One of the most factors to get right in any wholesale distribution business is order processing. The workflow in which customer orders are picked, packed, and shipped, and how quickly this is done, is a huge contributor to customer satisfaction. In addition, making sure your customer’s retail store shelves are always well-stocked, is critical to your wholesale business maintaining healthy sell-through rates.
Checking out the options and having your finger on the business pulse is always necessary. One of the biggest challenges for wholesalers who want to stay ahead of their competition is to understand the need to implement changes – and to do it quickly. In some cases that can mean days not months or years but whenever line managers truly need that functionality. The rapid evolution of order management software offers essential functionality that we could previously only dream of.
Here are some of the changes and benefits:
Order management software taking over manual processes
A significant number of wholesale and distribution companies still process orders manually, causing a disconnect from the rest of the business, duplicate workflows and inefficiencies. When each manual step is taken by a different team member this not only increases costs but also the potential for errors. Not forgetting the long delay between your sales rep taking an order and when it arrives at your back office for processing.
By automatically syncing with your back-office systems, mobile sales order management software eliminates time delays and errors, improves efficiency, frees up resources for better strategic use - increasing your sales and ROI.
Improved customer satisfaction
As a consumer, it’s frustrating waiting for a delivery, without knowing when it will be delivered. The same is true in the B2B world. Keeping customers in the loop from the moment their order is placed until they receive delivery, results in an improved customer experience, loyal customers and repeat business.
Online sales order management software allows real-time access to your customers’ order history, order status, shipping status and more.
You’ve worked hard to build your customer base so make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep customers loyal. By offering the functionality of the latest order management software you can not only offer improved service to existing customers but also use it to convince new customers to come onboard. It could be your best marketing tool.
360° view of inventory levels
Dealing with back orders can be logistically challenging for any B2B wholesale or distribution business.
If not dealt with efficiently they can slow down your order processing and increase your costs.
What if there was a way to prevent back-orders happening in the first place?
By providing full online and real-time access to your inventory levels – there is.
An effective sales order management software solution enables sales reps to check inventory when taking an order as well as customers placing online orders via a B2B eCommerce portal.
Through a 360° view of inventory levels, sales reps can sell strategically, cross-selling and up-selling where appropriate with the full knowledge of what you have in stock. Additionally, your B2B eCommerce customers can check out alternative products immediately, if the product they want isn’t available.
A digital solution means orders ship complete, and quicker.
Omnichannel increases sales opportunities
An omnichannel sales strategy allows your customers to place their orders through multiple channels; face-to-face with a sales rep, online through a mobile app, or through your e-catalog software. For your strategy to be efficient and successful it is critical for all that order information to be consolidated.
Your sales order management system must provide a holistic picture of all your orders in one centralized location, so you can view your customer’s actions in real-time.
Last but not least, profit
Put all the above together and what do you get? Inevitably the increased efficiency and ability to accurately predict stock-holding requirements will save you money. Add to this the drastic reduction in order errors when your order processing staff no longer have to decipher badly written orders and enter them into your ERP and it’s a no-brainer. Even if revenue doesn’t increase (but it will!) your profit margin is going to improve.
To stay on top of the changes in order management software and ahead of the competition, probably the single most important factor is understanding and recognizing the need for change. It’s no longer good enough to just check what the competition is doing, you need to be the first. You’ll be the one the competition is following!