Is Automation Right for Your Company?

Manual order processing versus automated order processing? What’s best for your company?

Follow US!

Multichannel Merchant
Multichannel Merchant
Multichannel Merchant
O+F Operations and Fulfillment

Throughout the ordering process, a series of electronic processes is connected to a single purchase and that information must be kept accurate, in order, and documented. By using manual processes, a merchant runs the risk of making mistakes with the order as a result of human error, having inaccurate information, or simply not keeping all of the pieces together so that everything works as the customer expects, according to Jeff Rauscher, director of solution design at Redwood Software.

Manually connecting all of these parts, Rauscher added, is much slower than connecting these processes with technology, and could require many people working many hours under supervision to make sure everything gets done.

But if the merchant coordinates and connects these process steps and applications through automation, the entire order to fulfillment process is accurate, fast for the customer, and not subject to human error, Rauscher said. Automation costs are hard to specify, Rauscher said, because the options are scalable and can be tailored to a merchant’s needs.
Response time for retailers, especially during the holiday season, is crucial and Rauscher believes an automated order processing system is imperative for accurate orders. Rauscher provided the following example.

If an online store maintains its current, available stock in real time through automation, then people who visit the website would automatically see what they could buy. If something were not available, it would immediately show as “out of stock” or “backorder.” If it’s left up to a manual process, just keeping up with this would require constant vigilance, coordination and updating. Without this one simple element of automation, people might order items that are no longer available. Orders could come in that would require a call back to the customer and/or delays.

And that’s just a small piece of what automation can do, Rauscher said. Order processing automation also allows merchants to:

Reduce the time for inventory management and sales processes
Speed the processes that keep merchandise moving
Monitor and coordinate the progress of these steps with full visibility
Enable full auditability of critical processes
Increase process transparency throughout the organization
Eliminate inaccuracies and inefficiencies caused by manual or inefficient processes

Without connected enterprise-wide automation, etailers would require tremendous—and costly–manual effort to accomplish what they do every day, Rauscher said.

Jim Tierney ( is a senior writer for Multichannel Merchant. You can connect with him on Twitter (TierneyMCM) and LinkedIn, or call him at 203-899-8449.

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.