If you are considering investing in sales order processing software, you are not alone. Research shows that 87% of organisations have problems with manual sales order processing and 77% say manual processing is holding back company growth. Part of this is because, say 53% of businesses, they receive orders in paper form, through the mail.
The main challenges are that firms experience are that manual sales order processing is:
- Labour intensive: Each order goes through a number of stages, no matter whether it is received through email, mail, telephone sales, fax or even electronically. Each order must be captured, the customers’ account status and credit checked, the order checked against stock availability, the order picked, stock status updated, and a customer invoice generated.
- Time consuming and slow: When each of these processes is done manually, the study found that the average time to the average time to handle all of the paperwork associated with a single sales order (from receipt through to archiving) is an astonishing 51.4 hours.
- Error prone: When orders run to hundreds of line items, each with associated product code, which must all be manually keyed in, it is hardly surprising that errors occur. Typical error rates for manual data entry are estimated to be about one error for every 300 keystrokes. And time spent fixing errors can result in a backlog of unprocessed orders.
- Management intensive: Signing off order paperwork and dealing with backlogs aren’t good uses of management time. 41% say handling sales order paperwork distracts them from strategic tasks.
- Costly: Whilst 56% of organisations admit they do not know the cost of handling sales order paperwork, the average amongst those who could provide an estimate is £89,000 per annum. Order processing errors are also costly: handling each returned item typically costs online sellers between £4 and £13, and that is before the losses from items that are returned in unsalable condition.
Why invest in sales order processing software?
The solution to these problems is to invest in sales order processing software. The right sales order software will:
- Speed up processing and do away with order backlogs: Orders are processed and automatically linked to your inventory, warehouse and accounts systems, reducing manual input at all stages of the process.
- Improve accuracy: Orders are automatically validated, and checked against availability – and more accurate order processing will improve customer satisfaction, and reduce the cost of handling errors.
- Improve the customer experience: Not only will customer get the right goods delivered, and accurate billing, but you will also be able to offer reduced delivery lead times, even on orders that are put in online when your offices are closed.
- Free up customer facing staff: Your sales team will have more time to devote to growing the business and delivering great customer service and account management.
- Enable you to run reports and analyse your business: You may want to analyse sales by product, category, region, branch, sales person or time period. The software captures all the data that you need to understand and improve your business.
As you can see, investing in an integrated sales order system can make a positive difference to how you run your business.
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