For most companies and organizations, sales are the lifeblood that drives everything you do in some shape or form. This means that errors or inefficiencies in sales order entry and sales order processing can become very costly.
Sales orders serve as a formal confirmation that the seller can, in fact, supply the products or services that have been purchased by the customer. It’s a confirmation that the seller has reviewed the purchase and will successfully fulfill the buyer’s order. But if your sales-related processes lack efficiency, accuracy and automation, the financial losses can be significant, especially at scale.
As creatures of habit, humans are generally quite resistant to change—a fact that makes many company leaders reluctant to implement new processes and technologies. But this is where a sales order entry and processing outsourcing partner can prove to be a valuable asset for a business.
What Does a Sales Order Outsourcing Company Do?
Sales processing is very involved with lots of room for error, particularly when humans are involved in the processes. Errors can arise in many areas, like inaccurate invoices, inefficient inventory management practices and even simple typos or oversights during sales order processing.
If sales order entry and purchase order processing isn’t your organization’s specialty, you’re in luck because there are businesses that specialize in this area, with streamlined and efficient processes that may be impractical to implement at an in-house level.
A sales order outsourcing company can perform many tasks like:
- Auditing invoices for accuracy
- Entering sales order information into a company’s order and inventory management system and logistics platform
- Submitting order data to the order fulfillment division and logistics service providers
- Automating order entry and other related processes
- Integrating an order fulfillment and inventory management system with each other and other platforms used in the course of the sales process.
A reputable business offering sales-related outsourcing solutions can have a tremendously positive impact on a company’s bottom line. But how do you find the right outsourcer for your exact needs?
Finding the Best Sales Processing Outsourcer for Your Company’s Needs
There are a few important points to consider as your company begins its search for a service provider to outsource tasks related to sales order processing, sales management or sales and fulfillment automation.
- Which Portions of the Sales Order Entry Process Do You Need to Outsource?
- Does the Outsourcer You’re Considering Understand Your SOE Process?
- What is the Outsourcer Bringing to the Table?
- Will They Agree to Your Service Level Needs With Contractual SLAs?
- Does the Sales Order Outsourcing Partner Have Established Processes and Security Certifications?
1. Which Portions of the Sales Order Entry Process Do You Need to Outsource?
Do you want to outsource all tasks related to these processes or just some? Take some time to think about your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Also consider the practicality of outsourcing just a portion of the sales order-related processes and remember that too many chefs in the kitchen can lead to inefficiency.
2. Does the Outsourcer You’re Considering Understand Your SOE Process?
An organization’s standard operating environment (SOE) can be quite unique so it’s important that your outsourcer has intimate knowledge of your SOE, from operating system and software platforms, to integrations and beyond.
3. What is the Outsourcer Bringing to the Table?
Is the outsourcer going to overhaul your processes surrounding sales order processing, fulfillment and inventory management? Will they focus in a narrow area or on the entirety of your sales-related operations? It’s also prudent to consider if they’ll be recommending improvements or offering up technology to automate the order management process. A clear understanding of the outsourcer’s exact service offering scope is critical for avoiding miscommunications and disappointments.
4. Will They Agree to Your Service Level Needs With Contractual SLAs?
In other words, is your outsourcing partner going to stand behind their work with a contract? Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are standard practice among the most reputable service providers. A SLA should detail the exact nature and scope of the service offerings, along with relevant timelines, terms and conditions, remedies and penalties. In essence, a Service Level Agreement will outline everyone’s role, what to expect out of the business relationship and how any problems will be addressed.
5. Does the Sales Order Outsourcing Partner Have Established Processes and Security Certifications?
The most reputable sales and order management service providers will have well-established processes for onboarding, offboarding, and updates. Some may even offer periodic check-ins to verify that everything is going according to plan and to identify any processes or issues that require additional attention.
Security should be a top consideration when selecting any outsourcing partner, especially one that will have access to a company’s data, networks and software systems. At minimum, an outsourcing partner should be fully SOCII (also known as SOC 2) compliant.
SOCII certification is intended to provide clients with confidence that their data will remain safe and secure while in the hands of a third-party service provider such as an outsourcer. Developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), SOC 2 certifications are issued when criteria is met for a total of five “trust service principles” which are:
- Confidentiality and Privacy
To maintain SOCII compliance, the service provider is required to provide the client with a report detailing how they are maintaining your data’s security.
At iTech, we are SOCII compliant and have extensive experience in SEO and purchase order entry processes, from order fulfillment all the way through shipping logistics. We work with the client, getting to know your business, its strengths and goals for the future as we develop a customized plan to meet your sales order processing needs. Contact iTech today to learn more about what our outsourcing experts can do for your company.