Imagine 55% lower order processing costs; 99.6% order entry accuracy rate; hundreds of thousands of pages of paper used associated with order processing and sales marketing collateral saved annually; 60% in reduction of labor overhead related to order entry and a 40% increase in electronic throughput rate. This is what happens when you modernize your order entry process using OrderShark, Sales Order App for Android & iPhone and ProSel, Mobile Sales Order Management for iPad.
In addition, Ai2’s order enablement software empowers reps to become more effective salespeople, learn from their customers, provide solutions and as a result maintain prosperous long-term relationships. Our data clearly shows that companies that modernize their ordering platform will see increased profits through higher customer retention rates and through the use of tools like digital sales collateral, up-to-date inventory information, gather customer intelligence and utilize order guides to sell more strategically and maximize each and every meeting with their retailer-customers. Faster order fulfillment means faster overall turnaround time, higher sell-through rates and more frequent reorders. The addition of technology to reduce the time investment of the reps repetitive tasks will add more customer accounts to their route day.
Ai2’s core logic works by enabling organizations to automate every phase of their order management process – from the time the original order is taken (on or offline) and received to when the corresponding business document is created in the ERP/business application – while providing full visibility throughout. Workflow rules make sure that all necessary data is automatically captured, extracted and delivered. By minimizing or eliminating the number of manual steps within order management, Ai2 customers can process more perfect orders and create added value in the supply chain.
The faster an order can be accurately fed into the supply chain, the more time customer service, production planners, shipping and third-party logistic staffers have to coordinate the delivery of the goods and eliminate extra costs. Having to handle order entry “exceptions” is a big barrier to supply chain speed and efficiency.
Any part of the supply chain that is slowed down by manual touch points (e.g. data entry errors, lack of data visibility, etc.,) poses significant challenges that lead to increased operational costs and also impact business by producing frustrated customers who further slow down operations and mount soft costs. There are consequences of not modernizing the order platform:
1. Lack of process visibility. Impacting the budgeting, planing and forecasting – creates difficulties in responding to order status inquires; creates an inability to identify urgent orders as they arrive; prevents the collection of valuable business intelligence.
2. High order processing costs. This has a negative impact on the bottom line; creates missed opportunities for gaining a competitive advantage;
3. Order processing errors. This creates additional expenses such as customer service costs; reshipping and restocking; creates an imbalance in inventory levels; creates the potential for missed orders, and
4. Slower processing cycle times. Creates delays in shipping orders; creates late dispatch related costs and overtime charges; damages the relationship with your customers.
5. Customers and chains that demand a smooth process for ordering will not be retained.
Ai2’s order management solutions fill the many manual gaps in Wholesale Distributor, Food Service Distributor, Liquor distribution and many other distribution models over their existing remote ordering processes. Presently, there exists far too prevalent “exception” handling in the ordering process, which demands human intervention and this promotes delay, errors, increased costs, lack of visibility, lack of competitive advantage and many other inefficiencies in the order enablement process. When an error occurs in the remote ordering process it induces a supply chain issue and creates attenuated costs associated with customer service, reshipping time, restocking procedures and inventory imbalance. Reselling an incorrectly shipped product is not always a guarantee; once it is out of the supply chain-of-custody, the distributor could be on the hook for the monetary loss.
Highlights of special functionality with Ai2’s order enablement process.
