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Why AI and real-time visibility are a game-changer for order lifecycle management

In recent years, retailers, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, and manufacturers have incorporated direct-to-consumer (D2C) business models into their go-to-market strategies to give end customers the options to order from anywhere and ship to everywhere. As the use of these online sales channels continues to expand, so too does the number of third-party fulfillment partners…

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In recent years, retailers, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, and manufacturers have incorporated direct-to-consumer (D2C) business models into their go-to-market strategies to give end customers the options to order from anywhere and ship to everywhere. As the use of these online sales channels continues to expand, so too does the number of third-party fulfillment partners and options to evaluate and incorporate into their supply chain and commerce systems. Organizations with business-to-business (B2B), business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C), and D2C business models, require technology solutions that give them the ability to manage an increasingly complex order lifecycle from order source through orchestration to intelligent fulfillment and delivery.

According to Gartner®, “83 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) stated they were expanding digital channels in 2021, while 79 percent plan to increase the use of self-service by customers and citizens.”1 With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management, companies can stay on top of their game through digital channels, as Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management enhances their digital order and delivery channels. It provides real-time visibility into each order from order intake to delivery, and customizable dashboards to help track and improve operational decision-making across every touchpoint of the order life cycle.

Overcome fulfillment complexity

Managing the entire order lifecycle is about placing your organization in a position to deliver on your order promise with every customer order. But there are other undeniable benefits, such as reducing logistics costs by overcoming fulfillment complexities that await companies, who demonstrate the ability to do this well. Indeed, according to McKinsey & Company, “since e-commerce fulfillments are significantly more complex, contract logistics can charge around 50 percent more than for traditional store fulfillment. Therefore, those companies that overcome the complexities stand to gain the most.”2

Companies can overcome the complexities of e-commerce fulfillment by utilizing Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management rules-based fulfillment orchestration system that uses real-time inventory and AI to optimize order flows. This solution offers advanced analytical capabilities to measure fulfillment effectiveness and business users can use the insights to re-model the order fulfillment journey using drag and drop tools to ensure that their customer needs are met on time and at the lowest possible cost. In addition, Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management provides out-of-the-box pre-built connectors to e-commerce order sources such as BigCommerce, Magento, and Orderful; delivery partners such as Flexe, Körber, and ShipStation, and to tax and rebate management partners such as Avalara, Flintfox, and Vertex. All these capabilities provide organizations the agility needed to overcome supply chain constraints and deliver on their order promise.

Apply artificial intelligence

To profitably manage the entire order lifecycle, companies increasingly need to use AI and machine learning (ML) technologies in the supply chain. In fact, according to McKinsey & Company, “successfully implementing AI-enabled supply-chain management has enabled early adopters to improve logistics costs by 15 percent, inventory levels by 35 percent, and service levels by 65 percent, compared with slower-moving competitors.”3

With Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management, AI and ML are used to analyze data to find and predict patterns in order flows and fulfillment processes. The results help bring new levels of insights that would not otherwise be possible for human team members to spot alone. These results can then be paired with AI-based classification and anomaly detection models to proactively identify and address fulfillment constraints and to improve delivery times, while simultaneously reducing costs. The use of AI and ML enhances decision-making across all order orchestration flows by delivering the capability to sense and predict constraints, disruptions, and opportunities to improve order and fulfillment processes.

Enhance inventory visibility

Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management solution architecture was designed to support the requirements of complex order processing environments, where there are many systems and apps in the overall order-to-fulfillment process. By bringing visibility into many disparate data sources and applications; order flows, inventory, and supporting functions can be significantly improved. Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management ships out-of-the-box with an integrated real-time inventory visibility service that is highly scalable and extensible, and provides a single, global view of all inventory positions across all legal entities.

Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management not only provides organizations with a single, global view of all inventory positions, but its fulfillment orchestration engine also uses real-time inventory data to optimize fulfillment processes to ensure optimal stock levels are maintained across all stock locations. The result is that companies can increase online product availability, improve cash flow by right-sizing stock levels, and guarantee a delightful customer experience by delivering every order on time and in full.

What’s next?

