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An Introduction to Distributed Order Management

03.24.20238 min read

The complexities involved in order management for highly-regulated industries are daunting. Take cannabis, for example—there are differing regulations state-by-state, countless technologies that manage various parts of the fulfillment process, human resources and workflows behind the scenes, and a customer that expects the best experience possible. Despite all that, the operation still needs to be run efficiently enough to turn a profit.

The collective weight this places on operators is burdensome, and we're here to say there is an easier way.

While retail experience is essential, experts say that cannabis e-commerce will soon exceed 20% of sales over retail. Customers who purchase online want to leverage services like delivery, self-ordering, drive-thru, mobile, e-commerce, and even marketplace procurement. Again and again, cannabis customers seek product selection, value, speed, and convenience over retail experience. We're not saying focusing on retail is a bad idea; it's just part of a bigger orchestration cannabis businesses needs to consider to compete.

The orchestration referred to above has been coined DOM, Distributed Order Management, and is the hottest thing since sliced bread.

DOM is an automated process that takes all the above variables, from the purchasing experience to back-of-house fulfillment, and simplifies it. It uses rule-based procedures to mimic human intelligence to streamline all those variables together. The result allows operators to maximize order fulfillment efficiently, keeping costs low and improving the overall customer experience. Because of this, businesses can manage orders across infinite channels, locations, and systems. For small, simple cannabis businesses, the traditional purpose-built solutions are perfect. However, cannabis companies looking to scale in size will have more complex operations that can only be orchestrated with a DOM mindset:

As a cannabis executive, orchestrating the entire business from one place is a game changer. By giving your customers options; delivery, pickup, inshore, online, self-ordering, marketplace - increases revenue and drastically improves customer satisfaction.

Tony Richards, CTO / Co-founder @getsalve
  1. Streamline order fulfillment: With DOM, businesses can optimize their inventory management, order processing, and shipping processes. They can automate workflows, track orders in real-time, and give customers accurate delivery estimates. This can reduce the time and cost of fulfilling orders and improve customer satisfaction.

  2. Enhance inventory visibility: DOM provides businesses with a holistic view of their inventory across all locations, warehouses, and suppliers. This helps operators keep track of their stock levels, monitor product expiry dates, and avoid stockouts. With better inventory visibility, businesses can optimize their ordering processes, reduce waste, and improve profitability.

  3. Ensure regulatory compliance: The cannabis industry is heavily regulated, and businesses must comply with strict laws related to product tracking, labeling, and reporting. DOM can help operators automate compliance processes, generate accurate reports, and maintain detailed audit trails. This can help businesses avoid legal penalties, protect their brand reputation, and build customer trust.

  4. Improve supply chain collaboration: DOM enables businesses to collaborate with their suppliers, distributors, and partners in real time. They can share inventory data, order forecasts, and shipping schedules, which can help improve their supply chain efficiency and reduce their lead times. This can help businesses respond quickly to changing market conditions and stay ahead of their competitors.

Are you interested in DOM? Want to know how to get started?

Implementing a Distributed Order Management system for a cannabis business can be a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. The Salve platform does all this for you out of the box, and our specialists will take you step-by-step through the process.

  1. Identify your business requirements: The first step is to identify your needs, including a current state review of your inventory management, order fulfillment processes, and customer demand. 

  2. Choose your tech stack: Once we have identified your requirements, Salve will analyze potential best-of-breed integration partners to fulfill your needs.

  3. Integrate the system into your existing processes: Once you've identified your needs and integration partners, Salve will integrate them into your existing processes.

  4. Train your team: Salve provides comprehensive training on your new system. Our training covers using the order management system and any new processes that integration partners introduce.

  5. Monitor and optimize: Once Salve is live, we provide monitoring tools to ensure it works as expected. This includes monitoring inventory levels, order processing times, and delivery times. Salve uses this data during our ongoing review to determine new areas for improvement.

Salves Platform has helped companies achieve higher ticket prices while drastically reducing costs immediately after switching from legacy systems. The Salve platform is a microservices application designed to help cannabis businesses gain efficiency in speed and scale. If you want to learn more, we'll hop on a call and guide you through the details. Feel free to get in touch with us here.

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Tony Richards

CTO / Co-Founder @Salve

Tony is the architect of Salve. Serial software engineer, algorithmic enthusiast, with a love for people and solving problems.

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