Step back this week and review your order management process. The second half of the year is often the highest for order volume.
Many of the key order management components are dependent on data which resides in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Your order management and CRM data can work together to improve your profits and remove some of the challenges facing manufacturing and distribution companies today.
This article in SupplyChain247 provides a great review of the supply chain challenges facing businesses in several industries. It also describes 3 opportunities to implement changes increasing your bottom line through improving order management processes.
Review these 3 areas to see if your business can implement changes which increase customer satisfaction and decrease growing costs.
Demand Shaping and Sensing
The challenge here is that multiple ordering channels, customer behavior and expectations make it difficult to manage the order process. But, your CRM system has a wealth of data about customer behavior, expectations and patterns. It can provide you the data to sense demand and even shape your demand patterns.
- Can your customer service team review the CRM data for seasonality factors and pass the data to operations to forecast inventory demand, workload and staffing?
- Another demand area shaping technique is via your Sales and Marketing periodic product promotions.
- And, can your procurement team create dynamic pricing to influence demand during a specific period?
What are your customer’s needs and expectations for shipment and delivery? Again, this information by customer, can be recorded and updated by customer service in your CRM system. What was the commitment set by Sales or documented in their service contract?
Setting standards and goals which meet, but do not exceed client requirements can lower your transportation costs. Another data point recorded in your CRM system may be circumstances and timeframes when that customer may require more expedited shipments.
Look for ways to create profitable “promising” processes and communications for your customers.
Distributed Order Orchestration and Fulfillment
Order complexity from multiple channels and systems may be complicating your operational processes. They can delay order fulfillment and decrease customer satisfaction.
System integration plays a key role in improving this area, but it can also benefit from strategic planning by encouraging customer order commitments.
Your customer service team can use your CRM data to identify key customers for specific products which are not yet available. Have them encourage order commitment in advance of product availability.
This orchestration, again, provides your operations team the ability to plan for workload and staffing requirements instead of managing on a day by day basis – which is always more expensive.
How well does your current CRM system, its data and reporting support your ability to improve your order management process and reduce costs? Contact Socius at 800.589.6614 for assistance with CRM implementation or upgrades.