Management InSites

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  • Best Practices for Tax Preparation

    Accurate tax reporting is a key component to the health and well-being of any company. While the accountants and bookkeepers in your company may not actually process your company tax returns, they still have an essential job in the tax preparation process.

    October 5, 2020
  • Are You Using American Measurements in Your Literature?

    As you work to set up your U.S. subsidiary, don’t forget to take a look at your marketing materials and ensure they will engage your potential customers. It can be easy to forget how essential appropriate brochures and other collateral can be for your U.S. market entry success.

    September 14, 2020
  • Basic Best Practices for Accounting and Bookkeeping

    When it comes to accounting and bookkeeping, there isn’t much room for error. Keeping sloppy books is not only bad business, but it can also be expensive in the event of an audit. There are some missteps, though, of which even a good bookkeeper can be guilty.

    September 10, 2020
  • International Business Travel in the Time of COVID

    While the pandemic is far from over, the world has had to learn to proceed with business in this new state of normal. That has meant increasing precautions, sanitizing more, social distancing, working remotely, and managing new restrictions put in place by authorities.

    September 3, 2020
How can we help you?
Contact us or submit a business inquiry online.

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
Read more
  • Best Practices for Tax Preparation

    Accurate tax reporting is a key component to the health and well-being of any company. While the accountants and bookkeepers in your company may not actually process your company tax returns, they still have an essential job in the tax preparation process.

    October 5, 2020
  • Are You Using American Measurements in Your Literature?

    As you work to set up your U.S. subsidiary, don’t forget to take a look at your marketing materials and ensure they will engage your potential customers. It can be easy to forget how essential appropriate brochures and other collateral can be for your U.S. market entry success.

    September 14, 2020
  • Basic Best Practices for Accounting and Bookkeeping

    When it comes to accounting and bookkeeping, there isn’t much room for error. Keeping sloppy books is not only bad business, but it can also be expensive in the event of an audit. There are some missteps, though, of which even a good bookkeeper can be guilty.

    September 10, 2020
  • International Business Travel in the Time of COVID

    While the pandemic is far from over, the world has had to learn to proceed with business in this new state of normal. That has meant increasing precautions, sanitizing more, social distancing, working remotely, and managing new restrictions put in place by authorities.

    September 3, 2020
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.