There’s a shift happening in the world of order management. I’ve noticed supply chain titles on calls, meetings and, ultimately, as signatures on contracts for order processing automation. Traditionally, customer service spearheads order management projects, but today it would feel unusual if supply chain was not present.
I approached a number of customers to gain insights regarding the value an order processing solution brings supply chain owners.
Three reasons why supply chain owners should care about order management and the value that an automated solution can bring them.
- To eliminate tangible waste
This term can be applied to many things: the amount of physical labor wasted when an incorrect order needs to be corrected or returned, the amount of supplies used when processing orders and money wasted on lengthy order processing times are just a few. For example, the company Bayer needs to ensure every returned syringe is unopened — a very time consuming task when a single box contains hundreds of syringes.It has become increasingly common for healthcare providers to demand products for medical procedures on a “just in time” basis, often one or two days before the procedure. Providers are looking to minimize the amount of money tied up in inventory with direct shipping versus distribution based ordering. The burden to get the supply and demand right every time falls on the supply chain team who can look to an order processing automation solution for increased forecast accuracy and less tangible waste throughout the process.
- To eliminate abstract waste
This term references all abstract materials wasted on processing orders that could otherwise be automated. One example is the immense amount of time spent on manually managing orders. It is common for at least 20% of customer service representative’s (CSRs) time to be spent processing orders.Supply chain leaders are often experts well-versed in business improvement techniques (e.g., lean manufacturing, kaizen, six sigma) so they fully understand that every order entered incorrectly is a costly mistake. The average cost to rework an order is $200 – $250 (including shipping costs), with the cost of potential loss of trust and negative impact on the customer experience being even greater.
- To improve visibility
In a recent SAPinsider study on sales order automation, participants indicated that ensuring staff were servicing the customer and increasing KPI metrics were their highest priorities. One surefire way to complete both objectives is with an automation solution. Many offer dashboards containing pertinent information on the business process — creating complete process transparency.Improving visibility is a key component for supply chain owners to mitigate risk, cut costs and meet or exceed customer SLA’s. Upstream visibility into order demand helps distribution centers meet cut-off times, ship items next day versus same day air and avoid overtime costs.
The supply chain leader works in a competitive environment and in order to get ahead of the competition, they are turning to order processing automation solutions — just like Heinz did. Find out how they were able to focus on supply chain management with automated order processing.