Automated Sales Order processing provides more time scrutinize orders for the correct prices, discounts, and more. The benefit is higher earnings through reduced error correction cost.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the computer-to-computer exchange of routine business documents such as Purchase Orders.  The automation assumes that all the information about the customer and the product is correctly entered in the ERP system before the order arrives.  For example, the check for a correct price or part-number is done automatically when the master data file is accurate. However, if the price is old, delays pulling key customer orders happen.

Unfortunately, the wrong price or part-number causes the order to be suspended until analysis occurs.  Typically, the price is wrong because the agreed upon price is not entered.  Some do not have the time to enter the cost or know the cost to the company.

Once you get to know the people who own the master data and convince them to normalize it, correct it, and maintain it, the process will hum.  There are two time-proven approaches:

  1. Better discipline: Persuade sales to enter changes as soon as they know, motivate by offering to help.
  2. Automate email alerts to customer service staff so corrections occur quicker.

Operate at the Highest Level of Production

There are a few simple steps to take to begin the cleaning. The first step is an informal chat with the Customer Service Manager. Then, if you discover a challenge, you can list the typical errors and estimate the time delays. From that you can write a task list with time estimates and priorities for both cleaning the master data file and persuading the Sales Manager to have changes entered promptly.

For more information on how automation should be done, read Understanding EDI.