Appolis, Inc.

Should I take this sales order? Why not – what could go wrong?

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Because the inventory needed is not available!  Seems like a good reason, but many times this is not taken into consideration during the sales process.   Inventory may not be available for many reasons including: In transit, Allocated or Quality Hold to name a few.

Sales reps, customer service agents and just about anyone else handling orders for most companies take the orders and worry about if they can fill the orders later.   Generally these orders are taken and committed against inventory that may or may not be available when the order is actually ready to pick-pack-ship.    Sometimes these orders have inventory allocated against them which then ties up inventory that could be used to fulfill other outbound orders, especially if the customer requires ship complete.

Taking orders that cannot be filled result in issues like:

Late deliveries – not having the inventory available to complete orders delays the picking and shipping processes which result in not meeting the promised customer delivery date

Poor customer satisfaction – customers are placing orders because they need the products to resell to their customers or end-users need the products

Disruption of normal business activities – handling late orders, partially picking orders only to find out that the entire inventory is not available wastes a great amount of time

Back orders – not having the inventory available when needed generally causes two issues – the client cancels the orders (which is now lost business revenue) or the order / part of the order goes on back order meaning that additional work will be needed to complete the order along with additional shipping charges that will need to be absorbed

Rework – component inventory that is not available causes finished goods or kits to be partially completed and forces rework at a later date when the inventory becomes available.

Accepting orders with confidence of availability solves many problems – client satisfaction being the most important.    This confidence comes from having accurate and real-time visibility of inventory within your organization.  Warehouse Management Solutions utilizing wireless computers provide users the confidence through highly accurate and real-time inventory availability.   Having real-time visibility to inventory through all internal processes allows manufacturing or procurement to react quicker to inventory discrepancies.   WithoutWire™ (WoW) Warehouse provides this real-time accurate inventory data to Microsoft Dynamics users across many industries.  

By Jim Willems, President

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