To retain current customers and acquire new ones, businesses must deliver the highest level of customer service. Automating order management can be a quick win for your business and eliminating manual order entry can free your staff to focus on customer service instead.
Many distributors continue to rely on paper to enter sales orders from their customers. Order processing is one of the most frequent customer touch points. However, that process is still manual and fraught with errors – costing time and potentially sales. Customers don’t want to enter their orders twice – once into their accounting or order entry system and again into your web order system so purchase orders are printed and faxed or emailed to your customer service reps. These orders are then printed and entered by hand.
Implementing a sales order automation system can solve this problem. Inbound purchase orders can be converted into standardized, structured electronic orders which are then automatically processed into sales orders in your ERP system. This eliminates the challenge of dual entry for your customers and lets your customer service reps focus on improving customer service.
Having your CSRs focus on improving their responsiveness, accessing order information and providing real-time feedback to buyers and the status of their order will drive improvement to customer satisfaction. Automating the sales order process will free customer service employees to focus on how to handle exceptions and solve problems.
Automation of the sales order process will drive the following benefits:
- Reduce time it takes to process an order
- Eliminate wasteful and costly order entry errors
- Prevent order rushes and related costs
- Reduce bad debts due to pricing inaccuracies
- Reduce order processing costs
- Prevent printing paper POs and faxing orders
- Stop wasted time clarifying orders by phone
- Leverage existing people, processes, and systems
Think about order automation as a disciplined business objective and start with small measurable targets. Take a few customers and automate their purchasing process and see how it works. The right sales order automation system should not force you or your buyer to change their business process and will let you roll it out and measure results without requiring that your buyers change how they order from you.