Prominent Global Furniture Manufacturer

Making a Statement With Cutting-Edge Commerce

What if... we could streamline the supply chain network of one of the world’s largest furniture manufacturers to elevate the customer experience?

Our client is an American furniture manufacturer and retailer that distributes its products worldwide.

Strategic Insight

B2B and B2C customers alike have come to expect insight and transparency into the fulfillment process whenever they place an order. But with extensive and complex supply chain networks, our client was struggling to manage product information and order fulfillment processes. It needed to redesign the supply chain, from order to fulfillment, in order to streamline delivery and improve the overall customer experience.

We worked with the company to enrich its product data and provide more visibility into the supply chain to better position the business to meet evolving market and customer demands.

Crafting Perfect Product Data

Our relationship with the client began when we were engaged to review its existing data asset management (DAM) platform. The company needed to rethink its strategy in providing rich product data, and was looking to explore other avenues outside traditional photography and tags.  

We partnered with inRiver to identify how to more efficiently manage the company’s product information and recommend a platform that could serve as a single source of truth for product data. We then went to work replacing the legacy data asset management platform with inRiver PIM. To consolidate and organize the existing data, we developed a master product data set and built the product hierarchy and taxonomy. 

As a result of our work, the business was able to leverage the new system to create, publish, and maintain product data to multiple sales channels and partners. The company has moved to computer-generated imagery for furniture and product bundles rather than standard photography. In addition, the client can now provide more innovative in-store shopping experiences, such as a virtual reality experience that allows customers to visualize products they’re considering in their own homes. 

Taking Stock of the Supply Chain

The company was also facing challenges with order management (OM) and fulfillment throughout both its B2B and B2C business channels, namely a lack of visibility throughout its supply chain networks. Its custom legacy OM system could no longer meet evolving market and customer demands, and was unable to scale for peak capacity during seasonal backlogs. We were engaged to review the company’s OM processes and recommend areas for optimization.

After conducting a series of discovery workshops with stakeholders, our initial analysis revealed that the client’s needs extended beyond just the realm of OM. It became clear that our strategy needed to address the optimization of the company supply chain as a whole, from order to fulfillment.

After studying business operations at multiple manufacturing and distribution centers, we were able to identify several pain points and technology gaps throughout the supply chain network.

An Enterprise OM System; No Assembly Required

With a roadmap to optimization in place, we prepared and presented the client’s leadership team with a buy-vs-build analysis to determine the best OM solution to fit its needs.

Our analysis compared the capabilities, cost benefits, and scalability of the company’s legacy system with an enterprise order management solution. From our findings, it was clear that an off-the-shelf OM system would best support the business’s distribution and wholesale initiatives, streamline supply chain networks, and provide benefits that could eventually expand to the retail side of the business as well.

We recommended the IBM Sterling Order Management platform as a solution that would not only extend system capabilities, but is scalable and aligns well with the company’s go-to-market strategy.

To address the challenges of the legacy OM system, we redirected all previous and future orders to be managed and fulfilled in the new IBM Sterling Order Management System. 

Furnishing an Exceptional Customer Experience

Day-to-day business can’t simply stop when transitioning to a new technology. To minimize disruptions to the business’s fulfillment processes, we took a phased approach to implementing the new IBM Sterling Order Management System . To address the challenges of the legacy OM system, we redirected all previous and future orders to be managed and fulfilled in Sterling.

To improve efficiency, we developed automated available-to-promise processes that will help the company determine its ability to fill orders based on labor and carrier capacity, product location and availability, and other orders in the system.

Results

Commerce Capabilities Designed to Stand the Test of Time

With an order fulfillment architecture that is truly end-to-end, the business will be able to streamline order orchestration, improve product fulfillment processes, and elevate the overall customer experience. Next, we’ll work with the client to expand its new order management capabilities beyond B2B and into the retail end of the business.

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