Omni Channel Supply Chain
Omni channel supply chain is a multi-channel sale approach that provides customers with a seamlessly unique shopping experience from wherever or however they are shopping. The approach means that there, in back end, is a complete integration of the operations of distribution, promotion and communication channels.
As a category of the Multi-channel, promoting and distributing of products in multiple ways and allowing the customers to reach out to the team can be seen in Omni-channel supply chain approach. This approach pushes over the operational tactics of the Multi-channel into the supply chain network, integrating the channels, sharing the data between them and enables customers to purchase the products they want from the companies they like. Omni channel supply chain combines the strengths of physical and online commerce.
Traditional vs Omni Channel Supply Chain
In the traditional method of supply chain, from the factory to the end customer, there is a complex network that is built for the entire distribution to the store and then to the customer. When a retailer wants the product to be directly shipped to the customer, the only place the products are stored is the store level. Omni channel supply chain system also assists in expanding the portfolio for better engagement of customer. And the major impact would result in the order numbers being processed in a B2C or B2B channel.
For a traditional company to implement the Omni channel supply chain, it has to create a standard e-commerce strategy. Along the chain, it has to pause the distribution process and ship the products directly to its consumers. The best strategy of implementation of Omni channel supply chain starts with four steps:
- Synergies across the channels
- Evaluation of operating model
- Choosing of the right technology for the operating model and processes
- Designing the most efficient path for all nodes of the supply chain
For a company that has built its supply chain across `stores, switching can have disruption of stock and can leave the stores out of stock. The warehouse will spend more time on B2C order processing and the tools are geared up to find the stock level to create the purchase order based on demand. To switch from the traditional to Omni channel supply chain system, sales forecasts should be adapted and visibility to be there across the entire supply chain. This data can be derived from the supply chain network.
Restructuring the traditional warehouse processes to handle B2C orders is one of the impacts that the Warehouse management should face. And because of the workforce issues, many companies would still like to use the distribution center to deliver B2C orders. Apart from physical, several IT processes in the warehouse management will also be impacted.
In the world of changing economies, the business must be flexible and omnipresent. As the customers become volatile, the challenge of keeping the existing customer as well gaining a new one is very difficult. To compete other online players, a traditional retailer should develop a strategy that links the advantage of the physical store, to the digital edge into giving a unique and seamless experience to the customer.