PART ONE: Reflection on Discussions at SAP’s SAPPHIRE Customer Event

A few weeks ago, I attended Sapphire SAP’s main customer event. During the week, I had several conversations with Medical Device and Diagnostics Companies that shared similar pains in terms of a lack of visibility in their Order and Request for Quote (RFQ) processes.

The common discussion we have with Customer Service/Order Management teams seems to be the need for them free-up staff so that they may focus on value added activities such as planning deliveries, speaking with the customers over the phone, educating the customers about products and services, etc.. Part of the joy with my job is being able to share that this is a particular strength of Esker. When talking with these teams, much of the discussion surrounds the fact that Esker can facilitate these value added activities as the software works to automate the routing and entry of countless orders. Another feature that brings a significant amount of value is Esker’s ability to improve the visibility of orders in the queue. In fact, based on several projects that I have delivered this valued feature of Esker has brought greater benefit than the Customer and I initially anticipated on several occasions.

During the Sapphire event several Companies explained that their order process has a strict timeline that must be followed. Their customers are often Hospitals, who typically order goods on a “just-in-time” basis in order to minimize their Inventory costs and manage their cash flows. Yet those goods they are ordering can very well be required for a surgery taking place the very next day. This puts a lot of pressure on their Supplier to process all orders the same day the order was received, and more to the point, it typically means orders for certain products or regions must be processed faster than other less time sensitive orders.

A “First In, First Out” (FIFO) approach may not be good enough if a company receives several hundreds of orders via email and fax each day. Then to make matters worse, the Customer Service group are without the tools to alert them that an urgent or “rush” order is stuck waiting for processing to run its course. This lack of visibility can translate into delayed deliveries, frustrated customers, and a big hit on the company’s performance scorecard.

Part Two of my blog will share the solutions that Esker provides to these challenges that Medical Device and Diagnostics Companies face with these pitfalls of order processing.

Interested in learning how you can send documents quickly and easy via cloud fax or mail services directly from desktop or enterprise applications to enhance your order management operations? This free webinar titled “From Paper to Progress: Automating the Document Delivery Process with Ease” will give you all the details and can be listened to here.

Daniel Reeve

Dan Reeve has been with Esker for 13 years. As Esker's Director of Field Sales and Partnerships, Dan's specialties include: Order-to-cash and procure-to-pay solutions; Electronic invoice processing; Improving cash collection in order to lower DSO; Accounts Payable automation for SAP; SAP Document Management projects; along with, Fax, HIPAA, Healthcare, and Adverse reaction processes.

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