IBM Sterling Inventory Visibility

Gain a single, scalable, real-time view of inventory across all locations and channels to improve customer experiences and increase inventory ROI.

Services & Solutions > Capabilities > Order Management > IBM Sterling Inventory Visibility

Provide an up-to-date, accurate view of all of your inventory

Customer loyalty isn't what it used to be.

Digital competitors have changed customer expectations in both B2C and B2B industries. Today, when customers purchase online or at a physical location – they expect fast, free delivery or convenient pickup at the place and time of their own choosing. And if they can’t get this service where they usually shop, they’re more than willing to look for it elsewhere.

This unanticipated customer disloyalty has forced a lot of companies to rapidly develop and deploy omnichannel capabilities. It’s an expensive proposition that, if not managed properly, could rapidly eat into profits. But it’s a critical move if they’re to keep their increasingly fickle customers happy and engaged.

Enable real-time inventory visibility to ensure omnichannel success.

A critical building block for omnichannel success is visibility, starting with a consolidated, accurate, and current view of inventory across all locations. Without this fundamental capability, sellers risk:

  • Lost sales
  • Customers aggravated by overpromising
  • Reduced margins due to markdowns and expedited shipping charges
  • Excess safety stock
  • Limited ability to enter new sales channels

More than 50% of retailers have reported to IBM that inventory visibility across all channels was the most important omnichannel capability. But 80% of them indicated that they are failing to do it profitably.

A powerful cloud-based, standalone omnichannel inventory visibility solution

While this level of visibility is part of omnichannel order management solutions like IBM Sterling Order Management, implementing this comprehensive OMS solution may not be feasible for every company.  

Now, IBM created a standalone solution for inventory visibility that immediately improves the customer experience, helps you grow your business, and protects your bottom line.

IBM Sterling Inventory Visibility as a cloud-based solution that provides a single, scalable, real-time view of inventory across your entire enterprise. 

This SaaS solution works with your existing systems to rapidly process high inventory activity and present accurate inventory availability to your customers, users, and partners. 

Your customers can easily see what you have in stock, and you gain better control and insights around your inventory to maximize its value.

Do you need better inventory visibility?

How many of these are situations is your company struggling to overcome?

  • You’re losing sales.
  • Customers are aggravated by overpromising and stockouts.
  • Margins are impacted by expedited shipping charges.
  • Some locations hold excess safety stock.
  • You have limited ability to enter new sales channels.

You don’t have a consolidated view of available-to-promise (ATP) inventory across all locations, and you cannot provide it to your customers.

Why is it happening?

  • Inventory is siloed and tracked by geography, division, location, and brand.
  • Disparate systems make integration extremely difficult.

You cannot deliver to your customers by the promised dates.

Why is it happening?

  • There is no visibility into whether inventory is located in a warehouse, a distribution center, a retail store, or on a truck somewhere.

Because you don’t have an accurate view of inventory, you need to take extra measures to meet obligations for fulfillment – or suffer customer disappointment if there is an inventory shortage.

Why is it happening?

  • Inventory information is available only through batch or overnight processes that are so slow and inaccurate.
  • The number of inventory transactions that occur each day presents challenges to process in real-time.
  • Out of date information may indicate that an item in stock when it sold out hours ago.

Yet other locations are depleted.

Why is it happening?

  • There is no complete, accurate visibility into the supply and demand of inventory at specific locations.
  • Without visibility into supply and demand, balancing inventory to meet regional changes in demand is challenging.

You can’t deliver on customer promises, and marketplace SLAs for inventory are not met.

Why is it happening?

  • A lack of visibility and tracking hinders overall company performance.
  • Inaccurate information leads to mistrust and negative reviews that impact your growth.

If so, you’re not alone. Many of the legacy inventory management and ERP systems companies are using today were not designed to provide the fast, accurate view of inventory to customers shopping online, in stores, and through other sales channels. They were also not designed to manage inventory across a wide variety of sources and fulfillment methods.  And if you try to add on this critical capability to a solution that wasn’t made to handle it, you can run into unexpected problems and expenses.

However, not addressing these challenges can result in lost sales, excess delivery charges, poorly utilized inventory, and the inability to expand your sales channels. You’ll lose time and money, miss out on opportunities, and put your company at risk.

IBM Sterling Inventory Visibility helps you increase sales, protect margins, and improve customer satisfaction.

When you have up-to-the-minute inventory information across all your locations, you can say “yes” to more customers, more often.

