One of the most difficult aspects of order management for wholesalers has always been the management of sales reps.
Even when a rep is doing everything they’re supposed to do, even when they’re an impressive example of what a sales rep should be, the simple reality of order and inventory management has often been, at best, a barrier to efficient operation.
And at worst, it’s been a business killer.
Here’s what it used to look like not so long ago.
A sales rep is out in the field, working tirelessly to put together a large order for a customer. The customer has questions — questions about inventory, questions about how much, precisely, they can purchase, questions about this, that, and the other, questions that the rep has prepared for and is answering without hesitation.
And then the customer throws a curveball — and the rep has no choice. They have to get on the phone, call the home office, and get the answer.
Now you’ve got a customer sitting around waiting on a rep, twiddling their thumbs. Maybe while your rep is busy on the phone, the customer decides to give the competition a ring, just to see what they can offer.
And maybe the home office is busy — maybe the question is a little more complicated than it first seemed, maybe the inventory levels that the rep thought they were dealing with have changed as the day progressed.
Maybe another, larger order came through from a client with a bit more clout. But, because the system doesn’t update until someone enters the data by hand, the sales rep out in the field (and the rep’s home-office contact) has no idea that this larger order has gone through.
When your rep goes back to the customer, who suddenly has a bargaining position based on the phone call to the competitor, the sales rep is going to end up making an offer that can’t be fulfilled.
Or maybe it’s worse — maybe the rep and the home office and the customer are all in sync, only to find out that the warehouse doesn’t have the product they said they had because they’re a third-party warehouse who just emptied out of product for one of their other customers.
The folks back at the home office find out a few hours after the sales rep puts their order in for their customer. The warehouse is sorry, the home office is sorry, but your rep ends up looking like an idiot, and maybe you end up personally apologizing to the customer…
Maybe you end up having to offer the customer a significant discount just to keep their business.
And maybe word of this gets out to other sales reps, and they start to get antsy about some of their bigger customers.
All because inventory levels and pending orders weren’t up to date. .
Wholesale order management doesn’t have to be this frustrating
Fortunately, wholesalers no longer have to struggle, as they once did, to manage the various communications between home office, warehouse, sales reps, or any of the other myriad moving parts involved in any wholesale business.
And reps no longer have to feel like they’re out in the lurch — which means you can keep top talent around (and attract new talent as well).
There’s something that’s just a little disconcerting for a sales rep about having to rely on a home office to do something simple, like double checking inventory levels.
And on the wholesaler’s end, there’s something frustrating about the constant support required, the constant back and forth, the constant checking and double checking and triple checking of harried, nervous sales reps.
Not to mention data entry — there’s nothing quite as frustrating as sitting down and tallying all the man hours spent doing something as simple as entering orders into QuickBooks.
But things don’t have to be this way anymore. With a quality piece of wholesale order management software, wholesalers can bypass many of these issues — and even reducing staffing levels, all while making reps happy and streamlining the order process for all parties involved.
This is why we founded Now Commerce — to solve all these problems and then some
Our customers have often been in the wholesaling business for many years. They understand precisely, to the dollar, how much they have to spend on repetitive tasks like data entry.
They understand, in a very personal way, the pain of having numbers entered incorrectly during that proces.
They can understand, intuitively, the value of being able to offer their reps in the field real-time pricing and inventory data.
And they can see, immediately, how this can help them reduce staff levels, reduce errors, and simply reduce the time it takes to move an order from its inception to fulfillment.
Now Commerce integrates with QuickBooks desktop to provide all this and more. And when reps put through an order, that order will be automatically created in QuickBooks without costly, repetitive data entry.
The potential for mistakes is massively reduced, the need to keep a small army of data entry clerks around is eliminated — and you no longer have to keep up with constant phone calls, emails, and faxes between all the parties involved.
It’s a game changer — and it’s one that has to really be seen to be believed.
Want to try it yourself?
The only way to know if Now Commerce is going to work for you is to try it out.