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10 Great Reasons to Attend IBM Amplify 2017

By Lori Angalich | Wed, Mar 01, 2017

IBM Amplify 2017 is one of the year's most anticipated events for eCommerce, marketing and supply chain professionals who want to leverage the latest technologies to improve customer experiences, engagement, acquisition, and loyalty.  

This year's event is bound to be best yet. It will be held in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand from Monday, March 20 through Wednesday, March 22. Once again, Lightwell will be an IBM Amplify sponsor, will be participating in Solution Expo, and will be presenting in multiple breakout sessions.  For those of you planning to attend IBM Interconnect, you'll recognize that the conference is happening at the same time, just a couple of properties away. 

While there are so many reasons that we enjoy attending the IBM Amplify conference, we wanted to share 10 of our favorites for 2017 (in no particular order).

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Omnichannel Order Orchestration: Increase Visibility, Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction

By Lori Angalich | Thu, Jul 28, 2016

Q&A with Alora Chistiakoff, Director of Commerce Services at Lightwell

We caught up with Alora Chistiakoff to discuss the challenges retailers are facing and the best practices around omnichannel order management and fulfillment. Here is a summary of what we discussed. 

  • What are the challenges to fulfilling orders across multiple locations?

Alora:  For retailers, there’s rarely one single source of truth for inventory information. There’s inventory from the store (in a POS), warehouse (in a WMS), drop ship inventory (in purchase orders), in-transit, on-order, on-demand, etcetera. To accurately understand fulfillment options, all of these pieces must be brought together into a single source, such as an order management system.

The real-time nature of this information is particularly important for retailers. A given warehouse might not be able to fulfill an order during a morning wave, but could put everything in place to ship the order later that afternoon.

They must quickly decide which is more important: getting the order out from the closest distribution center in the afternoon, or sending it in the morning from a location farther away at a higher shipping cost. Having sophisticated order orchestration capabilities is critical for this.

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Are you ready to “Outthink Ordinary” at IBM Amplify?

By Julie Baker | Thu, May 05, 2016

The annual event IBM describes as an opportunity to “learn new ways to understand your customers, turn insight into action, and transform the ordinary into the extraordinary” is swooping into Tampa from May 16-18. Lightwell is thrilled to be part of creating that opportunity. Will you be there?

If you aren’t registered yet, check out our previous blog post for the top 12 reasons to attend IBM Amplify. And if you need a couple more reasons, how about an opening keynote address by Academy Award nominee, author, and entrepreneur (don’t you just love Fabletics?), Kate Hudson, and a live performance by Grammy-nominated musical artist, Elle King!

As a Gold Sponsor of the conference this year, Lightwell is hosting a Solution Center booth (#610) and participating in two sessions. Here are the details.

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January 'Tis the Season for Retail Returns

By Julie Baker | Fri, Jan 08, 2016

Unhappy Returns

If you’re like most of us, you’re still picking pine needles out of the corners of your family room (if you’ve even taken down your tree, that is), scraping dripped candle wax off your furniture, and you have at least one shopping bag filled with presents to return that weren’t quite right.

Maybe you thought you ordered Women’s size 8 slippers for your 16-year old daughter, but you actually received Men’s size 11. And since you ordered online, now you have to package it up, print out a label, call UPS, etc., etc. Not that I’d know anything about that sort of mistake…

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Forrester Picks B2B Order Management Winners

By Julie Baker | Fri, Dec 18, 2015

Delivering great B2B customer experiences across channels is a hot topic these days—but without the right technology solutions to bridge the gap between front-office and fulfillment operations, it can be extremely challenging for B2B companies to achieve.

An order management system can play a critical role in harmonizing and optimizing customer- facing processes across a fragmented application landscape.  Without the right order management system, many B2B businesses are unable to support their customers’ growing demands for the streamlined, seamless purchasing experience they already enjoy with their B2C transactions.

