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Of course you have automated production – but what about order handling?

As a manufacturing company, you have probably automated your production as far as possible, so that it now requires minimal manual handling. With today's technology, it would be completely unthinkable to, for example, let a person weld the sheet metal parts together when making a new car. Instead, technology ensures that we humans avoid manufacturing steps that are tiring and perhaps even dangerous - so that we can focus on other, more cerebral and scientific parts of the manufacturing process.   

But what about your order process - how automated is it? Are you entering purchase orders manually even though AI can do the job for you? Keying in 100 orders to an order system every day is more tiring than you might think, and probably quite boring for your employees. 

With today's opportunities to automate manual, repetitive tasks, it is better to let AI do the work so that your employees can work with more qualified tasks. When it comes to customer service, for example, humans are still far superior to AI at building relationships with your customers. A top-class customer service will in the long run lead to more satisfied customers and increased sales, so why not use AI to free up extra resources for your customer service? 

What degree of automation does your order management have?

An important first step in improving your order management is to evaluate the current situation. 

Which of the following scenarios describes your situation? 

Scenario 1 

You receive orders automatically and your ERP system handles most things automatically. Invoices are generated and sent out automatically and the process goes smoothly. Maybe you have a person who ensures the quality of workflows as well as handling deviations and changes. 

Do you recognize yourself here? In that case, you have a high degree of automation - well done! 

Scenario 2 

You receive orders digitally via email but then enter your orders manually in your ERP system, which is only partially automated. An order confirmation is sent out automatically, but you handle other parts of the order process manually. 

If the scenario fits you, you have a certain degree of automation. You have come a long way, but there are still great efficiency gains to be made. 

Scenario 3 

You do not receive orders digitally - instead, many of your customers call or fax them in and these are then entered manually into the ERP system. There are people who sit and plan the production manually, even though the ERP system could handle a lot automatically. You receive many changes to existing orders that disrupt the planning. These changes are also handled manually. 

If you are here, you have a relatively low degree of automation - but there are fantastic opportunities to automate your order process! 

Of course, there are more scenarios on the automation scale - but now you hopefully have an idea of where you are. 

Three ways to easily get started with automation

So what is the next step to get started with automation of your order management? 

We suggest three easy ways to move forward on your automation journey: 

Find a system that manages the inflow of orders and digitalizes the inflow 

If you collect orders in many different channels, ensure that you find a single system that can handle all orders and digitalize the inflow. 

Learn more about your existing ERP system 

Today's ERP systems often have a lot of automation functions built in. Make sure you utilise all the features within your ERP system and automate what can be automated. 

Apply RPA (Robotic Process Automation)

Get help from a robot that takes care of your manual and administrative tasks. The robot works directly in your existing systems - no integrations are required. 

Learn more about automation and the benefits it can bring.

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