Category: Omni API and Automation
- 3 Simple Ways to Optimise Logistics Systems in Your Business
- How Do I Keep Track of Sales Quotes?
3 Simple Ways to Optimise Logistics Systems in Your Business
Can you juggle? How many balls can you keep in the air at one time? Would you say three or four? How about five?
If your day job involves supply chain management, you might be more talented than you think.
Logistics takes coordination and you have a lot of figurative balls up in the air all at once. So, how can you improve the daily juggling act of your business?
Let’s see how your organisation can benefit from optimising your logistics systems.
How Do You Optimise Logistics?
Here are three simple ways to optimise logistics systems in your business.
Automation means that you can plan further ahead. Logistics software provides more accurate calculations which takes some of the guesswork out of future requirements. It also reduces judgement errors.
Why waste valuable time on manually doing tasks when you can get them automated instead? Smart software tools can really help you here.
It’s often a good idea to outsource work that your company can’t perform in-house. Or, at least, the busy work that doesn’t need to be done in-house. Outsourcing may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it pays in the long run.
For example, if you have an online shop, you might consider outsourcing your product packaging. This type of delegation will give you more time to spend on your business without having to learn the ins and outs of another speciality. As a result, you’ll see an increase in sales and business growth.
3. Accurate Predictions
In supply chain management, timing is everything. Timing comes into play when you’re working to get the right materials, in the right quantities to the right people.
So it’s important that you’ve gathered data to base your decisions on. Working off past records will help you predict future patterns and prepare accordingly.
Inventory control is especially important in the retail setting. For example, let’s say you run a bakery, and you sell a variety of pastries on a daily basis. You’d probably sell more during colder weather when people are craving comfort food. So, it’s necessary to understand your customer’s behaviour, what they want, and when they want it.
When your decisions are thus informed you’ll anticipate changes in your logistics requirements and you’ll be better equipped to meet demand. You’ll find your logistics process optimised, providing better customer service.
Vehicle Loading and Scheduling
When it comes to logistics, vehicle loading and scheduling is a whole story on its own. Implementing loading and scheduling software can help you in these areas:
– Managing routes and delivery times
– Coordinating your orders and deliveries better
– Running your fleet more efficiently
– Reconciling your loads and deliveries
Let’s take a closer look at how this all comes together in one useful package with Omni’s Vehicle Loading Feature.
With our logistics management software feature, it’s much easier to manage deliveries. You’re in control from the moment a sales order is generated right up until delivery is made.
Delivery management functionality does the calculations for you. So the system lets you know if the vehicle is overloaded or ready for transportation.
It’s easier to access loading sheets. This helps you see the list of customers you’re delivering to. It’s also a quick way of seeing the stock items that need to be included in the load.
Not only does our software help with distribution, but also with physical vehicle loading in that you can manage the carrying capacity of your vehicles better. It allows you to input vehicle data, such as weight, volume, and carrying capacity which makes it much easier to determine if a vehicle is overloaded.
Once all your orders have been captured as loaded for delivery, the software will generate the relevant invoices. Then, when you have the invoices, your vehicle is ready to be sent out.
Our Vehicle Loading feature simplifies every step of load management. This makes it so much easier to coordinate all the factors. The room for error is much less when one step automatically follows the next.
With our vehicle loading and scheduling solutions, you can even set up customer route profiles. So when it comes time for vehicle loading, you can pull up customer delivery details with the sales orders.
When you set up a particular routing for deliveries, you can also set a delivery sequence. This information will automatically populate onto the trip sheet.
The importance of route optimisation shouldn’t be overlooked. Your customers expect to receive their orders on time, every time. When you let them down, your reputation pays the price.
Don’t Drop the Ball
The logistics process is a fundamental part of the retail industry. This is especially true if your business has anything to do with e-commerce.
