Entering Retail Orders into SAP and other Supply Chain systems – challenges and how to overcom
Several Companies operate their supply chain processes on high-end enterprise systems. However these systems are internal and used internally.
Opening up their internal IT systems to their external partners is a challenge as it requires administration, security and ongoing maintenance. All of which are time consuming and cost money
Retailers who are not part of an exclusive arrangement with the company may be using their own systems including ERP, order placement, accounting & others. In many cases, retailers may be still using manual processes for several stages of order placement.
When a retailer needs to place an order with the supplier (Distributor or Principal) it may do it in one of the followings ways:-
Verbal Order to Sales representative
Telephone Order to the Company Call Centre
Fax Order to the Local Company Office
Email Order to the Company Designated ID
Online via an Online Order placement system provided by the company
Using a Mobile Application provided by the company
Via Text message (SMS)
Via Written Purchase Order wanted to the company
In future via social media, robots and more
The types of transactions would be as follows:
Placement of New orders
Modification of Orders
Cancellation of Orders
In the Current Stage of business evolution and automation it is not practical for all non exclusive retailers to have systems that connect to the ERP of the supplier or principal.
The interface is still largely manual with retailer’s placement orders in one or more of the channels above.
Companies can overcome the challenges through the following route:
Create an online B2B ecommerce site that integrates with the ERP being operated by the company.
Create a mobile app that runs off the same database an online engine as the ecommerce site.
The above would require middle ware to be created for the systems to talk to each other.
This middleware can also have functionality to accept text messages in specific formats.
The ecommerce order booking engine should also have the capability for call centre and order processing team members to enter data received from retailers sales representatives, via text, phone & email.
Companies can outsource the order processing & transcription from phone, text & email order to specialist business process outsourcing firms like Kankei (www.kankei.com) .
Author : Ajay Miglani
Views are purely personal
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