ERP system training is one of the many important tasks to consider when planning your implementation. Training can help your staff understand the benefits of the system, both to them and to the company. It can help identify any new processes, new responsibilities, and questions about the system. Training is an opportunity to make sure everyone knows the procedures, their responsibilities in those procedures, and how to accomplish them with your ERP system. These benefits aren’t limited to new implementations – your business can benefit from training if you’ve hired new employees, or if it’s been a few years since your original implementation.
When training, keep the information relevant to the users. Don’t give warehouse workers reason to ask why they’re in your session because you’re spending too much time talking about how customer service reps take orders. Including a system-wide overview is necessary, but training is most useful when the people attending can relate it directly to their daily work.
Be sure to include practice sessions for your attendees. Each type of transaction should be followed through the system in detail by users or representatives from each department involved. This will help ensure everyone is familiar with the transaction flow and that all of the steps are followed and understood. Remember to include managers and users who maintain your system. Hands-on sessions are important because users are able to actually experience and get familiar with the software. This allows them to witness the system in action and interact with it. This also helps improve process plans, and ultimately project success.
If possible, leave users with documentation and training aids. Representatives from each department may find them helpful when they pass on their training to their co-workers. Printed exercises and questions with answers will allow users to practice what they learned and improve what they know. Recordings of the training sessions may also be useful for future training sessions; as new employees arrive, they might watch the videos and use the training aids to get started. And remember to provide a contact point for when they need help in the future. Finally, always leave feedback forms so you know how helpful the training is, and use it to keep improving your training sessions.
Whether your ERP system is new, or you have new employees who need to learn how to use it, or it’s been awhile since your current employees have learned the system, sufficient and relevant training is critical to using your ERP system to its fullest advantage.
Contact us for a demo of InOrder.
Many software programs provide right-click menus to access functions between windows. With InOrder ERP, this feature allows users to be more efficient, rather than having them open and close various windows to do the same tasks.
You would typically see right-click menu options when they’re convenient to use for related functions. For example, InOrder provides a right-click menu for related functions when entering orders. This makes it efficient for Customer Service Representatives to perform additional tasks while they’re assisting customers with order entry. The options on the right-click menu can allow orders to be shipped, cancelled, changed, or other order-related functions can be completed.
While looking up orders for a customer, the right-click menu can also be used to fill an order, repeat it, edit it, or return it, among several other time-saving options, such as sending an invoice or an Email. You can even use this as an opportunity to customize right-click options to fit your business procedures.
Right-click menu options are time-savers and can minimize human errors. Be sure to include them in your on-going training for your ERP system.
Contact us for more information about InOrder.
Businesses are making it easier and more pleasant for shoppers to buy from them, so you know that exceptional service, top quality items, and competitive prices are critical. They can determine whether you get sales, good references, and future customers.
Here are five reasons eCommerce shoppers avoid online stores, and insights on making your business more attractive to them.
- Offer Only Common Products and Limited Choices – According to a study in 2016 by UPS, shoppers prefer to begin searching on marketplaces for product selection and availability. While large selection is important (and the reason many shoppers begin searching at a marketplace), unique products are also important and shoppers will seek them out, rather than settling for common and easy to find items.
- Don’t Provide Reviews – Reviews can increase sales by steering and bolstering confidence as shoppers are considering their purchases. Additionally, it is important to know what your customers think of your products because then you know how you can improve your offerings, and where you should consider raising or lowering prices. If your ERP system provides the capability, you can enable live crowd sourcing so your customers can provide feedback for products. You can even provide online forums or Q&A sections. After each purchase, ask for a review of both the shopping experience and the product. This lets the customer know that you still care even after the sale. And when your customers take the time to send their valuable opinions, make sure to review and display them as soon as possible.
- Charge High Pricing – Pricing is one of the most important considerations for today’s shopper. Even mobile device users compare prices and search for retail coupons. These shoppers enroll in membership/loyalty programs, and check promotions on social media, following retailers for deals, coupons, and holiday specials.
- Charge High Shipping Costs – Free shipping is very appealing to shoppers, and many will abandon their carts if shipping costs are too high. One successful approach is to offer shipping subscriptions. With this option, customers are much more likely to place frequent orders instead of waiting to buy because they want to make shipping worthwhile.
- Devise Complicated Return policies – As can be expected with online purchases, returns may be higher. But don’t make your return procedures so complicated that shoppers won’t buy from you. Shoppers are willing to drop off their returns at carrier locations or take their returns to a physical store. In-store return options provide opportunities for retailers to make these experiences easy for shoppers, who might make additional purchases while making their returns. If you have a physical store and customers are willing to visit, use this as an opportunity to build better relationships with them.
From simple return policies, to unique items and competitive prices, today’s shoppers expect the best, and if you don’t provide what they expect, they’ll find another eCommerce site that will.
Contact us for a demo to get your eCommerce InOrder.
