How to Improve Your Profitability with Unified Commerce
Many 90 Minds members, understand that businesses can use ERP integrations to increase visibility and agility in their supply chain. Many times, in conversation we focus on a particular aspect of the supply chain, like fulfillment, eCommerce, or electronic data interchange. Those discussions are important, especially as it becomes ever clearer that visibility is the key to profitability.
However, many business users still rely on separate, siloed solutions that are unable to bridge the gap between supply and sales channels. To solve this problem, we turn to unified commerce, which brings your omnichannel operations together using interconnected technology. Using the unified commerce model, you can get a full view of your supply chain; while automation increases sales on one end, real-time visibility gives you the power to make strategic decisions on the other. As a result, your business can scale without sacrificing speed, raising your bottom line across multiple channels.
Unleashing this potential begins with an automated method of exchanging data. While you might hear a lot about APIs taking over , more than 82% of global electronic transactions are handled through electronic data interchange (EDI). Tools like EDI provide a simple means to exchange inventory related electronic documents across the breadth of your supply chain.
In doing so, you can accelerate order processing without straining your internal resources. The profitability benefits of EDI are numerous for both manufacturers and retailers, including:
- Increased productivity without increased headcount, reducing internal costs
- Scalable processes, so you can expand your sales channels and markets for greater sales
- Faster ordering, to help keep products on shelves, and get to the front of the line for limited-stock items that sell out quickly
A comprehensive digital supply chain strategy relies upon a central “inventory hub” that acts as the aggregator of inventory information across the extended enterprise – products in your warehouse, in transit to your warehouse, at a 3rd party logistics provider (3PL), in a returns facility and even in the finished goods warehouse of your suppliers. If your business includes providing goods to retailers, the “hub” also includes inventory positions and movement within each retail location. This gives you up-to-the-minute consumer behavior data, so you can make replenishment or ordering decisions that optimize your sales potential, while minimizing excess inventory that costs your business.
An integrated eCommerce platform offers another way to impact your bottom line. With online shopping on the rise, having a web storefront is a good first step—but it’s not enough. You need to provide an excellent buying experience from browsing, to checkout, to delivery, and that requires connectivity.
For example, it’s important to give customers accurate information about what is available. After all, no customer wants the experience of hitting “order,” and then receiving an “oops” email due to out of stocks. Our aforementioned “inventory hub” works in conjunction with your eCommerce system so digital buyers always see the correct availability.
When an order is placed, integrated systems deliver the order directly to your ERP system, which can create a new customer and jumpstart the fulfillment process. Integration is important on this end of the supply chain as well, because keeping your delivery promise is key to creating satisfied customers who return to buy from your brand over and over.
Multi-carrier shipping solutions provide the automation necessary to keep orders moving, while minimizing delays, errors, and costs. Instead of requiring employees to manually enter order data into warehouse systems, these solutions auto-fill key data including items ordered, customer name, delivery address, and any other selected fulfillment options. While batch processing makes it possible to print hundreds of order pack lists in minutes, dynamic rate shopping helps your team find the fastest, most cost-effective carriers for each delivery. And that means you can sell more, while spending less.
With an excellent ROI and measurable benefits for all parties involved—your business, your partners, and your customers—leveraging technology to increase your supply chain oversight is a smart way to grow your profitability exponentially.
If you’re interested in exploring more about how you can use integrated solutions to do business in every direction, reach out. As a proud member of the 90 Minds community, we’ll be happy to work with you and your partners to find the perfect solutions for your business.
Get a Free Demo | TrueCommerce