Mobile order entry opens supply chain processes for retailers like never before. Scanning barcodes with traditional mobile devices allows retailers to provide real-time supply chain access and control to any entity they choose.
This means that retail supply chain participants including store associates, warehouse workers, customers, distributors and vendors can instantly check stock levels and place orders with the scan of a code. Therefore, a retailer can make its entire product catalog immediately accessible via a mobile app.
For outside participants in the retail supply chain, mobile order entry greatly increases the convenience of finding and selecting products. Customers can easily and quickly conduct product research and find items from a retailer’s full inventory. Retailers who collaborate with closeout, off-price and liquidation partners can enable mobile ordering from specialized overstock catalogs.
Mobile order entry also streamlines the frequently cumbersome order management process. Profitability of individual orders can be increased by making fulfillment easier and faster. This improves customer and partner satisfaction and loyalty, while also increasing frequency of orders.
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Internally, mobile scan-based order entry can improve the efficiency and profitability of supply chain workflows. For example, a store associate who sees stock of an item running low can instantly place an order using a traditional mobile device.
This capability reduces the likelihood of out-of-stocks. It also eases the omnichannel fulfillment of online orders from store inventories. The expense of maintaining store inventories is also decreased, as total cost of ownership (TCO) of traditional mobile devices is up to five times lower than TCO of dedicated scanning devices. By utilizing a bring your own device (BYOD) strategy, retailers can reduce mobile order entry costs even further.
Mobile order entry similarly streamlines the product ordering and re-ordering process from supply chain touchpoints such as warehouses, distribution centers, railyards, and loading docks. Inventory shortfalls can be anticipated and remedied at the source.
With a 2016 IBM study indicating 72% of consumers consider the availability of two-day delivery an important factor in making a purchase, retailers need to have flexible, accurate order entry mechanisms in place. Mobile order entry enables the order management efficiency modern retailers need to keep modern customers happy.