Sterling Rolls out "End-to-End" Solution for Managing Retail Supply Chain

"Source-to-sale" offering integrates supply chain management, warehouse and order management capabilities

"Source-to-sale" offering integrates supply chain management, warehouse and order management capabilities

Chicago  May 25, 2005  B2B connectivity specialist Sterling Commerce this week rolled out what it described as the first end-to-end solution designed to holistically manage the entire retail fulfillment process, from source to sale.

Sterling said its retail solution, announced at the Retail Systems Conference & Exhibition in Chicago this week, is a combination of supply chain, warehouse and order management applications obtained through the acquisition of Yantra in December 2004, and Gentran Integration Suite, the provider's own B2B integration platform.

"The solution features integrated functionality that empowers retailers to enhance the customer experience, reduce labor and inventory costs, and create new revenue-generating opportunities through the use of a single platform," Sterling said in announcing the solution.

Key functionality in the new solution includes:

  • Customer Order Management, enabling in-store pick up of online sales, returns management from cross-channel sales, cross-channel order visibility, and delivery and service scheduling;

  • Enterprise Selling, offering store-level inventory management and global inventory visibility with an eye toward preventing lost-sales due to stock-outs;

  • Networked Warehouse Management, providing centralized management of a diverse network of fulfillment and distribution facilities; and,

  • Supply Chain Execution, for managing purchase order lifecycles, supplier performance, invoice creation and fulfillment, in-transit inventory visibility and global data synchronization.
"Leading retailers understand that the supply chain does not end until the product is in the customer's hands, [and] they are looking to take a more holistic approach to their operations to maximize customer satisfaction," said John Stelzer, director of industry development at Sterling Commerce.

Sterling is meeting the needs of forward-thinking retailers, Stelzer said, by offering a range of solutions that provides a combination of supply chain, warehouse and order management functionality. "In an increasingly competitive marketplace, these agile solutions provide retailers with means for continually innovating and adding new capabilities that will allow them to create sustainable competitive advantage," he said.

The Sterling Commerce retail solution combines the company's B2B platform with Yantra's retail applications to create an integrated solution designed specifically to foster multi-enterprise collaboration and address business challenges faced by retailers, Sterling said.

The combined Sterling and Yantra products are designed to integrate with existing applications and infrastructures, allowing retail customers to leverage their existing software investments, or alternatively, replace legacy applications in a modular fashion, according to the solution provider.

In addition, Sterling's service-oriented architecture allows retailers to select solutions that best address existing needs while offering the capability to add additional modules as business requirements change.

Additional Articles of Interest

 The focus in the retail sector has shifted from managing the movement of goods to managing information about goods. Read more in "Ramping Up the Retail Supply Chain," in the February/March 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

Lean is still a top priority for many organizations, and now leading enterprises are applying lean principles to the supply chain. Read about the challenges in building a "lean supply chain" in "The Value of Being Out-of-stock (Almost) Everywhere," the Final Thoughts column in the April/May 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.