Industry: Marketing, Consumer Goods, Commercial Goods
Technologies: Dynamics 365 Sales, Quickbooks Enterprise, Scribe Software
A national marketing and data company launched a web ordering portal that allowed their clients to place orders via the web at their convenience. While they were not sure how popular the web portal would be, they felt it could make ordering easier for their clients and was certainly worth the effort. It did not take long for the portal to catch on to the point where they were receiving over 100 orders per-day.
While this was certain great news, each of these orders had to be printed out, distributed to the sales person responsible for the account, verified, and then passed to the accounting team to be entered in their accounting system, Quickbooks Enterprise. This was obviously very labor intensive and prone to errors since each order had to be keyed manually.
With the online ordering portal growing in popularity, it did not take long for the executive team to realize they need to find a more efficient and effective way to handle this operational challenge.
After meeting with the client and understanding the problem, the clear solution was to somehow process these orders without actually having anyone touch them. The fact that they had a process, albeit manual, it gave some structure to the project. The steps were outlined as:
- Get the orders into a format that allow the salesperson of record to proof and approve the order.
- Provide some way to determine which orders were new, approved, processed.
- Be sure there was some way for the order to continue down an automated chain.
The vendor providing the ordering platform was engaged and we were able to work with them to provide access to the orders in a table format. The client had been a long time Dynamics CRM user, so it was a very familiar platform for the sales team. Our objective would be to get the data from the vendor into Dynamics CRM. From there the salespeople could approve change the status of the order to allow further processing.
By building a custom service, we were able to harvest the orders from the vendor and created Sales Orders in Dynamics CRM. The salespeople had a special view that only displayed orders needing approval. As part of their new daily routine, they visited the view many times during the day to approve the orders.
In addition to this work, I was able to accomplish the third piece of the solution by having the orders automatically create an Invoices and purchase order in Quickbooks Enterprise.
The client experienced an incredible amount of efficiency with the newly automated process. While they chose not to reduce headcount, they were able to use the time they were spending printing and distributing orders on other accounting goals they were trying to accomplish. Errors on orders were eliminated completely since there was no rekeying of the order. Salespeople were able to approve orders whether they were in the office or mobile, thus improving the time from order to payment.
As an added bonus, the sales team was now able to see current sales trends and customer sales activity real-time. Having the Sales Order in Dynamics CRM allowed then to use CRM filter functionality to analyze their business on a more granular level.
The outcome was as the client expected and within the budgetary guidelines they set. It was a very rewarding and effective project for all parties.