Exclusive Interview with Sandeep Mukherjee, Director, Fluent Commerce India

Fluent Commerce India

When you place orders for multiple products with an eCommerce platform, you likely end up spending more time tracking the orders than you do buy them at nearby stores, to the extent that you lose faith in the efficiency of the eCommerce website. Inventory management through a distributed order management system is what most of these eCommerce platforms require to overcome supply chain management challenges. Fluent Commerce India is a cloud-based order management system (OMS) that enables an Omni-channel strategy for quick and foolproof delivery of goods ensuring the best order management experience. Analytics Insight has engaged in an exclusive interview with Sandeep Mukherjee, Director, Fluent Commerce India.

1. Kindly brief us about the company, its specialization, and the services that your company offers.

We are a global software company focused on distributed order management for commerce. Fluent Commerce was founded in 2013, with a sole focus on optimizing Omni-channel fulfillment for retailers and brands around the world. Our system provides accurate and near real-time inventory availability across multiple locations, order orchestration, fulfillment optimization, fulfillment location management, in-store pick and pack, customer service, and reporting. This enables retailers, brands, and B2B enterprises to profitably fulfill orders while providing the greatest customer experience possible. We help retailers manage orders coming through different channels, set up ‘dark stores’ so they can ‘Ship from store’, provide Click & Collect, or enable them to view their inventory, in real-time, so they know where their stock is.

2. What is your biggest USP that differentiates the company from competitors?

Our platform makes it seamless and convenient for retailers to change their fulfillment strategy, providing them with the ability to react quickly to changing circumstances, without costly IT intervention. This combined with our pre-built workflows and low code Order Management Experience (OMX) platform sets our services apart in the industry. Fluent Order Management allows merchants to be fast and agile.

3. Kindly mention some of the major challenges the company has faced till now.

Our biggest goal at the moment is educating – why fulfilling orders via an ERP or commerce platform isn’t enough anymore. Companies have been managing orders and fulfilling them through their shopping platforms, such as warehouse management, or ERP management. Our focus is currently driven towards making customers aware of the importance of a distinct layer of OMS since there are two types of retailer professionals: those who lack awareness of why they require a distributed order management system and those who don’t. Now those who do understand, have been managing order fulfillment logic within ERP or warehouse management systems, and have become accustomed to the fact that it is now difficult for customers to take the logic that they have taken from ERP and warehouse management and put it to our OMS layer. This is happening with most enterprise-level customers.

4. Please brief us about the products/services/solutions you provide to your customers and how they get value out of them.

At Fluent Commerce, we are constantly striving to provide our customers with comprehensive solutions for efficient and easy commerce. Our Cloud-native platform is designed for the future growth of modern architecture. We offer the following services.

Web apps- Customise the user experience to improve employee satisfaction and productivity.

Order Management Experience (OMX)- A low-code order management platform that allows retailers to customize and modify UIs and Workflow to match their needs.

APIs- Our customers can connect to any application or channel using GraphQL and REST APIs.

Orchestration Engine- Manage product, inventory, order, and payment updates across all systems.

Scalable architecture: Allows for on-demand scaling, worldwide availability, and zero-downtime releases.

Our system is seamlessly integrated with Adobe, Salesforce, and commerce tools for fluent and fast order management. By using our OMS, it has become easier for companies to improve their product cycle timelines, reduce errors in order fulfillment, and implement better inventory management techniques. Our system helps in tracking real-time inventory or fulfillment of orders and also offers alteration.

5. Tell us how your company is contributing to the IoT/AI/Cloud Computing industry of the nation and how the company is benefiting the clients.

Our platform is MACH certified, which stands for Microservices, API, Cloud, and Headless. MACH is an independent organization that has certified our platform. When the MACH Alliance certifies a platform, it indicates it is not only cloud-ready but also cloud-born. For any cloud-based platform, the platform’s architecture includes scalability and zero-downtime availability. As a result, we are completely capable of connecting with any cloud-based or in-house technology that has recently been deployed by any brand. Because we are MACH certified, any brand that adopts Fluent ensures interoperability. The capacity of computer systems or software to exchange and use information is referred to as interoperability, which refers to any other platform, such as ERP, POS, or warehouse management.  This is how we are contributing to the whole cloud’s interoperability.

Our platform also operates on an event-driven model. Any interaction with Fluent OMS at any level or within our OMS is always recorded as an event. For example, assume a brand is utilizing Fluent on an eCommerce website; when someone places an order, the information comes and hits the Fluent platform; this is referred to as an event. This event now occurs first on the Fluent platform, and as a result, several other events are triggered throughout the Fluent system. As a result, every piece of information is available on the Fluent platform, and once the information is public, any AI engine can work on the data to generate AI. That is how we contribute to AI in the field of order management.

6. The industry is seeing a rising importance of business and technology enablers like virtualization, convergence, and cloud. How do you see these emerging technologies impact your business sector?

In recent years, integrated SaaS platforms have emerged as the ideal one-stop solution for managing e-commerce activities on a single platform. Legacy practices involved locating multiple stakeholders to address interconnected duties and problems. But this wasn’t cost-effective or time efficient.

However, automated order management has ironed out the process, enabling a seamless post-purchase experience and allowing companies to deploy a single unified platform to manage an order from start to finish.

Our SaaS approach enables firms to manage both technology expenditures and the continual technological improvements that a fast-changing industry like e-commerce necessitates.

7. How is your company helping customers deliver relevant business outcomes through the adoption of the company’s technology innovations?

When a company adopts Fluent OMS, it benefits them in several ways, such as:

Accelerated sales growth – It helps with sales growth since Fluent Commerce adds predictability to a brand. In today’s world, every consumer desires a predictable brand. For example, if I am on a brand’s website looking for product specifics, I merely want to know that if I purchase this particular article, what would be the projected time for fulfillment? As a customer, when I know the exact delivery time of a product before purchasing it, my commitment to the brand grows. As a result, two things happen: first, there is a good possibility that I will buy that item because it tells me when it will be available and how long it will take to arrive. And now that I’ve had a positive experience, I’ll return to the website. As you can see, there are two parameters: the Quick ratio and the conversion ratio. So Fluent Commerce helps to accelerate sales by increasing these.

Increases operational margin – We assist the brand in optimizing operating margin by facilitating them in delivering and fulfilling each order in the most optimized manner. The optimal way is the quickest way to complete at the lowest possible cost because most merchants and brands spend a lot of money to fulfill each order. We significantly facilitate this by helping our clients in having optimized operating margins, thereby, improving the consumer experience.

8. What are your growth plans for the next 12 months?

We want to cater to our specialized market, which is currently into retailing, and we will also cater to B2B businesses, from a target market standpoint. To expand our company’s footprint, we are heavily investing in product development, particularly in India. Also, this is a major strength of Fluent Commerce because we launched ourselves in India in October last year and have already begun investing in product development, which is a huge step forward in terms of growth.

9. Which industry verticals are you currently focusing on?  And what is your go-to-market strategy for the same?

We are currently primarily working with retailers and B2C brands.  But we are also starting to talk to B2B businesses. Our go-to-market strategy is straightforward: whenever a brand’s order fulfillment isn’t as profitable or customer oriented as it could be, we tackle the issue and provide them with a superior management solution to assist them to meet their consumers’ expectations.

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