Sales order management involves managing business-to-business sales processes for goods and services. For example, if your company sells products to a wholesaler who then sells those products to consumers, these transactions would go through a series of sales order processing steps such as checking the wholesaler's credit limit, checking product availability, processing backorders, billing, reconciling payments, and more.
Sales order management systems such SAP Order Management, automate and optimize order processing. These systems contain everything from general ledger information and customer databases to payment data, inventories, vendor data, transactions, and returns and refunds.
Obviously, retailers commonly use sales order management systems to help them manage sales order processing. However, other businesses can benefit from SAP order management including healthcare providers, banks and financial institutions, utilities, telecommunications companies, and other businesses that sell products or services to other businesses or consumers.
According to SAP's SAP Solutions Brief, Sales Order Management: Streamlined Order Fulfillment in Wholesale Distribution, business benefits include: improved customer service, increased sales productivity, and enhanced profitability and reduced costs (due to the increased efficiency of IT support).
Implementing SAP Order Management can lead to many specific benefits such as more efficient sales order processing, fewer backorders, improved sales, better relationships with customers, faster payments, more accurate payments, more efficient collections processes, and more.
Data from SAP CRM (customer relationship management) software such as leads and other customer data information integrates with SAP Order Management, allowing for a consistent flow of data with less data entry. Sales teams can also be more informed about the actions of their leads and customers which allows for prompter followup, more personalized interactions, improved problem solving, and better relationships. Sales teams can also respond to questions quickly and efficiently and base their responses on detailed information found within the SAP CRM and SAP Order Management system.
SAP Order Management also makes it easier to handle returns and backorders, create rush orders, create bills, handle payments, settle accounts, manage customer contracts, handle product catalogs, and handle consignment.
Though designed to deliver business benefits, can all of these backend processes benefit customers? You bet. Since customer data can be captured once at the beginning of the relationship and then integrated with all other interactions, customers are not constantly asked to repeat the same information at different phases. Since sales representatives have instant access to each customer's detailed order records, potential problems can be identified and resolved in a proactive manner. Interactions between sales representatives and customers can become more personal as well. For example, if a sales representative sees that a customer has ordered a specific product, she could call and ask how the customer likes it or suggest a helpful article on how to use it. Improvements throughout the order process trickle down to customers, resulting in increased satisfaction.
SAP Order Management is a complete order-to-cash processing system that includes account management, sales order management, quotation and order management, e-commerce, contract management and pricing, after sales service, invoicing, and commission management functions. Retailers, wholesale distributors, and businesses from a variety of industries can improve sales productivity and customer service while streamlining and optimizing their entire sales order processes.