Your company recently boosted its Electronic Commerce capability. The most important reasons were:

  1. Provide you and the customer service team more time to closely scrutinize orders for the correct price and discount.
  2. Give a wider fulfillment window for orders that must be filled immediately

This tip sheet will help you

  1. Maximize the number of orders
  2. Widen margin points
  3. Achieve a high mark on the score card

Your leadership will help your company achieve its objectives.

What is Electronic Commerce (E-C) and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)?

E-C and EDI are the computer-to-computer exchange of routine business documents such as Purchase Orders, Shipment Notices, Invoices, and Remittance Advices. The exchange occurs without human intervention. Data moves from your customer’s computer system – through the Internet securely – to your computer system within 15 minutes.  After it is received, a person such as a Customer Service person must review it before it is accepted.

An example is a customer Purchase Order.  A Customer Service team member is alerted that a Sales Order arrived in the ERP or accounting system.  It’s ready to be filled, unless the price is wrong.  This means the data entry step has been eliminated. but the correction must be made.

This process is also used to send an invoice after an order has shipped.  It arrives immediately and is quickly approved for payment, so commissions are paid promptly.

Critical Path – Send Customer Service the Correct Prices and Discounts Before the Order Arrives

For this new process to work smoothly, the price, discount, etc., must be in your Sales Order Management module before the P.O. arrives. The extra time spent providing customer service the correct prices and terms greatly reduces your error correction work later.  And, your team will appreciate this too!

Yet, when customers send a surprise price or discount, you will have more time to correct the customer.  The key: EDI processes must occur as planned.

To do so, price and other information must be sent to the merchant on-time and accurately.  This takes effort, but it’s worthwhile.  Here are the items:

  • Prices
  • Discounts
  • Promotion Dates
  • Packs
  • Product number (unique GTIN, was UPC)
  • Terms – payment (2% 30 days) and freight (FOB Destination)

When: More than 10 days before the order arrives.

Your Task:  Set a time to do your homework and ask the Customer Service manager to grade it for you.

Bigger Picture:  As a plus, your weekly sales report of What’s hot? and What’s not? will be more accurate.  You can re-allocate more quickly and boost visibility.  These boost your commission payments!

For more information about EDI see Understanding EDI.