This innovation in E–Commerce space can revolutionise the entire online sales management system in the future, write DR RAJESHWARI KRISHNAMURTHY & YASH GUPTA
The Online marketplace is hugely crowded. What was once considered a great selling medium, is now perceived as being too cluttered, with very little opportunity for differentiation. Organizations are left wondering how to stand out in this medium to capture customer attention while optimizing their operations.
A footwear company (Turnover INR 80 crore pa) based out of Noida has braved itself to take this challenge head-on. Having E-commerce as one of their major channels, the challenges they faced included multiple online order management, inventory management, sales returns management as well as timely data availability to generate actionable insights. Being listed on all major aggregators such as Amazon, Flipkart, Ajio, Myntra, and Tatacliq and having an e-commerce website of their own, they found overlapping orders and sub-optimized service times. This was leading to supply chain issues and customer dissatisfaction.
The Director of the company along with the IT department intervened to find a suitable solution for the same. They developed this wonderful technology called ‘Unicommerce’ (also known as Uniware).
Unicommerce is an e-commerce-focused supply chain Saas technology platform, which helps in integrating all the online platforms into a single operative channel thus making it much more efficient, and focused to work upon. Unicommerce as an online order management software, receives all the orders from various channels and processes them in a single output for the organisation to have a unified view. This saves time tremendously for the sales personnel who process orders.
Relatedly, Unicommerce is also useful in warehouse management. As an apparel manufacturing organisation that employs semi-skilled labour and the one that deals with a lot of designs and variations around the year. (the organisation itself had launched 150 SKUs in the Spring Summer season all coming in 7 different sizes), managing inventory was becoming a nightmare. To bridge this gap, the software rolled out yet another feature that enables the warehouse stacks to be recognised with their Identification number or the Barcode, and subsequently also record the specific SKUs coming in those stacks, thus exactly knowing where a particular article is kept. Now as the organisation receives the order, it leads to a daily generation of ‘PICK LIST’. This is a list that contains the exact location of the product kept at a particular place. So even a semi-skilled human resource can just look up the pick list, which gives them a clear idea as to where to pick the product from, pack it, and ship it. Thus saving search time and effort.
Sales returns management was another huge problem, in the range of 30-35%. Through this unicommerce technology, the returns became a lot more organised. Earlier the team had to look for account reconciliation every time there was a sales return, and because of this, it increased the turnaround time for the whole operation. Through the inbuilt mechanism that automatically corrects stock holding quantity, this tech clears the way for account reconciliation, thus allowing the team to have a better focus on front end selling.
Lastly, insight generation is greatly simplified using Unicommerce. Having real time information and being able to utilise it at the same time builds competitive advantage for the brand. The dashboard containing various permutations and combinations of information from various online channels, all in one place, allows the organisation to compare efficiencies across multiple players, while analysing customer data daily, weekly or monthly. This can be generated real time too, thus increasing speed of decision making and market place agility.
The below table summarises how Unicommerce is proving to be an advantageous tool for organisations to gain market place leadership. It is a technology innovation in the space of E –Commerce that can be expected to revolutionise the entire online sales management system in future.
About the authors: Dr Rajeshwari Krishnamurthy, Senior Associate Professor, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai and Yash Gupta, MBA student, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai