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4 steps to streamline your order management

High-functioning order management is important for all companies, but especially in manufacturing ones. Reliable and efficient production is based on incoming orders being handled on time and being correct. Here, we share the benefits of efficient order management and four steps to optimize the process.

Why streamline your order management?

Do you experience friction in the ordering process? Do errors often creep in? Are staff often tied up spending too much time on order handling? If you answered ‘yes’ to some or perhaps even all of these questions, there are opportunities to streamline your order process.

Efficient order management can, among other things, achieve the following:

Reduced risk of costly errors

An incorrect order entry can be costly for both you and the customer. A simple input mistake could lead to a product being produced with completely wrong dimensions, and leave you, quite literally, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. An efficient and high-functioning order process intercepts these types of errors and ensures that the order is correct from the beginning.

Increased productivity

Put simply, an order process with minimal manual work requires fewer resources. This means that staff who previously spent a lot of time managing the order flow can instead be freed up to focus on more value-creating tasks, which will help grow the business.  

Provide relevant and reliable data

An efficient order process records and stores relevant and reliable data in real time for the entire order chain. You should be able to easily track the status of orders from start to finish and get an overview of important data such as pending and delivered orders. Having access to reliable data is also important for making data-driven decisions, something that more and more companies are starting to realise the value of.

Scalability and increased competitiveness

Automated order handling can handle exponentially more cases in a shorter time than more traditional human dependent methods. This increases the opportunities for smaller companies to scale up their operations. For larger companies, it is important to have an efficient and optimized order process to keep internal costs down and remain competitive.

4 steps to streamline your order management

Do you need to streamline your order processing but feel a little lost in where to start? Here we suggest four steps to a streamlined order management:

1. Direct everything to a single ordering system

Do you receive orders from many different systems and channels? If you do, then start by directing all incoming orders to the same system. This ensures that all information and order management is gathered in one place. Imagine that you’re creating a funnel that captures all the documents and collects them in one place ready for further handling. This both facilitates the handling and, critically, ensures that you do not miss any incoming orders.

2. Simplify the entry

Once you have ensured that all orders are gathered in one order system, you can proceed with simplifying the entry of order handling. Minimize manual handling by automating how incoming orders are processed as far as possible. Here it is additionally valuable if the process itself can also validate the data. An optimized and automated process is able to find errors that look right to the naked eye but are not right in the order process.

Don’t hesitate to consider investing in an AI solution to handle data input. AI stands for artificial intelligence and means that human processes are simulated in machines, especially computers. With today's AI technology and machine learning, the system can become smarter over time and flag possible errors with an accuracy that is constantly increasing.

3. Synchronize information from multiple systems

The next step towards a streamlined order process is to synchronize information from around the business into one system. For example, syncing stock status reports from the warehouse, order status from the sales team, and delivery status from the logistics department. This step also allows you to make sure that the information is updated in real time so that it always is up to date. With integrated and synchronized information, the latest stock status can be displayed to your customers automatically, without you having to make manual updates.

4. Integrate the order system to your suppliers

Sometimes problems in order management can exist outside your own organization, for example, with your suppliers. Your supplier may not have the right products in stock for you to be able to immediately deliver an order to a customer. One way to solve this is to integrate your order system with your suppliers' systems. This way, there is full transparency across the supply chain in terms of, for example, stock status. If you have your own warehouse, your suppliers can also see if an item is about to run out and alert you to it.  

Effective order management is a must for a manufacturing company and with these tips you will go a long way.

If you are in need of a completely new ordering system, we recommend the following article: 7 tips when choosing a new ordering system.

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