Knowing how your customers shop can mean the difference between finding your products or your competitors’ products. The study by UPS “Pulse of the Online Shopper” explores shopping habits of customers, including where they shop, how they shop, research, delivery preferences, and returns. Volume 4 explores shoppers’ product preferences, pricing importance, as well as the importance of membership/loyalty programs, free shipping, and social media. Here are several helpful insights to what is important to eCommerce shoppers.
- While large selection is important (and the reason many shoppers begin searching at a marketplace), unique products are so important that shoppers will seek them out, working harder to find them, rather than settling for common and easy to find items.
- Pricing is one of the most important considerations for today’s shopper. Even mobile device users compare prices and search for retail coupons. These shoppers enroll in membership/loyalty programs, and check promotions on social media, following retailers for deals, coupons, and holiday specials.
- According to the study, enrollment in membership/loyalty programs is at its highest level in 3 years. Top benefits of these programs include free shipping, special discounts, free returns, and loyalty points/dollars to use on a future purchase.
- Of all membership/loyalty program benefits listed, free shipping was the most appealing to members. While the importance of free shipping has declined over the past couple of years, many shoppers abandon their carts because of shipping costs.
This link provides a download request for Volume 1. Use this valuable information to help make decisions for winning these shoppers. And, in doing so, grow your business.
Contact us for a demo of how InOrder can help you implement the features so many shoppers demand.
Advice for Catalog Marketing from a 40-year catalog marketing veteran.
Many retailers didn’t offer a better mobile shopping experience, despite Cyber Monday’s mobile sales. Which gender dominates the sport of shopping? Check out these Retail Predictions for 2018.
Read this article for a full list of marketing channels all marketers should know how to use, including some “old school” channels that have been proven successful over and over.
This interesting article discusses three customer service trends for 2018.
When your customers visit your website, do they know it’s secure? This article from Google explains how Chrome will display secure https sites as secure, vs. “unsecure” http sites beginning July 2018. InOrder customers can check InOvation (the publication for InOrder customers) for easy steps to implement this sooner.
Gift cards have been used for a long time, and for several good reasons: They’re convenient for customers and profitable for businesses. They provide privacy and flexibility, they get your brand in front of current customers, they attract new customers, and they can increase customer loyalty.
Through traditional gift-giving, recipients may visit stores they might not otherwise visit. But gift cards are not just for gift-giving – they are evolving. Shoppers often buy gift cards for themselves for secure online shopping or to take advantage of discounts and rewards. And all shoppers with gift cards offer the possibility of spending more than the amount of the gift card. Smart businesses are thinking of even more ways for gift cards to contribute to their bottom lines – such as using them for store credit, rebates, promotions, loyalty programs, or even marketing them to businesses to use as employee awards.
Gift cards can be physical or digital. Your customers may download them immediately after placing the order, or you may send them as an attachment in an Email.
With InOrder, you can even refund a gift card to a specific customer, who may or may not be the same customer who originally bought the gift card. This means you can be more flexible about gift card sales, and your customers can be more confident that their money is well spent. This function also enables lost gift cards to be re-issued by refunding to a customer’s account and using the credit to purchase a new gift card for the same balance.
The Ship Via functionality within InOrder ERP is a favorite with our customers because it maximizes profits by managing rates and fees to make sure shipping expenses are accurately recovered.
Each shipping service is set up with rates, which can be conveniently uploaded from shippers (FedEx, UPS, USPS etc.) Insurance charges may also be identified/imported, along with zones that represent the distance from your shipping location to the shipping destination, and postal code areas.
Shipping with InOrder ERP is more than who ships your orders and what they charge. Here are highlights of how you can use the InOrder Ship Via functionality to accurately recover your shipping expenses:
- Manage all surcharges – COD Fees, Fuel Surcharge percentage, Residential, commercial, 3rd party billing percentage, and Saturday delivery are just some of the shipping expenses you can manage through InOrder.
- Set up Insurance Fees based on invoice totals (example: invoice totals $1.00 – $10.00 charges .50 Insurance).
- Charge Shipping Based on: Weight Per Carton, Dollars, Dollars Per Carton, Quantity, and Weight
- Identify shippers that accept hazardous materials.
- Supports the DIM Factor used by major carriers. This is used to more effectively estimate shipping rates that compute shipping based on weight per carton. When this feature is used, InOrder uses the item dimensions (height, weight, length) to determine appropriate cartons. InOrder calculates the carton’s dimensional weight and compares it to the merchandise weight, and the shipping charges are computed based off the greater of the merchandise weight and the dim weight. Then the shipping charges for each carton in the shipment are summed to calculate the estimated shipping charges for the shipment.
- Reference EDI Carriers by their SCAC value and shipping method.
- Route items to a separate shipment to bypass shipping if they are electronic distribution only (no physical shipment required).
- Track order shipments, and send Email confirmation of shipment according to the method in which the order is shipped. This is useful for orders that are not delivered, such as those picked up by customers.
Contact us for more information on maximizing your profits with InOrder’s Ship Via functionality.
