Wholesale distributors want their customers happy at all times. An order-tracking system that monitors their purchase status in real-time is the answer.
Not all manufacturers have the network or the means to ship their products to everyone who wants them. Instead, they count on wholesale distributors to make their brand available to markets far and wide. These distributors serve as the critical link connecting the supplier to the companies from whom customers purchase products.
In fact, wholesale distributors enjoy a unique role. They need to maintain strong relationships up and down the supply chain. Manufacturers trust them to receive the finished products in bulk and distribute them to wholesalers and retailers accordingly. At the same time, they should also ensure each wholesaler, retailer, or institutional buyer in their distribution list receives their allocated quantity as quickly as possible.
Providing impeccable delivery service is among one of the leading ways distributors can drive customer loyalty. It’s no longer enough only to offer the widest selection of products or the lowest possible prices. Fatigue over supply chain issues means customers want their items on the promised delivery date.
Of course, it’s nearly impossible to guarantee that all deliveries will arrive on time and in the right quantity. Don’t offer false promises; instead, minimize the incidences of late deliveries or wrong shipments. This can go a long way in keeping customers coming back for more. To do so, wholesale distributors should add order-tracking capabilities to keep tabs on items along every step of the delivery process.
Order-tracking systems benefit wholesale distributors, suppliers, and customers
Distributors must stay on top of their delivery commitments. At a glance, managers should have no problem identifying details about every scheduled delivery for the day. From the assigned vehicle and its current whereabouts to the cargo on board, all this information makes it easier to update customers on the status of their expected deliveries.
For this reason, managing and monitoring sales orders require more than just pen-and-paper systems or simple spreadsheets. You need a software tool that provides customers with complete information about their orders and allows them to track their current status. Once the items have been shipped, customers should have no problems checking the delivery’s current position.
Implementing an order-tracking system can lead to more benefits for both suppliers and buyers. Here are some of the immediate and positive results that result from monitoring purchases and deliveries.
1. Increased sales and lower costs
As every warehouse manager knows, wrong orders are costly. The time, money, and effort spent picking, packing, and delivering inaccurate orders take resources away from shipments with correct and complete information.
Processing return or replacement orders means arranging for items to be returned from the customer’s warehouse. Then, workers will have to receive the items, return them to the warehouse, and update the inventory. Each item’s condition must be evaluated to determine whether it returns to the shelves or gets disposed of. These tasks need people, resources, and time to process.
In addition, an order-tracking system lowers your operational costs by proactively answering customer questions on their delivery status. If buyers know where their items are or have an estimated arrival time, they’ll have fewer reasons to inquire or complain. Ultimately, this means fewer calls to customer service.
2. More control over order fulfilment
The order fulfilment process starts when the customer confirms an online purchase and ends when the order reaches the customer’s hands. In between, orders will go from the warehouse to the cargo freighter, then to the distribution centre, then to the delivery truck, and finally to the recipient. A positive order fulfilment experience involves letting the buyer know their product’s current location in the chain.
More importantly, order tracking allows wholesale distributors to fix or address issues that pop up during any point of the delivery process. Often, the ability to monitor in real-time allows order fulfilment teams to identify and address a delivery problem long before the customer notices it. In cases where you need to inform customers of a shipping delay, how soon you relay the update can determine whether they’ll buy more in the future.
In addition, gathering all information related to the order fulfilment process enables management teams to identify weak points in the entire delivery process. Once a problem is identified, a solution will surely follow.
3. Manage order returns more efficiently
It’s impossible to avoid product returns, especially for items that come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Considering that order returns deal mostly with unsatisfied customers, processing order returns should be a painless experience for them. However, an uncoordinated system can unnecessarily hamper or delay the process.
In contrast, an online system that informs all internal stakeholders of incoming returns can better prepare them to receive the items and learn more.
For many, the order-return process ends with the customer receiving a refund. However, the loop only closes for the buyer; there are some loose ends to tie up for the seller. For example, the returned item must be evaluated and the next action recommended: return to inventory, refurbish, recycle, or throw away.
Even more importantly, the company needs to learn more about item returns. It should collect data on the frequency and reasons for returns to determine patterns, trends, or common causes.
Learning more about why products get returned can uncover ways to address product shortcomings and improve performance. Conversely, if the data suggests a poorly designed or poor-performing product, cutting losses might be the best option moving forward.
A system that records and shares all this information can vastly improve the efficiency of returning products. It can also help companies learn more about their creations and improve them.
4. Increase Productivity and streamline operations
Order-tracking systems benefit not just customers but wholesale distributors as well. By systematizing how you receive, process, and ship orders and sharing information across the organization, fewer mistakes will happen.
Moreover, by making data available to everybody, there’s less need to pause operations to clarify something with another department. At the same time, allowing customers to track their orders can reduce the volume of calls from buyers asking the same questions.
Allowing teams to access the information via cloud-based software also increases productivity and convenience. This means sales teams and warehouse operators can access data online whenever and wherever they are. This gives them the vital information they can use to update a client, examine an issue, or alert a teammate.
5. Ensure compliance and growth
Online tracking systems also ensure all order fulfilment processes remain compliant and transparent. The system will post a successful order and alert the fulfilment team to start processing the order. Compared with manual or redundant systems, the chances of orders getting lost or overlooked by other departments are slim to none.
This systematized approach also ensures all transactions remain above board. Any slight discrepancies in computation or a wrong application of discounts will alert the concerned user. They can then edit the order to comply with set rules or discard it in favour of a new purchase order.
Keeping all orders within legitimate parameters makes transactions much smoother and faster. It’s not just the buyers who will appreciate this, but everyone involved in fulfilling the order.
6. An improved customer journey
Ultimately, an online order-tracking system benefits the customer immensely. The seamless and transparent ordering process ensures both the fulfilment team and the client can track the order’s status in real-time.
For businesses such as wholesale distributors, this means having the data needed to address any problems that may arise. It also provides companies with data and insights that can help them understand how customers respond to the products in the wild.
Meanwhile, customers will appreciate receiving timely information about the status of their deliveries. Having little-to-no information about the item’s status can trigger negative sentiments toward your business. Ultimately, this lack of information may lead customers to cancel orders or request product returns.
This can all be avoided by implementing an online order-tracking system that delivers real-time results.
Skynamo is the order-tracking system designed for wholesale distributors
If you’re looking for the perfect system that provides your team with the online tools it needs to fulfil and track orders, Skynamo offers an unbeatable and dynamic solution. This cloud-based software integrates with your company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and accounting programs to collate information about your products and your client’s pending purchase orders.
Whether out in the field or busy at the warehouse, your reps will continually get the information they need to keep customers happy.
Want to learn more about how Skynamo can help your business track orders? Drop by our site and tell us more about your work. We’ll happily get back to you and arrange a free demonstration. Let’s get your buyers, suppliers, and team members on the same page as they purchase and fulfil orders.