What an exciting time to be a retailer, consumer goods company, or pure play ecommerce provider on Salesforce. Sure, we’re experiencing some pretty massive headaches with a global supply chain crisis, skyrocketing shipping costs, and inventory supply at less than the typical 80%+ availability. If you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, however, there is reason for optimism. Why? Well, just about any size or type of company can now provide B2B, B2C, and B2B2C products at scale to customers anywhere in the world. The combination of rapid consumer behavioral shifts driven by the pandemic, pervasive cloud technology, and new logistics/fulfillment models have given rise to the next generation of disruptive companies in the new economy.
Disrupting Archaic Supply Chains
Don’t just take our word for it, even global retail and ecommerce giant Walmart has gotten into the micro-fulfillment game as a key strategy. If you’re not quite sure what micro-fulfillment is and how it’s relevant to Salesforce customers, read our recent blog post. While Amazon is more concerned with creating and managing an entire value chain, Walmart is taking a drastically different approach through last mile and micro-fulfillment partners. The interesting aspect of the approach is many of these Walmart partners are tech startups or small and mid-sized companies focused 100% on disrupting a 100+ year old supply chain process.
While we remain extremely optimistic at Ascent Solutions about the future of the new economy, one thing stands out as an immediate challenge companies MUST solve. That is, managing inventory has just become much more complicated for companies of all sizes. Where a traditional Salesforce omnichannel fulfillment process only had one or two companies involved, the new model is very different. As more companies enter the value chain as partners, it becomes increasingly difficult to track inventory from the manufacturing shop floor to the fulfillment center and on to the retailer’s shelf or customer’s doorstep.
360 Degree View of Inventory
How do companies successfully control inventory across multiple vendors and shipping locations? At Ascent Solutions our omnichannel customers typically utilize a combination of hardware such as mobile scanners, POS systems, and other equipment in conjunction with cloud-based software like Salesforce + Ascent Solutions for real time visibility into orders, inventory control, serialization, costing, and reverse logistics. We refer to this concept as equipmentization and servitization on Salesforce.
This 360 degree view of inventory is across the entire product lifecycle which enables manufacturers, retailers, ops teams, and warehouse workers to build, pick, pack, ship, and track inventory down to the individual palette, batch, lot or serialized product. The best part for Salesforce customers is these tools are 100% native to the platform and readily available on the AppExchange.
It’s exciting to see the dramatic shift in inventory management for omnichannel companies on Salesforce. Consolidating orders and inventory into a single source of truth system enables companies to build a flexible and extensible system for a dramatically different marketplace.