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Archive for the ‘Order Entry’ Category

Helping Sales Reps Order for Customers with In-Store Edit

December 31st, 2013 Manasi Kulkarni No comments

Online shopping is not always necessarily an online experience, which means that sales and customer service reps have an important role to play in creating satisfied customers. A lot of shoppers place orders through the call center channels, and they expect the same pricing, discounts, etc. as an online shopper. It then becomes crucial for ecommerce merchants to equip their customer service reps with all the necessary tools to assist customers and place orders on their behalf.

Ignify’s Order Entry Solution gives sales reps a 360 degree view of the customer and helps them place an order quickly and easily. Not only does it support simple orders, but also complex orders such as for products that come with special bundled discounts, or a buy one get one free offer, or configurable items such as laptops, etc. Web stores can process these complex purchases easily as they are designed to make the shopping experience simple and intuitive.

The same ease of shopping is carried over to the sales rep through a unique feature that allows the sales rep to navigate seamlessly from within the Ignify eCommerce Manager Panel to the web store and back. The ‘In-Store Edit’ menu allows the sales rep to login to the customer’s account on the web store via the Manager Panel, choose complex products from the web store, add them to the order, and then return back to the Manager Panel to complete the order and invoicing procedure. The feature gives him the best of both worlds with its intuitive design and seamless transitioning.

The sales rep places an order for the customer via the Ignify eCommerce Manager Panel

The sales rep places an order for the customer via the Ignify eCommerce Manager Panel.

With in-store edit, the sales rep is logged into the customer's account and shops on his behalf

With in-store edit, the sales rep is logged into the customer's account and shops on his behalf.

Go ahead and give your sales reps the power they need to tackle their customers’ shopping needs!

If you have any questions about how Ignify can improve your sales order entry processes, please email us at orderentry@ignify.com.

Manasi Kulkarni is a Product Marketer at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, and eCommerce software solutions to businesses and public sector organizations. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine and ranked as one of 100 most innovative companies in the world in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011.

Speed Up Order Capture with Order Entry for Microsoft Dynamics

December 31st, 2013 Manasi Kulkarni No comments

Some time back we wrote about how Ignify’s Order Entry solution allows you to place an order in just 10 clicks. But we are excited to share that we have streamlined the order placement process even further, giving your customers a fast and easy checkout experience with a minimal number of clicks.

Let’s see how this magic works.

Given below is the sequence of events that comprise placing an order, from the first step of clicking to place a new order, to the last step of receiving an order confirmation. Not only does the Order Entry solution make things simpler, it also allows the customer the satisfaction of complete control over his order placement procedure.

A registered user clicks on the ‘Quick Order Entry’ link in his self-service ‘My Account’. This launches the Quick Order Entry form. Merchants have an option to bring the link to the homepage of the web store for even greater visibility and ease of navigation.

Quick Order Entry

Enter the search criteria or click on the ‘Quick Order List’ to populate the order with the line items. The Quick Order list is created by the customer or the sales rep on behalf of the customer, and is handy when the customer (particularly of a B2B store) wants to reorder specific items repeatedly. Customers and sales reps can use each other’s ‘Quick Order Lists’ to place orders.

Quick Order Lists

Clicking on ‘Continue Checkout’ opens an editable shipping details section populated with the stored shipping details and preferences of the customer, which naturally saves the customer valuable time by not making him manually enter that information.

Continue Checkout

Clicking on ‘Continue Checkout’ launches the payment section populated with the customer’s credit card details and billing address. The customer enters only his credit card security code here.

credit card details and billing address

Click on ‘Place Order’ and you are done! The order is submitted for processing and the customer receives a confirmation of the order placed.

confirmation of the order placed

A customer may also redeem any reward points or apply any coupon codes to his order as well.

The sales rep can also place a ‘Quick Order’ for a customer through the Manager Panel by selecting a ‘Quick Order List’ that populates the order with line items as specified in the list. This reduces the number of clicks required to place an order, eliminating the need to choose line items individually through the SKU lookup mentioned here in click 6.

For today’s online shopper, the overall speed of shopping from order placement to delivery is very important, and implementing this quick order entry solution could earn you long-term loyal customers.

Manasi Kulkarni is a Product Marketer at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, and eCommerce software solutions to businesses and public sector organizations. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine and ranked as one of 100 most innovative companies in the world in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011.

