Henry Ford had a concept involving lean manufacturing, where he saw a need to eliminate unnecessary waste and have a tighter, more continuous flow in the production process. Like Mr. Ford, supply chain and customer service leaders today are finding they need a better way to improve on productivity and remove wasteful steps in their value chain. By extending lean manufacturing into your order processing today, this will give you better production speeds, more company savings and improve the customer experience without sacrificing quality service. With these on-demand and on-premises software solutions now available, they make more automated order management possible and these hidden customer service costs are greatly reduced.
Ordering The Wrong Item
Proper order processing is critical to good customer service and can exhaust your organization’s time, money and resources especially if it is still done manually or, if your outdated software tools alone cannot provide all the document handling your company needs. By processing your orders through these new automated solutions, you can better control these two flows: the flow of your goods and the flow of your information. This new way of keeping up with these documents cuts down on shipping customers the wrong items or incorrect quantities because there is less human error with one time data entry. When an order is first created, you now have real-time information flowing and included on all your work and purchase orders which provides good communication between all departments. This is because everyone has access to the same information, at the same time and updates to any changes that may occur.
Overlooking the Customer’s Real Needs
Another hidden customer service cost involves overlooking what customers are actually looking for when doing business today. These companies are looking for services that satisfy these two real needs: improved visibility and better responsiveness. With a more lean, automated way of accessing your customer data now, you’ll provide them with more accuracy in order details and can attend to their customer inquiries immediately. This has added advantages for both you and your customer because you resolve any issues and update any changes to information in a more timely manner before their merchandise actually ships. This reduces costs by driving down excessive inventory and keeps the flow of outbound shipments consistent. Like Ford, who had a concept to improve productivity and eliminate waste, you now have accurate visibility on your order processing, a continuous flow of goods, improved supply chain responsiveness and more effective overall communication.
Trying to Attain Unrealistic Service Goals
Time Utility is an important factor in having good customer relationships because it’s all about providing consumers with their desired goods at the time when they need them. Doing this in a more efficient way differentiates you from others in this business because if there isn’t a realistic idea on lead times, realizing too late that a promised item is available in three days instead of two, leads to customer dissatisfaction. With your company having a better way of organizing order processing and getting these products out there, you improve on customer service, the word spreads and your value is more realized in the supply chain community. Using automation and processing your orders through one channel now, gives you a better look at actual customer demand because the numbers are right in front of you, which helps you schedule production with continuously updated, real-time information. And this ability to fill orders completely and track any order or claim with complete accuracy and efficiency, gives you greater sustainability and lets you outperform all the others in your field.
With customers wanting more real-time commitments regarding price, manufacturing schedules and delivery dates, extending Ford’s Lean Manufacturing Concept into your order processing helps build better buyer/seller relations. By automating the way you do business, this eliminates the need for those manual processes that are time-consuming, more costly and, lets you update those outdated software tools. Today, these software solutions also let you not only automate order processing but also allow you to incorporate all your business documents into one convenient platform that is easy to use and satisfies all your communication needs. To learn more about document process automation and how to improve productivity and efficiency, check out our eBook, Breaking the Mold: How Sales Order Management Solutions Strengthen Order & Claim Processing.