Third Wave Business Systems

Keeping Fingers Out of Your Data: How to Eliminate Redundant Information Entry

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It’s difficult for many businesses to calculate how much time, money and customer goodwill is lost because information gets keyed into disparate systems several times. For example: when orders are entered in the ERP system, much of the same information is entered/stored in a disconnected shipping application as well. If the customer calls and changes their shipping address and the shipping department misses the address change – the rest is history. Each time someone rekeys a piece of information to use in another step of the process, it’s a waste of resources and an opportunity for data errors. Training employees on accuracy is helpful, but it’s called “human error” for a reason: you can reduce, but not eliminate mistakes. Eliminating redundant information entry into disparate systems reduces errors and saves a significant amount time.

The Order-to-Cash Process is an integrated process that’s designed to eliminate redundant data entry inefficiencies that are a huge cost drain on the business; a cost drain that is frequently not measured and is ignored.  A single Order-to-cash process flow originates from the concept that there should be a single source of the “truth”. Information is entered once and is accessible to all functions in the process, ensuring that everyone is looking at and acting upon the same information.

Here are a couple ways that the Order-to-Cash Process solution can improve your business flow:

  • Customer Orders: A sales rep shouldn’t have to search the warehouse to know what is in stock, but in a lot of cases it is the only way to determine if they have the necessary inventory for an order. Typically, this is because the order and warehouse information aren’t connected, and reps rely on reports which are hours/days old or just plain incorrect. If the inventory counts are wrong, those reports aren’t even accurate. The only way the rep can confirm stock availability is to go into the warehouse. It adds to order processing time and erodes customer relationships.  Instead of talking to more customers and generating revenue, the rep is talking to the warehouse staff.

Solution: With a single integrated process, sales reps have instant access to accurate stock levels, as well as expected delivery dates for out-of-stocks items. They quickly help the customer and move on to the next order.

  • Shipping: How much does it cost to ship to a bad address? Does the shipping department have up to date address information? What is the added to cost of manually updating invoices with shipping costs. The charge from the carrier is usually $15-25 for a bad address. Cost to manually update the invoice with the shipping cost is $1 to $4.

Solution: Customer addresses are maintained and verified in one place and up-to-date addresses are automatically integrated with the shipping station. Tracking numbers and costs are automatically pulled back into the ERP system.  Cost savings on 500 invoices is $500 to $2000.

Many businesses rekey the same pieces of data four and five times. It gets entered into a system, one or more spreadsheets, added to an access database, and written on sticky notes. There is no “single source of the truth”.

Too often businesses think that a single integrated system may be too expensive.  However, if they evaluate the hidden costs of manual processes, inaccurate data and lost customer confidence, they would discover with a single integrated Order-to-Cash process they would realize 100% return on investment.

Too often businesses think that a single integrated system may be too expensive.  However, if they evaluate the hidden costs of manual processes, inaccurate data and lost customer confidence, they would discover with a single integrated Order-to-Cash process they would realize 100% return on investment.

A single, integrated Order-to-cash Process eliminates errors caused by redundant data entry, improves efficiency throughout the process which results in greater profits and increased customer satisfaction!

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