Enabling Commerce and Order Entry Integrated with Dynamics CRM 2011 for your Sales and Customer Service teams

July 9th, 2012 Pankaj Kumar No comments

If you are using or planning to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Sales Force Automation, you are making a great first step for your organization because:

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM enables your sales and customer service team to have an intelligent dialog whenever they interact with your customers. Sales or Customer Service Representatives have visibility to activity history so they know what the last few contacts with the customers were & what occurred at those touch points.
  • Sales, marketing & customer service teams begin to see the business as it should be seen – from the eyes of the customer.
  • You can connect with customers like never before via Social Capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and understand their likes, dislikes & get deeper insight into their behaviour.

Ignify’s flagship Product – eCommerce for Dynamics has been offering eCommerce Solution integrated with Dynamics ERP for a number of years. Enabling commerce for Sales Force & Customer Service Organizations using Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a natural extension of eCommerce for Dynamics. In early 2011 we released the Order Entry and Ignify ecommerce solutions integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Since then we’ve made two releases of the software and have multiple customers now using Ignify ecommerce and Order Entry integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM to gain significant productivity benefits.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM can greatly benefit with enhancements that Ignify ecommerce brings for complex commerce scenarios. I’ve listed some examples below

  1. As a Quote or Order Entry system:
    • Ignify Order Entry can significantly reduce the number of clicks on for entering a Quote or Order thus improving user adoption within your team.
    • Providing key commerce-related web services such as address validation, sales tax/ GST, shipping calculation and online payments services
    • Provide a sophisticated pricing engine with the integration with Dynamics ERP
  2. Provide a self-service web interface for your customers so that they can view and approve Sales Quotes or directly placing Orders.
  3. Provide product configurator functionality: If you have a complex product or service that customer would rather configure & send to you before discussing their need with you. This improves customer satisfaction and can reduce the sales close cycle time.

We took the concept of Commerce enablement for Microsoft Dynamics CRM one step further to ensure that we enable it in as seamless manner as possible. This is done via two key concepts – an integrated user interface & a Single Sign On facility for Microsoft Dynamics CRM users.

Single User Interface for your Sales Force & Customer Service Teams – “Read” Zero additional learning or Training

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has an awesome user interface that packs a lot of functionality in a Microsoft Office like manner ensuring a high level of user adoption & productivity. Ignify eCommerce plugs into that functionality seamlessly requiring zero learning or training. Given below is the screenshot of the Ribbon on the Customers Form in Microsoft Dynamics CRM as an example. The buttons highlighted in green launch Ignify Order Entry forms and are fully integrated within Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Dynamics CRM Accounts Grid with eCommerce Enabled

Figure 1 – Dynamics CRM Accounts Grid with eCommerce Enabled

These additional ribbon options on the Customer form allow you to:

  1. Enter a New Quote or New Order for a Customer (Account) right from the ribbon.
  2. Create a Quick Order List –a list of Item Code & Quantity – that you can use for repeat orders. These are usually targeted bundles that are offered during campaigns.
  3. Configure the Customer Loyalty / Reward Program, Pricing & various other Customer account related services such as Address Validation Service.

The same design continues when a sales rep is working on a Customer. The customer account screen shot below again shows the Ignify Order Entry buttons integrated on the account form.

Dynamics CRM Account Entity Ribbon with eCommerce Enabled

Figure 2 – Dynamics CRM Account Entity Ribbon with eCommerce Enabled

This concept is used across the board in various Microsoft Dynamics CRM Ribbons & Sitemaps. This makes eCommerce features added to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, feel like a natural extension of native MS Dynamics CRM capabilities.

Single Sign On – Simple yet Powerful experience

In the unified CRM user interface explained above – clicking on a New Order button on the Account Grid or Entity Ribbon launches the window shown below which is just one click away from creating a Sales Order. The system would be able to identify the logged in Sales Rep & automatically login to Ignify eCommerce Manager Panel using Dynamics CRM credentials via Single Sign On.

Single Sign on with Dynamics CRM makes using eCommerce Facilities a Breeze

Figure 3 – Single Sign on with Dynamics CRM makes using eCommerce Facilities a Breeze

Commerce Transactions on your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Solution

Ignify eCommerce as an offering has a fully integrated product catalog into Microsoft Dynamics CRM as well as various web services required to enable commerce.