Delivery lead times and order cut-off-times. If a distributor has several categories of goods and “special order items” that must follow very strict daily, dynamic order-cut-off time workflow to assure that the said ordered items are placed timely each day in effort to guarantee the required delivery lead time for such items. At present, the best the rep or customer can do is guess (or consult a paper schedule) as to when said items must be ordered each day. Errors in the current process create a return event if delivery lead times are missed and may also create the need for an ad hoc delivery expense to satisfy the customer. Ai2 has dynamically automated the cut-off-time for each product line item and corresponding delivery lead time. As such, the users will know what time each day when orders for special items must be placed to assure the delivery lead time conveyed to the customer. Furthermore, the user will always be able view all prior orders placed and corresponding delivery lead times. This allows distributors to expand their product offering quickly with out actually warehousing the finished good. The automation of cut-off-order times and delivery lead times by category of product allows net new customer accounts and expanded offerings into its current retailers for other lines, as delivery lead time automation will promote the efficient delivery of extended product lines to its retailer-customers
Actionable data visibility. The Ai2 order management solutions being deployed will allow for the visibility of all critical data at the point of order. Such information includes visibility into booked items that have been ordered but not yet shipped. This prevents over-stocking, reduces returns and the duplication of orders. Additionally, pricing information will be current with visibility as to item on-hand and on-order availability. Furthermore, the users can also see and track deleted and discontinued items and replace same with a substitute item. Historical data allows for a determination of other vendors are gaining entry into its customer store accounts. As customer account total sales and customer-item history data is present, reps can scan and compare a product SKU against existing sale’s history to promote a conversation with the account. This is most important for front-end, counter-spot sales items, such as moist snuff, repacked candy and gallons of milk. Furthermore, historical sales reporting to date and year-over-year sales history at the account and customer line item level will provide visibility to the distributor as to if it is gaining or losing market share within any account.
ProfitScan™. By deploying the Ai2 ProfitScan module. ProfitScan allows for the suggested substitute of higher ranked items by product category. ProfitScan allows distributors to place higher velocity goods, by item category/rank into its retailers, assuring faster sell-through and re-ordering. ProfitScan also contains a reporting tool that can be used for the prospecting of new business and accounts.
Sales Collateral Digital Distribution. Ai2’s software contains the Pigenholes™ enterprise content management module. This allows an organizationg to replace its current paper process and allow all sales related content and other enterprise content to be shared easily will all users and customers digitally. All such content can be email exported, printed or opened in editing tools in the field.
Automation of Credits/Returns. The returns pick-up process will be automated in the deployed Ai2 solution to allow users to easily execute a return pick-up request with reasons codes and eliminate the current manual and labor intensive process.
Order Guided Ordering. The Ai2 deployed solutions integrates Ai2 Order Guide technology that allows the users — with one tap — to generate suggested orders to drive corporate strategy and alignment. Order Guides can be used to promote new items, promotional items, seasonal items, best selling items and any class or group of products. Order Guides can be created by the home office and sent down to the users, or user generated and created locally by the rep himself.
Self-tag and barcode printing. The Ai2 deployed solutions will allow the user to print self-tags on the spot to reserve self space for the future delivery of goods. This is also a valued merchandising tool to tag stores.
Advanced search and filtering functionality. The Ai2 deployed solutions allows for fast, progressive search of the product catalog and order by alpha-numeric, keyword, and category filters. Said functionality will speed-up the time the rep is in the store to locate any needed or associated item. Furthermore, the reps can search for “discontinued” items and replace those items with high velocity items and tag the shelf. This will also guard against the re-ordering of discontinued items.
Customer Order Enablement. The Ai2 solutions will also be configured and deployed directly to the customer-retailer to enable customers using mobile devices, such as smartphones and iPads, to manage and place orders directly with their distributors. This reduces the load by empowering customers with Ai2’s tools to help manage their own account and orders.
Secondary Sourced Items. Distributor desires to expand its product line by an additional approximate 50,000 SKUS via a direct relationship with DOT Foods — the nations largest food industry redistributor. The added functionality will allow for order the DOT secondary sourced items and promote and sell non-stock items to all of its accounts. DOT will cross-dock those items and will deliver the items directly to its accounts.
Order Management Portal. This added functionality will allow for the full visibility as to all orders placed by all means with edit, check. This centralized portal will promote visibility to buyers allowing same to better make and manage stock adjustments and will also promote the more efficient warehousing of products.
Embedded barcode logic. Allows users to track when retail prices appearing on a product selftag or barcode is not matching the retail price currently set by the customer. New labels can be printed matching the then current and correct retail price for the product.