Based on the recent trends of the retail industry, it has become increasingly important for retailers to provide flexible and reliable solutions to their customers and to find innovative ways to increase satisfaction with the services provided. The Oracle Retail Order Broker Cloud service does not only offer a software solution that enables omnichannel transaction capabilities in order to increase convenience for consumers regardless of their preferred way of shopping but also allows retailers to optimize their day-to-day supply chain operation and inventory distribution.
In this white paper, the various features and benefits of using the Oracle Retail Order Broker Cloud service will be introduced as well as a brief demonstration of the capabilities of the module will be described through a specific omnichannel scenario. The aim of presenting the in-store collection case is to provide an understanding of the possible impacts and improvement having the Order Broker Cloud Service integrated into a retailers’ ecosystem.
Quickborn Consulting is a Gold level Oracle partner integrator and retail consulting company. Our company implements scalable, modern, best practice and future-proof merchandise solutions for retail businesses. If you are looking for the best practices in cloud service implementation or other types of merchandising solutions we are here to help your business. Relying on our expertise and experience, secure delivery on time and on a budget is our primary implementation objective, while at the same time securing high degree and long-lasting user adoption.
If you wish to learn more about omnichannel capabilities within the Oracle suite, please find a video we have created demonstrating omnichannel capabilities, which is accessible here.
Oracle Retail Order Broker Cloud service provides a powerful tool for retailers to increase the number of successful transactions captured by their available channels. The ultimate goal is to efficiently process transactions that would otherwise be lost due to merchandise unavailability or out-of-sync information. The module ensures that the users are able to access real-time inventory information across all locations within the enterprise, at the same time it contributes towards an effective way for processing captured sales as quickly and inexpensively as possible.
From the retailer’s point of view, apart from enabling omnichannel fulfilment of orders, one of the biggest benefits of using Oracle Retail Order Broker Cloud Service is that the module assists the retailer in decision-making regarding the optimal source of inventory and tracks the movement of the inventory among the supply chain. Having an optimal fulfilment proposed by the module, retailers are able to reduce inventory carrying and shipping costs, as well as they are capable of eliminating manual send sale and inter-store transfers that would be required otherwise. Related to these functions, Oracle Retail Order Broker Service has two extensions – the Supplier Direct Fulfillment extension allows retailers to provide a web-based vendor portal to share purchase orders and shipping information for drop shipment fulfillments with suppliers, while the Store Connect extension enables store associates to process and fulfill omnichannel orders.
The benefits are numerous for the customers as well – the increasing demand for flexible solutions and the efforts to improve customer satisfaction requires that retailers provide alternative ways for hassle-free shopping and maximize their customers’ convenience for a better overall shopping experience. Retailers are able to leverage the real-time inventory information provided by the module and the can ensure that the orders would get completed through the various cross-channel fulfillment methods based on customers, stores, prices and merchandising decisions. Order shopping rules identifying the fulfilling locations are configurable and can be based on various criteria such as highest inventory levels or closest store.
If needed, the module is able to automatically select the best location to fulfill orders based on pre-defined criteria in its Routing Engine, which holds advanced business rule for selecting ideal locations to fulfill each eligible order. It is also possible to track inventory disbursement to ensure appropriate stock levels in each location based on previously collected statistical data. The Routing Engine would either automatically calculate optimal source for the fulfilment based on the pre-defined business rules or provides a list of possible locations for fulfillment to be evaluated by users. By having a list of eligible locations, the customer is able to select a store for collecting an order form and the information would be then shared with the whole enterprise, while the responsible location gets notified that there are orders requiring attention.
The Routing Engine can use either the standard brokering or weighted brokering criteria when selecting a fulfillment or sourcing location – upon selecting standard brokering the Routing Engine selects fulfilling locations based on criteria including proximity, on-hand count, location priority, last order assigned and sales velocity rank. If weighted brokering has been chosen, then the Routing engine filters the list of eligible fulfilling locations for processing the order and submits the list depending on availability along with information on the order line(s) and configuration data. This procedure takes the percentage weights assigned for Labor Cost, Gross Margin, Proximity, On Hand Quantity, and Sales Velocity into consideration, as well as the Priority for evaluating sales velocity. The Routing Engine is also able to be configured to allow order splitting and to find multiple locations for fulfilment if there is not a single location that could fill the entire order by itself.
The module can easily be integrated with existing retail inventory applications and Oracle omnichannel solutions such as Xstore, SIM, eCOM and Customer Engagement, providing a view for the customer, inventory and order movements among the enterprise for a complete omnichannel solution. Apart from the ease of integration within the Oracle suite, existing store environments ideally would not have to undergo major changes to their POS applications in order to perform transactions involving multiple channels.
Once a customer has finished placing an order using the online storefront and decided to collect their order in-store instead of waiting for delivery, a submit order message has been sent to the Order Broker. The submit order message for a pickup order needs to specify the fulfilling location and system while a separate, locate items message requests a listing of locations that should be able to fulfil an order for one or more products in a specified area.
Before placing the order, the customer is able to check the availability of a particular product for collection – the web storefront sends an inquiry to the Order Broker Cloud Service to locate the item.
The customer is able to press the ‘Check Local Availability’ button available on the storefront, which initiates the inventory location check in the Order Broker Cloud Service module. Once the customer presses on ‘Check Local Availability’ the inventory status of retail stores within a specific distance from the zip code provided by the customer would come up showing exact real-time updated stock quantities.
The ‘Local Availability’ screen on the storefront helps the customer in determining the most convenient and accessible retail store that is eligible and able to fulfil their order.
The back office process upon the customer initiated availability check is the following:
Once an order has been placed and the transaction has been completed, the order would appear in Order Broker Cloud Service module as a new order ready to be viewed or modified on the user interface. The order details showing on the ‘Product Location Screen’ indicate the availability as well as other attributes of the item(s) contained in the order.
The workings of the Routing Engine calculations are not visible to Order Broker users and can only be checked through the Probability Rules defined by the business users. The rules either contain ‘If’ or ‘Always’ components, which are enforced depending on the conditions specified and corresponding tasks are generated for each instance afterwards. The Probability Rule Wizard provides an intuitive, user-friendly platform for creating and modifying business rules depending on the retailers’ needs and business processes.
Once the order has been placed on the storefront, the location selected by the customer for the collection would also get the notification that there is a new order that requires the attention of the store staff – at this point the sales associates are able to access the information related to the order and depending on their evaluation they are able to accept or refuse to have this particular order be treated at their store using their POS system (in this case the POS system being Xstore).
About Quickborn Consulting
Quickborn Consulting is an Oracle Gold Level partner company, providing business consulting, IT systems integration, solutions development and support services for the global retail industry. Quickborn supports retailers on their business and IT transformation programs that improve performance and increase competitive efficiency. Quickborn Consulting has a local presence in USA, France, Germany, Ireland, Hungary, Tunisia and India, and is present globally through its international network. For more information contact us here.
About Oracle Retail
Oracle provides retailers with a complete, open, and integrated suite of best-of-breed business applications, cloud services, and hardware that are engineered to work together and empower commerce. Leading fashion, grocery, and specialty retailers use Oracle solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify operations and inspire authentic brand interactions. For more information, visit our website at www.oracle.com/retail.
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