Overcoming the Challenges of Drop Shipping
Offering drop ship options is almost a no-brainer for most retail businesses. At very little expense, your business can offer additional product selection to customers, experiment with new product offerings, or simply increase the depth of your existing inventory.
While the drop ship process may seem like an easy decision for virtually every business, there are many hidden challenges and questions that arise around properly managing the processes for drop shipping. For example:
- How do you present the additional products to your customers?
- Can your sales team or customers access your supplier inventory information with up-to-date availability and pricing?
- What type of order status information is available? Can your business track the status of the order along with your supplier partner?
- How will this work with small suppliers who lack sophisticated technical capabilities?
- How will you know when there is a problem with an order, and how quickly will you know it?
Achieve the Full Benefits of Drop Shipping
The IBM® Sterling Drop Ship solution was developed to take full advantage of all of the benefits of drop shipping while addressing these challenges. It alleviates virtually all of the obstacles of implementing the drop ship processes.
The IBM Sterling Drop Ship solution, a capability within IBM® Sterling Order Management, enables you to effectively implement and manage order fulfillment directly from your trading partners, automate your order processes, and manage a network of vendors throughout the order-to-cash process.
IBM Sterling Drop Ship consolidates orders across multiple channels, automates the order collaboration process across your trading partners, and enables sharing of order and shipping information between you and your trading partners.
You gain real-time visibility into trading partner inventory availability for accurate promise dates and on-time delivery of orders. Also, you gain complete visibility from point-of-sale through delivery, enabling you to communicate timely updates to your customers and increase satisfaction levels.
IBM Sterling Drop Ship Capabilities
Real time order status information from all of your suppliers
|Vast integration capabilities give a seamless presentation of inventory availability and pricing information across all of your suppliers.|
A sophisticated exception management process
|Isolates issues quickly so that they can be resolved promptly for superior customer service.|
Web-based supplier portal
|Available for your partners to utilize if they are not EDI or XML enabled. This service supports any data type, any format or any communication protocol, and is secure and easy to use for your smaller trading partners.|
Available-to-promise inventory visibility
|Gives clear information on inventory status including items on order, in transit, and available for sale regardless of the warehouse location or trading partner.|
Innovative collaborative order management
|Automates the sourcing, shipping, and purchase order processes to keep quality levels high and reduce manual intervention.|
A variety of order management business rules
|Can be configured to properly route orders based on availability, service levels, and shipping requirements. This rules-based configuration makes the IBM Sterling Drop Ship system highly adaptable to any business environment.|
IBM Sterling Drop Ship Benefits
With IBM Sterling Drop Ship, you’ll achieve numerous benefits, including:
- Increased revenue as a result of expanding your product offerings without increasing inventory costs
- Lower operational costs and reduced order fulfillment lead time by automating your order processes
- Improved customer satisfaction by leveraging real-time visibility and better management of exceptions
Your Partner for IBM Sterling Order Management Solutions
As part of any order management solution implementation, including IBM Sterling Drop Ship, having the right partner is critical. An IBM Gold Partner with extensive supply chain expertise, Lightwell can help your business take full advantage of drop shipping without getting trapped in hidden costs or issues.
Learn more about Lightwell’s IBM Sterling Order Management implementation, training and support services.
Contact Lightwell to discuss your order management and drop ship needs today.