June 23, 2017
Sales order automation promises to revolutionize the way companies do business and transform the sales order process so that it has strategic impact on the supply chain and customer satisfaction. While the results of the journey from manual to automated order processing may be revolutionary, the path may be more evolutionary.
This is true even once sales order automation has been implemented. In reality, this is where the hard work begins – the work that differentiates truly successful SALES ORDER Automation initiatives from those with middling or poor results.
With automation in place, the way in which successful companies evolve to embrace new systems and processes often follows four stages:
When it comes to adopting and embracing new technologies, companies have to learn to walk before they can run. Establishing and tracking the right metrics and focusing on continuous process improvement define the first stages of a successful implementation.
Acquiring new skills to adapt to automated processes may require a team’s culture to evolve as part of the process. As in many cases, it’s this human factor that often gets over-looked when considering the obstacles to success. Making sure to get buy-in from stakeholders at all levels, keeping them engaged and empowered is often key at this early stage to get the team thinking less but the way things have always been done and embracing the best way to achieve common goals.
Once the customer service department has confidence in new systems and processes, the company can begin to realize a return in investment, benefitting from efficiency gains and process visibility and control. NOW is the time to look at new business rules or process improvements to drive even greater efficiency and boost KPIs
automate each step of a process, creating a seamless system that is reliable and repeatable each step of the way. This is the stage at which departments and their staff let go of manual steps in a process that often remain until enough confidence has been gained by the automated portions of a process and any technical hurdles have been addressed to deliver integration among various systems
This stage also involves continuing to tighten the rules, optimize sales order processes and modify workflows based on feedback, and from the business and learning.
In the final stage, companies have achieved fully automated processes, with access to KPIs that allow them to continually monitor and improve. At this stage, companies consolidate changes from stakeholders, share successes and set new targets for improving SALES ORDER performance—or share their knowledge with other departments and broaden the reach of innovation within the organization.