Since BigCommerce’s 2009 launch, nearly 100,000 stores have earned over $8B through the platform. With BigCommerce running the ecommerce platform technology in the cloud with seamless upgrades, merchants can focus more on the areas they know best – merchandising, pricing, promotion, and product assortment management, to name a few.
This focus has fueled growth for thousands of online merchants. If you’re one of BigCommerce Enterprise’s success stories, you may find that operations that were in perfect sync while generating $5mm in annual revenue can’t keep up anymore as sales pass through the $10mm mark.
Two areas where growth hits operations hardest are also important drivers of your customer satisfaction and profitability:
- Order fulfillment; and
- Inventory management
Order fulfillment and inventory management processes
must adapt and change as sales volume increases
Growth is hard work! And when your business is feeling growing pains, it can be hard to figure out exactly which processes need the most change to help your business scale.
5 Symptoms of Tired Order Fulfillment and Inventory Management Processes
Through our own work with BigCommerce and hundreds of other merchants, we’ve seen five common symptoms that inform that it’s time to upgrade order fulfillment and inventory management processes:
Symptom 1: Late shipments increase as new sales channels are added
- Fulfillment centers get bogged down with inbound orders from multiple sales channels.
- You don’t have a pulse on which orders are in danger of shipping late – with multiple systems you don’t have a single view of all orders.
Symptom 2: Slower time to market and higher returns
- As the product sku count increases, so does the amount of product information to manage.
- As you add more channels (e.g. online marketplaces), product information must be added to multiple systems in myriad of formats.
Symptom 3: More stock outs or capital tied up in overstock
Your order management system lacks real-time visibility into inventory – e.g. inbound, outbound and in-transit inventory – creating inefficiencies:
- Orders get routed to fulfillment centers or stores that are low on stock, instead of those that have excess inventory.
- Sometimes items appear to be out of stock, but are actually available through different fulfillment centers, drop-ship vendors or brick-and-mortar stores.
Symptom 4: Slower customer service with fewer delighted customers
- As you add channels and fulfillment centers, CSRs have to switch between multiple software applications and business processes to resolve customer questions and complaints. CSRs may also be overburdened by the sheer volume of inquiries or not have streamlined issue escalation processes that are needed at a larger volume company growth stage.
Symptom 5: Unable to offer true omnichannel experiences
- Buying online and returning to a store can a clunky process if your Point-of-Sale software doesn’t have access to the ecommerce orders.
- You may have excess inventory in stores, and you’d like to route ecommerce orders to ship-from-store – but your systems don’t support it yet.
- You may have difficulty managing a buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) program because your online and store systems don’t communicate very well or in real-time.
4 Benefits of Adding an Order and Inventory Management Software to your BigCommerce Store
BigCommerce Enterprise Order and Inventory Management Software by Pulse Commerce eliminates these symptoms while enabling scalable growth.
It all starts with a real-time 360-degree view of orders and inventory.
The OMS synchronizes data from your commerce systems, enabling automated business decisions with real-time data. Every order, all inventory, customer history, promotions and product information are centralized within the OMS – so you can process higher order volume across more sales channels and fulfillment options. Benefits include:
- Better cash flow through higher inventory turns
You can track inventory turns and profitability by vendor, by Sku, or by category. And, you can drill down into this view by store, by channel, or zoom out at the company level.
You can also make smarter purchasing decisions – e.g. ordering items mid-season that you know will sell out before the next purchasing cycle.
- Faster shipments and reduced costs via intelligent order routing
Deliver orders faster while cutting shipping costs by having the OMS select the order fulfillment center closest to the customer. Shipping costs can be reduced 10% to 20% using this strategy, while shaving a day or more off of delivery times.
Reduce overall cost of inventory by having the OMS route orders to optimize inventory – for example, fulfilling from the store or the fulfillment center with the highest days of inventory on hand.
- Quicker onboarding of new vendors and products while minimizing errors
Your BigCommerce product information format requirements may be different from those of marketplaces and comparison shopping engines. Entering the same data multiple times in different formats wastes time and increases the error rate.
Pulse Commerce’s Order and Inventory Management for BigCommerce manages that for you. Enter the information once, and then simply map the product content to the various templates once.
- Better customer support and faster issue resolution
Without an OMS, your CSRs may have to log into multiple systems to handle a simple inquiry. For example, logging in to BigCommerce and a POS to find a purchase record, then your inventory management system to ensure an item is in stock in the fulfillment center or a store and then an email program on when the new stock might be arriving to what locations.
A modern OMS like Pulse Commerce’s provides all of that information in one place, and empowers the CSR to resolve the issue without unwanted switching costs and delays.
Issues are resolved faster. Customers are happier, CSRs are happier, and your CFO is happier too.
You can get a better sense for the financial benefits of an OMS by reviewing our Order Management System ROI Calculator. And, it’s prudent to know that all order and inventory management software are not created equal. You can also gain insight into the pitfalls of a “light” OMS by reading The 9 Deadly Sins of a Light Order Management System.
To learn more about how an OMS can benefit BigCommerce merchants, contact Pulse Commerce Sales to schedule your personalized 1-on-1 demo. If you are a Shopify Plus or a Magento merchant, we have good news for you too.