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The access and availability of quality information through digital channels has made it far easier for buyers to gather information independently, meaning sellers have less access and fewer opportunities to influence customer decisions. In fact‚ Gartner research finds that when B2B buyers are considering a purchase‚ they spend only 17% of that time meeting with potential suppliers. When buyers are comparing multiple suppliers‚ the amount of time spent with anyone sales rep may be only 5% or 6%.

McKinsey is quoted as saying business-to-business sales occur over at least 10 channels. Many of the sales tools available for businesses are designed for a single purpose like simple bag and scan sales transactions or mobile sales. With this strategy, you end up implementing several siloed solutions to interact with customers across channels but are not inherently designed to have consistent interactions.

Another common trend we see across the order management market is organizations trying to repurpose CRM or E-commerce technology platforms to service additional order management channels. Each of these solutions has a part to play in the overall design, but for companies with diverse and complex sales processes using this approach is like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. What they actually need is a Multi-Channel Order Management solution or MCOM. Multichannel order management is how retailers keep all of their orders and inventory control from multiple sales channels under one umbrella.  Global multichannel order management market is flourishing owing to growing retail and online shopping sectors, technology advancements in digital transformation, increasing smartphone usage globally, rising internet users, and the use of various sales channels by several enterprises across the world.

When it comes to simplifying sales, DataXstream’s OMS+ is leading the market.

DataXstream as an organization is 100% focused on improving selling processes through our platform for SAP customers. A few years ago a high-end specialty retailer focused in the area of building products specifically tile was introduced to DataXstream. The introduction was made by SAP. This customer was using a highly modified version of SAP order management or as I liked to call it a DIY solution that couldn’t meet the needs of their diverse sales process. They had issues with training users on their sales system, executing and following up on the end-to-end order process, and giving sales associates visibility to their inventory across their 143 stores and various distribution centers. These are several of the challenges that the OMS+ multi-channel order management platform solves for customers out of the box.

A Customer Case Study

The CIO of this organization identified an opportunity with the sales organization, with significant potential to unlock sales. They needed to improve the customer follow-up process. One might immediately jump to the following conclusion; They need to implement a CRM. However the real value is not giving a customer service representative a customer contact and a follow-up activity to execute on, but in creating an interactive sales process built on a platform to help them guide their customer through the design process, help the customer adapt the design as they change their mind, help them find acceptable alternatives when there are inventory constraints and ultimately turn that activity into a sales transaction that can be executed flawlessly.

Implementing OMS+ enabled this customer to achieve their business goals by allowing their sales associates to unlock the data and power of their existing processes in SAP and create a great customer engagement experience throughout the buying journey. Additionally, OMS+ let them improve their sales process execution end to end and positioned them to unwind a significant amount of their technical debt. All this translated into some pretty significant returns for this customer, better communication with their customer and internally, improved quote conversion, more accurate sales process execution, and a measurable impact to their bottom line.

Looking Forward DataXstream and SAP

DataXstream just completed the annual SAP Premium Certification process for OMS+ on S/4HANA 2022. It is the 10th OMS+ certification. This allows the team to ensure that OMS+ is both compatible with older versions of SAP ECC as well as all future versions up to the latest S/4HANA 2022. This means OMS+ is always innovating.

There are many organizations that try to go the DIY order management route. They attempt to build an order management system on the technology they have. Good development leads and teams can often pull this off initially. If I am being fair, it is how OMS+ came into existence. But the technical debt created with this approach turns into a snowball and becomes the thing that ultimately limits an organization’s ability to innovate.

Since its inception OMS+ has over 250K hours of development put into the product, with the input from dozens of customers. Each year ten’s of thousands of hours are put into the solution driven by our customers needs, adding new features, and adjusting to new rules, regulations, and technologies. No organization can make this kind of investment in their DIY order management system each year, nor effectively support it. If you are implementing an order management strategy and you need to build complex integrations or foundational components related to; order functions, the configuration of products, payment processing, or anything else that everyone doing order processing would need then you are in the software business.

Be aware! You are now in the software business.

Instead of developing your own software, there is an opportunity to use a production proven, user tested, and expertly supported platform purpose built to unlock the power and potential of SAP S/4HANA sales. That is why SAP has invested in the SAP Store. To offer curated SAP solutions to extend your SAP and drive value.  DataXStream OMS+ solution is on the SAPStore here.

That is not to say you should do no development. Turn your development team into a competitive differentiator team. When you start with a strong foundation like OMS+ you focus your energy on development activities that are unique to your business and create a competitive advantage. In house projects not only require the development team to create a foundation, but they also require ongoing internal support teams to maintain that foundation, just to maintain core features. I know anyone reading this that is a leader in their organization knows what I am talking about here. How many times have you waited for game-changing capabilities to be implemented as a solution and you have a team that can build that next thing, but they are tied up maintaining the foundation and keeping the lights on.

DataXstream continues to develop OMS+ to expand its capabilities. The development teams are adding new features and capabilities monthly. Our team is currently finishing a number of bigger features including the ability to manage rentals processes end to end, finalizing a cut calculator for selling spooled materials, adding support for new S/4 features such as ABC substitution, new output control, and expanding our advanced returns management support.

Intelligent Automation and Machine Learning

DataXstream continues to invest in OMS+ intelligent automation add on product. They see artificial intelligence and machine learning as quintessential capability for all sales organizations. The math is clear that for the rest of this decade the labor market will continue to be a challenge. In the wholesale industry alone much of the selling force will be retiring in the next decade. Order automation using machine learning has the ability to reduce team workload and eliminate labor-intensive work and improve order execution. Adding intelligent automation to simple tasks in the order process like matching a customer's requested products to the products in your system can reduce the sales team workload by over 50%. The employee user experience will matter. No new worker will want to work on a system that was implemented decades before they were born and requires them to do repetitive mind-numbing activities to be successful at their job.

SAP and SAP Endorsed App Solutions like OMS+ can help you be future-ready.

#sellbetter #customerexperience #employeeexperience

#productivity #automation #profitability

You can read  the complete blog here. This was featured on LinkedIn by Timothy Yates, CEO at DataXstream, an #SAPEndorsedapp partner.

*SAP endorsed apps are a category of solutions from SAP’s partner ecosystem to help customers become best-run, intelligent enterprises. Endorsed apps complement and extend SAP products and are meant to deliver value with desired outcomes – quickly, easily, and with support from SAP. The solutions are tested and premium certified by SAP with added security, in-depth testing and measurements against benchmark results. SAP Endorsed Apps can be identified by their unique gold and black logo.