Nothing creates panic like a dip in your on-time, in-full (OTIF) rate. You drop below your SLA and find yourself in a war room with every stakeholder wanting to know why and how it’s impacting the business.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know where to start when you need to improve on-time, in-full rates, and many teams are unsure of how to resolve this issue in a long-term, scalable way. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring two key risks to your OTIF rates and how you might reduce them to keep your customers happy and your business efficient and profitable.
The speed and accuracy of your order processing determines your OTIF rate
According to research, 32% of customers will leave a brand for just one bad experience. And it can take twelve positive experiences to off-set the impact of a negative one.
The speed and accuracy of any business process are critical components in determining efficiency and effectiveness. It can be difficult to quantify the direct and profound impact manual data entry has on both the speed and accuracy of order processing. Even when a manual process is focused on a tedious task, the steps involved to complete it can appear too complex for automation.
While it may seem straightforward to transpose data between systems, the manual input of data unavoidably produces errors and inefficiencies. According to previous research by Conexiom, manual data entry has an average accuracy rate of 70%. That’s a lot of incorrect order data ending up in your ERP, likely creating downstream inefficiencies and unhappy customers.
Let’s expand on that.
The problem with entry errors and inaccuracies has three distinct aspects.
- Entry errors cause delayed order processing, resulting in dissatisfied customers and missed deadlines.
- Inaccurate entries lead to increased discrepancies in inventory management and financial records, disrupting supply chain operations and incurring additional costs.
- Entry errors contribute to higher returns and customer complaints, straining resources and damaging the company’s reputation.
It should be clear at this point these negative consequences not only impact customer satisfaction but also impede operational efficiency, financial performance, and overall business success. But fear not — improvement is possible. All you need to do is automate the process.
Businesses can solve these problems by implementing a solution purpose-built to automate data capture from trade documents. By removing people from the workflow and automating the order entry process, you can minimize errors, reduce processing time, and enhance overall efficiency.
The impact of delays and errors on the customer experience
Now that we’ve gone over the two key risks and how to mitigate them, it’s critical to also consider the customer side of your business.
It goes without saying that the success of any business relies heavily on trust and credibility with its customers. According to Indian River Consulting Group, businesses can lose nearly 10% of customers to competitors based on the experience you can deliver. So, what does that mean for you?
It means you must be a people-pleaser. Just kidding, kind of. It means you must understand how to leverage accuracy and speed — and how to identify opportunities to do so — to meet your customers’ expectations, maintain satisfaction, and foster long-term loyalty.
Firstly, accuracy plays a vital role in meeting customer expectations and building trust. When orders are fulfilled with precision and without errors, this demonstrates reliability and professionalism, enhancing the overall customer experience. Single-keyed data entry, meaning one individual is entering data without any downstream QA, is typical in manual order processing. It also has the highest error rates at 4%. Which means only 96% of your manually processed orders will enter your ERP with entirely accurate data.
Order processing speed
Secondly, timely order processing, shipping, and delivery are essential in today’s fast-paced business environment. Your customers expect prompt service and quick turnaround times, so you need to demonstrate your commitment to meeting customer deadlines and expectations.
In short, the combination of accuracy and speed leads to a seamless and positive customer experience. When customers receive their orders on time and with precision, they feel valued and respected. This feeling enhances their perception of your business and reinforces their confidence in future transactions. Positive customer experiences build long-term relationships, increase customer retention rates, and can even lead to repeat business and referrals. We want that.
Why now is the time to address these metrics
Ultimately, achieving On-Time, In-Full goals is critical for any organization that wants to thrive in a competitive market. The easiest way to do this is to have accurate and timely data at your fingertips, allowing you to increase productivity and decrease inefficiency.
By minimizing manual entry and embracing automation solutions, businesses can streamline operations, enhance customer relationships, and set the stage for long-term growth and success. Remember, accuracy and speed aren’t just operational metrics — they are the keys to achieving excellence in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
So, prioritize these pillars in your business and watch as they lay the groundwork for a thriving future.
Learn more about the inherent risks of manual document processing in our ebook, 5 Unavoidable Risks of Manual Document Processing.