It’s never a bad thing when you get new orders. After all, orders are what keep your business running.
The speed bumps arrive when you actually need to fulfill the order.
You’re not alone if you have yet to find the perfect system for fulfilling customer orders as efficiently as possible. Most businesses don’t have a system that’s as streamlined or effective as they’d like it to be.
Why is that?
It starts with the order taking process. Maybe it’s a salesperson who’s handwritten a form, faxed it in, or emailed it. Maybe it’s customer service taking a handwritten order of their own.
Once these orders are taken, they need to be input into an electronic system to move forward in the fulfillment process. To handle this, most companies use multiple platforms, since no one platform ever seems to have all the features or capabilities that they need. Each department has its own platform, since billing, distribution, and customer service all handle the order in their own way.
This disjointed process leads to multiple people duplicating the same task over and over again, which is inefficient and wastes time. Each step that is repeated by a new person is a new opportunity for a mistake to be made – an address to be mistyped, a part number one digit off, or the order might simply get missed by mistake.
There’s a better way.
Using automated order entry software helps streamline your order system and prevent human error from the process.
It’s more than just an online way for customers to place orders, little better than a formalized email order form. It’s much, much more than simply allowing your customers to place orders online (although that’s a pretty big deal too). It’s a way to automate your fulfillment process.
Automate the transfer of information into your accounting software.
How much time is your accounting team spending simply copying orders into QuickBooks?
If the answer is “too much”, that’s more common than you might think.
It’s such a common problem because so many businesses aren’t aware that there’s any other way. The common thinking is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – they’re able to process their orders, they get by, and if the only thing lost is some time, what’s the big deal?
Well, as we’ve talked about before, your team would actually like to get home on time for once.
Repeating one or two orders once a day isn’t a big deal, but your business doesn’t run on just one or two orders. Or if it does, it runs on large, complex orders with dozens or hundreds of items on those orders.
There’s a better way than forcing your poor accounting team to re-type everything by hand.
Integrate your order entry software with QuickBooks. The order information is automatically loaded into the accounting software as soon as the customer places the order.
No more double entry, no more wasted time, it’s all there. It’s also there with all of the billing information, the pricing for that customer, and any additional information you’ve added to QuickBooks.
Speed up fulfillment – and have the order sent to your distribution team.
A top tier order entry software allows you to configure ways for it to work with your distribution department or even your third party fulfillment center.
When the order is placed, it gets sent to your distribution team. They collect or review the information they need, pull the items for the order, and ship it.
Talk about a streamlined distribution process! There’s no delay while waiting for orders to be input, inventory to be checked, or any of the other dozen steps that happen because of the human element.
Instead, it’s all handled automatically. It’s like having a robot taking over the mundane, monotonous tasks that you don’t really need a human to handle.
You can’t be Amazon – but you can provide a similar level of insight into order status.
It won’t be quite the level of Amazon, but Amazon has set the bar for what customers expect to see when it comes to their order status.
So when your customer has to call and ask about an order, and wait for the sales rep to call, and check with the office staff, who have to check the order, call the distribution center, they need to find the order…
Then when they do, that chain happens again, in reverse, until an hour (or hours) later, the sales rep gets the chance to call the customer back and tell them that a few hours ago, the order was being packed or was ready to be picked up.
With order entry software, you can automate the customer management experience.
Since the software is synced with your distribution center, the status of that order is easily available online.
Your sales rep gets a call about an order? They can log in and check the status right on the phone – giving the customer the answer in moments, rather than hours.
The future is automation, and your business can benefit from it.
Implementing order entry software isn’t a tool that’s limited to big businesses or those with sophisticated IT teams to make it work.
Now Commerce offers software that’s easy to use, affordable, and grants you the same modern technology that the bigger businesses use.
Take back control of your order entry process, and free your team to work on making business better. Rather than spending their day on the same, repetitive tasks, they can focus on the problems that no one’s ever had time to deal with.
Imagine what your team could do in the time they normally spend on order entry. How much more could they get done on other projects?
How much happier would your customers be with more efficient order fulfillment?
How much happier would they be with increased insight into the status of their orders?
Want to see what that would be like?
Click below for a demo: