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Implementing Omnichannel: How to Get Your Supply Chain Ready to Go Omnichannel

Omnichannel has been a buzzword in supply-chain circles for several years, but retailers that have invested in implementing omnichannel strategies have shown less than superior results, says Steve Dennis via Forbes. Some retailers invested in online sales and in turn, neglected their storefronts. Uncompetitive pricing, less-than-remarkable customer service, and undifferentiated products are only a few of the reasons for underperformance. These problems show weaknesses and overlooked concerns when implementing omnichannel supply chain strategies. Rather than falling victim to the same problems, your organization should follow these tips to get ready for implementing omnichannel supply chain strategies.

1. Focus on the Customer Experience

Customer service is the beginning, middle, and end of omnichannel strategies. Every detail should be built across all sales, regardless of their origination, asserts Bobbi Leach of Multichannel Merchant. Customers do not really care about channels per se; they care about the experience. Retailers can harness the power of omnichannel by placing their focus squarely on the customer experience.

2. Align Inventory Placement With Demand

The next step is simple. Retailers must align inventory placement, its physical location, with demand. This means moving inventory to make it closer to markets where it is sells. Since using a store-as-a-distribution center is integral to keeping storage costs down in omnichannel, retailers should leverage technology and analytics to align inventory correctly. Other opportunities to improve inventory placement include in-store kiosks and pickup-in-store shopping options, as explained by Supply Chain Quarterly.

3. Make Incremental Steps Toward Omnichannel

Some of the setbacks with retailers that went omnichannel in the past derive from trying to focus solely on building the ecommerce side. Omnichannel must successfully combine all shopping venues into one experience. Retailers should make incremental steps toward this goal, enhancing web format and ecommerce platforms, integrating systems to communicate what inventory is available and where it is located, and presenting a seamless experience to consumers.

4. Train Staff Throughout the Process

Staff members also need to know how to manage omnichannel fulfillment. A switch in the human brain does not exist to simply make it happen; people need training, and lots of it. The shift to omnichannel will require a training plan for all employees, from warehouse workers to cashiers. Collaboration across your enterprise is essential.

5. Develop Metrics to Track the Effectiveness and Efficiency of the Omnichannel Strategy

As explained  , retail giants have suffered decreasing profitability following implementation of omnichannel sales strategies. These problems require mitigation before they develop into lower-than-expected quarterly performance rankings. Retailers must implement specific metrics to track the effectiveness and efficiency of the original strategy and all appropriate solutions.

Start Planning to Go Omnichannel, and Partner With Veridian to Streamline the Process

Implementing omnichannel solutions is essential to the continued success and growth of your company. Rather than trying to retain strict, multichannel supply chains, follow these steps to prepare your supply chain for a transition to omnichannel sales. To schedule some time with a senior member of the Veridian team to discuss implementing your omnichannel strategy, click the button below.

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