Checklist: Is your ordering process future-ready?

March 12, 2024
Wholesale Business

“To be able to survive in the market in the long term, it is necessary to do what customers want: to order simply, efficiently, and without errors. This requires providing technological solutions that fulfil these requirements.”

Stephan Lotz | Director at Lykos Gmbh | full range wholesaler

Are you at risk of becoming outdated?

Here is a checklist to assess the future readiness of your ordering process: 

1) Customer-Centricity:

Ask yourself: Does my ordering process fulfil my customers’ needs?

Delivering correct and complete orders is the key to retaining customers. Moreover, restaurant owners are becoming younger and used to convenient online ordering. They increasingly expect to be able to place orders 24/7 from their phones.

Additionally, customers want to ask questions and get support in the blink of an eye. However, if they have to wait on the phone to ask about the availability of a product, add to their order or receive support, you are at risk of losing them.

Question your ordering process through the eyes of your customers:

  • Can your customers rely on getting complete and error-free deliveries, since they get exactly what they ordered?
  • Does your ordering process support a variety of ways to place orders to accommodate different preferences, e.g., online shop, telephone, email, in person?
  • Can customers order online at a time convenient to them?
  • Can customers order from their phones and computers? 
  • Can customers ask questions, e.g., through a chat? 
  • Can customers discover your entire product range easily?
  • Does your ordering process support a variety of ways to place orders to accommodate different preferences, e.g., online shop, telephone, email, in person?

2) Sales Enablement:

Next, ask yourself: Is my sales team enabled to meet their targets and excited about working with our customers?

Often, sales teams are occupied with placing orders for customers rather than showing them new products and asking about their business. Moreover, they complain about a lack of clarity and understanding of the customers previous orders and preferences. In order to be able to meet their sales targets and the taste of their customers, they would need to create targeted promotions and bring the entire warehouse along. 

Since the relationship between your sales team and your customers is decisive for your customer loyalty and sustainability of your business, you need to enable your sales team to be on top of their game.

Study the ordering process from the point of view of your sales team: 

  • How much time is spent on building a relationship, how much time is spent on entering orders?
  • Is there a quick and convenient way to place orders on behalf of customers, e.g, on the phone online?
  • Does our ordering process support upselling opportunities and do customers try out new products regularly?
  • Do you get actionable insights from the customers’ order history? 
  • Is there a simple way to run (targeted) promotions? 
  • Does your sales team have a good overview of the customers they are responsible for?

3) Operational Efficiency:

Last, your ordering process needs to make sense from an operational perspective. Can your ordering process grow with your business or are you at the limit of your capacity?

When the only option to keep up with orders is to hire a new team member, the market is not in your favour. Finding good employees is hard enough, but finding them for night shifts is becoming impossible. Additionally, if you are stressed when one employee is going on holiday or on sick leave because they have more knowledge about certain customers, it is a sign that your process is not standardised enough.

Moreover, when orders come in via phone, email, fax, WhatsApp and in person, there is a high risk that orders are overlooked. Eventually, you need to have a modern ordering solution in place that allows you to implement AI-driven solutions that can improve your operational efficiency significantly. 

Your goal should be to gain time to dedicate to growing your business rather than drowning in administrative tasks.

It’s time to evaluate the operational efficiency of your ordering process:

  • Can you handle new customer acquisitions?
  • Are you losing money and customers due to incomplete and erroneous orders?
  • Is the work your team is doing motivating and fulfilling?
  • Are voicemails and audio messages tying your team to the phone?
  • Is your ordering process dependent on a few individuals with specific knowledge?
  • Are processes standardised and automated to remove human error?
  • Are technical solutions easy to use and integrated?
  • Is your technical infrastructure ready to be integrated with AI?

Now, what does a future ready ordering process look like?

Your ordering process needs to meet the demands of your customers, enable your sales team and make sense for your business operations. 

There are 2 technical solutions that help you in achieving this: ERP system paired with a modern ordering solution, tailored to the needs of wholesalers.

Orderlion offers exactly this ordering solution consisting of: 

  • Online shop (app and web shop): Your customers can order conveniently 24/7 online from their phones with features like chat, targeted promotions and individual prices.
  • Mobile CRM for your sales team with a customer database, data insights and ability to place orders for customers through the ordering app
  • AI-driven Inbox to transform orders via email, voicemail and whatsapp automatically to be sent to your pickers.

Do you want to discuss whether Orderlion could be the right solution for your business? Reach out at orderlion.com/schedule-demo.

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