"The Supply Chain"
There is one major challenge we all experienced throughout the last decades when discussing supply chain related topics: the lack of common understanding of what Supply Chain Management even is. Hence, we decided to simply put our definition of a supply chain, the typical goals, challenges and lots of implicit knowledge in writing, visualization and movies. This is a growing place for everyone who deeply wants to learn about supply chains. Enjoy...
Whenever your business is successful, your many many customers will place many many orders. This touchpoint with your clients is extremely important as it has massive impact on your customer service; how may your customers place an order, how much transparency do your customers get about product availability and delivery times, how will you update them about the fulfilment? Simultaneously, incoming orders affect your Supply Chain Management directly as stock planning, production planning and delivery planning are obviously influenced by your incoming orders. Hence, you want to be in the know and in control of your incoming orders as early in the process as possible.
Unfortunately, in B2B world, most orders are being placed via e-mail, phone, WhatsApp, fax, WeChat or similar channels. The difficulty: there’s no data structure standard and orders come in in a very decentralised way. Even if orders are gathered in a central place, e.g. an ERP system; global corporates have to overcome the challenge that oftentimes single regions or even countries work in different IT systems. Furthermore, it is a usual process that (inside) sales teams receive orders, but the actual fulfilment is carried out by logistics or supply chain management teams. A “disconnect” is very likely.
A “best-practice-example” most of us can relate to as consumers is: Amazon. Why do consumers at Amazon always know how whether a certain product is available and when it will be delivered? Why is Amazon’s supply chain widely considered as one of the best-structured out there?
Let’s have a look at some “Do’s” and “Don’t’s” of Inbound Order Management