Saturday, February 21, 2009

An official step

The go-to-market strategy is undergoing some refinement. Basically, some smaller applications will be introduced before the flagship OrderCore product. A mobile application to record expenses and an accounting applications will preceed the introduction of OrderCore. This will give a little leeway to refine our business model and offering.

As the first deadline of introduction of the first app is nearing I took the official to officially form the company. Yesterday I filled out the paperwork and got the Certificate of Formation from the Secretary of the State of Washington of a company called CoreBiz Solutions LLC.

Over the course of the next week we will finalize the work on the first app, and do all the other steps to make it market ready. The bottom line is are we making an impact. An impact on innovation and does our solutions streamline the business processes. We believe they do and our pilot companies do share this opinion.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fulfill the Orders

Order Managements systems usually first aggregates the orders from different channels for uniform fulfillment. Fulfillment is basically the process of delivering it to the customer. Basically pack it and ship it, but the OrderCore system consist of a workflow driven order fulfillment flow.

We created an order fulfillment flow and this is something to spend some words on.

The top are the orders initiated into the system and the next level the orders processed. The cancelled orders in between and a click gives an overview of the reasons for cancellation.

The next level are the orders approved. There are rules in the system for order approval, which is cases of a mail order whether the credit card has been verified or the payment received.

Orders Released is the next step. A reason why an order is not released is that it might be out of stock or some other verification needs to be done. In case of external fulfillment or drop shipment the internal fulfillment processes takes a leap from here towards invoicing.

Once the orders are released a picking ticket is created and the next step is to have them shipped. Order released but not yet shipped are at the warehouse and under the responsibility of the warehouse manager to get them shipped as early as possible.

The next level is called Orders Completed and the orders in between shipped and completed are the once that are not yet paid. An order of type Payment Terms is generally paid after shipment. A click on that level provides the orders with status Due for Payment.

The last level is Orders Delivered and between completed and delivered are the returned orders. A click on that level gives an overview of the returned orders by reason for return.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Originate the Orders

Originate might not be right term here. I used the term to indicate the start of a process, but I believe that a better term would be aggregate the orders. OrderCore itself is not a marketing tool, but a business tool to collect and fulfill orders and make the process around it efficient aimed at optimally serving the customer.

There are basically four ways to originate orders into OrderCore: manually entered, imported, integrated with the E-commerce website and specific shopping cart integrations.

The imported orders are the most interesting as they likely come from multiple channels. An API integration is an option for some channels (like with, sometimes even required (like with in the event they outsource to an external fulfillment channel.

Once the orders are imported or integrated the fulfillment process can start and the next topic will be 'fulfill the orders'.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The first step

The first step in this new journey is to publish a book that described the concepts of multi-channel order management in a broader business perspective and off course with using the OrderCore software.

In the Internet age aspiring writers can now reach an audience much easier by self publising. I used Lulu for this process and it is interesting how they engage you in the process. It was 15 years ago when I published my first book. At that time we didn't have the option of self publishing through the Internet yet, but I appeared to be lucky as the second publisher I send my manuscript to showed interest and followed through with it. Hence, I had my book in the book stores and checked regularly if anyone was actually buying it. It was a text book about taxation and didn't become a best seller, but the process itself was fascinating. This was a much different experience and had a total different purpose. I did not 'publish to sell', but 'publish to promote', so now I have to wait and see how well it does with the search engines. The title is Managing Multi-Channel Orders with OrderCore; Enabling a Customer Focus in Order Fulfillment; ISBN 978-0-557-03968-5.

Soon, I will make the first introduction chapter available for download and will start discussing each chapter in separate blog posts. Besides the introduction chapter here are the main chapters:

  • Originate the Orders

  • Fulfill the Orders

  • Service the Customers

  • Balance the Cash Flow

  • Sense the Purchasing

  • Manage the Inventory

  • Analyze the Financials

  • Monitor the Performance

  • Maintain the Catalog

  • Energize the Marketing

  • Ease the Data Exchange
The book is more than only about order fulfillment, but about how the other functions contribute to efficient operations with a customer focus as the core.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The start of a new journey

It has been a long road to get to the first commercial release of OrderCore. We starting using the first version of OrderCore in February 2006. Back then we could only manage order status and keep track of them. Almost three years later we have a full multi-channel order management solution available with multi-currency support, multi-company operations and multi-lingual customer communication. Four times multi should lead to tremendous opportunities.

The purpose of this blog is to keep everyone up-to-date in our progress to get the product to the market and to build an information tool around everything going on the world of multi-channel order management.