Real followed the reel when panic buying happened en masse at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Like a scene straight out of a B-grade zombie thriller, shelves were wiped clean and factories were running on next to empty. “[In 2021] there is a global shortage of everything, from 20-foot containers to lumber and basic chemicals,” Forrester noted.  

Supply chains depend on the availability of products to stock warehouses from where products are sold to customers. In a world where people were furloughed at alarming rates, it was hard to find the products retailers were looking to stock their warehouses with. Unless a retailer’s warehouse is stocked, it’s just one click to navigate away to a competitor’s storefront.  

Much like physical stores, ecommerce too revolves around warehousing and order fulfillment. Low stocks equal ‘out of stock’ labels, which push unhappy customers to take their business elsewhere. However, with Oracle’s Order Broker, brands never have to face inventory shortages ever again. By giving customers the option of alternative order fulfillment measures, retailers can get options to source from other warehouses that belong to them, stores under the same brand, and other viable options.  

Order broker- a retailer’s real broker 

In a post-pandemic world that’s evolving at breakneck speed, brands have to implement and adopt new shopping strategies, yesterday. Can a company enable omnichannel capabilities in just four months? It’s possible, with retail solutions by Oracle.  

Order Broker by Oracle is a robust real-time software that gives a complete inventory information and helps complete multiple transactions through efficient coordination of cross-fulfillment softwares. With round-the-clock inventory and stock details at their fingertips, retailers are able to make decisions on alternative fulfillment. Smarter warehousing choices help customers get their products from other stores under the same brand, or from one of their many warehouses.  

This Forbes article cites a whopping $2.5 billion profit loss in 2022 for carmaker Ford, attributed to COVID-19’s supply chain disruption effect. Retail companies can mitigate adverse retail reactions to the current shopping scenario by sending the products customers want from another warehouse, or from one of their many store locations. As long as they get what they want, where it comes from hardly matters to customers.  

5 ways to send orders 

Omnichannel fulfillment by Oracle facilitates the way retailers help customers get their products, starting from the order process. It runs up until the time that the product is delivered to the customer. Fulfillment flow paths include product pick-up, warehousing, packaging, and delivery to the buyer on time, in a streamlined manner.  

Retailer’s favorite warehouse-to-customer 

The most popular way to ship before the pandemic, products are shipped from brand warehouses straight to the customer. To save on warehouse and inventory overheads, dropshipping is a fulfillment method where products go straight from the manufacturer or supplier to the buyer.  

Store it, ship it  

In instances where the warehouse doesn’t carry the product in question, omnichannel facilitates the finding and locating of products at physical store locations.  

Online now, pay later  

Regaining popularity after the pandemic hit, buy-online-pay-in-store (BOPIS) is enjoying its heyday once again. Customers choose and order online and correct from the store.  

Buddy shipping system  

Finally, partnered stores and warehouses under the same brand that have the product will be roped in to fulfill orders. With omnichannel, logistics is easy.  

“The order is on its way” with omnichannel  

Omnichannel order fulfillment allows brands to fulfill orders using many channels. This happens from a central inventory and workforce base. Imagine multiple streams of order fulfillment monitored and optimized in one place! Here are some more benefits: 

Faster deliveries  

Whether it’s an online storefront, brick-and-mortar store, or a warehouse, companies can streamline the entire supply chain so that they get happy customers, every time. By eliminating redundancies in the supply chain workflow, quicker deliveries are made possible.  

Smarter, cost-efficient decisions  

Powered by artificial intelligence, omnichannel order fulfillment software can analyze and offer the most cost-efficient way to sort products, and help products be on their way to the customer, faster.  

Perfect inventory companion  

Better than a warehouse manager, omnichannel order fulfillment is error-free and delivers calculated and intelligent predictions, decisions, and analytics on where one should procure, and which warehouse they can select a product from, for instance.  

Click here to download an elaborate Oracle guide and learn how brands can streamline their supply chain processes, manage inventory efficiently, and keep customers happy.  

Raghu Bose