The global supply chain management software market is poised to grow by $9.5 billion between 2020 and 2024. Whether it leverages machine learning, the Internet of Things or another emerging innovation, the best software in this space is all aimed at producing a touchless supply chain. No touch order processing plays a key role in this modernizing trend.
A touchless supply chain is one where human oversight or intervention is minimized; where humans are not needing to get hands-on with any element of the chain. Logistics and internal operations are optimized so that automation takes care of formerly manual business processes – just as it has been taking care of tasks on the factory floor for many decades.
A central link in the touchless supply chain is no touch order processing. With touchless order processing, the steady stream of purchase orders that manufacturers and distributors receive is converted into a stack of flawless sales orders – without any human input. From PO to SO, in the blink of an eye. With this approach to sales order processing, enterprises can realize four key benefits:
1. Creating More Selling Time
Manual order processing is an enormous waste of time. The average CSR spends two to three hours of every single day manually rekeying purchase orders, expending an average of 30 minutes on each order. CSRs are typically highly skilled staff members with deep company and product knowledge, and their salaries tend to be commensurate with their specialized skills. But instead of dedicating those skills to revenue-generating tasks, or genuine, hands-on customer support, they spend hours on dated, manual processes.
At Conexiom, we see how no touch order processing liberates CSRs from this daily drudgery. The average touchless order is processed in under two minutes, without a CSR needing to intervene or have a hand in anything. Every year, the elimination of manual processing frees up hundreds of hours of staff time. Companies can then redeploy these hours into revenue-generating activities.
2. Reducing Human Error
Humans are brilliant. But we make mistakes. Purchase orders can run to hundreds of lines, and incorrectly entering the wrong digit or character on a single line can have enormous consequences on that customer’s order. Even with semi-automated sales order processing tools that leverage OCR, it is almost possible to truly eliminate errors. Why? Because with OCR and similar technologies, the data capture is imperfect, meaning customer service representatives still have to jump in on every order.
No touch order processing removes the need for human touchpoints across the order cycle, eliminating errors. Sales order automation technology can recognize and decipher incoming order information, verify its accuracy, and input it directly into the business’ and customer’s ERP systems – flawlessly.
When an enterprise can establish an error-free order to cash cycle, everything happens more smoothly. Without human errors interrupting the order process, each and every touchless order cycles through in the blink of an eye. CSRs don’t waste time on mundane tasks, and customers get more accurate fulfillment for their orders. Delivering this consistently results in a more positive buyer experience that strengthens loyalty.
3. Upgrading Customer Experience
No touch order processing is a technology experience that the customers of wholesale manufacturers and distributors universally value. It’s 2020; people’s technology expectations are advancing fast, and they are getting used to digital processes happening fast and without human intervention – throughout the supply chain. Increasingly, customer preference is for the automated way of doing things. Within the next few years, any PO that doesn’t turn into a SO within minutes will seem like an anachronism.
Touchless order processing improves customer experience in a more direct way, too. Because it frees up hours in the typical CSR workday, these skilled workers can turn their attention to delivering the very best customer service they can. They can take their time over complex orders, and go in-depth on customer enquiries and challenges. When every purchase order is a touchless order, being processed in the background, all the human touch can be dedicated to customer interaction. The valuable CSR touchpoints dotted along the ordering process – upselling, problem-solving, delivering valuable product recommendations, and so on – are upgraded. Value is added for both business and customer.
4. Improving the Bottom Line
Our internal research shows that, with no touch order processing, cost per order is reduced from $4.50 to $.96.
Touchless order processing immediately confers a reduced need for labor requirements, and streamlines employee tasks. Companies can immediately do more with less. CSRs are freed up to help drive growth. Customers are happier, and so commit more deeply to their supplier relationships. A decline in processing errors means that resources are not squandered correcting human mistakes.
Financially, modernizing sales order management is all upside. The tech is up and running within 30 days, with no burden to IT, and the bottom line benefits emerge immediately.