Integrated Order Management in B2B-How Technology Helped

This case study presentation by Subhodip Bandyopadhyay, Director Organization, System & Supply Chain, Carrefour WC&C India Pvt. Ltd at ReTechCon 2013 focused on how home grown technology was used to debottleneck the order management process.

Profile of Carrefour operations:

Carrefour – In India operates in the Wholesale Cash & Carry segment.  This is a regulated sector – which means that they can sell only to entities – e.g. kiraanas,  and Hotels, restaurants & caterers (HORECA), retail stores, offices , service stations etc.  Even with extensive FMCG networks in India about 25% of kiraanas remain out of their footprint and they are serviced by the cash and carry segment.

Customer requirements: – Neighborhood or Kirana Stores

  • Like personal attention and believe in working relationship with sales representatives.
  • Do not want to come to store but want to place order based on best available deals/prices.
  • Willing to pay extra transportation cost but want quick delivery and efficient service.
  • The Payment mode is cash on delivery.
  • Do not visit stores – distance from store, lack of time and proximity of competitor.

Customer requirements:- HORECA

  • Specific assortment. Expect timely and fast delivery
  • High order frequency.
  • Expect efficiency in pricing.
  • Want to know stock outs while ordering.
  • Need transparency and visibility of delivery schedule.
  • Need an automated means of ordering either through website or handheld device application.
  • Prefer personalization and special pricing

The business problem:

The initial process to obtain orders from these segments of customers was manual. A sales man would go to the customers premises and fill out an order sheet which was then consolidated manually at the C&C store.

This lead to the following problems.

  • Limited stock Visibility – the sales representative has no or very limited stock visibility. This mean ambiguity for the customer – they would stock information after placing order
  • Lack of pricing information – Sales representative and customer had limited visibility of item price and no visibility of order value while taking order. Communicating prices to HoReCa on daily basis is difficult. This lead to a variation between committed price and billed price which created friction with the customer.
  • Manual Order Sheet – difficult to read and led to wrong picking. Generally lead to wrong picking of item and quantity – again, this leads to friction with the customer.
  • Poor Asset Utilization – Only single cycle of picking possible after sales representative completes his journey cycle for the day – this meant that additional resources were required and inventory costs increased.

The technology solution:

Tablet based order management system. Orders transmitted real time in centralized order system. Pickers  picks the stock.  Prices are committed when the order is received. Blling through centralized ordering system.

The improved process looked as follows:

intergrated order mgt



  • Real time inventory visibility across channels – single inventory view.
  • Real time and accurate pricing, promotion and special pricing information.
  • Real time integration with centralized order management system – Store staff has visibility of number of orders to be picked during day. This ensures wider picking window.
  • Improved picking accuracy and efficiency – electronically printed pick list and multiple picking cycles.
  • Centralized order management system facilitates better billing accuracy and efficiency.
  • Application is portable to premium customer smart devices – eg HoReCa customers.


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