When a co-worker’s PC needed repair, the vendor provided amazing service by promptly sending a technician who quickly replaced a part. After the part was replaced, a serial number had to be registered, and when it was completed, the new part did not work. Again, the vendor provided amazing service. A new part was immediately sent, the technician coordinated his arrival with delivery of the part, installed it the next day, and the serial number was registered. Again, the part did not work. This was repeated once more before it was finally realized that the culprit might be the serial number, which contained ambiguous characters. Not only that, but the font used made upper-case and lower-case of some letters look so similar that it was difficult to tell them apart. If the serial number had not been so problematic, the vendor might have saved significant expense in parts, shipping, and labor.
This also holds true when designing item numbers and SKUs for your inventory. Knowledge and planning means you’re using your preferred numbering design without causing problems for yourself (and possibly your customers). Here are some guidelines to consider when designing your inventory numbering system:
- Special Characters – While using special characters might be a good practice for passwords, it’s not the case for inventory numbers. Some characters can be mistaken for programming functions and might not be interpreted correctly, and others can cause problems with searches. Examples include /, &, <, >, *, etc.
- Vendor Numbers – Don’t use the same numbers that your vendors use. Using this as a standard inventory numbering system risks high inventory item turnover, loss of item performance history, and an inconsistent numbering system when you change vendors or if you have multiple vendors for one part.
- Length – Make sure the length is not too long or too short. Stay within the length restrictions of your ERP system, but don’t make the numbers so short that the might be mistaken for a quantity. Using a mix of letters and numbers increases your item numbers while maintaining reasonable length and helping to identify them as item numbers.
- Empty Spaces –10+ spaces may cause problems with search results.
- Ambiguous Characters – Avoid characters that can be confused with each other. These include characters such as capital eye, lower-case L, zero, and capital oh. Depending on fonts, add Cc, Kk, Pp, Ss, t+, Ww, t+, Uu, Vv, Xx, Zz, and number one to the list of characters to mistrust.
Simply omitting certain characters from your numbering scheme can prevent frustration for you, your employees, and your customers. In some cases, it can even save you money.
Contact us for more information about getting your inventory InOrder.
Most (if not all) eCommerce websites include a section with their return policies, which include details about returning items with or without receipts, which products can be returned and when, which products cannot be returned, and more. When I shop online, two options I find particularly appealing are the ability to return an item to the store, and free return shipping.
Free Return Shipping
Free Return Shipping could make a difference in where your customers shop. Customers want this. Free return shipping doesn’t mean customers will return everything they buy, but they’re trusting that your products are worth buying without seeing them or touching them first-hand. It assures them that you stand by your products and care enough to provide top-notch service. Shoppers prefer to shop at stores that offer free returns, so it could be a small price to attract more customers. If you offer this, be sure to promote it clearly so shoppers don’t miss it.
Return to Store
This option is attractive to shoppers who actually prefer to take their returns to a physical store. It involves no shipping expense, it’s faster in some cases, it’s convenient, it provides immediate credit, and shoppers don’t have to walk out empty-handed if they want an exchange. This provides golden opportunities for retailers to make these experiences easy for shoppers, who might make additional purchases while making their returns. It can also create a positive experience and lead to future shopping.
If you offer either of these return options, be sure to promote them on your website – it might make a difference in where shoppers spend their money.
Contact us for more information about eCommerce solutions with InOrder.
Businesses are making it easier and easier for shoppers to buy from them. One service that has grown in popularity and value for both businesses and shoppers is the ability to buy online and pick up orders from the store. This has become a common option, with a focus on convenience and speed. When shoppers pick up their orders, they may not have time to continue shopping. Instead, they want the pickup process to be easy, efficient, and fast. Some businesses simply have the orders ready at a common checkout counter, while others may provide a dedicated pickup area. Another option is to reserve an item online and then check it out or try it on in the store. If you’re considering theses services for your customers, be sure to include all of the following qualities:
- Easy – Identify items that are available for this service so customers can find them in search results. When it’s time for pickup, make sure it’s easy to find your pickup counter, even if it’s in the back of the store. If shoppers must search for a pickup counter, they may very well get frustrated enough to avoid it in the future.
- Efficient – If customers wanted to go through the in-store shopping experience, they probably wouldn’t spend the time shopping online first. Don’t make them endure a lengthy process or long lines that include in-store shoppers. Instead, give them their orders quickly. If possible, designate a separate area to pick up online orders, where it will be easy to access and check out.
- Fast – If customers are in a hurry, they need to get their orders and go. When convenience is important and you meet that need, chances are they’ll be back.
Another option that is gaining popularity is outside pickup service, which allows customers to remain in their cars while you bring their orders to them. This service may include filling shopping lists, packing items, and loading cars. It is especially valuable to people in a hurry, parents with a carload of kids, people for whom it is difficult to shop, emergency purchases, and last-minute gifts. People taking advantage of these services could even shop online more often, so be sure your customers know about these options if you make them available.
You can also make an app available for mobile shopping and pickup arrangements. Restaurants and grocers have offered these services for years, providing same-day delivery and having orders ready at a drive-through. Retailers are recognizing the value of these services for both themselves and their customers, and customers are embracing them.
Contact us for more information about eCommerce solutions with InOrder.