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Is Your Supply Chain Running at Maximum Potential?

4 Ways Automating Order Management Can Optimize the Supply Chain

by Steve Smith | SAPinsider, Volume 18, Issue 1

January 27, 2017

The rise of globalization and digitization has made supply chain processes increasingly complex. As a result, business leaders are seeking ways to create more streamlined, strategic supply chains. A prime area for optimization in the supply chain is the order management process — traditional order management practices are often inefficient. Learn how to reduce errors, increase efficiency, and run your overall supply chain at maximum potential by automating order management in SAP landscapes. 

Globalization, mergers and acquisitions, and changing customer demands have made production and distribution processes increasingly complex. As a result, today’s supply chain leaders are looking beyond traditional cost-saving measures to instead pursue analytics-driven solutions that create a more interconnected and strategic supply chain. As one of the key indicators of a supply chain’s performance, order management is naturally a top priority for businesses seeking to sharpen their competitive edge. One way to do this is through automation, which can reduce errors and increase efficiency, allowing the supply chain to run at maximum potential.

Optimizing Processes

Many supply chain professionals rely on traditional order management techniques to run their supply chain, including basic ERP technology and a reliance on manual processes. If employees are manually entering order data, analytics and reporting are unable to run at their fullest potential due to the time involved and risk of error, and in some cases, service level agreements (SLAs) are not being met. With evolving customer demand resulting in a need to move faster, a supply chain that relies on manual processes cannot keep up. ERP systems can reduce the manual touch points and use of paper in the supply chain, but more is needed to reach true, end-to-end efficiency.

Order management automation has emerged as a popular and effective solution to many of these challenges. Automation can reduce or eliminate manual effort, and many automation solutions also integrate with existing SAP applications without disrupting business continuity or creating any unwanted IT complexities.

Automation can reduce or eliminate manual effort, and many automation solutions also integrate with existing SAP applications without disrupting business continuity or creating any unwanted IT complexities.

4 Key Benefits of Automation

The benefits of automating order management can be broken down into four key ways: 

  1. Increase visibility where it’s needed most. The sheer volume of activities, logistics, and channels that are now involved in the supply chain make visibility a must — especially during critical period milestones such as the end of the month, quarter, or year. Best-in-class order processing solutions come equipped with customizable dashboards that provide instant access to the metrics that matter most to users (for example, when an order has been received, confirmed, and shipped, or the associated supporting documentation).
  2. Spot problems before they get worse. The dashboards built into many automation solutions also allow managers to gain greater control over their operations by enabling them to drill down into employee performance and react quickly to prevent problems or capitalize on opportunities.
  3. Improve the customer experience. The faster an order can be captured and accurately fed into the supply chain, the more time customer service employees have to focus on actually serving customers, therefore increasing the likelihood that customer SLAs will be met or exceeded.
  4. Eliminate waste and reduce operational costs. One of the biggest causes of waste in the supply chain is order processing errors — in Esker’s experience, the average cost of reworking an order is $200-$250, including shipping costs. Automation eliminates these costly errors (along with the extra labor and consumables), avoiding the potentially negative impacts the business may incur as a result.
Learn More

Traditional order management practices are often inefficient, and today’s supply chain leaders understand that they must revamp their order processing initiatives to remain competitive. Automation technology, such as sales order processing automation from Esker, can help by erasing the burden of manual processes. By automating the order management process, organizations can create an optimal supply chain environment and reap the benefits that come with complete, end-to-end efficiency. To learn more, visit http://www.esker.com/order-processing-automation-software.

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Steve Smith
Steve Smith

Chief Operating Officer
Esker



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