  • Connect all locations and systems to present a consolidated, real-time view of inventory.
  • Gain up-to-the-minute insights to help you improve order management and fulfillment.
  • Manage inventory more efficiently for improved ROI.
  • Ensure great performance — even with high volumes and many SKUs.
  • Employ a modern, highly-scalable, and agile cloud-based solution.
  • Gain a single, accurate view of inventory availability in stores, in warehouses, and in-transit.
  • Consolidate inventory data from disparate systems, silos, and sources.
  • Give customers access to the full breadth of your inventory and expand your offerings with an “endless aisle.”
  • Integrate your inventory with your suppliers.
  • Get real-time updates to ensure accuracy, even at extremely high levels of activity.
  • Integrate effectively with your existing systems – including OMS, ERP, and new sales channels.
  • Replicate and keep in sync between OMS and Inventory Visibility.
  • Rely on a single cache, a single source of truth.

Results

  • Provide a single, scalable, real-time view of inventory and demand to your customers, partners, and staff.
  • Ensure connected and consistent inventory information in all solutions and across all channels.
  • Improve customer experiences​ and trust.
  • Increase conversion rates and deal size.
  • Leverage personalized dashboards to get a complete view of inventory supply and demand.
  • Build personalized dashboards based on geography, brands, or responsibilities.
  • Customize alerts and thresholds to warn of emerging issues.
  • Track inventory velocity.

Results

  • Make better business decisions based on real-time, accurate inventory information.
  • Take action on alerts to avoid shortages and missed opportunities.
  • Avoid overpromising, losing sales, or incurring unexpected shipping charges.
  • Maximize inventory ROI by improving overall inventory planning.
  • Make better business decisions based on real-time, accurate inventory information.
  • Customize safety stock by location.
  • Enable drop shipping.
  • Easily add new sales channels.

Results

  • Meet peak-period demands and avoid lost sales.
  • Say “yes” more often to customers.
  • Balance inventory across channels.
  • Increase inventory turns
  • Reduce stock-outs and over-sells.
  • Reduce carrying costs of unnecessary safety stock.
  • Reduce markdowns.
  • Use an elastic, horizontally scalable infrastructure that handles unlimited inventory call volumes on peak days and holidays.
  • Eliminate batch processing or latency issues during periods of high transaction volumes.
  • Use auto-scaling to ramp up and down as demand changes (up to 40 million inventory calls per hour) – without IT assistance.
  • Reduce inventory load time.

Results

  • Process millions of transactions in real-time to maintain an up to the second, accurate view of inventory. 
  • Scale to meet the customers’ peak business days such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Singles Day, etc.  
  • Avoid frustrating your customers as they wait for pages to load.
  • Save the company from investing in multiple, costly cache infrastructures.
  • Avoid inventory calls that can overtax and slow down your ecommerce site.
  • Move to a cloud-based business service architecture that can be deployed, scaled, and updated independently.
  • Adopt a SaaS solution that’s built on open-source technology stack leveraging:
    • Akamai Edge caching
    • Cassandra no-SQL database
    • Docker/Kubernetes
  • Reduce the need for additional IT resources with a system that senses demand and scales

Results

  • Ensure the fastest response time to customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
  • Ramp up and down as your demand changes over time, freeing up IT resources to focus on providing better experiences for your customers.
  • Lay the foundation for AI.

IBM Sterling Inventory Visibility gives you real-time, accurate visibility.
Lightwell consultants help you accelerate and optimize the benefits.

It’s clear that to provide the omnichannel services your customers currently demand, you need real-time visibility into all your inventory, everywhere it resides…even when it’s on a truck and on the way to a facility. IBM Sterling Inventory Visibility reaches out across your entire enterprise and supply chain to collect, collate, and analyze data and give you the most accurate picture of your stock in real-time. 

Line of business users, customers, and suppliers gain the capabilities they need to get the information they want – quickly and reliably, even during periods of tremendous volume.

IBM Platinum Business Partner of Year

Our team has extensive experience with omnichannel order management software and has helped many organizations like yours implement solutions like IBM Sterling Inventory Visibility for succeeding in today’s volatile and demanding marketplace. We’re an IBM Platinum Business Partner and were granted the prestigious IBM Sterling Business Partner of the Year Award.

Working collaboratively with your team, we’ll guide you through a fast and effective implementation, drawing on our extensive experience with IBM Sterling Order management solutions with clients throughout the world. We’ll combine our industry, business, and technology skills with the strength of the IBM solutions to help you accelerate the benefits every step of the way.

Learn more about our comprehensive order management consulting services and innovative order management software and solutions. Explore how we can work with you to improve your overall performance by optimizing the technology you already have in place, expanding your channels and capabilities, leveraging the cloud, and capitalizing on AI and analytics capabilities.

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Shed light on your inventory and illuminate new opportunities. Discover how our professionals can help you conquer your inventory management challenges, delight your customers, and drive greater profitability.

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