Making the move to intelligent automation? That’s a good first step! Now comes the hard part — knowing what works for your business. We’ll help you get it right — we discuss purchasing order processing software, but these pointers could also come in handy when sourcing an intelligent process automation solution for any document-based process.
Order processing software is a critical component of order fulfillment. Done right, you could garner new customers. Done wrong, your company brand could be affected. For business longevity, it is not enough that you manage customers. What you need to focus on is the customer lifecycle — knowing your customer and catering to his/her requirements consistently. For this, you need to have in place a customer-centric business model.
But what is that? Say, your customer purchases milk of a certain brand at a certain rate regularly. In instances where that particular brand of milk becomes unavailable, your customer may choose the next preferred brand, which is more costly, or may not buy anything at all. Repeat this behavior on a few other occasions, and you get a decent glimpse of your customer’s buying pattern. Of course, there are many factors that determine a buyer’s choice for purchasing a product — need, preference, likeability, urgency, cost, availability, obsessive-compulsive tendency, as well as location and time. In this case, you are made known of two, very innocent, but critical choices — either you make sure to have available the buyer’s preferred brand at all times or decide on supplementing your store shelves with the costlier version. Automation provides scope for monitoring buyer behavior. Order processing software is one of them.
Order processing software eliminates a lot of the drudgery that comes with managing sales orders and mundane paperwork. Most solutions in this space employ intelligent automation to streamline routine work and do away with error-prone manual paperwork.
But the best part is your participants in a general order fulfillment process — the buyer, seller, and the various process agents along the fulfillment chain — can all be onboarded on to a single digital transformation platform, helping enhance process visibility and efficiency. Tracking buying patterns along this platform becomes easy, allowing businesses to make note of customer preferences and deliver accordingly.
Order processing software plays a vital part in facilitating accurate data availability to an order fulfillment platform, usually an ERP or CRM system. We’ll discuss the points to keep in mind when purchasing an order processing software to get rid of painstaking manual effort and lower operating costs during sorting and processing of sales orders for use in ERPs.
Deciding on the Right Order Processing Software
Intelligent Automation: your order processing software should be smart; smart enough to take on work that traditionally entails manual effort. This means that your software should be embedded with machine learning capabilities to learn user actions and apply those for processing new customer sales orders with unfamiliar templates — a simple automation tool with zero cognitive power does not have the knowledge to process new orders.
Intelligent Capture: performing data entry is time consuming and laborious. Your software should come equipped with powerful data capture technologies like OCR/ICR and machine learning that will extract relevant details from a sales order form, automatically.
Image Preprocessing: data from sales orders is unstructured or semi-structured. Text and images including handwritten signatures are difficult to capture and extract unless they are of high quality. Choose an order processing software that comes with image preprocessing capabilities — resizing, segmenting, rotating, noise cancelling, applying morphology for image smoothening, de-skewing — all help automatically prepare your document for immediate data extraction and processing for use in ERPs.
Multichannel Capture: if you have to make the extra effort to manually alter document formats and types so as to make them ready for your order processing system, then it defeats the very purpose of you transitioning to automation. Choose a solution that is capable of capturing documents from diverse sources and of varied types including ftps, mfps, fax, email, etc. into your order processing workflow.
Scope for Multiple Integrations: in an age of collaborative working and assimilation of different business models to get work done, your software will be rendered useless if it does not have the capability to integrate with your standard ERP system, or in this case, an order fulfillment platform or customer relationship management software. Choose a solution that has scope for integration with a diverse set of line-of-business applications so you are assured of end-to-end data and business continuity from the point of receiving a customer order to the point where it is fulfilled in, say, a CRM system.
Customization: you cannot afford to have a rigid software product that will not allow you to accommodate for changing business requirements. Because every business case is unique, you must choose a solution that caters specifically to your business requirements, which means your software should allow for custom workflow configurations and modifications.
No Code Automation: no code is the new black in automation software! Because not everyone is trained in IT, it helps that you look for a product that will allow for custom modifications and workflow configurations, without having you code. Codeless automation will enable even non-technical staff to build workflow definitions to meet specific business requirements.
Scalability: the purpose of automating your core, mission critical processes is to reassign your valuable, skilled workers to more strategic work and grow your business. Any upgrade to an automated solution that does not support this is wasted. Choose a software that will allow you to take on 10 customer sales orders on day one, 30 the next, and 100 the following day.
Making the move to intelligent automation for critical back-office tasks is always rewarding. You only need to know whether a particular order processing software will help you accomplish your objectives or not. For more professional consultation on the right intelligent process automation tool for your company, contact Artsyl.