Imagine that every day, your business receives multiple purchase requests for hundreds, or even thousands, of different items. Most of your clients send their orders via email. Some clients paste their purchase requests into the email body; others include them as an attachment. When a series of purchase requests generates data that is too high-volume or complex for your team to process manually, the resulting errors and delays in fulfillment can cause customers to suffer. Over time, poor order processing can erode your competitive advantage, increase expenses, and hurt your business.
Fortunately, there are software applications that can help your company adapt to changing circumstances. Order Process System, also called OPS, is software that can receive order information in an email, recognize the relevant details (like product name and quantity), and then capture, organize, and record the information in a central database or inventory system. The software can be configured to send filtered data to accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), and shipping applications to produce sales orders, invoices, receipts, shipping labels, packing slips, and more.
OPS uses an email parser to extract the essential data your fulfillment team needs to quickly pick, pack, and ship the order. The system categorizes relevant details, like an item’s name or label, item number or stock keeping unit (SKU), quantity, and description, then formats and translates the data into simple documents that are easy to understand. When managers, packers, and customers can easily review reliable information, fulfillment cycles will become more efficient.
How OPS Software Smooths Operations and Saves Time
OPS automates and standardizes information scanning, analysis, translation, and distribution to minimize the number of steps in your receiving and fulfillment processes. Consolidating elements of your workflow can impact your delivery times and the cost of processing. When you extract the essential data required for picking, packing, and shipping, you can optimize your processes and be better equipped to organize and manage your inventory.
If your receiving department is overwhelmed by purchase requests, order processing will be slower and more expensive. Meanwhile, you may run out of stock. A backlog of pending orders will delay shipments. Pickers and packers may need to work overtime to process a high volume of purchase requests, which can increase your business’s per-unit receiving costs.
Order Processing Bottlenecks Slow Team Productivity and Increase Costs
Suppose you have a three-member receiving team. Each team member can process three purchase requests per hour. If your team receives 100 purchase requests in an 8-hour day, your overall receiving time will increase by approximately three hours per day. If your inventory is overstocked, understocked, disorganized, or filled with mislabeled duplicate items, productivity will fall, and processing will take even longer. The more time it takes to fulfill an order, the greater your opportunity cost. Managing costs is key to maintaining efficient and profitable business operations.
Automation Saves Time and Prevents Mistakes
Automating the analysis, data extraction, and task delegation involved with receiving transforms significantly reduces data entry. When inventory updates, instruction sets, and packing slips are automatically generated, your employees are less likely to make mistakes. When manual data entry is reduced, receivers should be able to devote their energy to high-level tasks. Pickers will be able to perform their duties efficiently when they get a standardized instruction set quickly. Sorting, merging, and eliminating irrelevant information will reduce ambiguity for pickers and packers and increase productivity. A quick turnaround will keep customers satisfied. Once OPS is in place, it will be easier to scale as order volume increases because you will be able to analyze and respond right away.
OPS Provides Automatic and Consistent Data Management
Incoming email messages are automatically forwarded to OPS. The parser extracts the relevant data for inventory updates, packing slips, and shipping labels.
OPS Collects Customer Data
The software can recognize the customer’s name, address, phone number, email, and billing information (if applicable), and then pass on relevant information to the appropriate parties.
OPS Simplifies Complex Information
OPS converts data into simple units that are easy for humans to understand. It excludes information like billing records and duplicate item numbers that do not belong on picking instructions and packing slips.
OPS Produces Standardized Information
OPS creates or facilitates simply formatted, curated documents that are easy to read.
OPS Improves Accuracy and Reduces Receiving Errors
OPS can prevent employees from misreading and improperly transcribing information like addresses, product codes, specifications, item numbers, and names. The software collates purchase orders and translates product information into new instructions, formats, or documents.
OPS Reduces the Amount of Time Required for Analysis
OPS puts essential information front-and-center so employees don’t have to search through every field of a form or review a long-email message. Employees can quickly scan and review emails for personal messages or outstanding requests, and file them to use as a reference if there are errors in the chain.
OPS Makes Shipping Faster
Standardized information streamlines picking and packing. Pickers quickly receive all the information they need in a consistent format, so processing starts immediately. Saving time keeps your team on schedule.
OPS Reduces Confusion and Duplicated Tasks
OPS will prevent two employees from accidentally processing the same purchase request. It can also prevent receivers from sending duplicate information to pickers and packers.
OPS Eliminates Inconsistencies in Your Product Data
OPS stores information in a database that is configured to create a single consistent source of information for all applications. OPS can update, prioritize, and re-code item numbers if you change vendors for an item you keep in stock so that you can be sure of the quantity of items you have in stock.
OPS Decreases the Likelihood of Processing Errors
OPS simplifies information so it can be cross-checked and verified at each stage of processing. OPS flags miscoded and missing products to prevent packing errors.
OPS Helps Management Recognize and Respond to Changes in Demand
When operations are running smoothly, product demand and ordering cycles are easier to analyze.
OPS Makes it Easier to Monitor Processing Times
OPS makes it easier to quantify how much work and time is needed to fulfill a batch of purchase requests, so you can mitigate bottlenecks in the process.
OPS Shortens Processing Cycles for Better Cash Flow
The faster you can sell existing inventory, the sooner you can purchase new stock and generate new income.
OPS Flags Customer Errors
If a customer accidentally mis-enters an item quantity or essential item attribute (like color or size) on their purchase request, OPS can recognize and highlight the discrepancy.
OPS Helps You Track Inventory
Item quantities can be added to and subtracted from inventory as purchase requests are admitted or shipped.
OPS Makes Business Operations Better
OPS is a worthwhile investment that can simplify and smooth communications at all levels of your business operations. Growing businesses must keep up with purchase requests to maintain continuing success. Busy receiving departments will become more efficient when they adopt order processing software to manage information. Standardizing and automating order processing will enhance operational efficacy throughout the organization. Strong systems reduce errors and lag and allow your business to review every facet of business activity. With OPS, your business can increase sales, profits, and customer satisfaction. Let OPS be the hero that helps your business meet every challenge along the way.