If you’ve been on the fence about automation and artificial intelligence in the workplace, the pandemic must’ve forced you to pick a side. Manual business processes are no longer cutting it, and with the workforce forced to be at home, organizations have found that automation can help them significantly improve many processes. Order process automation can help ecommerce businesses increase order management efficiencies and optimize their supply chain.
Automated order processing eliminates tedious manual work and helps process orders faster. With inefficiencies removed from the order management process, orders are fulfilled faster and more accurately.
The order processing system is integrated with your online store and sales channels. This helps connect sales with supply chain seamlessly so that orders are verified and processed as soon as they’re placed online. Once orders are placed, their status is updated in real-time, and customers are notified accordingly.
Order process automation helps you manage and organize your orders, and also provides a single source of information for customer orders. With an organized and automated ordering process, you can expect to have satisfied customers and drive profitability.
Let’s have look at the top 7 benefits of implementing order process automation into your organization:
Process mapping can help you identify waste in your processes and help develop lean systems. A simple look at your business process maps will show that manual processes and legacy systems are incredibly time-consuming. With an automatic order processing system that’s connected to your accounting, warehouse, and customer relationship management software, you will save an immense amount of time by avoiding re-entry of information.
Processing orders automatically will also help speed up the shipping and fulfillment process, you’ll be able to print out shipping labels, and order verification will also be automatic.
From receiving a sales order to delivering it, there are a number of different manual processes to follow that can be cumbersome. When you automate these, you streamline the process flow and condense the amount of time required for every step. Adopters of automation report a reduction in order processing time—from confirmed order until confirmed delivery—from two or three days to one or two hours.
Automation frees up valuable time for employees, time that can be used in decision making and more productive tasks. The faster you process orders, the more orders you can process in a given timeframe than ever before. This will obviously lead to more profit and savings across the board.
Better customer service
Your customer service needs to be exemplary for your customers to stick around. Managing orders manually often leads to unhappy customers because of the natural shortcomings and redundancies of paper-based manual processes. The biggest benefit of order process automation is that it will help improve your customer service and enhance the customer experience.
Customer service is your backbone. You might have a fantastic product on offer, but if your customers don’t enjoy the entire shopping experience, they won’t return to buy from you. They will also not recommend you to others, and you can’t afford for this to happen. Orders must be fulfilled accurately and efficiently. Automating the ordering process should be at the forefront of every leader’s business strategy to ensure accurate delivery and effective communication with customers.
Order process software integrates with your enterprise software. This gives your sales team access to all information about a customer. They don’t have to coordinate to and from the office looking for information because it’s at their fingertips for immediate use during a sales call.
The order processing system will save valuable time for your remote customer support team by giving them access to all the information about order status that a customer could want. Order status is updated in real-time so customers can be informed accordingly, or they can check their order status on an order processing portal accessed through your ecommerce website. This will relieve the load on the call center staff, who mostly answer questions about delivery dates.
You can also create a helpdesk ticketing system by integrating your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) with your order processing system. That will help organize your customer queries and prioritize them according to the status of their order. Order process automation and CRM integrations can also help you set up automatic emails or texts to update customers when an order is received, processed, being prepared, and shipped. Providing visibility of order status is key to customer satisfaction and will lead to fewer emails and calls.
Automatic data entry
An automated order processing system helps you keep control of your data. With integrations with your accounting and warehouse management system, data passes through fewer hands. You gain significant control over who gets to access your data and reduce chances for data errors and data loss. When you leverage automation and set rules for access control, everyone, including customers, gets access to only the data they need, increasing data security.
An order processing system receives and verifies customer orders. Once it enters them into an inventory system for order processing to start, it retains customer information and delivery location, reducing the need to re-enter information constantly. It creates centralized information and databases for your orders that can help you use historical data for demand forecasting and other business strategy insights.
Order accuracy is one of the most important metrics to measure regularly. The more accurate your order deliveries are, the more you can expect customers to trust you. A lot of processes are involved in preparing an order before it gets delivered, and manual processes always leave room for error.
Mistakes made entering customer data and order information can lead to picking and packing errors. This then leads to delayed orders, angry customers, and frustrated managers.