What is the cost of disruptions in your supply chain? In 2020, it was reported that 64% of American and European companies lost up to 20% of their revenue, and their brand reputation suffered too. (Source)
So it’s pretty important to make sure that your logistics strategy really works. You don’t want to lose out because of inefficiencies or disruptions. You’ll also need to recognise weak points and prepare for the unexpected as best you can.
Optimising logistics systems isn’t a quick fix and it involves many interrelated business processes. Streamlining your operations might not happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean it’s an impossible task.
Partnering with the right logistics software provider will make the juggling easier to handle. Every business can benefit from Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to streamline day to day operations. One of the benefits of our ERP system is that you can seamlessly integrate your logistics process.
What Does Optimisation Mean in Logistics?
Put simply, it means improving the performance of your systems. You take your business challenges and all possible factors into account and then make a plan to develop the most efficient, profitable way forward.
In logistics, you have to manage a variety of supply chain factors from start to finish. You also have to rely on analytics as this data provides critical information that you need to coordinate supply and demand.
We are acutely aware that procurement of enough raw materials at the right time is an important part of logistics. Failing this, we won’t be able to fill manufacturing and distribution requirements. We need to balance many factors so that we can reach the best value for money at the same time as meeting our customer expectations.
Here are some of the factors that make up the logistics management juggling act:
– Placing and completing orders
– Reverse logistics
– Control, forecasting and managing inventory
– Warehouse storing, packing and handling inventory
– Inbound and outbound logistics
– Vehicle scheduling, loading and transport management
– Keeping pace with suppliers
– Customising a software system and gathering important data
– Global logistics
– Vehicle loading and scheduling
Optimising logistics means better planning and execution no matter what industry you’re in.
If you want to please the crowds, your juggling act must be perfect. And it can be.
When you optimise logistics systems your business benefits. You can quickly maximise your operations and build a stellar reputation in your industry. You will experience an increase in your profits when you improve your productivity and daily operations.
It’s Omni’s goal to make sure you never drop the ball. If you’d like more information on a customised solution for your business, contact the team here.
How Do I Keep Track of Sales Quotes?
Fact: Nurturing leads is a key component of good business practice.
Therefore, keeping careful track of sales quotes – which are considered among the more reliable prospects – makes sound business sense.
Do you know exactly what is happening in your sales department? How many quotes are your team working on? Which items are still in progress, which is urgent, old, or still actionable?
Answers to these questions (and a host more) are at your fingertips.
The smart extension you’re looking for is called job costing software. Once you have it integrated into your business accounting system, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.
How Can You Track Your Sales Quotes?
Whatever the size of your enterprise, no one should neglect sales quotes. And if you’re a true blue sales geek, then tracking is in your blood, and you’ll love automated software’s control and overview.
Ultimately you want to improve your lead win/loss ratio right?
Salesforce well says; “Since every customer you serve represents an important relationship for the organization, every quote you present is a vital part of nurturing and developing these relationships.”
You will appreciate investing in software that enables every prospective customer to receive a service that makes closing the deal easy.
You may have thought you had it all in the bag when you set up your CRM software. (Which, by the way, was a great decision.) But there’s more. Imagine knowing, at the click of a mouse, how many quotes your team have sent, who on your team sent what, when, how, and to whom? What if there was a clever extension that details all the quotes your company sends?
Before we dive into the details, let’s take a look at what goes wrong in the quote to closure cycle and walk a mile in your customer’s moccasins.
A Customer Perspective on Tracking Sales Quotes
Our friend, Anonymous, contacted three different companies for quotes for executing the same task.
1. Sales Quote Disaster
First, a salesperson was asked to deal with the quote. After a reasonable amount of time passed with no sales quote arriving, Anonymous called the manager. A quote was hastily arranged after a few technical people swung into gear. Anonymous ordered but heard no more, so cancelled the order.
2. Sales Quote Failure
The second likewise passed the contact on to salespersons who failed to follow up. A quote was once again generated when Anonymous called again. The figure was over-the-top, so Anonymous questioned it and was told things were tough since Covid. Really? So we load quotes? No deal there for Anonymous.
