Order processing is a critical part of customer order fulfillment and distribution management. Order processing begins with executing the components of a customer sales order form. A sales order form will contain all the particulars of a customer order and the items that have been purchased. A customer sends a purchase order to a vendor, which contains details of the products and services they intend to purchase. In turn, the vendor reciprocates by sending a sales order to the customer, which details the confirmed goods and services they intend to ship to the customer. Timely execution of a sales order is an important step in the order fulfillment chain and critical to retaining customers. The distribution network is responsible for the successful delivery of the goods and services, as listed in a sales order. In essence, sales order processing and distribution are two connected functions within the larger supply chain that must operate in cohesion to meet customer demand in a time bound manner. But before the product reaches the distribution networks, there is order processing. Distribution networks will get the go ahead to package, ship, and deliver the product based on how efficiently a sales order is processed. That’s why it is critical that sales order processing is implemented in a timely and efficient manner.
Typically, sales orders are processed manually. This can be hugely erroneous and lead to not just processing delays but also late order deliveries. Delays in order fulfillment can affect customer approval rates and your chances of securing repeat business. In a way, order processing directly impacts customer retention rates and business. Rapid order processing ensures timely mobilization of distribution networks to deliver goods and services on time.
The best way to accelerate order processing in today’s fast-paced economy is by relying on technology. Technology is an enabler and helps mobilize mission critical processes that can often be cause for bottlenecks and delays. Manual effort is error-prone and can lead to delays in order processing and subsequent delays along the distribution chain. To avoid this, businesses can automate the entire order processing chain. Intelligent automation is an advanced automation technology that enables digital transformation of critical business processes that are "stuck" in the untransformed world. Document-based tasks like order processing, invoice processing, handling claims, mailroom operations, payroll, onboarding, etc. are all heavily paper-based and manually-driven. Intelligent process automation helps streamline these operations. Intelligent automation is embedded with digital transformation technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotic process automation, recognition technology like OCR, OMR/ICR, intelligent data capture technology, and business process automation. A combination of these technologies help develop a robust workflow automation solution with powerful data capture features that can handle complex document-based tasks like a human would. Intelligent process automation creates an end-to-end workflow automation for the capture, extraction, validation, and verification of data from different unstructured, structured, and semi-structured documents. When it comes to processing customer sales orders as well, the technology performs straight-through order processing without needing human intervention. This reduces the delays and errors that are typical of human effort. With a suitable order processing software with intelligent automation capabilities, it is possible to ensure accurate and speedy processing of orders. Elimination of manual data entry and document processing work ensures that orders are processed in record time, and goods delivered in the right quantity and specifications to the customer. Timely and accurate processing of sales order forms reverberates across the distribution networks as well.
Zero sales order processing errors or delays ensures that the data in the order form is accurate and valid, enabling businesses to transport and deliver only the right quantity of goods from the production floor to the customer. Accurate order processing ensures the communication of accurate sales order data to the distribution networks. In turn, distributors are able to meet customer requirements and demand exactly, and ensure high standards of customer service. The right sales order process ensures the right customer service. When it comes to cost control, intelligent automation creates a chain effect of continuous savings, where apart from lowering the costs of manual labor and operations, businesses can also avail savings in transportation and inventory control, which could otherwise prove costly due to bad data entering the supply chain.
A wrong sales data entry can result in the wrong quantity of goods to be supplied to the customer, or delays in shipping, all of which could prove costly in terms of reprocessing, additional transportation charges, and/or product returns. Typically, details from a sales order are entered in a company spreadsheet. Then, different validation checks are performed to determine the accuracy of the sales order data. Validation will also include checking the inventory for availability of stock. Post data validation, the order form needs to be verified for approval by a manager, who gives the go ahead for the order details to be executed. Products are then sourced from the inventory and assembled, and prepared for packaging, shipping, and delivery. The inventory records are also updated with the change in stock. All the documentation in sales order processing can be automated with intelligent automation. Beecause manual effort is removed along the entire process from the time a sales order is received to when it is executed for order packaging and delivery, there are few instances of errors or delays during process implementation. The result of accelerated sales order processing, accelerated distribution, and delivery.
Intelligent process automation