Time is ripe for modernization of sales order processing

December 28, 2020 08:33
Photo: Orange Business Services

Industry 4.0 is transforming supply chains and how companies order new products and services. Gartner has predicted that by 2023, 50% of large global companies will use automated tools in their supply chains. They promise to improve transparency in information flows, reduce transaction costs and enable companies to better analyze data, predict requirements, and optimize inventory levels.

Transforming processes in the supply chain can be a daunting undertaking. However, sales order processing is ripe for modernization. For a long time, it has been a highly manual operation, and manual operations presents the possibility for mistakes in costing, errors in quantities and slower order fulfillment.

Manual sales order processing also makes it more difficult for suppliers to plan and budget or highlight and service urgent orders. It can create errors in your ordering process and lead to additional expenses around reshipping and restocking, production delays, inventory problems, missed or wrong orders. This could result in giving customers an experience that might lead to them not coming back.

As said in the Forrester Research in 2019, organisations of the future “depends on automation to create massive efficiencies and new capabilities and has the potential to unleash human capital to pursue more creative, higher-value goals.” Another research also shows that 30% of supply chain professionals feel they must respond to customer demand for faster, more accurate order fulfilment. Automation of ordering process can be a great start towards that goal.

Here’s a quick overview of the benefits of automation in sales order processing:

-Better resources usage: Using digital technologies to automate ordering process has an immediate impact on resource usage. Less human labor is required and you spend less on processing orders overall. Workers can be reallocated to higher-value tasks that can generate greater value for the company.

-Greater visibility on order processing: Automation can mitigate risk, while also improve forecasting, workflow prioritization, budgeting and planning. There is a consequent benefit of all this in improved customer experience: the order processing and customer service teams can resolve any issues more quickly with instant access to order documentation.

-Improved speed, accuracy and efficiency: Customers’ order can be quickly and accurately inputted into the supply chain through a digital dashboard, there is a cascade of benefits throughout the whole system. Shipping and logistics teams have more time to coordinate the delivery of products for example, and historic data can be analyzed to help improve the process on a continuing basis. In the low touch economy, automated order processing can help optimize processes and also be an effective way to reduce costs.

In an ever-changing and competitive business environment, automation of sales order processing is not only a great way to optimize resources, but also a good means to differentiate from competitors and provide quality services. Taking the leap on automation is never easy, but it is essential in the ever-changing modern business world, which could help bring business successes in a more digitalized world.

Copyright: Project Syndicate
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General Manager of Orange Business Services in Hong Kong and Taiwan