5 WAYS ELECTRONIC ORDERING
SYSTEMS AND ROUTE
ACCOUNTING BOOST PROFITS
2Cornerstone | 5 Ways Electronic Ordering Systems and Route Accounting Boost Profits
Managing ordering and route accounting is a balancing act. If orders aren’t placed in time, customers
may be frequently frustrated by out-of-stock items. On the other hand, ordering in abundance to avoid
out-of-stocks can lead to a surplus that hasn’t moved in far too long — or worse yet, perishable items
going bad in the stockroom. To complicate matters, if your route sales team is using a paper-based
system or unreliable technology, it can mean they set off on a route with insufficient inventory and fall
behind in their schedules.
Continuing to use outdated ordering and route accounting processes is a drain on time, resources, and
the bottom line. There is a better way.
An electronic ordering system enables your customers to scan items on the shelves or in the
stockroom to quickly determine the quantities they need to order.
A route accounting solution enables your drivers or sales reps to order and manage inventory
for their customers.
Implementing data collection and mobility solutions such as electronic ordering and route accounting
software will ensure orders are based on need and demand — and you’ll never have to write another
order by hand. These solutions also benefit your business by increasing profits, decreasing waste, and
minimizing errors. What’s more, they provide transparency into every area of your supply chain and
empower you to make better business decisions based on accurate and granular inventory data.
With an electronic ordering system and route accounting, you can accelerate cash flow, increase
inventory turns, and produce a generous ROI as quickly as the first year after implementation.
3Cornerstone | 5 Ways Electronic Ordering Systems and Route Accounting Boost Profits
How Electronic Ordering and Route Accounting Benefit Your Business
The specific advantages of automating processes with electronic ordering or route accounting software
will vary from business to business, but all businesses will benefit in these five ways:
1 Greater Inventory Accuracy
The vast majority of inventory errors can be attributed to human error and lack of visibility.
When the inventory management process involves paper records, it opens the door to
transcription errors, lost data, and simple mistakes. Moreover, paper-based processes are
inherently slow. The data has to be transferred from paper to the inventory management
system — and sometimes even from the delivery truck to the office — before inventory data
reflects changes. The times between a sale or delivery and updates to the inventory system
are times when over-ordering or sales for out-of-stock products can occur.
Mistakes are also more likely when systems aren’t integrated and data must be uploaded
manually to have a complete view of the supply chain. For example, you may have an
automated data collection system, but if it doesn’t integrate with your ordering or purchasing
system, you need to upload data from one to the other or work out of two windows on the
computer screen to do your job.
Electronic ordering and route accounting systems are designed to solve these problems.
They provide inventory transparency across the warehouse, work in process, and shipments
in transit. This detailed visibility into the supply chain helps eliminate double ordering,
overstocking, and understocking, and it allows you to schedule deliveries or field work based
on product or material availability.
4Cornerstone | 5 Ways Electronic Ordering Systems and Route Accounting Boost Profits
2 Decreased Waste
No business can afford excessive inventory carrying costs. A stagnant surplus of inventory
is a waste of both space and money. The issue is even more crucial for food logistics or
grocery businesses that handle a large inventory of perishable items, which must be
disposed of after the “use by” date.
An electronic ordering or route accounting system ensures orders for perishable
and non-perishable items are based on the exact need, no more and no less,
helping to minimize waste.
Using an enterprise mobile computer such as the Zebra MC67, employees can
make stocking decisions in real time right from the stockroom or retail floor. With
an electronic ordering or route accounting system, employees can quickly access
order history and pricing and open, pause, or send orders in a matter of seconds,
shaving time off the process to restock.
Product waste isn’t the only significant source of loss for a company. Waste can occur when
returned items are improperly restocked or simply when a company spends time correcting
problems. Electronic ordering and route accounting solutions are designed to save steps and
allow you to operate most efficiently.
3 Increased Barcode Data Retrieval Efficiency
In warehouse, grocery or retail operations, different barcode types may
be used. A manufacturer may have one barcode for a product, and your
operation or your customers may use a different system. Scanning the
“wrong” barcode for a specific purpose could result in an error message
such as “item not on file.”
