Digital transformation is all about leveraging data and automation to center your operations around the customer, their experience and their needs. One of the biggest hurdles companies face in their digital transformation journey is timely access to data, than in many cases is trapped in unstructured content sources like emails, sales orders and other related documents.
In most cases, a keyboard and mouse becomes the biggest obstacle to getting access to that data. It’s an obstacle that is unnecessarily inflating time between when a customer places an order and when they are invoiced and the order is fulfilled. The symptoms of this problem, expressed as a key performance indicator (KPI) is Days Sales Oustanding.
There are multiple industries where average days sales outstanding, with manual processes, exceed 60 days, with management consulting (125 days) and oil and gas extraction (110 days) on the high end. By automating the routing/handling of sales orders, along with data entry from those orders, companies can easily cut the number in half of better, achieving aa DSO of 30 days or less.
The benefits that flow from automatically extracting information from sales orders are many. One of the obvious benefits are better control over cash flow. Enhanced customer service is another main benefit, for reasons both obvious and more subtle. Fulfilling orders efficiently is the obvious was to improve customer satisfaction At the same time, more timely access to detailed buyer behavior information helps firms to anticipate demand, helping to ensure that a product will be in stock during peak demand periods, and helping companies to anticipate and proactively address emerging trends.
An order accurately and efficiently processed leads to a satisfied customer who pays on time. The lower the DSO, the more promising the results and impacts on the customer experience and on the financial health of their chosen vendor.
Here are a three was sales order automation can drive down DSO while boosting cash flow, enhancing customer satisfaction and empowering your employees.1. Measure What You Manage
Managing customer sales orders can be a challenge under the best of circumstances. Having multiple channels for customers to submit orders further complicates the issue. With email inboxes to monitor, telephone calls to respond to, Web forms, Fax numbers and EDI to keep track of, choice can lead to complexity and increase inefficiency. Automating the capture of order information from all of these channels can deliver a huge productivity boost.
Intelligent process automation solutions like OrderAction from Artsyl Technologies capture customer orders across multiple channels, extracting relevant transaction data automatically in a way that is fast, efficient and accurate.2. Automate the Rules and Learn from the Exceptions
One of the biggest sources of process inefficiencies are errors and exceptions. Sending an order to the wrong person, the wrong department or the wrong site can lead to significant losses and delays. These are the sorts of problems that can be solved systematically through automation.
OrderAction from Artsyl Technologies is an example of an intelligent process automation application that allows companies to apply business rules business data extracted from sales order documents in a way that ensures consistent routing with a clear audit trail.
Where exceptions occur, human operators can be alerted to provide additional instructions that can be recorded and used to modify the system’s algorithms without the need for coding or configuration changes.3. Automate and eliminate tasks that add little value
Manually keying data into a database is inefficient, error-prone and tedious—a task better suited fr robots than humans. Automating document handling and data entry prevents fraud and reduces errors by allowing for instant, real time cross-referencing of existing ERP or CRM records to ensure accuracy. Off-loading these tasks from process owners allows them to on higher value-added work, including analysis of sales trends, forecasting and exception handling/further process optimization.
These are just a few examples of the benefits of sales order automation that can be achieved in as little as 90 days, with ROI from efficiency gains within 180 days. Once these systems pay for themselves, they continue to add higher-level value from more timely data and better business insights.
Take the first step today, and follow a path towards ongoing improvement and new levels of customer satisfaction.