Data entry automation is a powerful modern technology that has helped modernize a range of business processes. Almost any business process that includes the capture and conversion of documents can harness data entry automation to become faster and more efficient. This includes sales order management.
In manufacturing and distribution, quickly and accurately converting purchase orders into sales orders is crucial. The faster and more flawlessly this happens, the more efficient a business becomes. Most importantly, when this conversion happens efficiently, customer service representatives win back hours of their day. They can focus on driving growth, and offer personalized one-on-one service to customers.
However, these outcomes can only be realized using a data entry automation tool that is touchless and error-free.
Manual vs Automated Data Entry
A large portion of business owners are still opting not to automate data entry from text coming in via email when it comes to their purchase orders. In other words, millions of enterprises are still running manual supply chains. In the US alone, almost half of total B2B sales – totalling $7.37 trillion, every year – are still processed manually.
“Manually” here means that the crucial data from purchase orders is not being extracted via an automated process. Instead, the converting of purchase orders into sales orders still happens the way it did decades ago: By manual entry, line by line. Customer service representatives take a purchase order, and manually key it in, doing their best not to make a mistake as they go.
With sales order management, the lack of a data entry automation solution is terribly inefficient. CSRs spend 2 to 3 hours a day entering and perhaps correcting part numbers or pricing, and spending 20-30 minutes of manual entry time per order. The order to cash cycle stretches out to an average of 45 days. The overall cost of this approach adds up to hundreds of millions a year.
Conexiom: Automating Sales Order Processing
There are a few data entry automation solutions in the market. OCR (optical character recognition) is popular. However, it is essentially a workflow solution. OCR offers sales order processing a degree of data entry automation – but as an inherently predictive technology, it still invariably introduces errors. Even with advanced correction tools, most OCR automated data entry errors have to be removed or corrected manually. As a result, CSRs find themselves correcting those data entry errors, and the efficiency gains start to dry up.
RPA (Robotic Process Automation) data entry is similarly inadequate. According to Gartner, 50% or more of RPA implementations fail to deliver sustainable returns on investment. Instead, by 2022, 80% of organizations will forego the use of RPA in favor of low-code integration platforms.
Truly introducing data entry automation technology to the sales order management process – as Hafele did – produces a “touchless” process. Purchase orders convert into sales orders, without human intervention, and without error. Incoming electronic purchase orders are transformed into 100% data-accurate and machine-consumable transactions.
With this level of sales order automation, enterprises go from order emailed to pack and ship in less than 15 minutes. Order processing costs fall drastically, to less than a dollar per order.
The Benefits of Sales Order Automation
Completely automated sales order management, free of error, increases an organization’s capacity to process their customers’ orders, while substantially shortening the fulfilment time. This results in:
- Reduced order cycle times
- Bigger revenue
- Better ROI
- More satisfied customers
In addition, Conexiom enables enterprises to fully maximize their CSR workforce. Instead of relegating them to mundane manual data entry tasks that don’t add much value, companies empower their CSRs to provide top quality service to both existing and potential customers. As Genpak discovered:
“Our CSR team used to spend 80% of their time on order entry and 20% of their time on customers. Now, it’s 80% on customers and 20% on order entry. And no need to backfill former employees.”
Give hours back to your customer service team with truly automated data entry and comprehensive sales order management. In a digital world, distinguish yourself from competitors with personalized one-on-one customer service. Faced with an endless stream of purchase orders, adopt an automated data entry system that can uplevel every aspect of customer service. Win back your CSRs the the time they need to focus on what they were hired to do – drive revenue by selling and by helping customers.