With an electronic ordering system that includes barcode cross
reference files, you can scan any barcode (e.g., UPC, Plessy), at any time,
and receive the data you need. The system will generate item pricing, stock status, and order
history immediately on the user’s screen so they can order the correct product and quantity.
When you use electronic ordering software in conjunction with enterprise data capture devices
such as the Zebra TC70 or TC75, productivity can skyrocket. The devices are designed to
easily scan both 1D and 2D barcodes in any orientation or condition and your electronic
ordering system will quickly retrieve product data and display it for the user.
5Cornerstone | 5 Ways Electronic Ordering Systems and Route Accounting Boost Profits
4 Greater Route Sales Efficiency
Time is a valuable commodity for route salespeople. Goals are always taking the quickest
route, seeing as many customers as you can in a day, and delivering the right products. It
may also mean having an optimized inventory for van sales that helps the driver maximize
revenues. Software designed to manage route sales eliminates inefficiencies, helps your route
sales team cover more ground, and make more sales in a day.
Electronic ordering and route accounting solutions ensure that your team has the right orders
ready for delivery and set the course for the most efficient routes to reach the maximum
number of customers.
With a mobile computer such as the Zebra TC55, route salespeople can access data for more
effective suggestive selling to increase daily sales totals, and they will have
inventory data right at their fingertips to let them know for sure the
items are in stock.
With route accounting solutions on mobile devices, route salespeople
can also print invoices and receipts on a mobile printer or send
electronic copies via email.
When using a mobile computer in the field, choose a rugged device,
such as the TC55, that will reliably perform even when exposed to
dust, water, drops, or temperature extremes. Also choose a device with
advanced battery technology to keep it powered throughout the day.
6Cornerstone | 5 Ways Electronic Ordering Systems and Route Accounting Boost Profits
5 Increased Customer Satisfaction
The ultimate profit-boosting benefit of electronic ordering and route accounting solutions is a
greater degree of customer satisfaction. Building strong relationships with loyal customers is
a smart strategy for increasing revenues. Gallup reports B2B customers with a higher level
of engagement represent 50% higher sales and 34% higher profitability than less engaged
customers,1 and 66% of consumers spend more with companies they are loyal to.2
Electronic ordering and route accounting solutions allow complete inventory visibility when
customers place an order, so they can make informed decisions and avoid delays in shipment
or delivery. Because these solutions help avoid out-of-stock items, customers will experience
less disappointment that the products they want are not available. Furthermore, route
accounting software helps your team schedule stops more efficiently, provide a more accurate
ETA, and make accurate, on-time deliveries.
The data from these solutions also enables route salespeople to tailor service to individual
customers and make sure customers have everything they need by giving salespeople cross-
selling or upselling prompts. Your team will even have the capability to conduct on-the-spot
surveys that can provide you with insights on how to improve customer service.
1Guide to Customer Centricity: Analytics and Advice for B2B Leaders, Gallup, 2016.
2Seeing Beyond the Loyalty Illusion: It’s time you invest more wisely, Accenture, 2017.
The Informed Choice
If an evaluation of your operation reveals lack of inventory visibility, overages that lead to waste, or
excessive labor hours entering data or correcting mistakes, it’s time to consider how automating
processes can benefit your business.
Leveraging electronic ordering and route accounting solutions will provide the tools you need to
manage your inventory as efficiently and as effectively as possible. This will lay the ground work you
need to make the business decisions necessary for decreasing waste and increasing profit, as well as
providing the level of service that builds customer loyalty.
Contact the experts at Cornerstone for information on complete solutions that will give rapid ROI.
Cornerstone Technologies is a software development company
specializing in the field data collection industry. We help
manage inventory levels with our mobile order entry and delivery
software. We have 23 years’ experience in designing and helping
customers achieve their goals in reducing costs and improving
productivity with our Software and hardware solutions.
About Zebra Technologies
Zebra makes businesses as smart and connected as the world we live in. Zebra tracking and visibility
solutions transform the physical to digital, creating the data streams enterprises need to simplify
operations, know more about their businesses, and empower their mobile workforces.