An Innovative Strategy to Handle Retiring Baby Boomers

The global talent shortage can leave a major dent in your organization, as well as an ominous hiring crisis and operational nightmare that can both take a serious toll on customer loyalty.

As retirement approaches, baby boomers are leaving a gaping hole in the workforce. With incredibly low turnover rates, there are many twenty or even thirty-year long career employees getting ready to leave the workforce. And alongside them is a generation of skills and experience that’s difficult to replace. After all, how can you extract all of the invaluable information gained over decades of experience from each employee?

Long-term CSRs and Inside Sales Reps have intricate customer knowledge that can be difficult to document. But knowing your customers is a part of what makes your business model successful. They also have accumulated unparalleled product knowledge to support incredibly broad product lines. This type of expertise takes a long time to achieve. But if you can’t decipher the ingenious details before their departure, you risk kissing this intelligence goodbye.

It’s a phenomenon known as a brain dump. Gleaning critical nuggets of information from staff before they inevitably leave. These little tidbits of information are the type of things you learn only by working in the job for years. All too often, they seem insignificant and remain undocumented. Which means the fact that these details only live inside the minds of your employees isn’t an issue, until it’s too late and they’re already gone.

With the shear number of employees approaching retirement, many distributors are trying to prepare for the inevitable. But how can you pass on generations of knowledge? Picking brains is an incredibly difficult mandate. Figuring out what’s important and what’s not is half the battle. When it comes to training new staff, what’s the best way to effectively shorten the learning curve? And how can you make the staff transition painless for you and your customers?

One great solution is to invest in technology. With sales order automation, customer purchase orders are entered into your existing ERP system as sales orders with zero manual intervention. Not only does this accelerate order cycle times, but it works around the clock so you don’t have to. And thanks to 100% data-capture accuracy, orders are entered exactly as they are received, which means eliminating costly keying mistakes and error resolutions.

Spending less time manually re-keying customer orders creates space for other things. By enrolling your high volume, frequent customers, you can intentionally reduce the workload for your CSR team. It’s a strategic move that frees up time for things like relationship building, product training, customer service, exception handling, and transferring knowledge. If you’re ready to be more strategic, give us a call to see if automated order fulfillment software is right for you.