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If you’re taking too long to ship to customers, focus on streamlining the flow of operational steps

Late shipments hurt your customer relationships. When their business depends on your products, your delays cost them money and hurt their customer relationships.

The workflow between your initial sales order and your delivery contains many factors that can slow down your ability to get stuff out the door. For example:

  1. Complex custom orders that require a sales engineer to specify
  2. Missing item specifications that hold up orders while you call the customer back
  3. Extra time required when pickers retrace their routes inefficiently
  4. Missed communications between your plant and your customer service that cause delays
  5. Order details that have to be retyped into your label printing software for the product label…
  6. …or retyped into your shipping software….
  7. …or retyped into Excel to calculate special pricing….
  8. …or retyped from your ecommerce website into your sales orders….etc.

How can you speed things up?

Draw a flow chart showing all the steps in your sales order and fulfillment workflow. Flag the areas where the fulfillment stops moving forward because it’s waiting on something to be done. Flag workarounds for broken processes that people created out of necessity. Flag steps you could stop taking altogether.

Most importantly, find the places where data has to be duplicated into a separate software system. Find ways to transfer or import that data automatically instead. Streamline bottlenecks to reduce or eliminate the costliest delays first.

What if things have grown in scale or complexity?

For distributors, manufacturers and professional field service companies that have thousands of items or a more complex business that makes it impossible to manage things manually, we set up accounting and ERP systems to automate workflows with a great ROI, making it super-easy to manage.

For example, a client of ours is a manufacturer with complex custom products that used to take hours to correctly configure and specify for sales orders. We automated their process and now sales orders are created in minutes instead of hours. If you’d like to streamline your operational steps, let’s have a conversation about your unique situation.