We have seen that Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management is an ideal tool for managing the entire order lifecycle. By utilizing rules-based order orchestration to overcome fulfillment complexities, leveraging AI and ML to derive actionable insights, and optimizing stock levels by applying a real-time inventory visibility service, companies can deliver on their order promise and turn order management into a competitive advantage. Moreover, Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management seamlessly integrates with any enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce, Dynamics 365, and non-Dynamics 365 applications, allowing organizations to skip costly rip and replace implementations.

If you are ready to see how Microsoft Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management can help your organization to manage the entire order lifecycle, we invite you to get started today by contacting us or signing up for a free trial. Or, to learn more about how to meet your growing digital commerce needs and scale easily, while supporting the latest fulfillment methods, check the Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management resources on our website: Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management.

Sources:

  1. “Gartner, Add Digital Payments as Part of Communications Platform as a Service Offering, Lisa Unden-Farboud, Daniel O’Connell et al, 27 August, 2021.” GARTNER is the registered trademark and service mark of Gartner Inc., and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and has been used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
  2. McKinsey & Company, Unlocking the omnichannel opportunity in contract logistics, March 12, 2021, Tom Bartman, Scott McConnell, Florian Neuhaus, and Isabell Scheringer.
  3. McKinsey & Company, Succeeding in the AI supply-chain revolution, April 30, 2021, Knut Alicke, Valerio Dilda, Stephan Görner, Lapo Mori, Pierrick Rebuffel, Sebastian Reiter, and Robert Samek.

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Facebook: How Meta Is Preparing for Brazil’s 2022 Elections

Today, we want to share our work to protect the integrity of presidential elections taking place in Brazil in October 2022. In recent years, we’ve increased our efforts to combat misinformation by investing in teams, technology and partnerships to ensure the safety of people using Meta’s platforms. Since 2016, we’ve quadrupled our security and integrity…

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Today, we want to share our work to protect the integrity of presidential elections taking place in Brazil in October 2022. In recent years, we’ve increased our efforts to combat misinformation by investing in teams, technology and partnerships to ensure the safety of people using Meta’s platforms.

Since 2016, we’ve quadrupled our security and integrity workforce to more than 40,000 people globally. Last year alone, we invested nearly $5 billion in both areas.

We know that local knowledge is essential for this work to be effective, so we also have a large team of specialists based in Brazil who have a deep understanding of the situation. These efforts are intensified as the election approaches, and our work to protect the integrity of our platforms will continue after the vote.

Preventing and Stopping Election Interference

Removing content that violates our policies on voter suppression, such as posts that discourage people from voting, is among our many responses to potential interference in the electoral process. We take many actions to prevent hate speech or the incitement of violence on our platforms.

Currently, 99.7% of the fake accounts we remove from Facebook are deleted by artificial intelligence, before they are reported by users. We also investigate and disrupt networks that use fake accounts in a coordinated way to influence public debate.

Closer to October, we will activate an Elections Operations Center focused on Brazil, an initiative we’ve implemented since 2018, to bring together experts from across the company – including intelligence, data science, engineering, research, operations, public policy and legal teams. They work together to identify potential threats on our platforms in real time, accelerating our response time.

Collaborating With Authorities

In partnership with Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE), in December 2021 we started adding a label to posts about political elections on Facebook and Instagram, directing people to reliable information on the Electoral Justice website. In the first two months after its launch, the label led to a 10-fold increase in visits to the Electoral Justice portal.

Between the end of April and the beginning of May, we posted reminders on Facebook for users to request or update their voter cards. The content was seen by the majority of adults using Facebook in Brazil and more than three  million people clicked to see more information. Closer to the upcoming election, we will again display reminders on Facebook and Instagram about voting day to raise awareness among voters and reduce abstention rates.

For the first time, the TSE will be able to report content directly on Facebook and Instagram that may violate our policies. We will analyze the reports once they are received.

WhatsApp launched an extrajudicial channel of communication in the 2020 municipal election to receive complaints from the TSE. The focus is on quick response to potential cases of bulk messaging, which is forbidden by local electoral law and by the app’s terms of service.

