When your business just starts out, order processing automation is one of those things you’ll get to when you need it. For many business owners, orders start out slow and can be handled one by one manually. As your business grows, the time devoted to this task increases. If it’s not your time, it’s the time of an employee or bookkeeper. No matter who does it, this time has a real cost to your business.
Order Processing Automation is the process or work-flow associated with order entry and processing. Such a system may encompass:
- Inventory Management
- Vendors, purchasing and receiving
- Customers Management
- Order entry and customer service (including returns and refunds)
- Financial processing i.e., credit cards
- Shipment processing (selection, printing, picking, packing, shipping)
The benefit to Order Processing Automation is a better run e-commerce business. It will be:
- more profitable.
- have fewer errors.
- be able to scale.
Order Processing Automation enables you to get your orders from your website into your accounting program automatically. No data entry. Not only do the orders import, but customers and inventory will as well. With this data, other possibilities now exist. QuickBooks, for example, has built-in shipping for UPS, FedEx and USPS allowing you to print shipping labels without further data entry. It’s faster and avoids typos, again reducing errors.
The whole idea of Order Processing Automation is to reduce the need for data entry.
Doing so saves time and reduces errors, both of which cost your company money. The other benefit is what you can do with the data. As mentioned, it can be used to automate shipping. It can be used to help manage inventory across multiple platforms. One of the more popular apps to do all of this is Webgility. Their platform integrates with several e-commerce platforms, like Zen Cart, allowing you to import your data into accounting programs, like QuickBoooks. They also offer the advantage of integrated shipping. Atandra offers a similar service called T-HUB. Both companies services will reduce the time your company spends on data entry (and re-entry), reduce errors, improve productivity which will ultimately make your company more profitable.
This first thing to do is establish what it is you can automate and what current systems and processes are in place. Then reach out to these companies, or others, to see how they can address these needs and the cost.