• 18
    Nov

Manufacturers It’s Time to Rethink How You Process Manual Orders – By Jazz Shaikh of Connectis Group

Wouldn’t it be great if each of your Sales Orders were processed electronically! What an ideal world it would be if you received all your sales order in the same format, all the right information clearly defined and structured, and everything would automatically feed into your ERP via electronic data interchange (EDI) – automatically – Just Like That.

 

Well, sadly that’s easier said than done!

That’s not how Order Processing works in the real world for most companies. Orders arrive via a variety of channels including fax, email attachments, paper documents (requiring scanning) and some via EDI streams. The manual handling (touch points) of multi-channel and multi-formats Sales Orders usually creates a spiraling downward productivity ripple effect that starts with data entry errors, misplaced or lost orders, poor response to status requests, time wasted in manually filing orders and locating misplaced orders … the list of lost productivity continues and does impact the company’s profitability.

It’s odd when you realize that many customer service departments that are still running manually in the Order Entry process, feel things are working ‘just fine’.

Some Customer Service Managers hire good Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) with impressive data entry skills and continue to file documents manually. However, things may not be running as smoothly as they appear. What they might think to be ‘an efficient process’ that’s worked for years in the past has often turned out to be error prone, dysfunctional and costly to the business. And their competition is catching on, but these Managers may not know it. For sure, the competition knows that speeding up the Customer Order Entry Process, improving visibility into that process and decreasing order errors gives them a significant competitive advantage and can save big money annually.

In today’s world many manufacturing industries use of the following ways to Process Customer orders

  1. Manual & Paper-based Order Processing
    Most large scale manufacturers use a back end database application (Enterprise Resource Planning –ERP system) into which they still manually enter each order into the system. It’s very labour intensive and error prone as all the order data must be keyed in manually.
  2. Lots of Data Entry
    Manufacturers who have a good team of Customer Service Reps (CSRs) with amazing data entry skills. Even with the best CSRs, errors happen. Its human nature and those amazing employees probably have skill sets that can be better used in some other task other than mundane data entry. These employees would be happier, and they’d be of greater value if their skills were more strategically utilized.
  3. EDI System
    Although many large distributors and wholesalers process orders using an EDI system; they often spend hours on the back-end getting their expensive EDI Managers to correct those errors – but only after it messes up ERP data.

 

As a Document Automation Consultant, let me ask you few questions regarding automating this all important side of your business – Sales Order Processing. The answers will become self-evident.

  1. What would it mean to your business if you could double your order processing speed and reduce data entry errors by 70% or more?
  2. What would it look like if your CSRs has instant access to the information that your customers are constantly asking for?
  3. What if your data clerks had the ability to automatically verify data before they disrupted the ERP and supply chain?
  4. What tasks would you assign to staff whose working hours are freed because you’ve almost eliminated manual data entry?

 

To sum it all up, I’d say Happy Customers, Happy Employees & Happy Management.

Connectis provides Sales Order Process Automation Solution that automatically processes orders from multi-channel sources (email, fax, paper or EDI) as they arrive and captures the correct order information using business logic, verification’s and cross-checking against your existing databases. Every order is becomes an electronic transaction, allowing customers to continue sending orders as they wish. Received customer orders are automatically routed to the correct CSR based on key order information, including: company name, distribution channel, product line, geography and more. Once the automated checks and verification’s have occurred, order data is automatically integrated into your order management system and ready for scheduling and shipping. Not bad, and very little typing is required.

Electronic document archiving enables orders to be available at any time and accessible to authorized personnel from any location for as long as needed. No more chasing after key paper documents from one location to another. No more searching through file cabinets. No more wasted time. When your CSR’s are using a document searching mechanism that enables you to define the search based on multiple criteria, they can search key fields to help find the right customer order they need. By combining several fields (Customer name, PO date, PO currency), they’ll narrow the search. CSR teams can efficiently manage and resolve issues while maintaining full visibility over the whole order process — from the moment an order is created, products are shipped to satisfied customers and finally to the file destruction date of the documents if you wish.

We take the pain out of traditional order processing by removing virtually all manual touch points. Using advanced automation functionalities, each order is completely electronic and visible throughout the document life-cycle. Orders are visible at each processing step so you’ll always know where they are. To learn how you can automate your Sales Order Processes, contact Jazz from Connectis, he’s an expert on all things document process automation at 905.695.2200 x1006 info@connectis.ca