We also developed a virtual assistant on WhatsApp with the TSE, as we did during Brazil’s 2020 municipal election. The chatbot is accessible through the number +55 61 9637-1078. It allows voters to interact directly with the electoral authority and receive relevant information about the vote.

Meta has hosted training sessions for electoral officials all over Brazil to explain our actions to curb misinformation, share details on how Facebook and Instagram work, and detail our content rules, which we call our Community Standards and Community Guidelines. We also offer workshops to candidates and their campaign teams.

The partnership with the TSE also includes booklets with information for the electoral community and a guide to combating online violence against women in politics, also supported by the Women’s Democracy Network (WDN) – Brazil Chapter.

Fighting Misinformation

We remove content on Facebook and Instagram that discourages voting or interferes with voting, such as incorrect information about the election date or candidates’ numbers.

We also work with independent fact-checking organizations to verify the veracity of reported posts that don’t violate our Community Standards. When fact-checkers mark a post as false, we reduce its reach on Facebook and Instagram.

People who still see this content in their feeds will see it covered with a label and a link directing them to more information from the fact-checker. In July, we increased the number of partners in our fact-checking initiative in Brazil from four to six including: Agência Lupa, AFP, Aos Fatos, Estadão Verifica, Reuters Fact Check and UOL Confere.

Since messages on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, we fight misinformation on WhatsApp through measures to reduce message virality.

Messages forwarded on WhatsApp are identified with a tag. Since 2020, messages with five or more forwards can be resent to just one conversation, which has led to a 70% global reduction in the number of frequently forwarded messages. This year, we implemented a new forwarding limit on WhatsApp: now, any forwarded message can only be forwarded again to one WhatsApp group at a time.

Advertising Transparency

In 2018, we launched our transparency tools for ads about politics and elections on Facebook and Instagram in Brazil. In 2020, we began requiring advertisers who wish to run ads about elections or politics to complete an authorization process and include “Paid for by” disclaimers on these ads. This year, we’ve expanded that requirement to ads about social issues such as economics, security and education.

All posts with the “Paid for by” disclaimer go to the Ad Library, where they are stored for seven years. The tool is open and provides anyone with detailed information about political ads including  the ad source account, audience demographics and estimated spending range, among other data.

Protecting the integrity of the Brazilian election in 2022 on our apps is a priority for Meta. We will continue to share updates on how we move forward with this work.

See more information about our work on elections.

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Microsoft is a Leader in The Forrester Wave: CRM Suites, Q3 2022

We are honored to announce that Microsoft Dynamics 365 was identified as a Leader in The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites, Q3 2022. A few weeks ago, during his Microsoft Inspire keynote, Satya Nadella reminded us of the distinct value that Microsoft provides to organizations by leading the way in digital transformation and supercharging their systems…

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We are honored to announce that Microsoft Dynamics 365 was identified as a Leader in The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites, Q3 2022.

A few weeks ago, during his Microsoft Inspire keynote, Satya Nadella reminded us of the distinct value that Microsoft provides to organizations by leading the way in digital transformation and supercharging their systems of record. “Dynamics 365 is purpose-built for this new world of business process. Our intelligent business applications connect data, process, and teams, ushering in a new era of hyper connected business and offering unparalleled value.” And over this past year we have been proud to see our customers take Dynamics 365 and show that there are really no limits to what can be done when you unite data silos with industry-leading AI and integrate collaboration tools throughout.

From the Campari Group’s ability to deploy bespoke personalization to their event attendees with real-time customer journey orchestration, to Dextra Group’s saving a whopping 60 percent on their customer relationship management (CRM) cost while also increasing seller productivity and lead quality, and to the city of Richmond, Virginia transformation of their non-emergency case management capabilities to deliver omnichannel engagement for improved efficiency and also becoming benchmark for how governments nationwide can utilize digital tools to better serve their communities.

What makes our CRM and connected products stand out for our customers? Here are seven key insights we have heard over the past year.

