Many businesses are struggling to find their way through a confusing maze of rules and restrictions in a post-COVID world. Social distancing. Masks. Washing hands. The days of sales reps and suppliers directly interacting with customers to collect orders are past. Meetings to collect order data and hours spent entering the data into a variety of dashboards is a fossil of bygone days.
Here are seven ways that suppliers, distributors, and sales reps can adjust to the new normal:
- Remote Ordering – The new normal for business owners really starts with remote ordering because it decreases meetings with suppliers and reps. Without physical meetings business owners, suppliers, and employees are not exposed to possible viruses – and save tons of time as a side benefit. Placing and receiving orders through an app frees up everyone to attend to daily business and meet the needs of their customers.
- Email & Text Order Reminders: Many meetings between buyers and suppliers are to gather order information or as a reminder that it is time to reorder. Text and email order reminders give both the buyer and the supplier the benefit of a reminder without an in-person meeting. A notice goes directly to the account owners (and/or assigned admin) in the form of a text message and email, so there is no need to meet.
- Contact & Item Management – The backbone of any successful order is an up-to-date item list and the correct contact information to send an order. An OMS should allow suppliers to update this information for buyers. Instead of asking busy business owners to update a contact or change the price on an item, suppliers can quickly make these changes in real-time to share the most recent information with buyers before the purchase.
- Electronic Invoicing – The old way of invoicing was dragging most companies down even before the pandemic. Invoicing and re-invoicing until the payment clears is an archaic way to run a business. Integration with Xero and Quickbooks Online gives order management and sales entry solutions the ability to to quickly send an invoice without printing, postage, or pain.
- Online Payments – Online payment processing has long been a standard for most businesses. Square payment processing revolutionized the way that people pay – in person and online. If buyers are able to click a button in their order management system and pay their invoice – everyone saves time and effort.
- In-App Communications & Messaging – Communication is key for buyers and sellers to stay on the same page, but there are so many different ways to communicate that it complicates ordering. Faxing, email, texting, and voicemail are all opportunities for order and shipping errors. An in-app messaging system streamlines the communication and puts the message right on the dashboard, so communication is clear and efficient.
- Direct Store Delivery (DSD) – Direct store delivery allows suppliers to send drivers to stores to drop off orders. The routing tool means that drives can enter the addresses of their deliveries and receive customized routes that change with traffic and delays. With the Square integration, businesses can pay drivers directly upon delivery to speed up payments and close the buying loop.
Successfully getting back to business – over the long run – will mean implementing steps to promote social distancing, protect customers and employees, and streamline workflow. Technology can be the bridge between getting your business back on track and avoiding the bottlenecks of COVID issues. Most experts agree that the “new normal” for companies must include a long term plan for changing the amount of contact between buyers and suppliers as well as businesses and customers. Moving now to a sales entry order management system will help you participate in the new normal and prepare for the future of business operations in a remote environment.
Prepare for the “New Normal” Now…
Ready to learn more about how Jellyfish sales entry order management is helping suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors transition to the new normal of business? Claim your free trial today…