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The Long, Hard Road to Create an Omnichannel Supply Chain Starts With 3rd Party Supply Chain Technology Integrators as Your Guide

Figuring out the best way to implement an omnichannel supply chain is challenging. Warehouse and supply chain managers have tons of responsibilities, ranging from overseeing employee performance to managing transportation networks and beyond. Implementing new supply chain or warehouse management systems (WMS), not to mention the extensive process of selecting a WMS, is probably the last thing supply chain managers want to worry about. Moreover, the challenges in implementation are vast, and existing supply chains could lose years of accumulated data if new systems are not implemented and integrated correctly. To mitigate the risks of implementing and creating an omnichannel supply chain, supply chain managers should use third-party supply chain technology integrators as a guide to this path.

An Omnichannel Supply Chain Requires Interchannel Dependence

Traditional retail channels are insufficient for creating an omnichannel supply chain. Inventory in one spot may be required in another area of the supply chain, and managers need to know where everything is. As a result, all supply chain systems must be integrated together, so the obvious solution to integration problems is working with a company that specializes in it.

Retailer-Consumer Interaction Extends Beyond the Purchase

Integrated systems also contribute to better customer experiences. The traditional retailer-consumer experience is no longer limited to the confines of a single transaction. It extends to retailers’ advertising and marketing campaigns, and all systems must be connected to ensure managers have a full, 360° view of strengths and weaknesses before, during and after purchases.

Data Centralization Is Key to Omnichannel Retail

The key to using information gathered through connected systems lies in data centralization. Although advanced WMS and other supply chain execution systems can collect and analyze data, insights and key performance indicators (KPIs) must be easily accessible and stored in a centralized location, like the cloud. This allows all individuals within a given supply chain to access and review information for continuous improvement. However, modern supply chain systems may not be set up to report data to a centralized location automatically, and it may be necessary to work with a supply chain technology integrator to make this possible.

Advanced Systems Are Not Plug-And-Play

Today’s systems are also incredibly complex, and the days of traditional, plug-and-play systems are over. Modern systems are intensely configurable, meaning they can suit the most specific of demands, but the level of knowledge required to successfully integrate new systems with existing systems is extensive. Paired with the growing number of supply chain systems’ vendors, integration requirements between systems may vary widely. So, the first step to integration begins with making the right decisions during initial supply chain systems selection.

Integrating, Testing and Going Live Are Essential to Preventing Data Loss

After selecting a system, retailers will need to integrate, test and monitor the system at the time of going live. Unfortunately, failure in any of these areas may result in extreme data loss. As a result, it is important to build redundancy within your existing systems during integration. Fortunately, supply chain technology integrators can assist with this process as well

Supply Chain Technology Integrators Have the Experience Necessary to Streamline Omnichannel Implementation

There are thousands of risks when choosing to implement or create an omnichannel retail supply chain, and your business cannot afford to make mistakes. Your supply chain managers have enough on their plates, so consider working with an expert in supply chain systems integration to help manage, oversee and support your company’s goals of creating an omnichannel supply chain.