Your order management system may be good, but it may not be living up to its full potential. Here are four reasons why it's not what it could be.
- Do your sales reps have instant access to orders and customer accounts history?
- Can the sales reps receive automatic updates of changes to pricing that affect their customers?
- Does each customer have their own portal that shows them their account histories and allows them to order on-line?
- Are all orders automatically tied to QuickBooks with correct pricing and account specific data for repeat customers?
If these are capabilities that you want or need and your current process for order management isn't doing it for you, you should consider adding this functionality. What are the gains for the typical manufacturer, distributor, or wholesaler? First, take a thorough and detailed look at your inside sales and customer service functions. If your sales representatives or customers have to go through this bottleneck (and, believe me, it is a bottleneck!), you are adding inefficiency, wasting time, and increasing the potential for multiple errors, no matter how good your inside people are.
A sales rep needs answers now to seize opportunities that come up in conversation or other means. Similarly, a customer that wants to make a routine order for resupply of inventory does not want to hear this familiar voicemail, "All of our customer representatives are busy right now. Your order is very important to us though. Please stay on the line and the next available representative will be with you shortly." Hearing that is an instant downer!
All sales reps should have the ability to place and track orders, check pricing, available inventory, and customer account history without having to go through the queue at inside sales, whether by telephone, fax, or e-mail. They need to verify pending order status, any orders placed independently by customers, and generate reports for things like order history, outstanding invoices, net sales, payment history, sales receipts, and credit memos without going through a person who has several other outstanding requests, possibly has personal issues with the sales personnel, or may just be having a bad day! Sales reps are delighted to add these tools to their ability to work with customers and anticipate their needs. How about getting automatic updates when pricing changes on items that are in a customer's account history? When a sales person can offer a discount to a customer at a moment’s notice because they received this information, everyone is happy!
What about the customer that likes to manage his inventory personally and makes orders based on his own intimate knowledge of his clients and their needs? When they have their own portal on your website with account specific order forms (as many as they like or need!) where they can easily search for products by key word or part # and see both the inventory and their specific pricing, they are happy too! They can look at their own account history, see if payments have been received, what pending orders they have, and review invoices against their own records.
Adding this functionality to your service for your sales reps and customers doesn't mean doing away with inside sales and customer service; it means they will be able to focus on the non-routine matters that require personal attention. They too will be happy not to have to spend most of their time on the issues to which this software can provide the answers!
All of these capabilities require using QuickBooks as your accounting system but you probably already are as well over 95% of small to medium businesses use it now. Now Commerce is the company offering this software. They have been dedicating themselves to providing e-commerce software for manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers that use QuickBooks since 2003. Schedule a demo now to see how it can improve your order management system.