up in an Omni-Channel World

Ah, the old joke always comes up when manufacturers talk about serving a retail customer, “They can have it faster, cheaper, or better … pick two!” But by merging planning and execution in an intelligent way, it’s possible for you to deliver all three and still stay profitable.

It’s clear that technology is changing the way manufacturing operates and that omni-channel isn’t just a retail issue anymore. Because of the shift in technology, modern manufacturers face the dilemma of keeping up with retailers and consumers in an omni-channel world, while remaining profitable. Order lead times that used to be measured in weeks are now being measured in days, and with the way today’s omni-channel consumer is changing the game, you can bet it’ll soon be measured in hours. So, what exactly does this mean for manufacturers? To start, manufacturers need to be faster and cheaper to ensure they remain competitive in this rapidly evolving digital world. If they don’t keep up, the results could be detrimental.

The Complexity of Omni-Channel for Manufacturing

As we all know, the supply chain can be disrupted at any time for many different reasons, such as weather, events, conflicts or just infrastructure breakdowns. Because of this, manufacturers have to manage  their day to day business processes closely and be more agile and responsive when outside influences threaten to disrupt customer fulfillment. Retailers know that they’ll often get the blame if a manufacturer fails to deliver, making their expectations for manufacturers higher than ever before.

One of the biggest challenges manufacturers face when delivering is how to meet these high expectations from customers for personalized, faster and cheaper service, but staying profitable at the same time. In fact, every sector of the supply chain is facing this same challenge.

The core problem for many manufacturers is that demand and replenishment processes aren’t aware of the real-world execution constraints that can prevent even the most optimized plans from being successfully executed. For example, if there’s not enough labor available at the distribution center to unload the inbound shipment of additional inventory for a planned promotion, this results in costly unplanned overtime. Another example is if core carriers don’t have enough capacity to handle a shipment of a large order for a key customer, this results in expediting charges or the use of more expensive, non-core carriers.

Problems manufacturers face can go even deeper. Many times, the planning process doesn’t have visibility into upstream and downstream order and inventory information, making them unable to quickly and accurately re-plan when unexpected events or disruptions occur. This can leave plans both out-of-date and un-executable, leading to overstocks, out-of-stocks and dissatisfied customers. In today’s fast paced business environment, this can make it impossible to meet high customer expectations and stay profitable at the same time.

Solving the Complexity of Omni-Channel with JDA Intelligent Fulfillment

JDA Intelligent Fulfillment can help you face your top manufacturing challenges head on. The solution seamlessly merges supply chain planning and execution capabilities and provides insight on leveraging warehouse constraint visibility and inventory aware transportation planning so you can plan more effectively. Additionally, you can leverage customer segmentation for insightful forecasts, create optimal inventory positioning and provide last point personalization. Implementing segmentation strategies allows you to provide differentiated service levels to end consumers that are optimized for profitability.

You can also gain a competitive advantage by determining optimal inventory distribution and order fulfillment decisions by creating a single, enterprise-wide, demand-shaping forecast based on point of sale (POS) data augmented with information on price, promotions and events. This holistic view of demand is combined with real-time, real-word knowledge of execution constraints in warehouses and transportation networks.  Organizations can then schedule the right number of associates with the right skillsets to fulfill orders, secure the accurate levels of transportation capacity to match expected shipments and create time-phased replenishment plans for inventory. This avoids costly unplanned overtime and other unplanned expenses.

JDA Intelligent Fulfillment can help you solve the complexity of omni-channel by reducing inventory, labor and transportation costs, all while improving on-time, in-full customer deliveries and creating profitable operations. The solution helps you meet omni-channel demands with the combination of enterprise-wide visibility, order orchestration and profitable promising. This enables real-time, customer-centric order fulfillment decisions to be made, optimizing the tradeoffs between costs, service, strategy and profitability in a dynamic environment.

It’s a known fact: Supply chain disruptions can happen at any time. You don’t have to let outside threats disrupt your customer fulfillment though. JDA Intelligent Fulfillment provides value in the ability to quickly re-plan and drive optimal decisions in this fast-changing environment. The enterprise-wide visibility provided by the solution detects changes and disruptions as they occur across the supply chain, informing the planning and replenishment processes to immediately re-plan when unexpected events or disruptions occur. Order orchestration capabilities re-optimize fulfillment plans for profitability and service. Transportation and warehouse processes interact to re-plan pickwaves, shipments, loads and routes. All of this happens immediately and interactively to produce the best solution at the time, ensuring you’re meeting your customers’ high expectations and staying profitable.

Check out the new video to learn how JDA Intelligent Fulfillment for Manufacturing can help you deliver faster, cheaper and, yes, better. Watch it now to learn more.

Need Help Meeting Your Customers’ Omni-Channel Expectations, While Remaining Profitable?

JDA Intelligent Fulfillment holistically, iteratively and profitably helps manufactures solve the inventory planning, replenishment and order fulfillment challenges. By leveraging the power of JDA Intelligent Fulfillment, companies can integrate order management with other key systems, such as warehouse management, workforce management, and transportation management, to consider fulfillment costs and ensure that all customer promises are profitable. And finally, manufacturers become more equipped to make profitable distribution decisions based on real-time visibility into inventory, orders, labor, and events improving their total return on investment capital and labor. Learn more about how JDA can help you by contacting us today.

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