In today’s competitive global business environment, companies are continually looking for new ways to drive growth without inflating costs so they can grow the top line without inflating their bottom line. In that context, it’s surprising that companies continue to overlook intelligent process automation and opportunities to eliminate process waste and related costs related to manual order entry related to processing customer sales orders.
The biggest challenges when it comes to processing sales orders isn’t so much about complexity as it is about the volume and velocity of the process — and a dependence on inefficient and error-prone manual document handling and data entry. Technology has existed for decades to address these challenges, but the latest innovations in machine learning, low code development and intelligent automation systems integration make sales order automation increasingly difficult to ignore.
Managing sales orders is a multi-step, multi-departmental process that can involve customer service, sales, manufacturing, logistics, accounts receivable, and finance. Integration with existing data and document systems, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, enterprise content management (ECM) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) platforms and more is critical to delivering process transparency and data flow without bottlenecks and manual intervention.
Wherever there are process gaps in traditional, manual sales order processes, they are filled by people behind a mouse and keyboard. This significantly drives up costs and impacts cycle times, resulting in process delays, decreased profits and business risks related to incorrect and delayed deliveries, lost profits for product write-downs, billing errors, extensive sales outstanding and customer relationships.
Industry studies bear this out, making a compelling case for sales order automation that is made even more compelling by the ease-of-deployment and lowered technical burden from today’s intelligent process automation solutions. Studies like a recent benchmarking report from APQC suggest that companies with manual sales order processes spend 8x more on sales order processes than those that rely on automation.
Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) not only eliminates the manual, repetitive tasks like document handling, data entry and approval routing that increase operations costs — it also reduces the time, cost and effort historically associated with implementing and maintaining a rules-based process automation solution. Intelligent process automation technology has the ability to monitor multiple channels for new sales orders (email inboxes, batch scans of paper orders, customer portals, etc), extract and validate the information by cross-referencing other integrated business systems, route data and documents for approvals and enter extracted data into ERP/other systems for final processing.
Relying on intelligent process automation to streamline customer sales orders has many benefits, all well established and quantified in a variety of industry benchmark reports focused on:
1. Reduced operational costs
IPA intelligently extracts transaction data from sales orders, including customer, product/service pricing and order information in a way that relieves process owners from data entry and document handling burdens. The reduction in effort, the acceleration of cycle time and the reduction in errors and exceptions is why processes streamlined by intelligent automation cost less than 8x what companies spend on manual processes.
2. Enhanced customer experience
In the world where Amazon reigns supreme, companies are focused on becoming increasingly customer-centric. Sales order automation reduces order processing cycle times, while virtually eliminating data entry-related errors contributes to greater customer satisfaction by ensuring that goods or services are delivered on time, at the right price, to the right customer.
3. Empowered Employees
Automating the routine and equipping process owners to address exceptions in a way that is supported by intelligent automation empowers employees to be exceptional — and go beyond following the rules to rewriting processes to be even more efficient and customer-centric.
5. Improves analysis and decision-making
Intelligent sales order automation allows companies to digitize, organize and analyze customer order details down to line-level details in a way that is timely and accurate. Access to data about the number of orders that need to ship, order processing cycle times, top-selling products, rush orders and long-term seasonal or multi-year sales trends deliver more than process efficiency and cost cutting — they deliver invaluable business insights that can help guide companies towards the next level of success.
To learn how you can automate your AP or AR processes in as little as 90 days, with ROI in 180 days, visit the Artsyl resource page and contact your Artsyl representative for a personalized demo.