14 Signs You Have A Problem With Your sales Order Process

Order processing challenges and requirements will vary significantly from business to business as well as Market to Market. Here are some common signs you have a sales order process problem:

  1. Increasing internal queries– operational teams are spending too much time searching for order information and requirements. There is no single view of an order – there are multiple and differing views of it and status
  2. Manual printing of labels, invoices or other personalised content – Processes are heavily dependent up paper and manual processes not digital by default.
  3. Increasing customer complaints – Customers are receiving incorrect or defective items and complaining about delays and billing issues:
  4. Sales Pipeline & Cash Flow Management – Longer fulfilment or delivery cycles are causing an issue with cash management and visibility
  5. Inventory or resource issues – Service delivery and production team struggle to respond to demand as customer demand forecast linked to sales order processing fails
  6. Errors or Mistakes in customers’ orders – could be the incorrect item or part code, missing information. The process for capturing the order isn’t robust enough and is causing exception and manual queries. Differences in information across systems ie web, channel, price list and silos.
  7. Customer Order status queries – Customers aren’t being providing with significant status on delivery or project progress
  8. Additional requests and changing mind – Initial engagement and information hasn’t provided enough information to the customer. It could be the sales or pre-sales process or differences in information across systems ie web, channel, price list and silos.
  9. Order Entry issues: Manual sales support processes such as data entry where purchase orders or contracts are converted to sales orders in systems. From spelling errors and typos to incorrect item selected.
  10. Delivery & Production issues and queries -Other departments such as delivery and support can’t deliver or produce an order due to missing or incorrect information passed from sales to operations – could be in the sales order process or statement of requirements and works if linked to services.
  11. System discrepancies: master data and service inconsistencies across systems, web, channels, pricelist and departmental silos. If you don’t fully integrate your sales channels, product descriptions, classifications, hierarchies, and identifiers can be inconsistent across your website, catalogue, and physical location. A strong sales order processing system will create a central master repository that maintains a single consistent source of data.
  12. Challenges in correcting and recovering from an issue between order and delivery. Even with the best will in the world, issues will crop up between order and delivery. This could be internal and avoidable or external and unforeseen ie an accident, low supplier stock, shipping etc. Recovering the situation requires the ability to quickly retrace the process and correct the issues, re start the process and update the customer.
  13. Delays, errors and compliance issues processing orders – manual processes and weak digital workflows can mean information gets “lost” or steps and interdependences get forgotten.
  14. Finance Issues: Vendor billing and payments are common sources of problems. As a result of these issues, overcharges or duplicate invoicing can arise.
    A sales order process can help avoid many of these issues, alleviate any risks if they do happen as well as support recovery.

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