You end up shipping the wrong order or to the wrong address because a manual process always has room for error. Order process automation reduces the need for human input and thus improves accuracy. When you have the right systems in place, especially when they are automated, you can improve order accuracy and perform well beyond customer expectations.
Computers can recognize images and make sense of them, you could simply scan a document, and the computer would read and process all data with the help of technology. Advances in tech mean more process visibility and that any discrepancies will be highlighted before they create a problem. With more visibility comes more accountability, and you can expect your team to be more careful with their mistakes and time.
Order process automation can help businesses result in an overall cost reduction of up to 15%. There are no two ways about it; you reduce human involvement, let technology take over, and the costs of certain processes fall. As you automate tasks for maximum efficiency, order fulfillment costs decrease, and therein lies one of the most significant benefits of an automated order processing system.
Cognitive AI (artificial intelligence) powered software bots operate against a set of business rules that you have to specify. Your automated ordering system can validate data against information stored in another record and even check that sales tax and shipping charges are calculated without errors.
A fully integrated system requires less labor to run it and results in a decrease in cost. As if the time savings and improved customer services weren’t enough, an automated ordering system improves your bottom line as well. The financial benefit is hard to gauge because, in some areas, the cost-saving is explicit, while in others, it is not.
Better order accuracy improves customer satisfaction and increases customer retention. By reducing incorrect and delayed orders, you’ll find that order processing software will pay for itself a few months down the line
Manual order processing creates hurdles and does not provide the clarity and visibility that automated order processing does. Improved data extraction means that data is available faster, and you know where your supply chain stands at any given point. An automated ordering system would provide you with dashboards, so you have a visual checkpoint of orders pending for delivery and their status. You can also ensure that orders go through every fulfillment check gate and all exceptions are flagged.
When you have complete visibility, it helps mitigate risks and forecasting, budgeting, and workflow optimization. The visibility that automation and dashboard analytics can give you will help you take a high-level view and make decisions with greater speed, clarity, and strategy.
Reduce low-value activities
Just because your employees are busy does not mean they’re productive. Quite the opposite, in fact. Automation means good things for your business, but it is meant to improve the lives of your employees too. When you automate the entire ordering process, you relieve your employees from an unwieldy, tiring, productivity-killing task.
Employees are happier when they’re adding value to their organizations, and repetitive manual labor is anything but a value-adding activity. Let your employees tap into their creativity and intellect and contribute to the growth of your company.
With more time on their hands, your employees can execute revenue-generating actions like engaging with customers or driving sales. Low-value work affects morale, and that automatically affects profitability. Keeping your teams engaged and happy is the secret to a successful business.
With mindless tasks out of the way, expect the creative juices to flow and watch how eager your employees will be to contribute to your organization. They will have time to focus on other endeavors, and perhaps their work-life balance could also improve. With more time to relax, you could prevent burnout in your employees and keep them passionate about their jobs.
Multi-Channel Sales Order Capture
In the age of omnichannel retail, people are placing orders on your website, by email, Facebook, and even on Instagram. Buying patterns have changed with the advent of so many digital channels. An automated ordering system allows you to consolidate order information from multiple channels, which otherwise is a time-consuming process. You simply have to integrate all your different ordering channels, and once in the system, all orders are processed similarly.
Order process automation centralizes the collection of orders from all your sales channels. It also provides access to data related to the orders, and the analytics provided can also be differentiated according to each sales channel. This can help you monitor the performance of different sales channels.
Order process automation ensures your orders make it perfectly from order to fulfillment without any deviations. Leaders of today must be hyper-focused on digitally reinventing their organizations. Transform your legacy systems to automated systems powered by artificial intelligence. Most order process software will be available as a cloud-based service, and with automation in cloud computing, you can expect the transition to be smooth.
It’s always recommended to function test any enterprise software before you buy it, as it’s a considerable investment, and you need to see if it fits your organization and its processes.
Order process automation software will help you save loads of time, add speed, reduce errors, improve customer service, and increase employee satisfaction.
Sales order automation not only accelerates business growth; it also allows you to focus on more challenging tasks and, most crucially, on generating profit. Order fulfillment quality will be improved, and you can also use your data to gain valuable customer insights. Increase corporate agility and move towards greater productivity by automating your ecommerce ordering system today.