If your staff is spending more than an hour or two a day entering orders or answering routine questions from reps and customers, then you should consider getting them some order management software with online rep and wholesale customer portals. The more time your employees spend on mundane tasks the less time they have to spend on activities that will really help the business thrive.
Portals that let your reps and customers place orders and answer their own questions 24/7 will save you time and will increase customer satisfaction by giving them instant access to the info they need.
Order Management Software Features
Although there are many piecemeal solutions available for the various components of order management, you need an order management system that covers the entire process from the time your customer asks a question and places an order to the time they receive the product, including the internal accounting steps.When evaluating order management software, look for all of the following features:
- Integration with your bookkeeping software - Eliminating data entry will not only save you and your staff time, it will also cut down on human error. When you implement software that automatically creates the order in QuickBooks, you remove several steps in the process and ensure that the information is accurate. Look for portals that show your reps and wholesale customers up-to-date info from QuickBooks.
- Inventory information - When a customer places an order they need to be confident that they will receive it in their expected time frame. By using an order management system that displays current inventory to the customer, if they are in a hurry they can order products that are in stock and avoid those that are on backorder. This feature eliminates calls and emails about availability. A great feature for some businesses is the ability to automatically block the ordering of out of stock items.
- Account customization - Every customer is unique and you need the ability to accommodate differences between your buyers. Make sure that the solution you select allows you to show complete account history and to customize pricing, product mix, product photos, and other important details like your customer’ part numbers.
- Drop-ship and multiple store capability - If your customers send drop-ship orders or if they order for multiple stores it is important that your software allows them to override default shipping addresses.
- Easy portal updates – Show important announcements right in the portal. You can easily display to your customers if there are shipping delays due to weather, if you have holiday hours, if you are offering special pricing on certain product, or if certain products just came back in stock or are out of stock. By updating the message area of your customer portal you can quickly show this info without sending personalized emails or making phone calls.
- Ease of use for every party - Every person involved in the order process should benefit from your software.
- The customer portal should be easy to navigate, indicate whether the desired items are in stock, and provide tracking information.
- If you work with sales reps, they should have a similar system that allows them to enter orders from the field.
- When sending orders to bonded warehouses, they should receive the information in an appropriate format, without the need for additional data entry on anybody’s part. When an order is shipped, that data should automatically display in the customer portal, closing the loop and giving all parties the information they need, when they need it.
Business owners and managers always want to know how investing in new software systems will impact the bottom line. Think about how much time you, your office manager, and other staff members spend on each order and multiply that by the number of orders you process each week. Chances are that adds up to a lot of time that you could be spending on business development, marketing, or other tasks that will help you grow your business. Implementing order management software could be the key to taking your company to the next level.
If you use QuickBooks and you or your staff is spending more than an hour or two a day entering orders or answering routine questions from reps and customers, check out Now Commerce. We offer order management software that integrates with QuickBooks and streamlines the entire order management process. Whether you need a customer portal, ordering software for sales reps, warehouse integration, or all three, we have the solutions you need. Contact us today to schedule a demo and learn about the many benefits to you and your customers.