Tecsys enables store-as-warehouse functionality

  • April 11, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Canadian firm Tecsys says it is taking store fulfilment to the next level with omnichannel store-as-warehouse functionality.

The company’s Omni platform leverages omnichannel fulfilment capabilities adapted to store environments.

Tecsys is a supply chain management and omnichannel commerce software company. Its Omni suite can enable micro-fulfilment functionality with its store-as-warehouse application. This seamlessly ties back store to front store operations, enabling retailers to leverage multiple physical locations and inventory nodes to process and fulfil orders.

With digitally empowered consumers as the catalyst driving retailers to revamp their fulfilment strategies, omnichannel retailers can no longer operate at scale with siloed fulfilment operations. Stores are being used for order picking, packing and fulfilment to meet consumers’ growing demands. This places added responsibilities on store personnel, thereby requiring more robust logistics software that Omni can provide.

“We are serving a shifting marketplace where digital consumers shop for products differently than they did before,” said Bill King, chief revenue officer at Tecsys. “But as in-person and digital shoppers consume the same resources, it is increasingly important to leverage the people, processes, technology and infrastructure to one’s advantage. Tecsys is geared towards those retailers and brands that understand that to serve their customers best, they must be process-oriented, nimble, connected and equipped with the right information at the right time.”

At the heart of Omni is the enablement of the in-store micro-fulfilment process, sometimes referred to as store-as-warehouse. Store associates act as pickers and are directed to all accessible inventory, whether in the back room or the showroom. The store, similar to a warehouse, has its inventory positions mapped and presented to the pickers through tools such as handheld terminals and scanners. Retail operations can also opt for RFID technology or automation such as automated storage and retrieval, integrated to Omni, to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the order workflows.

“Retailers need to take advantage of all the fulfilment nodes they have at their disposal to meet changing consumer expectations,” said Guy Courtin, Tecsys vice president. “Wherever, whenever and however those consumer expectations change, retailers with the right tools to adapt quickly will gain brand loyalty and market share.”

The omnichannel shopping experience involves customers interacting with a brand across online and offline channels with an expectation of a seamless experience. As stores are used to catering to a mix of order processing and in-store consumer activity, store operations must consider how to preserve positive shopping experiences for the customer. Tecsys’ software considers these shared spaces, orchestrating in-person customers with fulfilment operations efficiently and at scale.

Orders with several line items may have inventory across multiple locations. Tecsys’ streamlined order picking can split orders into optimised picking tasks and sequences organised by store section for speed and efficiency. With optimised picking of several orders at the same time, efficiency gains of up to 30% can be achieved, ensuring fast order turnaround and quick commerce expectations.

The exacting demands of today’s consumer provide little room for inaccuracies. Tecsys eliminates common inventory margins of error with its receiving functionality that maintains visibility of all stock in stores, and automatically updates inventory levels. Integrated to a retailer’s point of sale (PoS) system, it allows for up-to-date store inventory adjusted in real time as goods are sold, regardless of which channel captures the sale.

“Most retail order management systems weren’t set up with micro-fulfilment volumes or complexity in mind, and most warehouse management systems weren’t set up with co-mingling store associates and in-store shoppers in mind,” said King. “Tecsys is giving retailers the ability to cater to a diverse network of customers, both digital and in-person, by leveraging their store locations as fully operational micro-fulfilment centres. The complexity associated with handling ecommerce orders requires a system of differentiation, fine-tuned for the nuances of the omnichannel world in which we live. As digital commerce continues to mature, Tecsys is helping retailers get ahead of the curve to be able to delight customers efficiently and consistently.”