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Wasting time and money: costs of sales order processing

53% of businesses still receive paper orders through the mail

100% of managers in finance, sales and procurement say that it is vital to be able to process sales orders quickly and accurately in today’s economy, yet the large majority of organisations still struggle with manual systems for handling sales order paperwork.

The resulting administration, such as manual keying and chasing information, costs companies on average £89,000 per annum. Despite this outlay; errors, bottlenecks and delays reduce profit. As a result 77% of managers currently believe manual sales order processing holds back the growth potential of their company, according to new research commissioned by business automation providers ReadSoft.

The study assessed the challenges organisations currently face when dealing with manual sales order processes, identifying a wide ranging lack of control and cost impact on business. 

In a study of 203 professionals questioned from large (1,000 plus employee) organisations conducted by Dynamic Markets (25% C-level or above, 27% Directors, 49% middle level management and above) identified a number of the challenges of sales order processing software:
 

  • 93% of businesses have to deal with some form of paperwork when processing sales orders
  • 53% of businesses still receive orders in paper form through the mail
  • 51% complain that sales order processing is time consuming
  • On average it takes more than a week (51.4hrs) to handle paperwork for a single sales order 

A loss of control in manual sales order processing:
 

  • 27% admit sales order processing is error prone
  • 23% admit to misplacing orders
  • 21% state they have no way of measuring the efficiency of the sales order process 
  • 41% say handling sales order paperwork distracts them from strategic tasks

Costs of manual sales order processing 
 

  • 56% of organisations admit they do not know the cost of handling sales order paperwork
  • 96% believe their company incurs costs associated with handling sales order paperwork
  • When compared, organisations of 5,001-10,000 employees and those with multiple sites record the highest average total costs for handling sales orders
  • The cost for manual work to handle sales order paperwork averages £89,000 per annum

Simon Shorthose, Managing Director, ReadSoft UK, says: “To regain control, companies need to embrace a working environment where automation begins to resolve these issues from the moment a sales order arrives, removing errors that are currently prevalent within manual handling. Only then can a business start to improve customer relations, deliver more profitable plans and reclaim strategic advantage within the market.” 

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