With order management technology that draws on inventory in more locations, multichannel retailer Performance Bicycle is moving toward a supply chain and fulfillment system that will enable it to merchandise more products and deliver them faster to customers, the company says.
The new Distributed Order Management application from Manhattan Associates Inc. is designed to let Performance fulfill online orders from multiple warehouse facilities, including two operated by third-party logistics providers that currently ship only to the retailer’s stores, says Jane Parker, vice president of warehouse operations for parent company Performance Inc.
With the new system, which the retailer expects to go live in time for this year’s holiday shopping season, shoppers on PerformanceBike.com will be able to see the availability of inventory from all four warehouse facilities the company uses. When an online customer clicks to place an order, the Distributed Order Management, or DOM, application will automatically route it to the nearest warehouse that has the ordered product available for shipment, Parker says. “We expect to see a definite improvement in inventory management and customer service,” she says.
This will replace a current system under which all online orders are shipped from one of Performance Bicycle’s two company-owned warehouses, in Chapel Hill, NC, and Canfield, OH. “Right now, if a product is not in stock in our Chapel Hill or Canfield distribution centers, it doesn’t even display on our web site,” Parker says.
Under the new system, however, an online order destined for an address in Virginia will ship from the Virginia-based warehouse operated by Givens Inc., one of the retailer’s outside logistics providers. Likewise, an order headed for a consumer’s address on the West Coast would ship from the retailer’s California facility managed by Universal Warehouse Co.
And by integrating with these third-party logistics providers’ warehouse management systems, the DOM application expands the number of products Performance can display online. “DOM allows us to get real-time updates from the inventory managed by our third-party logistics providers to show a broader range of bikes and other products on our web site,” Parker says.