  1. Dynamics 365 provides an end-to-end, full-funnel solution. Dynamics 365 is the only portfolio of intelligent business applications that accelerates revenue outcomes by transforming selling experiences with a single intelligent, digital, customizable solution.
  2. Robust AI insights at your fingertips. Dynamics 365 enables everyone, across every team, to make better and more impactful decisions by converting data into insights with the intelligence of Microsoft AI allowing teams to be more efficient and productive.
  3. Breakdown the barriers between people. We offer the leading workplace collaboration, video conferencing, and meeting software in the world with Microsoft Teams, which can connect seamlessly with our out-of-the-box CRM or be personalized to fit an organization’s needs with custom features.
  4. Personalize every experience. Dynamics 365 Marketing assists companies in more deeply understanding their customers and drives intent with AI-powered insights to deliver connected experiences—all the way from acquisition to retention.
  5. Streamlined, proactive, scalable sales. Dynamics 365 helps sales teams uplevel forecasting and revenue operations with built-in AI and machine learning and enhance seller performance with recommended next best actions, productivity tools, and real-time coaching.
  6. Breakthrough service capabilities. Dynamics 365 Customer Service helps organizations meet the evolving needs of every customer across every channel and increases customer satisfaction, while boosting frontline employee productivity regardless of location.
  7. Low-code transformation. With Microsoft Power Platform, organizations can provide anyone with the ability for low-code transformation with low-code, intuitive, extensible tools that seamlessly connect to Dynamics 365. 

It’s an honor for us that so many organizations look to us for help modernizing sales, marketing, and service operations. As Forrester states in its report, “Microsoft’s strong vision, the breadth of its suite, and its partner ecosystem and industry solutions drive its 40% year-over-year growth, especially in industries such as financial services, healthcare, and retail.” We genuinely believe that with connected data, underpinned by industry leading AI and insights, there are no limits to what organizations can do. From upleveling employee experiences, to improving team productivity, and building deeper relationships with customers. It is all available with Dynamics 365.

Learn more

To learn more about how Microsoft compared with the other eight selected providers, please navigate to The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites, Q3 2022 website and get your copy.

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Exchange Online Basic authentication is going away: What you need to know

Effective October 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to use Basic authentication to connect to Microsoft Exchange Online. If your organization uses server-side synchronization or the deprecated Dynamics 365 Email Router, you should find out now whether you need to prepare for the change. How will removing Exchange Online Basic authentication affect Dynamics…

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Effective October 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to use Basic authentication to connect to Microsoft Exchange Online. If your organization uses server-side synchronization or the deprecated Dynamics 365 Email Router, you should find out now whether you need to prepare for the change.

How will removing Exchange Online Basic authentication affect Dynamics 365 and Power Apps?

After October 1, 2022, any connection to Exchange Online that uses server-side sync or the Dynamics 365 Email Router with Basic authentication (username and password) will quit working. Dynamics 365 mailboxes that use these connections will no longer be able to:

  • Send email from Dynamics 365 through Exchange Online
  • Retrieve email from Exchange Online
  • Synchronize appointments, contacts, or tasks between Dynamics 365 and Exchange Online

This change doesn’t affect connections that use Modern authentication (OAuth 2.0 token-based authorization).

How can I find out if I need to prepare?

If your company is using server-side sync or the Email Router to connect to Exchange Online using a username and password, you need to act. There are a couple of ways to find out whether your organization is affected and what you need to do if it is.

Review your Message Center Posts (recommended)

The fastest and most reliable way to know if you need to prepare and what to do is to look in the Microsoft 365 Message Center. (You must have admin rights to sign in to the Message Center.) The Exchange Online team has been sending monthly Message Center posts to all affected customers with the following title format: “Basic Authentication – Monthly Usage Report – 2022.”

If your organization is using server-side sync with Basic authentication, you may also have received Message Center posts from the Dynamics 365 or Power Apps services. Look for posts with the following title: “Impact due to Exchange Online disabling Basic Authentication.”

The posts provide detailed information about the change and actions you need to take before October 1.

Check your Dynamics 365 email settings

If you don’t find any posts in the Message Center, read our guide on how to check whether your organization is affected and if it is, what you need to do before October 1.

Learn more

You can find more information, including FAQs, in the documentation:

Use of Basic authentication with Exchange Online | Microsoft Docs

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