AUTOMATED E-COMMERCE INTEGRATION
with Online Marketplaces has immediate ROI during COVID-19 Shutdown
Our client experiences cyclical sales during spring and late fall. Orders are placed via the company online store, inbound phone sales, and email. Extensive marketing efforts have led to our client offering their products for purchase through a number of online Marketplaces including Amazon and Walmart. Due to Covid-19 stay-at-home orders, the demand on the company’s product line skyrocketed forcing staffers of this essential business to work overtime nights and weekends to keep up with demand.
How We Made Our Client Successful
Automate Order Processing
The company’s sales model has been closely tied to BPA since 2003. Its integrated CRM / Accounting / Shipping solution has worked favorably for employees and management. After witnessing the success of their online storefront the company extended their online product offering to a number of Online Marketplaces including Amazon, Walmart, and 5 other online stores with plans to add more in the near future.
Manual Business Process: Employees are assigned to manually log into their assigned Online Marketplace(s) to retrieve orders and manually acknowledge the order with the Online Marketplace. Orders are retrieved via a downloadable PDF document which is then printed and manually entered into the company CRM. Checks for duplicate customers are performed before creating new customers. Orders are then added to the company CRM. Once entered, the orders are automatically transmitted to the company accounting software for invoicing via integration. Employees fulfill orders from their respective Online Marketplace by retrieving inventory from stock, packaging, and labeling orders for shipping. The shipping details are automatically transferred to the company’s CRM via an integration. Each employee previously averaged 20 to 25 orders per day in addition to handling customer service calls, issuing RMAs, and managing distributors.
Issues Presented: Increased marketing campaign activity had elevated the number of daily sales to unmanageable levels. Employees no longer are able to fulfill their requirements in a timely manner. The mandates of the Online Marketplaces has forced employees to work late into the night and weekends. Customer service and distributor management levels are being ignored as employees must remain committed to order fulfillment.
Current health concerns weigh heavily as these essential workers are unable to remain at home.
A combined solution of custom compiled code and BPA Software has been implemented to automatically retrieve orders from their respective Online Marketplace and deliver them into the company CRM. Since our client is required to acknowledge online orders regularly, the automation process runs throughout the business day and overnight. As Orders are detected then immediately acknowledged allowing the Online Marketplace to update end user customers with their order status. A review process has been added to the CRM to allow employees to check orders for accuracy and confirm validity. Once reviewed, the orders are submitted for automatic processing via the company’s CRM/Accounting integration. Orders are fulfilled and packaged for shipping by employees. As packages are scheduled for pickup by their respective shipping agent, the tracking and shipment information is automatically updated in the CRM and uploaded to the originating Online Marketplace allowing the Online Marketplace to update end user customers with their shipping details and expected delivery date.
The substantial increase in online orders caught our client off-guard. Their business model and staffing requirement has been effectively maintained for many years. Extensive marketing over the past year along with COVID-19 stay-at-home orders being issued simultaneous to their traditional Springtime sales season forced an easy decision. Hire additional temporary employees during a pandemic and risk potential exposure to the Covid-19 virus or implement an additional BPA process to assist. The decision has proven extremely lucrative as orders are being fulfilled daily without delay, essential workers are able to maintain their regular work schedules then return home safely, and sales revenues are continuing to climb. The anticipated investment return (ROI) is 9 to 11 months.