United Virtualities’ wordsmith-in-chief Morgan Friedman, as well as CMO, sits down with Ruben Cervantes (or El Ru as some of us call him!), one of UV’s Salesforce B2C Commerce Architects, to share a virtual coffee and thoughts on Salesforce’s order management system, and it’s integration with Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
(… If videos are not for you, and you prefer the written word, we’ve got you covered. Check out the transcript of the interview below. Enjoy!)
Morgan Friedman: Hi Everyone, I’m Morgan here with Ruben Cervantes, one of our favourite Salesforce Commerce Cloud software developers over here at UV. He’s usually based in Germany, but he happens to be in Mexico this week.
UV’s just finished, and about to launch-can’t talk about it because we can’t use any names publicly yet- a really cool project that uses a brand new Salesforce Commerce Cloud linked with their Salesforce OMS or Order Management System. And Ruben was one of the guys behind the magic making it happen so let’s talk about your experience and your insights and what you thought, helping bring the OMS and Salesforce Commerce Cloud together. Let’s go! What do you think of the project, Ruben?
Ruben Cervantes: Hi, Morgan. How are you? It was definitely an interesting project that we were working on the last few months. And I think everyone should know already about the new Lighting experience for the OMS and how it works on Salesforce. Personally, I was working a lot also on some of the Commerce Cloud part. And what I found really interesting is how, by doing this integration now that you have both systems on the same Salesforce platform you can do a lot more things. So from the Commerce Cloud part everyone would know how the SFRA would have a better Checkout experience for mobile so it would definitely boost sales. However our client was having a lot of issues knowing that if they just push the sales but they cannot process them on their side, they would have a problem. So since they are expanding right now it was good that they used the integration of the OMS, because they were also able to change the things they were doing, the automations of all processes, how they were triggering automatic emails to the clients and things like that. Now they are confident to go further using both sides, because it will not only integrate how to sell more in the Commerce Cloud part, but they can also have a better process with your handling of the orders and all the deliveries and customer service. So this integration was definitely something very very interesting to do.
MG: I always think this general sort of improvement is always more fun to think about with specific examples. Can you give us any specific example of a process they improved or they created because of this new integration?
RC: Well, this client has a warehouse in one of the biggest cities here in Mexico. And they just recently expanded to a second city, but they had plans to expand to all other cities. So now, they wanted to deliver to all the country and one of the problem they were facing is that even though they could sell them with the Commerce Cloud part, they needed a way to handle the inventory among all the different warehouses they have and notify the deliveries, and notify all the shipment providers that they’re going to have all around because they don’t want to have it centralized in one warehouse. And how to link this all together and have an order to be received in one warehouse, but delivered from a second one, that was something that they required, because they are doing same-day deliveries. And in this case the best way of doing that is saying “okay, if we change your process and have some technology behind it, you’re going to be able to process that fast so that you will have an advantage in your company”. Otherwise they say “okay, they can offer 30 warehouses”, but if they cannot handle them it will be more overhead and it’s not going to work because you sell more, but you cannot process it so…I think that was one of the biggest challenges that we had. Because we were facing “okay, we’re gonna have more traffic, more sales”, but they were worried about how we could help them, and it was with this integration of the OMS, how to process twice as much orders that they’re going to be having, in a faster way so that’s it’s not just overhead, so it’s a full integration: from the moment they purchase until you notify your clients that their package is on their way and things like that.
MF: I hadn’t known about that aspect of the project, being able to send and order to one warehouse and then deliver from another warehouse. It feels pretty magical.
RC: I think the interesting thing, once that we can give more details about our client, is you will see how it was something that was very important to them. They needed to set a date for an upcoming gift that they’re going to have on the 14th of February, so that’s the major date they need to be delivering things.
One of the things that they have were some customizations that we made on both sides, In Commerce Cloud and on OMS, and they are now handling differently is that they have a very specific scheduling scheme for when they are going to be delivering and within a specific time frame. So, since it’s very hard to promise that you’re gonna deliver a specific time frame, that’s why we are doing this integration so that they can be promising a delivery time frame for the clients. The product requires that. So we can speak about that later. But that’s why you need to select a specific time frame and they need to deliver within the time frame so…
MF: So the Salesforce OMS let’s you pinpoint saying “Okay, I’ll deliver it on Tuesday, between 1 and 2 pm”, to that level of granularity?
RC: That’s not out-of-the-box, but we established some limitations for that.
MF: Oh! I see. We made it even better.
RC: The thing is that on the Commerce Cloud you can do it but if you cannot customize the OMS and make the integration so that they both communicate… you need to be able to sell it within a time frame and you need to be able to deliver it within the same time frame. So that was a customization we made on both sides so that it goes through a complete process.
MF: Before this project, had you personally done any Salesforce Commerce Cloud integration with any other OMSes so that you can compare it or was this your first OMS experience?
RC: The thing is that before you were integrating different providers, but you would have one provider that needs handling deliveries, one for a very different thing. And what was so great here is that since we integrated to OMS and then all these integrations happen on one side, it was very interesting, so that you can have much more power. Instead of making several integrations you just do everything through the same channel of Salesforce. So, I’ve done some other integrations like this but this is relatively new, this Lightning experience for the OMS. It was very interesting and challenging, how to figure out this new way of thinking and integrating with samples. So even though it has some learning curve, at the end we were able to figure out how this is going to be integrated: Commerce Cloud with the Salesforce OMS, and to have now the complete path going through, from the very point that you are selling it, from the beginning when you put something on your cart until it gets delivered to your door, it was a complete path that we were able to integrate fully. So it was very interesting for me.
MF: What was the most challenging part of this integration that you’ve found?
RC: I think the most challenging integration part here was that we needed to be in contact with the clients to fully understand what they need, because on some projects you get a requirement and you just need to fulfill it because the client sort of knows what they want. In this project they were saying “Okay, please help us out. We have this problem. We’ve heard that Salesforce is going to solve it, but we don’t really understand how that’s going to work”. So we were working very very tight together with them trying to understand “Okay, this is what you need. This is how we know that Salesforce works. Let’s try to make some compromises. If you change your process it will help us out in this way, so that we can make not an implementation of how they work, because sometimes how they work is that they were coming from another system that I wouldn’t want to mention but, they were using it some specific way because that was “the way of doing it”, they were not flexible enough to change it. So by working on this together with them, we said “okay, that’s how you were doing it before, but now that you have this opportunity of doing it differently…If you change your process and we customize this thing, then you’re going to be able to have a better integration.
MF: As we wrap up, any other observations or thoughts you want to share about the integration or your experience with it?
RC: The integration works fine, it was very interesting because this was a relatively new integration from Salesforce so we were also in contact with them and trying to solve some of the things that we were finding out, that were not out-of-the-box for the implementation. We needed to speak with them and try to see what was the best way to do it. So the more Salesforce is using the OMS, I think it’s getting better. We know that the OMS was very powerful before, we know how Commerce Cloud was a very powerful tool and just by integrating them, it’s not that it’s going to be twice as powerful, you need to figure out exactly what you need. But once you have that figured out, I think it’s going to bring lots of advantages to have everything on the same stream.
MF: That’s great. Thank you for your insights, Ruben Cervantes. The one and only. We will do other short interviews like this in the future. Thank you for your time and we’re excited to tell the world about the project once we can use the name.
RC: Yeah, and you can share more details, and you can browse it around knowing what’s behind.
MF: What’ s behind the magic. Ok, bye bye.