Marketing Systems Analysis

What Omnichannel Retailers Need to Know When Choosing an OMS
September 1, 2013

An order management system is a critical resource for omnichannel retailers who sell merchandise that they ship from either their own warehouse or via a third-party service bureau or logistics provider. To take full advantage of all their benefits, however, you need to make a strategic decision about which OMS is right for your organization. Here are some tips to help with that process. 

A Systems Overview
September 1, 2009

In part 1 of this two-part series from our August issue, we classified e-commerce systems into four essential groups: bundled suites, enterprise leaders, niche players and experienced multichannel partners.

The Drill Down
February 1, 2006

How your operations and marketing efforts can benefit from statistical analysis and modeling. Forgive me if I generalize for a minute. There are two approaches to marketing analysis: the arithmetic and the statistical. The Arithmetic Approach Sometimes called “descriptive analytics,” this is relatively straightforward and inexpensive, depending on a spreadsheet and the sweat of your brow. Extracting a season’s sales from your transaction system to your spreadsheet, you can determine the following: - percent response, by dividing your number of orders by your mail quantity per segment; - average order value, by dividing your gross sales by your number of orders per segment; -

How to Determine if You Need a Warehouse Management System
April 1, 2005

When catalog order management systems were first developed in the 1970s, they were designed to manage all aspects of catalog operations: from order entry, customer service and customer database management to response analysis, inventory management, purchasing, fulfillment, and returns. Thirty years later, they still are, which is why so many direct merchants can run their businesses on these applications without a need to add specialized solutions for things like warehouse management. Some companies, however, find their catalog management systems don’t provide the flexibility or sophistication they need to address their inventory or fulfillment challenges. For them, a warehouse management system (WMS) is a necessary

Tools for Merchandise Forecasting
February 1, 2005

Merchandise forecasting systems exist in a world unto themselves. And yet they’re basic tools that any mid-to-large-sized cataloger needs to compete successfully. Still, few catalog executives choose to make the investment in such solutions. In most cases, this reluctance is caused by two factors. On the one hand, no one in the company may “own” the issue of making strategic inventory decisions. Merchants may make product selections, buyers decide whom to purchase from, marketers determine price points, and inventory managers must find a place to store the items or arrange for drop shipment. Yet no one takes full responsibility for determining exactly how

13 Pitfalls to Avoid When Acquiring an Order Management System
October 1, 2004

Selecting and implementing a new order management system can be a daunting process. After all, this is a mission-critical suite of applications that can make or break your business. There are dozens of potential solutions and never enough time — or so it seems — to attend to all the details. There’s also the issue of technophobia. And sorting out the real from the hype in your technology options is unquestionably a tough challenge, even if you’re trying to keep up with the changes in this fast-paced field. Often the best way to achieve a successful outcome is to learn from the

Your Options in Order Management Systems
June 1, 2004

Catalogers use a remarkable variety of systems to manage their businesses. Accounting software packages such as QuickBooks do the job at many smaller catalogers, while larger companies have done well with a package like Great Plains, often using the services of a value-added reseller to customize the system to meet their specific needs. Some order-management packages function as companions to an accounting system. For instance, OrdersPlus works with the BestWorks accounting suite from Best Software. The Everest system from iCode also falls into that category (several iCode systems are derived from an accounting/manufacturing foundation). Other catalogers have adapted enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems,

Call Center Quality Management
May 17, 2004

Call center quality management is more than phone calls — it's Web chat, e-mails, etc. All managers should do it for at least a day and give timely and useful feedback for employees to immediately use. —Ernie Schell, president, Marketing Systems Analysis Inc.

Roundup: Catalog Fulfillment and Operations
April 1, 2004

Inside you’ll find: cost-cutting strategies for your fulfillment operations; how to protect your inventory from internal theft; how to assess your catalog systems options; and how to determine your optimal IT spend. Get Lean Successful cost-cutting strategies for your catalog fulfillment operations. By William J. Spaide Lackluster operating performance in your catalog’s fulfillment operations can result from a combination of factors: poor productivity, inefficient processes, and unanticipated marketing and merchandise results. Failure to identify early warning signs of trouble and, more importantly, not addressing these problems decisively and effectively, are common characteristics of the operational “also-rans.” It all comes down to a

Technology: How to Assess Catalog Systems
April 1, 2003

Selecting enterprise software such as large-scale systems for order management, customer database management, warehouse management and fulfillment is a lot like getting married. Impulse relationships, or hasty choices made on the rebound, may be successful, but the odds are significantly against it. Even those marriages based on true love, appreciation of real personalities and full knowledge of one another’s strengths and weaknesses require ongoing maintenance to succeed. While a good marriage is based on love, a fulfilling relationship requires that you like your partner, too. Similarly, you may love your computer system, but if you don’t actually like the vendor who produces it,