Amazon and other top ecommerce companies can offer virtually instant gratification because super-efficient and highly integrated operational processes underneath the buying process make it possible.
Do your Order-to-Cash processes – quoting, customer orders, e-commerce, pick/pack/ship, accounts receivable – allow your company to deliver a fast and frictionless buying experience?
Ask these questions to determine where you can focus your optimization efforts:
- Do you have a database to keep track of prospects and opportunities?
- Is it possible to create a quote for a prospect and convert it to a sales order that creates a new customer without retyping the order or the pricing?
- Can a customer create a shopping cart online and call in to work with a customer service person to edit the cart?
- Is the e-commerce site easy to use and easy on the eyes?
- Do you have a defined IT roadmap and tools for e-commerce and integration?
- Can pricing be set up in the system to meet the customer’s needs (e.g., waterfall from product category and customer group down to specific SKUs and customers)?
- Is the pick/pack/ship process driven by paper or by technology (e.g., handheld bar code scanning, pick to voice, etc.)?
- Are more advanced picking processes driven by technology (e.g. zone picking)?
- Are other forms of automation being used (e.g. carousels, pick-by-voice, etc.)?
- Is bank reconciliation automated?
- Do your customers pay on time, and why or why not?