3 tips for processing your POs with no delay
Do you still use paper POs? How you take orders is crucial to establishing a strong relationship with your customers. This is one of the first steps in the purchasing process. A poor experience at this critical stage can seriously damage the business relationship. Leaving a PO unacknowledged makes a poor first impression, and it’s difficult to change. Sometimes businesses take up to a week to confirm an order!
However, in this digital age, your customers are accustomed to doing their day-to-day business with large companies that can easily afford to offer automated, high-speed PO processing. This means that a customer placing an order with this type of company is often emailed immediate purchase confirmation and sent shipping confirmation a few hours later.
This type of real-time communication is valuable for improving customer service, especially since customers appreciate the company’s quick response and know that they will promptly receive their order.
How about you? How long does it take you to provide order confirmations to your customers? If you still rely on paper, you are bound to be taking longer than this type of company, and the comparison could hurt your business.
And yet, you are not alone. Only 20% of retail supply chain orders are automated (AMR Research). This means that 80% of orders are processed manually! Processing POs by hand means scanning piles upon piles of paper every month. This is time-consuming and diverts employees from more productive tasks. Plus, it’s impossible to give customers prompt order confirmations.
Going digital opens the door to automating your PO process
Did you know there are simple ways to dramatically speed up your PO process at your own pace? These solutions don’t require costly investments and, at the end of the day, they make it possible to significantly optimize how you process your POs. As a result, you’ll get paid faster and, as a bonus, your customers will enjoy the experience of ordering your products and will want to repeat it!
Here are a few tricks for processing your POs with no delay:
- Request POs in PDF format. Think about it. If your customers can print their POs, they can create PDF versions. Receiving a PDF opens the door to automating the process, which is impossible with paper. There are reliable and inexpensive ways to extract information from a PDF without using OCR.
- Start by targeting your biggest customers. By optimizing the order process for your biggest customers first, there is an immediate impact on the amount of paper to deal with.
- Don’t start out with overly ambitious goals or try to eliminate paper completely. Little by little, you can greatly improve your operations without rushing your customers or disrupting your internal processes. The response time is shorter and your employees are more efficient.
Would you like to improve your PO process? Let us know how we can help. We understand that every organization operates differently. We would be happy to look at your situation and come up with a personalized solution. Book a free consultation.