3. Sales Quote Falls Through the Cracks
The third group seemed to engage more vigorously and a sales quote arrived as promised. Anonymous waited before accepting to see what would happen. After two weeks, he was clearly not important enough for follow-up protocol and was obviously forgotten.
These are sad stories indeed, but oh, so real. Read on if you want to be sure this is not happening in your business.
Sales Quotes, Untracked
There is an undeniable sigh of relief from salespeople who get to the quotation stage. However, as you well know, the job is still far from a done deal. Prospective customers who have been supplied with quotes need to be kept tight in the pipeline.
There is no doubt that untracked sales quotes continually fall by the wayside. Some progressive companies employ a Customer Success Manager (CSM) to bridge the gap, close the cracks and assist the business in navigating the journey to closing.
Give your newly appointed bridge-over-troubled-water CSM a tool that tells them exactly what’s happening in the quotes department in real-time. Watch your quote-to-order success rate climb with the right tools for the job.
Cloud-based Automation Quotation Tools
Cloud-based tools can certainly increase your conversions in targeted sectors and are great when integrated into your own systems.
The flow looks something like this:
- Re-route – website queries, emails, referrals, or calls get sent on to your projects manager.
- Online Forms – are to be created to keep everyone in the team in the workflow.
- Notification station – project manager gets quotation info onto forms and allocates appropriate staff.
- Business Owner Check – once ready for review, the business owner receives the form for signing off.
- Send Quote – on approval an appropriate template is selected and the quote sent.
Nice to see a good quote-to-sale process, but it still seems like there is a lot of manual effort involved.
Switch for Track Sales Quotes
If there was a magic switch you could flick to get a grip on your sales quotes, there’d be no looking back, right?
It is not just possible, but imperative that you either get hold of a quote tracking add-on or find the right accounting solution that has the switch you need to up your sales quote win ratio.
The ideal is real. You can have a seamless workflow from inquiry, to quote and follow up complete with an automated invoicing cycle that leaves your team free from paperwork overload.
How Do You Automate and Track Sales Quotes?
Good question, and it means you already understand how much time and man-hours you save with comprehensive automation processes.
The simplification is brilliant in itself, let alone how much time and human error is spared. Once you have a fully automated module, quotations become part of the system’s chain of operation.
With quote tracking software and job costing extension add-ons, sent quotations do not affect your stock, nor will sales transactions be created. The idea is to track sales quotes and keep a tight rein on this otherwise nebulous part of your operation, which should generate more sales for you. A logical add-on or switch portal links the customer-quote document, which your customer would have been sent.
Quotations usually have an expiry date, so smart software enables you to generate either a sales order and/or an invoice from that documentation.
Once the quote has been accepted by a customer, the quote is linked to the relevant customer account as well. Your system should ideally be fully integrated with your accounting software so that your whole business module will be synchronized.
Track Sales Quotes Across Devices
In order to have an automated accounts system that tracks sales quotes efficiently, you have to do your homework. You want to look for data automation moving in and out of the accounts module.
Imagine for example, that you manage a salesforce and you need to synchronize data moving between handheld devices and your accounts department. Quote-tracking automation means real-time transactions, proposals, and changes even at this embryonic stage of prospective sales are simultaneously updated across all platforms. Similarly, data movement between your website and your accounts system is updated in real-time.
It becomes possible with a system that tracks sales quotes to set up additional checks such as helpful reports running automatically at set times of the month. This includes having necessary reports emailed to specific users on your system.
In certain high-end module automation, it is possible to ‘silent call amounts using pre-set commands to perform specific tasks automatically.
Tracking sales quotes is not only an efficient way to plug up leaks in your business system, but it also enables you to automate your processes and increase productivity. It’s an old cliché, but most apt in this instance, ‘you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.’
Contact us at Omni Accounts – we have branches in 4 provinces, so pick one of our helpful and understanding experts for advice on the perfect set-up for your business.