In this era of cut throat competition, who would understand it better than you that even a low margin order can make a substantial difference to your profit line in a VAR business? But equally crucial issue is to understand how efficiently you can process a low margin order in terms of time and money, so as to maximize your revenues.
Ideally, the faster the order processing is done, better it is for your business. For example, let’s say you have received an order for a keyboard and a mouse. You would of course not want to refuse the order because it either will boost your sales percentage or perhaps it is crucial for your long term customer relationship. Whatever the reason may be, the reality is that the cumulative time taken in the entire order processing cycle (from sales order to purchase order to invoice to tracking and shipment) is much higher than the time actually taken to make a sale of that product. Hence, whatever margins you are expecting are negated by the manual inputs in the relative value of time, resulting in high cost per order for business and service dissatisfaction for customers. A few other challenges involved in manual order processing are:
- Higher error rates and rework
- Limited control and transparency over the process
- Misplaced, duplicate or lost orders
- Incorrect or delayed shipments
- Increased paperwork and documentation
- More deployment of resources per order
To meet these challenges, what you really need is a Touchless Order Process that can integrate with all your sales processes and make the manual touch points redundant. This calls for automating as many as steps possible in the sales order processing without impacting the flexibility or speed of the process.
A smart automation order process system can transform your sales process from a challenging, complicated task to a simplified, methodical one in the following six ways.
1. Quick Order Processing
A touchless order process has in-built automated functions that will streamline the entire process, right from capturing an order to approving it, converting a sales order into a purchase order for distributor and then sending an invoice post shipment. This not only cuts down the overall order handling time but also avoids the delays that result from human intervention.
2. Reduced Error Rates
An electronic order process hardly requires any manual routing, paperwork or documentation. Consequently, there are negligible chances of data entry errors; lost, duplicate or misplaced orders; incorrect or delayed shipments and customer complaints.
3. Lower Costs
As soon as you shift your order to cash process to automation, you can expect significant cost savings resulting directly from increase in the order quantity, digital archiving of stored data and lesser deployment of human resources.
4. Ability to Accept all Order Sizes
A good business is all about maintaining a strong customer relationship, irrespective of the fact whether it is an existing or potential customer and it is a high or low value order. A touchless process ensures that while you spend your time effectively on servicing the customers instead on order processing, your customers too have the power of self servicing themselves through comparing products on your e-store and ordering directly without your assistance at any stage. So, no need for you to refuse a low margin order now!
5. Absolute Visibility and Control
With automation, you have complete visibility over each stage the order is at any given point of time. A touchless software comes with high-end, sophisticated technology configuration features and a rich user interface, which also allows you to control and link other inter-related applications such as finances, accounting, and inventory with the order process.
6. Better Productivity and Customer Service
Now that your order process has gone virtual, the employees who were deployed in managing the orders can be instead effectively utilized in more fruitful functions such as sales and customer servicing. Additionally, you can keep your customers happy by providing them a world-class service marked by a fewer complaint as well as quicker, accurate query handling and resolution.
In spite of all the wonderful benefits that a touchless technology brings with it, one must be warned that it does not, however, completely purge the need to closely monitor the systems or curb your liability to your distributors. The entire idea of an automated order process is to allow you to spend only a fraction of the total time that you may otherwise spend on manually processing the orders or tracking the information from quote to shipment.
VARStreet can help you to automate your order-to-cash process. Call us now to know more!