Enspire Commerce has the requisite solutions omnichannel organisations need to unify commerce across their enterprise.
enVista CEO Jim Barnes discusses the company’s development from supply chain integrator to technological innovator, and the benefits that accrue from enVista’s Unified Commerce Platform and its well-integrated OMS microservice.
enVista has come a long way since it was founded in 2002 by Jim Barnes (enVista CEO) and John Stitz (enVista Chief Revenue Officer) as a consultancy and systems integrator.
Jim says enVista’s guiding principle has always been “delighting the consumer and improving customer experience,” and in practice, that has meant enVista has grown in ways that couldn’t have been anticipated two decades ago. As new challenges emerge, enVista has navigated its clients towards new solutions.
Perhaps the signal achievement in the company’s development – the key turning point – was the creation of its Unified Commerce Platform, Enspire Commerce.
“After serving supply chain clients and watching them struggle with order management integrations that were costly and took years to integrate, I knew there had to be a better way,” Jim says. “And that’s how we launched our Unified Commerce Platform – the first in the industry strategically built from the ground up through microservices and with multi-tenant capability to rapidly integrate. Our first client was a multibillion-dollar global retailer that understood and bought into the vision and still uses our platform today.”
Enspire Commerce includes the requisite solutions omnichannel organisations need to unify commerce across the enterprise and enables buy, fulfill, track and return anywhere commerce [allowing customers to return a product the way they choose], says Jim. “Its potential integrations – which can be leveraged as point solutions or in combination – include order orchestration, inventory availability, omnichannel fulfillment, customer care, dropship [where a store doesn’t keep a product instore but rather purchases it from a third-party and has it shipped directly to customer], marketplaces, subscriptions, point of sale/mobile point of sale, product information management, shipment experience management, business intelligence, and artificial intelligence and machine learning.”
THE BEST IN ORDER MANAGEMENT
Jim says that enVista’s Order Management System (OMS) – a microservice that can sit inside of the Enspire Commerce Platform – is a cloud-native, highly extensible OMS that rapidly integrates to improve the customer experience and omnichannel profitability.
The key behind our OMS is to think of it as an ATM – an integrated system that deals with multifarious variables and conditions – connected to a bank,” he says. “It doesn’t matter what ATM you use, or what bank you use. The piping and the data flow behind the scenes are very important. The translation of the data, the routing of the data, the type of data, the file format, the communication protocols, the security of the data – all of this is extremely important because speed and ease of integration impacts time to value.”
The four pillars of enVista’s OMS – inventory availability, order orchestration, omnichannel fulfillment, and customer care – integrated into Enspire Commerce allow for an agile tech stack that expedites the time taken from customer purchase to customer enjoyment of the product, Jim says. By partnering with enVista, companies can avail themselves of this seamless integrative capacity as well as the knowhow that comes from 20 years of firsthand experience.
“The OMS really saved the day for some of our retail customers during lockdown,” Jim says. “Because of its ability to scale buy-online-pick-up-in-store and ship-from-store functions, its quick integration, its focus on order profitability, and the capacity for dropship to expand item assortment without added inventory carrying costs – it had the structural flexibility to deal with the sudden shock of the pandemic.”
With enVista’s cloud-native OMS, Jim says, users can connect to downstream data inputs. “So, what you now have is knowledge of where inventory is sitting in the network,” he says. “Our OMS takes an order and asks, ‘How best to allocate, fulfill, and orchestrate it across all the inventory we have? Do I ship it from a store? Do I ship it from a 3PL? Do I split the order? How do I provide lead times and inventory availability back to an e-commerce platform?’”
Broadly speaking, enVista’s OMS provides visibility on inventory available-to-promise across the enterprise and how that inventory can be deployed to accurately promise and deliver on time to the consumer from a transit time perspective.
Building a sophisticated OMS is a feat in itself, but Jim says the real achievement was to build an OMS platform as a micro-service that fits into the broader Enspire Commerce Platform. “That integration framework allows us to decrease time and add a lot more value and ultimately strengthen the governance and broad-view oversight controls around those previously segregated or disparate systems without incurring additional costs. To return to my ATM example – we figured out how to connect all the ATMs to all the banks.”
Order management integration is a “heavy lift”, according to Jim, because most retailers and distributors are already using a network of applications.
“Think of all of the systems required to run a retail enterprise. They include finance, point of sale, warehouse management, tax payment, store fulfillment, 3PL connections, EDI [Electronic Data Interchange], product information management tools, pricing engines, promotions engines – the list goes on,” he says. “What we’ve accomplished with enVista’s Enspire Commerce is to use an integration framework as the API layer – but more than just an API layer. We can use it to move data across the network and then build micro-services – like OMS – on top of that.” The API layer is different insofar as – far from being simply a user-friendly point-of-contact portal – it actually integrates and allows the easy transfer of data across various connected systems in a way that few competitors offer.
Jim believes that enVista’s Enspire Commerce Platform and its OMS have great potential in the APAC market. “We go beyond what’s currently in the market because of the extensibility we have; but more importantly – the level of complexity we can deal with beyond just retail. We can handle direct consumer commerce as well as wholesale B2B and we have a level of sophistication in our OMS that is unrivalled. For example, we are highest rated for order orchestration, data analytics and reporting, and our delivery model. And we are the only OMS that natively includes all of the capabilities required for dropshipping.
“From our research and conversations with companies in APAC, the market is largely untapped and is desperately looking for ways to drive a better customer experience through a next-generation, cloud-native order management system as part of an agile Unified Commerce Platform – like Enspire Commerce. Our team at enVista is excited to fill this market gap and to help omnichannel organisations rapidly accelerate omnichannel transformation and drive customer experiences that foster brand loyalty and competitive advantage. We have built out an entire team in APAC with local resources dedicated to helping solve the unique and complex omnichannel challenges facing APAC companies – and we look forward to helping our clients achieve their target business outcomes with the software and expertise they need.”
To find our more about enVista’s Enspire Commerce Platform, click here.
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