So, how do you know what to look for in an order management solution?  A very reliable source of guidance is Forrester Research. Forrester recently released a new report, The Forrester Wave™: B2B Order Management, Q4 2015.

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Top Reasons to Attend the IBM Commerce Learning Academy in Dublin, Ireland

By Lightwell | Tue, Oct 06, 2015

We’re getting excited about the upcoming IBM Commerce Learning Academy 2015 event in Dublin, Ireland October 13-16. In fact, Lightwell is a Silver Sponsor of this year’s event.

Recently, when a couple of our customers asked us whether or not they should attend, unsurprisingly we responded (enthusiastically) that they should.  We thought we would share some of the reasoning behind this in this post.

Education and Insight

The IBM Commerce Learning Academy agenda has something for everyone--business and technical, deep dive and strategic level.  

For example, in the B2B integration technical sessions, presenters will share customer stories around the planning and issues involved in a B2B integration solution upgrade, as well as how your organization can handle the transformation from small scale integration to a high availability, high volume, multi-protocol environment. (See B2Bi Session 07 (B2BI S 07 in the IBM Commerce Learning Academy Technical Session Guide)).

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3 key benefits of order management systems

By Lightwell | Wed, Apr 01, 2015

Any time of year is a busy season for workers, but holiday shopping seasons come with a special set of challenges. The last month of the year sees boosted consumer demands, sending supervisors into overdrive when it comes to order management. We're now in the season to evaluate sales and trends from the 2014 holiday shopping season and ready for early preparation of production for next season.

A single misplaced item or delayed package delivery can make or break the overall experience for shoppers, so it is in managers' best interests to ensure that orders are filled and sent with accuracy and urgency. In these respects, an order management system can make all the difference.

Let's take a look at some of the benefits offered by order management software:

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Getting a visibility cloak for invisible order management processes

By Lightwell | Mon, Mar 16, 2015

While it might be good for a superhero or a wizard, invisibility is an unwelcome condition in supply chains. Order management, in its slow, manual-based state, often suffers from a crisis of invisibility, with large gaps forming where processes and personnel are operating under the radar. But without the proper tools to illuminate these dark corners of order management processes, it was difficult to imagine a better way. 

Invisibility in inventory and order management causes productivity problems, availability issues and accountability gray areas, which can translate into headaches at the B2B and B2C levels. But there are solutions available now that have arrived only recently. They can form something of a visibility cloak for enterprises, a way of eliminating shadows and saving money in the process.

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Doing more with less: IT challenges in the manufacturing sector

By Lightwell | Thu, Mar 05, 2015

Using technology to save on labor costs and resource expenses is a top investment priority for nearly every company, particularly those in the manufacturing industry. More cost-efficient facilities, automated order management and data-driven customer fulfillment can reduce the amount of money and time that must be poured into these areas. However, in some cases, the increasing use of technology is bringing about a rise in overall IT costs. Many companies have experienced firsthand the issue of a technological innovation that hasn't significantly decreased labor costs or sped up operations, because the staff and resources needed to maintain expansive IT environments ends up outweighing many of the promised benefits.

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B2B marketplace: Increasing investments in omni-channel commerce

By Lightwell | Tue, Jan 20, 2015

Study shows B2B suppliers are investing more in omni-channel commerce

According to the recent Forrester report “Building the B2B Omni-Channel Commerce Platform of the Future,” investments in omni-channel e-commerce solutions by B2B manufacturers have considerably risen recently.

Accenture and Forrester Consulting, which carried out the research, noted that more than half - 52 percent - of enterprise buyers plan to make many of their purchases through online platforms in the next three years. What's more is that currently, 49 percent of B2B buyers prefer to carry out their enterprise transactions online. In response to this shift toward online platforms, 83 percent of B2B retailers are upgrading and building out their omni-channel e-commerce resources, or have plans to do so within the next six months.

According to the report, there are several features buyers expect when connecting with their B2B retailers through an e-commerce platform, including:

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