In a world where consumers desire immediate gratification, delivering seamless and efficient customer experiences is critical to any company’s success. Many workflows and processes drive those experiences, with order routing playing a crucial role. Order routing, commonly referred to as order orchestration, is the process of directing customer orders to the most appropriate fulfillment location based on specific criteria, such as distance or cost.
Order routing has never been more important as consumers use a variety of online and offline channels to complete and fulfill their purchases. According to Forrester, 39% of US online adults said that estimated shipping timeframes were always longer than expected. Extensible order routing allows retailers to deploy comprehensive routing logic to ensure they set realistic timeframes and meet customer expectations.
In this article, we’ll cover a variety of innovative use cases that help retailers streamline operations with extensible order routing.
What is Extensible Order Routing?
Extensible order routing, or extensible order orchestration, enables companies to optimize order routing to meet unique requirements with custom attributes. The process allows retailers to meet their shoppers’ demands while meeting business requirements for cost-effective and efficient omnichannel fulfillment.
While many order management systems come with order routing capabilities, extensibility allows companies to create routing logic based on their unique use cases without significant development time. Businesses can optimize their order processing and fulfillment workflows, reduce order processing times, and improve customer satisfaction.
Common Attributes for Extensible Order Routing
Businesses use attributes to customize their workflows for fulfilling customer orders. With the right order management system, attributes should be easily adaptable based on the unique needs of the business, industry, and customers.
There are four common attributes that retailers apply to their order routing rules:
- Product: Route products based on specific product attributes (i.e., perishables)
- Location: Route products based on specific fulfillment location attributes (i.e., has a two-person forklift) or cost to fulfill
- Customer: Route orders based on specific customer attributes (i.e., customer tier)
- Order: Route orders based on order type (i.e., an order that needs gift wrapping)
Benefits of Extensible Order Routing
Order routing has many benefits, such as improved fulfillment speed and accuracy and increased efficiency and cost savings. By upgrading to an extensible order routing system, businesses gain numerous benefits, including:
- Customization: An extensible order routing system can be tailored to meet the unique needs of a particular business or industry. This allows retailers to create a more relevant experience for their customers while also improving their internal processes.
- Scalability: As a business grows and evolves, its order management needs will change. An extensible order routing system is designed to be easily scalable, allowing retailers to add new features and functionality as required.
- Better customer experience: By optimizing their order management processes with an extensible order routing system, retailers can provide a better experience for their customers. This includes faster delivery times, more accurate order tracking, and improved communication throughout the order fulfillment process.
4 Extensible Order Routing Use Cases
There are several use cases where a retailer would need extensible order routing to meet its business and customer requirements. Here are four common examples:
Scenario: A office supplies retailer allows customers to bulk order items like trash bags and printer paper.
With extensible order routing, the retailer can use a location attribute to route bulk orders to warehouses that with 2-person forklift for picking large and heavy orders.
Scenario: A specialty food retailer sells chocolates across the US.
Selling chocolates can get messy if the chocolate melts before it reaches the customer. By applying a product attribute to the order routing logic, the retailer can route the order to the fulfillment location with the appropriate packaging.
Scenario: A retailer allows shoppers to add gift wrapping to online purchases.
Retailers with several stores, warehouses, and distribution centers may have gift wrapping at only some locations. By applying an order attribute, the retailer can ensure the order is routed to a location that supports gift wrapping.
Scenario: A beauty brand wants to route orders based on customer tiers.
In retail’s fast-paced environment, fast delivery can help drive customer satisfaction. By applying a customer attribute that prioritizes preferred order routing scenarios for customers flagged as “top tier,” the beauty brand can ensure loyal shoppers get the fastest delivery available.
Planning for Extensible Order routing
With the right extensible order routing strategy, you can drastically improve operational efficiencies and customer loyalty. By following the steps below, you can better prepare your organization for extensible order routing.
- Define business goals and objectives: Defining business goals and objectives will help you align your order routing strategy with your overall business strategy and deliver measurable benefits. For example, you may have a business goal of reducing average fulfillment time by 25%; how can order routing help you achieve that goal?
- Evaluate your existing order management process: Evaluating your existing order management processes will help you identify areas where order routing can add value. This may involve assessing inventory levels, shipping costs, and customer proximity in addition to current workflows and technology systems.
- Identify key criteria: Routing orders to the most optimal fulfillment location stems from your pre-determined order routing criteria. The criteria could include standard measures, such as customer zip code, that come out-of-the-box with some of the more modern order management systems. This is also an ideal time to identify unique criteria for your specific business needs.
- Find the right solutions: Most enterprise order management systems have some level of configurability with order routing, but only a few options have extensibility that’s business user-friendly. In many cases, extensible order routing is only achievable with custom development work.
Kibo Extensible Order Routing
Kibo’s Extensible Order Routing gives business users the autonomy to extend custom attributes without needing IT or vendor help and the flexibility to align order routing with their unique organizational goals and supply chain operations. By fine-tuning order routing rules, businesses can meet specific fulfillment cost savings goals and reduce overall cost to serve.
Out-of-the-box, Kibo Extensible Order Routing comes with filters for order routing rules and powerful order routing logic with flexibility in setting up rules aligned with business needs. Users can set custom attributes at the product, location, customer, and order level without IT involvement.
If you’d like to see Kibo Order Management in action, register for a 15-minute demo.