Management InSites

Order Entry – It’s All in the Details

When processing a high volume of customer orders, it is not uncommon to go on autopilot. But autopilot is the exact opposite of what is needed when it comes to delivering a high-quality service to your client. Recognizing errors, and – more importantly – preventing errors from happening down the line, is essential. Here are a couple of tips to ensure that your order entry process runs smoothly, while keeping your customer – and everyone in the supply chain – happy.

Pick up the phone!

If you think there is a mistake or that something is unclear, it is essential to pick up the phone and call the customer or vendor in question. If, for example, you have an order for five items, but you know that this customer ordered four of the same item last month, it can’t hurt to make sure they didn’t make a mistake by reordering too soon. By picking up the phone, you are potentially avoiding problems down the line (with returned merchandise, etc.). You are also showing your customer that you have their best interest in mind. Don’t be afraid of communication, and follow your gut.

Communication

Speaking of communication, it should be crystal clear between you and your client. If you provide an estimated arrival date to your customer based on information you have received from a vendor, make sure your customer is aware that dates can shift. Being open about where your information is coming from (i.e. vendors, suppliers, etc.) can avoid issues later on. If your customer knows that you are being transparent and are passing information on to them as you receive it, you will earn their trust and confidence.

Pay attention to detail

When inputting invoice numbers, store numbers, and other details, anything entered improperly will absolutely result in a problem later. To avoid having to go back and spend more time to fix an issue, it is best to pay attention right from the start. To do that, maintain your source documents (like purchase orders from the customer) and address any discrepancies prior to processing the order. Being detail-oriented definitely has its perks. A few (hopefully obvious) things to double-check:

  • That the purchase order is made out to the correct company
  • That the Ship To location and terms are correct
  • That the customer provided a valid PO number
  • That what is being ordered is something your company actually provides
  • That pricing is correct
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How can we help you?
Contact us or submit a business inquiry online.
Read more
  • Breaking Into the U.S. Water Sector: The Vast U.S.A.

    When considering entry into the U.S. market, it is imperative to remember how vast the U.S. is. While the water in most areas of another country with a small geographic footprint might be similar to one another, that is not the case here.

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  • The Changing World of 3PLs

    Third-party warehouses (3PLs) have historically provided companies with an invaluable service: the ability to store inventory and ship it out to customers around the globe. These warehouses are experts at packaging products to maximize order fulfillment.

    July 1, 2021
  • International Shipping and Incoterms

    When dealing with shipping internationally, especially from abroad to the U.S., setting the terms of the transaction from the moment the customer requests a quote is incredibly important. To avoid problems, unwanted costs, and even potential legal issues, there should be no room for confusion or ambiguity in the contract you set up with your customer.

    March 8, 2021
  • Shipping with HS and HTS Codes

    If your organization intends to ship or receive items to or from overseas, it is important to understand an integral part of the international shipping process: the Harmonized System (HS) and Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), which were developed by the World Customs Organization.

    February 8, 2021
How can we help you?
Contact us or submit a business inquiry online.

Order Entry – It’s All in the Details

In our previous post on the topic, we covered some important things to remember when setting up your company in the U.S. market. Beyond operations, sales, and marketing, a manager would be remiss not to focus on how cultural differences might impact the success of a subsidiary.

The U.S. is not homogenous

Unlike several other countries, the U.S. is vast – and not just in its size. Americans tend to break up the country into its East and West coasts, and the Midwest. But there are even more segments, like the South, Pacific Northwest, the Northeast, Florida, and Texas – all of which differ greatly from each other. There are several big cities, countless medium-sized markets, and even more rural or suburban areas. Interacting with people living in big cities will differ greatly from interacting with people in smaller towns. While it would be unwise to generalize, it is best to understand the culture of the part of the U.S. in which you are doing business before having expectations.

Patience is not always a strength among Americans

When in negotiations or conducting business, Americans tend to want to just get the deal done. While many other cultures take their time, get to know everyone involved, and move along at a comfortable pace, those in the U.S. do not always see a need to drag things out. Get ready for what looks like impatience, when in reality it is just a desire to be efficient and effective.

Don’t plan on in-person meetings 

At least not all the time. The tendency for Europeans and Asians to conduct most business in person is not the same in the U.S. Phone calls, emails, and now even video conference calls are the norm. Businesspeople like to work efficiently, and don’t gather in person unless it is necessary. First meetings, larger negotiations, and important topics are generally discussed in-person. Otherwise, don’t be offended or surprised if many of your interactions are taking place remotely.

Open-minded over traditions

A positive aspect of Americans in general is their ability to have an open mind. Many other cultures rely heavily on traditions, and act in certain ways because history dictates that they should. That is not the case in the U.S. Americans tend to welcome new ideas and concepts perhaps more freely than their foreign counterparts.

That being said, Europeans tend to rely on strongly forged bonds in which trust is paramount. Loyalty is key. Americans tend to be looser and more pragmatic when it comes to doing business. They don’t necessarily need to have known someone for years to begin working with them. At the end of the day, it’s about getting the deal done.