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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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E-commerce sales on the rise, impacting customer fulfillment practices

By Lightwell | Tue, Dec 09, 2014

As more people use their computers and smartphones as their primary shopping tools, online commerce is on the rise. Including holiday sales that are expected to represent a solid increase over last year's, e-commerce sales are forecasted to rise by more than $60 billion in 2014, according to a report by eMarketer.

According to PYMNTS, eMarketer predicted that e-commerce sales will hit $305.7 billion in 2014. This presents a 15.7 percent rise from 2013's $264.3 billion. A driving force behind the leap in e-commerce sales is the significant ascent of mobile shopping. Increasing use of smartphones to browse, research and make purchases will lead to a projected 37.3 percent growth in mobile retail sales, a rise from $42.38 billion in 2013 and just $2.2 billion in 2010 to $58.07 billion. The 1,875 percent growth (yes, you read that right) is fairly staggering, and is illustrative of a dramatic shift in the commerce landscape. 

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Holiday preparations include systems for omni-channel commerce

By Lightwell | Tue, Dec 02, 2014

With the holiday season approaching, retailers are preparing a multitude of processes and technologies to ensure their success during this time of year. With predictions for this year's holiday consumer spending reaching an all-time high, it is critical that vendors are fully prepared for the rush of orders that will inevitably come in. This becomes even more critical as customers leverage a range of channels to connect with merchants and make their purchases. As such, companies must guarantee that their supply chain and order management strategies are ready to handle anything the season might throw their way.

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What the 2014 holiday shopping season has in store for retailers: Top 3 predictions

By Lightwell | Fri, Nov 21, 2014

The holiday shopping season is quickly approaching - in some cases, retailers have already begun offering special merchandise and discounts just for this time of year. It is during the next two months or so that many merchants make the bulk of their profits for the year, and thus focus a great deal of effort on making the next few weeks count.

When preparing for the holiday shopping season, it is helpful to look to expert predictions, not only to know what to expect, but to be ready for anything that might come up during this time of year. In this spirit, let's take a look at some of the top expert forecasts for this year's shopping season, and how retailers can plan ahead.

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Tapping into the $100 billion holiday retail market with omnichannel commerce

By Lightwell | Tue, Nov 18, 2014

The holidays, as everyone knows, are the retail industry's version of the World Series. At no other time in the year are companies more competitive and consumers more invested than during those crucial few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's where money and reputations are made (or lost), a time when an organization gets to see firsthand if its most impressive initiatives are able to stand up to the increased traffic and attention. 

Omni-channel commerce has disrupted the retail paradigm considerably. We've seen, in the last few years, that many customers are moving primarily or completely to online purchasing, while the ones who prefer the brick-and-mortar experience are often supplementing their in-store shopping with research, price comparisons and online-exclusive deals. Meanwhile, many retail organizations have realized the importance of a consolidated experience on the back end, and the need to innovate within order management, transportation, inventory and customer service practices to get customers the goods they want, faster. It's a whole new world. 

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