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Companies are under tremendous pressure to evolve their systems to keep pace with demand. But meeting the complex demands of the modern supply chain isn’t easy, especially if you’re running a monolithic order management system.  

The inability of yesterday’s systems to meet tomorrow’s demands is already showing. Customer demand and fulfillment needs are growing beyond the ability of monolithic systems to accommodate.  

But if you have a huge capital investment in a monolithic order management system, it’s simply not practical to rip and replace the old for something new.  

Thankfully, you don’t need to do that. Instead, you can evolve your system by moving it to the cloud and adding point solutions to enable the capabilities your organization needs, which can be done incrementally over time.  

An integrated supply chain ecosystem  

When modernizing, it’s important to address the end-to-end supply chain so that all systems work together, including ecommerce, omnichannel, order management, warehouse management, transport management, and other platforms that are critical to order fulfillment. Integrated ecosystems are what’s driving speed and efficiency in today’s supply chain operations. Integration is important because if systems don’t work together, items ordered online may not be reflected in inventory.  

It’s also helpful to be able to customize your ecosystem to meet unique requirements that may not be built into a solution. In a recent IDC study, “Driving Strategic Value with IBM Sterling Supply Chain Business Network,” Chris Davey, Chief Strategist, Publicis Sapient, a global IT consulting company, said, “How we transform supply chain is in the ability to quickly customize solutions by empowering clients with APIs, reusable assets and connectors to incorporate third-party applications and data while connecting to critical business networks to extend the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite in ways that drive competitive differentiation for our clients.” 

Getting started on your modernization journey 

To manage complexity and change in the supply chain, companies need a strategy to automate, integrate, and transform their business with a technology-enabled ecosystem. An integrated ecosystem helps businesses optimize their fulfillment operations over time — and only as needed — in order to:  

  • Effortlessly meet demand and reduce costs with complete visibility of inventory, order management, and fulfillment operations. 
  • Delight your customers and ensure repeat business and loyalty by adopting a customer-centric approach to supply chain management to deliver every order as promised — accurately, efficiently, and as fast as possible.  
  • Keep pace with innovation and emerging trends to maintain your competitive advantage. 

One way to get started on developing an integrated ecosystem is to deploy a cloud-ready order management system (OMS) integrated with a suite of point solutions to help transform your omnichannel business.  

For example, IBM now offers its IBM Sterling Order Management for hybrid cloud, which helps accelerate modernization by simplifying integrations to deliver omnichannel order fulfillment processes such as real-time inventory and warehouse management, curbside pickup, buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) and ship from store (SFS).  

Juan Andres Pro Dios, CIO for El Corte Ingles, one of Europe’s largest department store chains, is quoted in the IDC report, saying, “The IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite provides open development capabilities that let us quickly tailor solutions to meet our unique business needs. This allows us to embrace operational complexity while optimizing operational performance and improving omnichannel customer experiences.” 

In addition, Pivotree offers several point solutions that layer on top of IBM Sterling OMS to help companies add capabilities as needed:  

  • Pivotree WMS is a simplified micro-services-based AI-enhanced architecture that helps optimize, manage, and scale warehouse operations through process efficiency. Use cases include retail order fulfillment, 3PL, B2B commerce, returns management, and manufacturing.  
  • Pivotree Control Tower lets you monitor all mission-critical applications and business processes in one place to help you take better control of your warehouse by helping you identify and fix operational issues. 
  • Pivotree Connect helps you seamlessly integrate third-party applications and other complex enterprise systems to help you take better advantage of your existing technology investments or new technologies that you’d like to adopt.  

For most companies, there’s no need to completely replace a legacy OMS system with something new. The best approach is to modernize what you already have and enhance your systems with point solutions that deliver the capabilities you need to drive business growth.  

By modernizing what they already have, companies can drive agility and responsiveness in their supply chains without undergoing costly and disruptive overhauls. By gradually replacing outdated functionalities with modernized counterparts that align with your business goals, companies can enhance operational efficiency, improve customer experiences, and remain competitive in today’s dynamic business landscape.

About Pivotree: Pivotree designs, builds, and manages frictionless commerce experiences for brands and their customers around the world. We provide end-to-end solutions and services in Commerce, Data Management, and Supply Chain for hundreds of brands globally.