Stop Killing Your OMS with Order Read Load
A host of developments are adding increased complexity and the need for far more processing power to retailers’ Order Management Systems. Today’s OMS must work with in-store, online, and hybrid shopping experiences. At the same time, customer care, inventory, geographic information, and returns are also leveraging and interacting with OMS data. The result - higher infrastructure costs driven by higher, and often conflicting, read and write loads that affect OMS performance.
But there is an elegant and effective technology solution to this challenge: An Omnichannel Order Repository that removes many of the standard queries from the OMS so it does not become overburdened.
Today’s Retail Experience is Taxing Your OMS
Distributed Order Management is at the heart of omnichannel commerce and fulfillment. It touches everything from the shopping experience to payments, fraud mitigation, invoicing, fulfillment optimization, fulfillment execution, customer communication, customer care, purchase history, inventory, and returns. With so many parts of the business consuming the order information, one can imagine the heavy number of order inquiry queries that an Order Management System has to deal with. This is on top of the high number of modifications and updates that happen on an order as it goes through the fulfillment flow. Very often, the read and write loads start coming in the way of each other, and the result is poor OMS performance and/or high costs of managing OMS infrastructure.
All of this complexity applies to digital orders only. Increasingly many retailers are looking for one place where a customer’s omni-channel transactions can be consolidated. That includes digital orders, in-store purchases, orders placed on marketplaces, returns, and even services such as consultations, installations, etc. A single source for customer transactions allows for advanced analytics, insights, and personalization, but also adds even more complexity.
The Solution: An Omnichannel Order Repository
An Omnichannel Order Repository is an order store or cache where all customer orders (and other transactions) are replicated and stored. It should be designed with an order data model that supports all order transactions for the enterprise. An order repository provides standard APIs for order search and list queries and is designed for low-latency response.
The benefit of this approach is that an Order Repository does the heavy lifting of supporting the read load from various consumers and spares the OMS so that it can be optimized and tuned to support the execution of the current orders in the fulfillment pipe.
While designing the Order Repository, make sure to only update information that is likely to be useful for consumers. For example, every single pick update on the order lines may not need replication - a single pick completion update may suffice. It is also important to design a common order data model that supports all the current order formats and also allows for extensions in the future as new channels and fulfillment methods are introduced.
Finally, retailers should consider a caching architecture based on how long orders are likely to be accessed after their fulfillment lifecycle. The recent orders could be maintained in a warm cache, whereas older orders may be moved to a cold cache, thereby optimizing your infrastructure spend.
Cut Costs, Increase Efficiencies
Retailers across the industry are struggling with future-proofing and extending the life of their OMS. But a host of technology advancements are making it easy to extend OMS utility - and improve the efficiencies of existing systems. Much like microservices provide an elegant and easy way to add new fulfillment capabilities to an existing OMS, the addition of an Order Repository can solve the complex queries that are bogging legacy OMS systems down and improve performance dramatically while cutting maintenance and infrastructure costs.
Today’s retailers have a host of options to improve performance. It is easier than ever to stop killing your OMS with order read load. We are here to help. Contact us today.