Order Management Automation: Avoid Expensive Errors

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Order Management Automation: Avoid Expensive Errors

Why get excited about connecting order management tools to CRM?

Because the more quickly, efficiently and correctly you fulfill orders, the more you’ll increase your business’ growth, efficiency and customer satisfaction scores.

Hence it’s no surprise that numerous businesses have adopted order management tools for Salesforce — via AppExchange — from the likes of Glovia and Rootstock. Meanwhile, salesforce.com itself plans to launch new order-management functionality as part of its Spring 2014 Salesforce release.

Fulfill Orders More Faithfully

The impetus behind order management is simple: to eliminate errors — which even the most careful company in the world would otherwise have difficulty avoiding — since just one error on an order can wipe out a company’s entire profit on a deal, if not cost it money.

Most manufacturing companies, for example, typically make a 20% profit — or for medical device companies, perhaps a 40% profit — on a deal. But consider what happens with a big-ticket item, such as an MRI machine that gets custom-configured for a given healthcare facility. If an order goes into manufacturing and a product gets built, configured and shipped to a customer before the business discovers an order error, then the cost of shipping the product back, fixing it and dispatching the product again can easily equal whatever profit the company hoped to make.

That’s why, wherever possible, we recommend that businesses employ automation to avoid errors. One hot CRM project, for example, involves automating configure, price and quote (CPQ) processes, for which we often recommend the cloud-based Apttus platform. Such automation helps eliminate the manual, error-prone processes associated with generating or adjusting quotes.

Automating Order Management: 3 Business Benefits

The same goes for order management: automation reduces errors. But what’s the best business case for tapping this functionality?

Overall, CRM can be used to achieve one or more of the following three outcomes: growth, efficiency and customer satisfaction. Accordingly, here’s how order management tools can deliver on each of these business results:

  • Growth: Automating order management means salespeople spend less time interacting with the engineering/manufacturing department. Likewise, creating sales configuration tools that validate orders before they go into manufacturing cuts down on costly errors.

  • Efficiency: Automation and configuration tools free salespeople to spend more time selling, thus boosting their productivity.

Cut Costs By Avoiding Mistakes

Integrating order entry tools with your CRM system also helps reduce — if not avoid outright — certain costs. That’s because sales teams can see accurate, up-to-date information on stock and availability. Likewise, businesses can build order-validation rules into Salesforce to ensure that sales teams don’t sell wrongly configured or unavailable items, be they individual products or bundled SKUs.

For example, for Cloud Sherpas customer Kite Packaging, a packaging supply company, shipping the wrong type of material to a client requires paying to ship it back, restocking it on warehouse shelves and tasking a salesperson to call the client and resolve the problem.

Since Kite Packaging implemented an order-entry system, however, which is tied to its Salesforce CRM software, the company estimates that it’s not only reduced order-error costs, but also increased productivity by 23%.

Now, isn’t that something to get excited about?

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Viewminder.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.

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