Order entry plays a key role within an organisation. After all, it is the link to the customer and the place where sales are recorded. It has long ceased to be confined to merely typing order data into the SAP system.
The challenges involved in entering orders can be attributed to a heterogeneous environment: Different systems containing customer data have to be maintained, as orders are placed with the company through various channels and in a wide variety of formats. Consolidating all of these is a complex task. This is where IT solutions come into play.
A practical example: A leading company in the in-vitro diagnostics sector wished to integrate a solution for automated order processing into its existing SAP® system. 75,000 orders transmitted by fax and email and processed via Microsoft Outlook were logged annually at different locations. For customer support, however, this proved to be an uphill task, as all the orders had to be manually processed, sorted, entered, forwarded and stored. If a customer inquiry was received, the documentation needed to be located fast.
“We needed a more efficient solution to improve customer service in order processing”, says the senior manager in customer service. “Our previous processes were too dependent on manual procedures. We also needed greater data transparency in order to meet customer requirements throughout the ordering process.” Consequently, the company looked at various solutions offered by well-known distributors in the sector, and after conducting a feasibility study, opted for the cloud-based automation solution from Esker for order processing.
“Price, presentation, experience, SAP certification – everything fitted. The Esker solution meets all our needs and more than exceeds our expectations.”
The solution was integrated into the SAP environment, where it provides fully electronic order processing, thereby enhancing email and fax order processing efficiency and throughput without the need to recruit additional staff to handle the increased volume of orders.
Processing time reduced by 75 percent
Today the whole order management process is automated– from receipt of the order through to order creation in the SAP system. The intelligent data collection technology extracts order information, and the automated workflow relays orders to the relevant customer support people. This has numerous advantages:
- Quick and easy solutions through the cloud model and flexible development processes
- On average, only four instead of eight steps now required to process an order
- On average, only two instead of eight minutes now required to process an order
- Processing the increased volume of orders without the need for additional staff
- Increased motivation and satisfaction in the order processing team
- More flexible application above and beyond order processing, e.g. automated processing of maintenance agreements
The integration of cloud applications into the SAP system ensures a higher automation rate:
Cloud solutions are gaining ground, as they offer user-based access options via a web browser while the actual application is run in the service provider’s infrastructure. This reduces the company’s operational costs and creates flexibility.
Esker has years of experience as a cloud service provider. More than 5,000 customers worldwide, from large corporate groups to medium-sized companies, use the Esker cloud solutions to automate document processes:
- Automating incoming invoices
- Automating incoming orders
- Creating and managing purchase requests and orders in a procurement application
- Automated creation and delivery of outgoing invoices as an e-invoice with or without a signature to meet country-specific requirements, plus printing in paper form, clearing connectivity
- Archiving with online access in conformity with international tax regulations