What are the Challenges of Manual Sales Order Processing?

The manual process played a big part in many business success’ stories, and that’s no doubt. But even then, it is never perfect and always has room for improvement. Many businesses still use manual processing of sales orders that are sent and received as paper or via email or fax. Manual processing has a significant effect on the efficiency and performance of order processing of most businesses.

These days, many businesses are still using outdated document standards and communication protocols and are not connected to their suppliers and customers.

This results in:

  • Manual Processing of order transactions 21% via phone, 15% via fax, and 32% via email.
  • Need of transaction visibility between suppliers and customers
  • Errors and delays in transaction processing resulting to a higher costs
  • Trouble in co-operating between suppliers and customers
  • Incompetence in the supply chain

Business irregularity has been demonstrated by the volatile customer demand, raw material, fuel, and goods prices over the past several years. According to the study from Aberdeen, 56% need to reduce supply chain operating costs, 45% need to develop top-line revenue, and 45% management of rising market irregularity are the critical challenges faced by companies.


And here are the pain points of Manual process:


  • Time- Consuming


One of the most time-consuming concerns businesses and customers face is the large amount of paperwork needed to process a sales order and guarantee the best customer service. In the manual process, frequent re-entry of information to multiple areas is necessary.


  • Poor Customer Service


Most are still taking and making phone calls for sales orders. They spend a lot of time working on the problems of paperwork instead of focusing on providing excellent service to customers having all the information ready on hand regarding their account.


  • No Sense of Ownership for Customers


The need to always call customer service or the seller for simple questions and ordering takes up precious time. Customers need to understand what is happening with their order or want to change the item without having to go through a crazy number of loops. 


  • Data Errors


Employees manually entering information may cause mistakes to happen. Manually entering and holding order forms to the process of sending it to the right department for handling, mistakes will happen. Misunderstanding may occur between you and the customers too as they expect to see if you understand their orders correctly, and they don’t get it until it reaches the right department.


  • Be able to enter orders, view pricing and availability, and track the status of orders 24×7 via the Web like Digital Process Automation (DPA). A system that will electronically accept the order, send an acknowledgement, and quote a delivery date

So that they can extend hours of operations without an increase in staffing, while still allowing customers to access accurate information. And to  improve customer satisfaction by allowing alternate methods of placing and tracking their orders. 

  • Be able to use a configuration tool online or offline to build their custom items, suggest alternatives and give an accurate ship date and price like that of a Digital Process Automation (DPA).

So that customers would be able to order exactly what they want and have accurate promise dates and pricing. 

  • Be able to rapidly respond to the changes in ordering, notifications, labeling, etc.
  • Be able to ship from anywhere in the enterprise. 

So that coverage planning can run across warehouses resulting in optimized stocking levels at each location. Additionally, they would have the opportunity to ship from different locations, different warehouses, other companies within their enterprise, cross dock opportunities and bundled shipments could be utilized as well.

About the Author: AJ Amjad Khanmohamed

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