Today marks the preview release of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management, a new application that enables organizations to consistently deliver on order promises by proactively overcoming disruptions. Now, your organization can intelligently orchestrate fulfillment and automate it with a rule-based system that leverages real-time inventory and AI.
In addition, you can adapt quickly to meet future order volumes and fulfillment complexities by supporting new order intake, fulfillment, and delivery partners with pre-built connectors. With support for the latest fulfillment methods, like curbside pickup and Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS), you can constantly evolve order fulfillment to meet shopper’s preferences.
Leverage out-of-the-box connectors to intelligently scale, orchestrate, and fulfill orders
Digital commerce has fueled consumer expectations for true omnichannel experiences, with greater choice, speed, and flexibility in how people buy and receive purchases.
To help you adapt your operations to constantly deliver exceptional experiences, Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management offers the flexibility to integrate with existing order infrastructures, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and external partner systems through microservice architecture and API integrations. More than 200 configurable, pre-built connectors seamlessly connect you to the solutions you need for omnichannel order intake, cross-channel order fulfillment and delivery, and rule-based order orchestration actions.
Intelligent Order Management is a standalone SaaS solution with no dependencies on other Dynamics 365 applications. It has an open, modular, and interoperable architecture, so your business can leverage an expansive ecosystem of order source systems such as online e-commerce marketplaces, mobile apps, and social commerce alongside traditional ordering channels such as electronic data interchange (EDI) or brick and mortar POS.
Many retailers, distributors, and manufacturers are working to overcome the challenges of adapting legacy order systems to new ways of operating. A significant benefit of Intelligent Order Management is that it enables business users to visually configure order intake from many of the most common sources by leveraging pre-built connectors in a low-code or no-code application, making rapid implementation and integration possible.
Order source and orchestration
While Intelligent Order Management seamlessly integrates with other Dynamics 365 business applications, it also integrates with applications that you may already use or that you plan to adopt as you transform your business processes. Intelligent Order Management can easily pass through B2C order flows from third-party applications such as BigCommerce with minimal validation at order capture and B2B order flows from EDI intake applications such as Orderful using context-driven validation actions, such as requiring a credit check before passing an order on to fulfillment.
Let’s now look at some of the processes within order source and orchestration.
Payment integration is also possible, allowing you to take credit card payments at order intake, finalize payment later based on fulfillment status, or trigger an invoice to be sent to a business application when routing orders from on-account sales. These types of event-driven actions can be incorporated by using the built-in orchestration designer, which allows users to drag and compose order flows using an intuitive design interface.
Regardless of the source, once the order is accepted and received by Intelligent Order Management, additional rule-based validations can be orchestrated depending on your business’s specific needs. Utilizing pre-built connectors to leading applications such as Flintfox, advanced pricing, rebate, and commissions management can be accomplished quickly and efficiently.
“Intelligent Order Management is partnering with service providers like Flintfox to provide real-time, accurate, and dynamic pricing. Utilizing the Flintfox RMx Pricing solution, all orders, regardless of source, or fulfillment, will always receive the right price, thereby reducing disputes, credits, and administration pain caused by pricing mistakes. The combination of Flintfox RMx with its advanced but easy-to-use, Pricing and Promotion Management solution, and Intelligent Order Management will further enable centralized management of pricing across omni-channels, regardless of the ultimate order source system or device.”
Another critical part of order management is tax determination and compliance. Intelligent Order Management gives you the ability to connect to third-party tax engines to automate the calculation of tax rates and rules based on geolocation and product classification, file and remit tax payments to jurisdictions, automatically omit tax from exempt sales and manage exception documentation. Because you can select from several pre-built partner connectors, Intelligent Order Management provides your business with the means to quickly scale order tax compliance at a global level for sales tax, value-added tax, seller’s use tax, lodging and occupancy tax, and consumer use tax.
“Businesses today are facing intense competitive pressures to quickly evolve into omnichannel organizations, and driving efficiency in their order management processes is a key factor for maintaining smooth operations and ultimately achieving success with digital commerce,” said Sanjay Parthasarathy, Chief Product Officer at Avalara. “We’re excited to work with Microsoft in an enhanced partnership to co-develop solutions for their Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management application, providing our mutual customers with an industry-leading solution that solves for automated, friction-free order orchestration in the march to omnichannel success.”
Fulfillment and delivery
Intelligent Order Management also helps you direct orders to the correct node in your supply chain by combining orchestrated order flows with inventory and fulfillment systems. Pre-built connectors allow you to quickly add a range of logistic strategies to employ when working to satisfy your customer’s demand. For example, if you don’t want to use the real-time inventory visibility capability within Intelligent Order Management, you can create order process flows that validate delivery dates through your own in-house inventory application or using a pre-built connector to check that items are available to promise before accepting any order.
Sourcing and allocation
If the item isn’t in stock, Intelligent Order Management allows you to incorporate sourcing rules as a means of providing a flexible framework to automate decision-making on how to fulfill an order using make or buy. Similarly, if stock is limited, you may also use allocation rules to automate decision-making on which orders will be filled or to ring-fence inventory for specific channels or business goals.
Supply chain management
Another pre-built connector to consider is Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management solution. Though Intelligent Order Management is a stand-alone solution that requires no additional Microsoft Dynamics 365 modules, there are several benefits to connecting to our Supply Chain Management Solution. The connection allows for deeper integration with both manufacturing, in the form of real-time production planning that allows for better synchronization of supply with order demand, and with distribution planning that utilizes an integrated warehouse management system.
Orders coming in from many different locations at scale may have inconsistent data due to limited validation in the source system. The use of condition-based rules, such as a minimum order quantity check, ensures that you accept only orders that comply with your requirements. After validation, Intelligent Order Management’s fulfillment optimization engine can evaluate the order for rules such as the least distance or least cost to find the best fulfillment node in your connected network.
Freight rating and returns
You can also use the platform’s extension capabilities to connect your existing freight rating systems into an order orchestration process. Additionally, Intelligent Order Management can handle reverse logistics so that you can incorporate decision logic into return order flows that will facilitate and automate return orders to stores, fulfillment nodes, or to a service center. And because Intelligent Order Management has no limits on the number of fulfillment nodes you can add, the application is suitable for organizations of all sizes.
Intelligent Order Management is designed to be independent of the business applications you are using while also allowing you to easily share data with other business applications. Our reference architecture will enable you to build the needed connection points from order source and orchestrations through to fulfillment and delivery. If we do not have a pre-built partner connector to an application you want to use, we have a reference API that can be used to connect to the system you require.
Take the next step
Learn more about how you can optimize fulfillment by watching the on-demand video, “Intelligent fulfillment orchestration for optimized delivery”, from our recent Microsoft Business Applications Summit event and sign up for a free trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management. Join the community to engage with our experts on Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management, and feel free to contact us at [email protected] with questions or to learn more.