Pricing Services

Ignify eCommerce has always been able to offer the same pricing that is configured in your Dynamics ERP. This allows for complex pricing rules that are setup in one place to be extended to Sales & Service organization using Dynamics CRM without the need to use another system. Ignify eCommerce also has inbuilt pricing rules that can be used in case you are not maintaining prices in your Dynamics ERP or not using Dynamics ERP. System calculated prices can be overridden by the Sales Rep using the system with appropriate security permissions. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Approval workflows can be used for Quote Approvals to ensure that while your Sales Force has the visibility to organization wide pricing information, you still retain the control on what level of discounting can be done by different levels within your organization.

eCommerce Pricing Services on eCommerce enabled Dynamics CRM

Figure 4 – eCommerce Pricing Services on eCommerce enabled Dynamics CRM. Prices can be overridden.

Tax Services

You can import your taxes from Microsoft Dynamics ERP (if you are using Dynamics ERP) or use third party tax engines such as Avalara. Both are pre-integrated with Ignify eCommerce. These taxes are automatically calculated during Quote or Sales Order entry ensuring that your tax compliance is fully automated & does not burden your sales force.

Tax Services on eCommerce enabled Dynamics CRM

Figure 5 – Tax Services on eCommerce enabled Dynamics CRM

Shipping Services

Ignify eCommerce integrates with small parcel carriers like UPS, FedEx & USPS. It also integrates with LTL carriers such as Yellow, Conway & Estes. All shipping methods offered by these carriers are available with real time quotes during Quote & Order entry to give an accurate quote to the Sales Rep. Sales Rep can obviously override these rates by offering additional discounts or by simply overriding the rate. Ignify eCommerce Shipping Quote engine has in built restrictions and other rules that can be exposed to sales and customer service representatives for ease of Quote/Order Entry.

Shipping Quotation Services on eCommerce Enabled Dynamics CRM

Figure 6 – Shipping Quotation Services on eCommerce Enabled Dynamics CRM

Online Payment Services

Integration with more than 15 payment providers offers rich choices for choosing your online payment provider. All transactions including Authorization, Capture, Direct Charge & Refund are available to offer your Sales Organization facility to take instant decisions & execute transactions when they are on field in front of the customer.

Online Payment Services on eCommerce Enabled Dynamics CRM

Figure 7 – Online Payment Services on eCommerce Enabled Dynamics CRM

Minimal Click Experience for Quote or Order Entry for higher User Adoption

I had earlier blogged about how many clicks does it take to enter a Quote or Order Transaction. This can also take as little as two clicks, if you are working from a pre-configured list of items or if you are ordering from Customer’s purchase history. An excel like grid for entering lines does make entering a large quote or order much easier saving your Sales Force critical time.

Excel line Quote/Order Line Entry with Auto Fill

Figure 8 – Excel line Quote/Order Line Entry with Auto Fill

A self-service 24 x 7 eCommerce Store Front for your Customers

Ignify eCommerce offers a robust & scalable eCommerce storefront for your customers to self-service themselves. Given below is an example of a grouped offering that can be used by your customers to directly place orders on your eCommerce Store Front. These orders would show up in Dynamics CRM against the Customer Account giving your sales rep visibility around eCommerce Transactions executed by the Customer and help Customer Service respond more effectively to any customer call.

Self Service eCommerce Storefront powered by Ignify eCommerce

Figure 9 – Self Service eCommerce Storefront powered by Ignify eCommerce

Creating Complex Product Offerings or Business Rules

Ignify eCommerce provides a rich, search engine optimized catalog with various facilities for offering Complex Products. These Products can be configured & used by your customers via a self-service eCommerce Portal. These can also be used by your Sales Reps using the inbuilt Quote and Order Entry mechanisms.

These complex relationships are reflected in Order Lines. Given below is an example of a California Waste Recycling Fee getting added on Sale of a Lenovo Laptop. A business rule that your Sales Reps do not have to worry about since it would get automatically added.

California ewaste Recycling Fee Business Rule on eCommerce enabled Dynamics CRM

Figure 10 – California ewaste Recycling Fee Business Rule on eCommerce enabled Dynamics CRM

Pankaj Kumar is the Chief Technology Officer of Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of eCommerce, Order Entry, ERP, and CRM software solutions to businesses and public sector organizations. Ignify eCommerce is the only PCI certified eCommerce solution in the market that integrates with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine. Ignify is winner in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2010 and 2011 – this list represents the top businesses in North America with disruptive and innovative technology. Ignify is winner of the Microsoft Partner of the Year award in 2012 and 2011.

