9 Non-Obvious Advantages of Distributed Order Management (DOM)

Distributed Order Management (DOM) is a powerful tool to boost margins and improve the customer experience.

Driven by Amazon and its competitors, ecommerce shoppers now expect free, fast – often 1-2 day – delivery of their ecommerce orders from wherever they shop online.  To reduce delivery time and cost, sellers need to distribute their inventory to multiple locations to be geographically closer to customers. This creates order, inventory and fulfillment management issues as sellers juggle multiple facilities, add additional locations like 3PLs or retail stores, and need to integrate disparate systems and workflows.

Distributed Order Management solutions maximize order profitability by automatically routing orders to the fulfillment option that meets delivery requirements at the lowest total cost – including product cost and fulfillment cost by location.

DOM is designed to obtain the highest margin possible from every order while still meeting or exceeding consumer delivery timeframe expectations.  This also improves inventory utilization and ROI.  

The advantages of DOM are clear:  reduce fulfillment cost and improve margins by routing each order to the best fulfillment option.  But several advantages of implementing a DOM solution are not so obvious:

  1. GET THE BIG PICTURE. DOM destroys silos caused by data processed through disparate systems. Because DOM sits over your existing OMS, IMS, WMS and other systems, it provides an overarching view of sales demand, inventory status and order progress. A global view of order and fulfillment processes helps spot potential problems or opportunities for improvement. Plus a global view of orders and inventory results in better forecasting, less need for safety stock, and increased inventory turns with a replenishment strategy that puts the right inventory in the right place at the right time.
  2. ADD NEW CAPABILITIES TO EXISTING SYSTEMS.  Automate new order and fulfillment capabilities without reworking – or ripping and replacing – current applications and systems. The cuts cost, speeds implementation time, and reduces risk.
  3. CONTROL YOUR TECHNOLOGY STACK.  DOM from Etail makes it easy to add or replace fulfillment partners such as contract warehouses, 3PLs and other fulfillment services. Etail works with their current systems; you retain control of your fulfillment technology stack.
  4. FREE UP I.T. RESOURCES. Maintaining multiple, disparate systems can be costly and time-consuming support and upgrade.  And too often, attempts at ad hoc system integration creates a tangle of one-off, hard-coded patches that only increases complexity and the chance for errors. DOM helps free up scarce IT resources to focus on other projects to support innovation and growth. Plus DOM from Etail is designed to be implemented with minimal IT involvement.
  5. MASTER – NOT JUST MANAGE – INVENTORY.  All DOM systems manage inventory to some extent. But by definition, Distributed Order Management systems focus on just that: order management. But Etail adds unique capabilities like updating inventory published to the channel or accurately managing inventory items no matter how they are sold – as individual SKUs, as multiple packs, or as part of kits or bundles. That’s because Etail’s DOM system grew out Etail’s complete ecommerce order and inventory management platform. So it offers purpose-built inventory management, forecasting and replenishment capabilities other DOM systems can’t match.
  6. CREATE NEW MERCHANDISING AND PROMOTIONAL OPTIONS.  DOM helps you create and manage new ways to merchandise your existing inventory like kits, bundles and multipacks. Plus DOM from Etail supports regional inventory publishing and shipping – meaning you can participate in sales-boosting guaranteed delivery programs like Amazon Prime or Walmart 2-Day only when and where they are profitable for you.
  7. MAKE DATA-DRIVEN DECISIONS.  DOM provides valuable insights into your order, inventory and fulfillment functions and costs. Etail’s powerful business intelligence, analytics, forecasting and replenishment tools enable data-driven decision making. You can even connect Etail to enterprise analytics packages like Tableau or your ERP system to use the data throughout your organization.
  8. FUTURE PROOF YOUR BUSINESS.  The Etail ecommerce integration engine powers DOM. Etail is designed to integrate with sales channels, inventory sources and fulfillment alternatives.  No one can predict how ecommerce will evolve. With Etail, you don’t have to. You’ll have the flexibility to explore new opportunities as they emerge.
  9. IMPROVE YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.  On its surface, DOM is all about operational efficiency and cost. But ultimately, DOM is about the customer and creating competitive advantage.  DOM from Etail ensures your published inventory is accurate – avoiding out of stocks.  DOM helps you ship product faster and guarantee on-time delivery.  DOM helps meet changing customer fulfillment preferences like Buy Online, Pick Up in Store. And DOM helps improve margins – which you can use to fund continued improvements in customer experience or new customer acquisition.

Distributed Order Management is a powerful tool for improving margins and customer experience. But DOM is more than an order management technology. DOM can also provide a strategic advantage and competitive edge in the fast moving, always unpredictable world of ecommerce.