Aug 30

Q & A with Tim Yates: DataXstream’s OMS+, Order Management / Point of Sale Solution for SAP

Lets begin with some clarification.  In the office during initial development the team referred to the product as a Point of Sale application.  Later in development the name changed to the OMS+ and the team started referring to the solution as an Order Management Solution. Why?

Tim: The OMS+ is more than a Point of Sale application. We developed it to be an Order Management Solution that is a Point of Sale Solution.

All Order Management applications are not also Point of Sale applications?

Tim: No. Traditionally Order Management Systems that have Point of Sale capability may be well designed for their primary function but the secondary is tacked on, and lacking. The OMS+ solution is different in that it offers both Order Management and Point of Sale functionality and performs both well.

So please share how the OMS+ is developed for Order Management functionality.

Tim: Typically Order Management applications are created by developing a database and then integrating the database with SAP. OMS+ was developed to leverage SAP’s standard available functionality in Sales and Distribution which is highly capable and very complex. We built a tool set that over lays SAP and adds a flexible and customizable controller and then built a UI tool set to streamline & simplify the creation of transactions.

And the Point of Sale functionality?

Tim: The OMS+ Solution supports all standard Point of Sale needs and requirements. For example, scanning capabilities, hardware and so on, so while we were not targeting bag and carry retail in development the OMS+ is able to perform bag and carry transactions well. However where the OMS+ is really useful is when a client requires “mixed transaction” capabilities. This is where solution’s flexibility becomes important. The OMS+ allows the retailer to offer complex order options on one tender as well as complex delivery and payment options.

To be clear, does a client need to be running SAP Retail to use the OMS+ Solution?

Tim:  The OMS+ Solution is developed to run on SAP ECC or SAP S/4 (HANA). If a client has SAP Retail currently deployed the OMS+ Solution can simply clip into that environment but it isn’t a requirement.

In your opinion, which clients benefit most from the OMS+ Solution?

Tim:  Clients implementing OMS+ within customer facing order processes to build a streamlined multi channel sales experience for their customers. Certain Industries benefit more; any industry with high touch retail transactions will benefit significantly from implementing OMS+. OMS+ supports a high touch retail environment in which a customer will interact several times of over the course of the order requiring back order and special order type transactions. The OMS+ also supports transactions that require a deposit, as well as partial payment and partial delivery orders. Additionally clients that require payment by account orders have implemented the OMS+. One of our OMS+ clients has specific account requirements that might allow for a sale to an entity that was actually aggregated under another entity and the bill paid by an umbrella organization, the OMS+ can manage complex relationships. The OMS+ is able to allow a customer to come into a retail location to pay a bill and allows the retailer to take that payment.

What pain points do you see the OMS+ addressing for your clients?

Tim:  There are a number of Technical and Business problems that OMS+ solves.  One technical point: It eliminates the integration layer between the client’s back end ERP and supply chain system and their Point of Sale system. With OMS+ they are one and the same, they are integrated. It makes delivery deployment of the Point of Sales system much simpler because every thing runs on the SAP server so it is simpler.  With the elimination of the integration layer a business can run real time reports and view data intraday. Traditionally a client would have to wait for the Point of Sale system to sync and the run reports so there might be a two-day lag. With the elimination of that integration layer, if a client is running on HANA they can see everything in real time. That technical change creates the opportunity for a change in business processes.

One Business point: Retailers as well as most wholesalers are finding value in speed through check out. With specialty retail and wholesale this presents an inherent problem as the complexity of the order is a natural barrier to speed. OMS+ greatly reduces that barrier. This is accomplished through streamlining multiple complex transactions in a single user interface, avoiding duplication and providing easy access to retail associates to documents for customer service needs. Additionally in store associates can efficiently and effectively use this interface with very limited training and will require no knowledge of SAP.

Another Business Point: In addition to speed through check out businesses are concerned with order accuracy throughout the purchasing process especially as it translates to accounting. Tracking lay-a-way payments, issuing accurate refunds and managing down payments made with different tenders are all pain points that OMS+ is designed to address. The development team has taken into account that in the store efficiency and speed in a complex order management process is important to the sales associate and their client. However in the business’ accounting system, accuracy of the order and the ability to track all the transactions is important to the merchants, accountants, and sales teams. OMS+ is designed to tightly control the order process.

I’m hearing about a new OMS+. Is it an upgrade or another version?

Tim:  It is a new version.

Does it have a name?

Tim:  OMS+ Mobile.

What is different?

Tim:  The original version was developed on WebDynpro and essentially 2002/2003 web technology. We leveraged SAP Lean Order Management as the backbone and while it had all the power of SAP standard order transactions it also came with a significant number of constraints and was difficult to customize. The technology does not run well or scale well on different devices. For example it will run on a tablet but it does not offer a good user experience on a tablet.

OMS+ Mobile is completely custom built on HTML5 CSS and JavaScript giving complete flexibility from the UI perspective. It is built on an application that scales from an iPhone to a desktop and provides a seamless user experience. While there are other POS on the market today that provide seamless mobile and desktop experience none of them run natively on SAP and none of them offer the power of all the information that is available in a single format.

What does mobile offer a client? Can you give me an example?

Tim:  So one of our clients has an outdoor area they call “the yard.” Today, when their customers place an order the customer goes inside to the counter. This is not difficult if you are placing and order for something small, pipefittings maybe. But if you are purchasing a bulk item from the yard then it would be much more convenient if their was an associate out there in the yard with a tablet able to take the order, put it on account, or take tender, load the material and deliver it. The associate can email the receipt and the client never had to go inside.

We have clients who have a similar scenario with delivery. For example, a client with a loading dock. If they can have an associate on the loading dock with a tablet then pick up and delivery of an order is streamlined.

So it is about convenience for your client?

Tim:  It is about speed and efficiency. How consistently, how quickly, how accurately can you build and fulfill an order when the order is more than a basic cash & carry?

When do you anticipate the OMS+ Mobile to be available?

Tim:  Q4. It will also be certified by Q4.

Want to know more?  Interested in evaluating this solution for your business?  DataXstream is interested in hearing specific questions that you would like answered as well as pain points you are experiencing in order management or with your point of sale system.  Please visit the DataXstream OMS+ Page, or email us at info@dataxstream.com for more information.

About The Author

Marketing at DataXstream - team member since 2009, interests center around the social web, closing the gap between marketing and sales, and networking.

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