How many clicks should entering an order take? – Web Based Order Entry for Microsoft Dynamics

February 15th, 2012 Pankaj Kumar No comments

We recently launched Order Entry for Microsoft Dynamics as a web based solution that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Dynamics CRM & ERP solutions. An obvious question – why another Order Entry solution offering in the Microsoft Dynamics world where a variety of Order Entry options already exist? There are several reasons -

  1. There are no solutions that offer a Microsoft Excel-like web-based user interface for quick Order Entry that is powered with Microsoft Dynamics ERP backend for taxes, discounts and shipping charges.
  2. There are no solutions that work with all the browsers. It becomes an irritant for those odd cases when you happen to be in a meeting or conference working off a shared PC environment and wanted to accept orders. Right from all flavors of IE on Windows to Safari on various Mac flavors – Order Entry for Dynamics works exactly the same way.
  3. There are not many options for entering Orders for Dynamics on tablet devices like Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy.
  4. Seamless access to data within Dynamics ERP or CRM – Right from address book to customer specific prices, invoices, A/R Balance or historical order lines seamlessly offered to help a salesperson focus on preparing a competitive Quote or Order for the Customer.
  5. Electronic Payments – Credit Card, ACH, Paypal and more – all supported seamlessly with the Order Entry Process.
  6. Integration with Microsoft Dynamics – If you are currently using a Microsoft Dynamics CRM or ERP system, customer and order edits flow through systems to allow different teams to continue using their current system.

So much about the features, let’s talk about clicks. Most sales folks and customer service reps would like to see lesser clicks. How many clicks should an Order really take? We thought through this question and drew less than 10 clicks as the target for entering a simple Order.

Let’s see how this is all done in 10 clicks. Given below is the sequence of entering an Order right from the point you click on a New Order link to submitting the Order for processing. This could be a call center rep accepting orders in a retail call center, or this could be a sales rep on a field visit accepting an order, both stand to gain –

Click 1 – Clicking on the New Order link launches the New Order form and auto launches the Customer Lookup. The lookup offers various search tools for finding the right customer.

Clicking on the New Order link launches the New Order form and auto launches the Customer Lookup. The lookup offers various search tools for finding the right customer

Click 2 – Enter the search criteria and Search.

Click 3 – Select the Customer from the lookup.

Click 4 – Customer with default ship to address + default contact + other defaults get populated.

Customer with default ship to address + default contact + other defaults get populated

Click 5 – Click on OK to generate the Order.

Click 6 – Use the SKU Type Ahead or SKU Code Lookup to select the Item. Item Selection would default the Quantity to 1 and lookup prices that apply to the customer in the chosen currency. Workflows take care of applying relevant taxes.

Use the SKU Type Ahead or SKU Code Lookup to select the Item. Item Selection would default the Quantity to 1 and lookup prices that apply to the customer in the chosen currency. Workflows take care of applying relevant taxes

Click 7 – Apply Shipping Charges. Quotes are directly calculated using FedEx, UPS or USPS Services. Markup, Markdown can be done to create a custom shipping quote.

Apply Shipping Charges. Quotes are directly calculated using FedEx, UPS or USPS Services. Markup, Markdown can be done to create a custom shipping quote

Click 8 – Now the order is ready to be submitted for processing. Submission has a configurable workflow that acts as a checkpoint before Orders are processed.

Now the order is ready to be submitted for processing. Submission has a configurable workflow that acts as a checkpoint before Orders are processed

Click 9 – Enter the payment details (credit card, ACH or others), edit Order Confirmation Email that would go to the customer. And you are done!

Enter the payment details (credit card, ACH or others), edit Order Confirmation Email that would go to the customer

There were two guiding principles while designing Order Entry:

  1. Allow Order Entry with minimal clicks on a web-based platform.
  2. Provide Excel like experience when Editing (Order Lines, for example) or Searching (SKUs, for example) on the browser for order entry.

For example, if I have several Order Lines where I need to override the price, I would select the price cell (as shown below), double click or Press F2. Edit the price and press Enter. The price change would trigger the underlying business workflows to alert me if needed.

Order Lines

Given below is how the SKU Lookup works. Facilities similar to Excel filters with a multi-parameter search to find needed SKU quickly.

SKU Lookup

Are 10 clicks the minimum required for Order Entry? – No, there are other options that can help place an Order or a Quote in less than 10 clicks. These options are:

  1. Copy an Existing Order or Quote
  2. Import Quotes or Order.
  3. Use Quote or Order Templates

So you can certainly go less than 10 clicks if required!

Pankaj Kumar is the Chief Technology Officer at Ignify. Ignify eCommerce is the only PCI certified eCommerce solution in the market that integrates with mid-market ERP systems including the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Sage ERP. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine, and ranked as one of 100 most innovative companies in the world in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011.