“Our business is founded on offering brides the widest variety of products always delivered on time no matter how she chooses to shop with us: online, in stores or by phone. It’s critical that we have one system we can rely on to provide inventory availability and manage orders across our network,” said Caryn Furtaw, CIO for David’s Bridal.
In 2007 the retailer replaced seven of its legacy order management systems with Manhattan’s distributed order management (DOM), enabling management of the entire inventory visibility suite. DOM sits in the center of the supply chain, responsible for two key components of its omnichannel strategy – order management and orchestration, and enterprise inventory visibility – providing access to inventory availability at the SKU level at any given time.
Today, approximately 25% of all orders are cross-docked, “before we had DOM we could only release orders based on in-stock inventory, now sales are cross-stocked, and released against in-transit inventory,” says Michael Toth, VP of business systems for David’s Bridal.
The Fulfillment Future
In an industry where flexible and reliable fulfillment is paramount, David’s Bridal has a bigger vision. The retailer is determined to utilize the Manhattan suite to move beyond visibility and instead use inventory availability information across all of its channels, creating a single view of the network across e-commerce, store and call center operations. In turn, the retailer will be able to match available inventory across the network to an individual customer’s need.
In 2014, David’s Bridal will collapse its e-commerce distribution centers into its retail distribution centers, creating one pool of inventory. David’s Bridal is unlike a traditional retailer that pushes cases of product to stores. Generally, each store carried one unit in one size at a time – sell one, replenish one – and 40% of all sales are special orders. As a result, the picking and replenishment of a store special order is very similar to picking a web order, the only difference being whether the item is shipped to the store or to a customer. “There will always be business and systems challenges,” notes Toth.
“Fortunately, we’ve implemented systems along the way that will be foundation pieces in executing our omnichannel experience. Now we need to align on the changes to our business, processes and rules. There’s the push/pull between channels that all retailers are experiencing, but our goal is to align and to make that leap for our customer.”