Paper-based order handling methods can't keep up with the speed and accuracy required by today's wholesale businesses. This is why it's so important to use portal software that is specifically made to handle all of the demands of this environment. This software doesn't just accept online orders from customers. Instead, it modernizes the entire operation so orders are handled better no matter which channel they come through.
Streamlined Order Handling
One of the biggest benefits of getting all of your order channels into the same software is that it streamlines operations. Everyone will be using the same order format and putting their orders into the same central database. This makes it so that your fulfillment, accounting, and inventory departments don't have to deal with widely disparate order-recording schemes. There will be no hand-scrawled orders from outside sales reps or faint carbon markings on triplicate forms filled out by phone reps. Instead, everything will be on a screen or printed out by a computer using crisp, clear type. This alone can greatly speed fulfillment and reduce errors since it'll be easy to read the information.
Speed Order Taking in the Field
With a paper-based system, outside sales reps have two options when they convince a customer to order: They can write the order on a pad of paper or they can call it in. If it's written on paper, it'll often be done hastily and end up being hard for the rest of your staff to read. When orders are called in, customers must wait for the sales rep to make it through your phone system and reach someone who can take their order. Both of these options are obsolete and unimpressive to customers.
With portal software, these old-fashioned methods can be eliminated. The sales rep simply pops open his laptop or gets out his tablet, signs into your system, and types the order in. It's all done quickly, efficiently, and without errors. Since the reps have to enter orders according to the system's format, each purchased item is referred to in a uniform way and processing the order is simple.
Online Customer Accounts Are Possible - And Practical
Many customers want to be able to sign in and buy your products online, much as they would buy things in their personal lives. Bring your company into the 21st century by making this easy for them to do. Good portal software takes care of this aspect of your business as easily as it handles your traditional sales channels. Your customers will be glad that they can restock without either waiting on hold or waiting even longer for a live appointment with a rep.
Unifies Product Descriptions
When sales reps don't have easy access to a product description, they have to go from memory when customers and prospects ask about a particular item. This is a problem because human memory is far from perfect. Customers who get inaccurate descriptions are then disappointed and may shop elsewhere next time. Portal software eliminates the need for guesswork by giving reps access to a central database with all of the relevant information.
Works with QuickBooks
Many small and medium-sized businesses use QuickBooks to handle their accounting. Good portal software works with it so there's no need to run two different databases or reconcile information between two systems. This integration allows the portal software to read and write current inventory levels, product descriptions, individual customer pricing schemes, and more.
These are just some of the things modern portal software can do. If your company is still using pens and paper to accept and manage orders, upgrade today. Your customers will love your new, efficient system no matter how they place their orders.