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IOM: Changing order management from a center of operations to driver in transformation

Written by: Abhi Ghatak, Director of Strategic Client Engagement, Manufacturing

Order management, a.k.a., fulfillment, is rarely where a company looks for ROI. Like facility maintenance, utilities, etc., it’s traditionally and typically seen as an opex (operating expense), a necessity, like keeping the lights on.

But that was before Dynamics Intelligent Order Management (IOM) came on the scene, and what once was a center of operations has become a driver in transformation. IOM makes order fulfillment fulfilling for everyone involved.

IOM provides a core set of capabilities to manage the entire order lifecycle. These include:

  • Optimize fulfillment through rules-based order orchestration
  • Access real-time data through an intelligent fulfillment engine
  • Model and automate responses to order-fulfillment constraints

According to Microsoft, IOM: “leverages an integrated, real-time inventory visibility service, a microservice built on Microsoft Dataverse that is highly scalable and extensible, providing a single, global view of the inventory positions across systems.”

More simply put, IOM is a way for any company to remove manual processes from sales orders: inventory availability, price and promotion checking/confirmation, business rules application, and other workflows connected to order management.

But #1. But all we see in that description of IOM is a reduced opex, not necessarily opportunities to drive revenue or track ROI.

But #2. But that’s the surface of IOM. It’s when you dig deeper, and connect IOM data to your ERP and CRM systems (e.g., D365 Finance, D365 Supply Chain Management, D365 Customer Insights, D365 Customer Service) that “order management” becomes “ROI/revenue opportunity.”

A blog published in Q1, 2022 details how FedEx — a company that knows a thing or two about order management — is working with Microsoft, launching a “logistics as a service” platform where companies can leverage IOM to optimize transportation (lower fuel costs = ROI) and proactively overcome delays (increasing customer satisfaction = revenue opportunity).

Imagine a world where every single order your business processes is giving you real-time insights from the moment it’s placed until the moment it reaches its final destination. Imagine the satisfaction of customers who, thanks to IOM, enjoy a more reliable and transparent delivery experience. IOM delivers this world.

IOM is a connector

As much as anything else, IOM is a connector of systems, workflows, and information. Connect order fulfillment info into your ERP with a pre-built IOM connector. Connect ecommerce data (also with a pre-built connector). Connect reps to more actionable information — available in every step of order processing.

Via its connection to Microsoft Dataverse, Intelligent Order Management also connects every order to regulations, trade agreements, and other outliers that could impact fulfillment, automatically checking an order against pre-defined rules, keeping the pipeline moving without pausing.

IOM provides a set of out-of-the-box connectors that allow the application to seamlessly connect with a growing ecosystem of trusted partners that provide specialized technology services for EDI, order source, point of sale systems, tax compliance, logistics and more. In addition, IOM provides a toolset for customers to create their own connectors.

Perhaps most importantly — by enabling you to rapidly design and build order flows — IOM connects you the world at large. As circumstances in, for example, your supply chain change, IOM empowers you to make changes on the fly to adapt. Your entire order management process (all the people, workflows, locations, partners, and more) will be connected to a new means of proactivity.

Is IOM right for you?

If any part of your business involves order fulfillment — bricks and mortar style with shipping and receiving, online service provisioning, every kind of order taking except perhaps waiting tables — IOM is worth investigating (contact us for a demonstration).

Remember: each order is actually a journey. Journeys have measurable milestones, they have purpose, and they can — and should — go as smoothly as possible. IOM can make it happen.