Our very own Bryan Jensen was interviewed and quoted in the latest edition of Modern Materials Handling about how technology is adapting to modern consumer trends. He discusses how companies are adapting their brick-and-mortar solutions to satisfy customers’ demand for more e-commerce, and the difficulties they’re encountering. He also offers some solutions for these problems.
In surveying the current retail environment, Bryan Jensen, chairman and executive vice president at St. Onge Co., sees a lot of companies taking “very atypical measures” to both tackle their current challenges and also shield themselves against future disruption.
As part of this push, many companies are turning to technology for help transforming their supply chains. “To one degree or another,” Jensen says, “just about every brick-and-mortar retailer is moving to more e-commerce, whether it’s buying online/picking up at store (BOPUS), shipping a parcel to a doorstep or some other approach.”
It has been a difficult shift for retailers, Jensen adds, mainly because existing order management systems (OMS) and inventory management systems (IMS) were designed to manage the shipment of cartons and pallets from DCs to physical stores. Complicating the issue are retailers that lack a single, shared inventory pool to tap for satisfying both store and e-commerce demand.
“Most of them segregate their inventory for e-commerce and store, which can create a ‘we ran out of stock on this item for our website’ situation,” Jensen explains. “Meanwhile, there might be 20 pallets of that product in inventory and reserved for the stores.” Rectifying the situation usually requires manual intervention, although Jensen says retailers whose order management systems can handle multi-channel operations have been able to effectively draw from a single inventory pool for both types of sales.
Click here to read the article on the newest edition of Modern Materials Handling!