Automating Order Processing

Many times with technology we figure out how to make something work for our needs and are satisfied with what we’ve done. If you satisfy your short term goal in M.O.M. you’ve entered an order and shipped it and you can make it through your day. But is that always the most efficient way to work? Does it get the best results for your marketing and customer service efforts and could your time be better spent if you took some time to invest in increasing the efficiency of your operations?

These are the questions everyone asks in business and faces while using a program as comprehensive and sophisticated as M.O.M. If you’ve learned enough about the system to get done what you need to get done you’re set to take care of the other elements of your business. That’s fine, but M.O.M. is used as an automation tool and its greatest value is when its most fully automated to handle the different tasks your company must perform.

The specific task on my mind here is processing orders (marketing and CRM will be discussed in other posts). During the training seminars when clients come together to learn about how to best apply M.O.M. to their individual business needs we discuss the order processing cycle of M.O.M., the process in which orders move through the M.O.M. system, get packed, and are shipped out the door. The majority of clients still process their orders through the ‘batch’ process, even if they ship hundreds of orders each day. There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s what they know and it gets them through their day. But is it the most efficient way to use the automation tool that is M.O.M.?

There is another way. It’s the packer’s workstation. All clients using M.O.M. version 5 and higher have access to this feature and can use it to automatically print pick tickets and packing slips automatically at a dedicated workstation, often in the warehouse, when an order is complete.

What completes and order? An order is complete when it’s paid for (or properly invoiced), not on hold, and nothing’s backordered. So if orders and downloaded into M.O.M. from SiteLINK, credit cards are processed, and orders with back ordered items are shipped ahead, those orders will appear on the packer’s workstation screen to automatically print. The orders can be printed individually if a greater degree of attention is required, but the point is that the orders are printing and are being packed by the warehouse and shipping staff throughout the day and not in a flurry of activity late in the afternoon when someone remembers to run the ‘batch.’

But the benefits don’t end there when using the shipping confirmation screen which allows the shipping staff to scan as shipped only those packages that have been fully packed. Only those orders will be marked as ‘shipped’ in M.O.M. so that your CSRs or order status function can give accurate information to your customers. The unshipped orders will be seen as ‘packed, ready to ship’ until they are also marked as shipped. So there’s no question about whether the order shipped or didn’t make it out to the carrier.

Because it’s never too late to implement this feature, especially for the busy holiday season (or in preparation to the next one) Dydacomp Support can walk you through some of this initial setup, and it’s often complemented by using a multi-tray laser printer to define in which tray different forms or paper types get printed from, such as packing slips, invoices, letterhead, and plain paper. This system is scalable to the increased order volume that occurs during the holiday season and can be further enhanced by the Advanced Warehouse Module which allows multiple packer’s workstations and even a management tool to keep the pickers and packers busy.

Your own experiences setting up this kind of process and how it helped your business operations are also welcome to be shared.

Stephen Miller
VP/Operations
Dydacomp

2 Responses to “Automating Order Processing”

  1. cm says:

    As a fulfillment center with 40+ MOM companies, “un-batching” our order processing cycle to utilize the packers workstation will have limited effectiveness because of the requirement to switch companies.

    If we started using the packers workstation, to still be efficient, we would still need to physically batch packages so the packer isn’t changing MOM companies for each box.

  2. WHGear says:

    How does the carting feature work if orders are to be released indivdually as they are completed. It would seem that you would then be picking orders individually unless MOM holds the orders till they reach the predefined # Orders Per Cart set by the user. Is that the case?

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