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Posts Tagged ‘Order Entry Solution for Microsoft Dynamics’

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.

Manage Customer Sales Orders with the Order Entry Solution for Microsoft Dynamics

November 17th, 2011 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

Have you ever ordered something online, and then when that something was delivered, you found that it was completely wrong from what you originally ordered? It could have been the wrong color, wrong size, or even the wrong item altogether. Having to first deal with the shock of opening up a box containing a totally different item than the one you’re anticipating, and then having to go through the hassles of either returning or exchanging it, is enough to sour anyone on the web store they ordered from. And if a business puts a customer in a bad mood, it’s pretty safe to say that the ticked-off customer won’t be rushing to return any time soon.

For any business, pushing customers away because you don’t fulfill their orders correctly is a mistake that you do not want to make. Fulfilling orders may seem like a simple enough idea, but it is an absolutely critical process. Getting your customer the product that he or she orders can mean the difference between a loyal, long-term client and a one-time-only visitor.

For salespeople and customer service representatives, being able to correctly enter the right customer information and view the history of a sales order is crucial for providing good customer service. An excellent tool for sales folks to use for viewing and organizing their customers’ sales information is Ignify’s Order Entry Solution for Microsoft Dynamics. Built on Microsoft technologies, including the .NET framework, the Order Entry Solution is a Web-based portal that offers salespeople and customer service representatives complete visibility over customer order information, as well as the ability to enter data quickly.

With the Order Entry Solution, a salesperson or account executive is able to easily look up and view customer and account history, and create new sales orders if needed. And if an order has not been processed, a representative can edit the information in the order, enabling him or her to add or remove items from an order, change the shipping method, or change the shipping address on an order or order line. The Excel-like interface of the solution makes viewing and editing especially easy by allowing you to tab in and out of fields, and key in products.

The Order Entry Solution improves customer satisfaction and minimizes order errors by offering salespeople and customer service representatives a comprehensive view of customer data and order history, and the ability to make appropriate changes.

The Order Entry Solution improves customer satisfaction and minimizes order errors by offering salespeople and customer service representatives a comprehensive view of customer data and order history, and the ability to make appropriate changes.

Customer management is also enhanced by the fact that the solution can identify for you the customers who have earned preferential levels or VIP status, meaning that you can offer adjusted product prices to the customers who meet those special status levels. Because really, who would turn down a lower price if they can get it? When a store makes an effort to give their return customers tokens of appreciation in the form of discounts and special offers, those customers notice (and become more likely to return – which of course continues the sales cycle).

The integration of the Order Entry Solution with Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM systems also assists with providing customer-specific pricing. With this integration, any specific price lists or trade agreements that are set up in the ERP and CRM systems will be reflected in the Order Entry Solution. So for example, if there are particular retail or distributor prices that a store offers, the Order Entry Solution will have that data, allowing the customer service representative to again modify the product prices for customers to correspond with this information.

The in-built marketing functionalities of the Order Entry Solution also bolster a company’s efforts to reach out to both existing and potential customers alike. The instant alerts of an order that qualifies for a rebate, the cues given to salespeople and representatives of cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and the ability to create and apply promotional codes and gift certificates are all examples of marketing activities that can help increase a company’s revenue. By utilizing these marketing capabilities to offer customers unique, attention-grabbing promotions, businesses up their chances of immediately capturing those customers and ensuring they come back.

As with any database or software that allows monetary transactions, ensuring that all the data contained within is fully secure is of the utmost importance to both the customer making an order, and the business that is conducting the transaction with that customer. The Order Entry Solution protects against potential problems by instantly indicating to a representative when an order isn’t kosher. For example, the system contains fraud alerts for orders, as well as alerts for other order issues, and it can even be parametrically set up to track advanced fraud. The system can also automatically put orders that meet a certain criteria on hold until they are checked and verified.

By using the rich set of order entry features and functionalities within the Order Entry Solution, and by gaining the valuable insight into customer transactions and history that those functionalities provide, salespeople and customer service representatives acquire a reputation for outstanding customer service that inevitably spreads to the rest of the company.

As business icon Warren Buffet once said, "It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently." Don’t chance ruining your store’s reputation in the five minutes it takes a customer to open a box and discover their order was processed wrong. Use the tools that will ensure your company’s reputation stays spotless.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce and ERP, 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.