Most businesses that utilize SAP know how integrated the system can get, but few o them realize that using automation within the system can raise the efficiency of the company’s overall performance, as well as positive impact the business’ reputation and bottom line. Order automation forms the backbone of a system that limits the input and processing from humans and leaves those decisions to SAP. In what way does order automation bring about such a drastic change to how the business operates?
Automation and Efficiency
In numerous case studies, automation has managed to bring about increased efficiency in a handful of critical areas. Automated input makes it much simpler and easier to get customer orders, and the simplification of the process improves the accuracy of the first-time data the company receives. That data comes directly from the customer, so there isn’t any cause to worry about issues with the data as it’s passed from individual to individual. Certain processes can be automated in an end-to-end fashion, requiring absolutely no human intervention. Generally speaking, companies that have implemented an automated system are more successful in getting their orders out on time, fulfilling a larger volume of orders overall and deliver these orders with correct documentation attached. Human error in this equation is virtually eliminated. Automation can even incorporate ordering through cloud-based services, web-based applications or even mobile applications. The ease with which orders can be made to create a more inviting atmosphere for customers and leads to higher customer retention. Thanks to the increased efficiency through automation, customer satisfaction is also high.
Automated Fulfillment of Orders and the Impact of Customer Service
For CSR’s in any company, the majority of problems they have to handle come from messes that arise from companies that are unable to create order fulfillment promptly. By automating these processes, the company reduces the number of complaints coming into the business. Customers are satisfied with their orders, there are no errors in documentation, the bills of sale are wholly updated, and customer service representatives don’t have to field mountains of calls about the status of ordered goods. The benefits gained from automation comes from integrating customer service, customer experience, workflow efficiency, order fulfillment into a complete package.
Linking Order Fulfillment to Customer Service
The biggest problem that happens with businesses that have a lot of input channels is that when a user moves from one channel to another, they need to reiterate their problem. This makes for an angry customer by the time they reach anyone that can solve their problem. By creating automation across multiple channels, a user only needs to complete a form once, then that document can be transmitted across any number of media to all the associated parties. Automation can take input from any press, convert it into a standardized automation form, then send it out to be worked on by the rest of the system, reducing the problem of lost information in translation. By doing this, a company like streamlines the process of ordering and moves the automation to the next stage of interaction – the actual workflow of getting the order to the customer.
Automated Workflows and Increased Efficiency
Regardless of the business type, the automation of the workflow process makes for increased volume production over a shorter amount of time. By removing the human element from the processing, a business could potentially count its production values based on the capacity of the machines it uses to complete its workflow. Additionally, by utilizing SAP to keep documentation up to date, and track the status of each order, a company could potentially update customers through the entire order fulfillment process. This can lead to a better customer experience since the customer always feels as though they are being kept “in the loop” by the business. Interaction with the customer is also automated, so there is no need for a CSR to reach out to a consumer. All pertinent information would have already been gathered at the initial customer contact stage, and the workflow would be streamlined to utilize this information at every step of the way.
Customer Experience Counts
Businesses exist because of the happiness of their customers. Customers that are content usually mean return business for the company. Customer experience is one big thing prides itself on. However, customers expect certain things from a company when it comes to interaction. They want companies to provide near-immediate responses to their contact. They also require that a company be able to deal with input in whatever form they decide to send it in. As we noted above, by making a system input-agnostic through standardization of forms across all the ordering media that a company has, the business fulfills the latter requirement. The former condition is also naturally dealt with through having CSR’s that have all the relevant information about an order at their fingertips through the SAP system. Integration advanced as this leads to positive customer feedback more often than not.
Creating Positive Value through Automation
Customers see businesses as a means of generating value for money. Because of this concept, they do not usually consider a company to be worth spending money on if the business itself is unable to deliver promptly or has a problem with order accuracy. Automation has the potential to impact all areas of customer services, starting with the initial order and ending with the fulfillment of the order and dealing with any associated complaints. If complaints of a particular type come up from multiple sources, it may indicate an issue with the automation process and in so doing offer valuable feedback to iterate the system for further improvement.