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Posted by Roy Wildeman on May 7, 2010
Recently, one of Forrester's packaged food clients contacted me on the topic of no-touch orders, e.g., receiving, processing, and shipping customer sales orders electronically without human involvement. After talking with this client and doing some further digging on what others have done to improve their processes to enable this kind of automation, it struck me that a simple and visible metric like the % no-touch orders is a close-cousin to the perfect order concept (a long-standing research area at Forrester). Why do I say that? Both improvement goals drive amazing clarity on some fundamental opportunities to improve your Order Management Cycle, such as:
Of course, I can see some subtle differences between these measures as well. For example, no-touch orders may be more feasible in B2B environments, where master data and order terms are a bit more stable, versus B2C environments - yet the perfect order concept is robust to both. On the other hand, it seems relatively straightforward to correctly incentivize more no-touch orders (e.g., allocate internal costs such that no-touch orders are free to the business, but charge a processing fee for each order that requires manual intervention) and much trickier to incentivize perfect orders given the combination of activities and responsibilities required.
So, the question remains: which is a BETTER improvement measure: the perfect order or no-touch orders? What do you see in your organizations? I look forward to your comments on this blog.
And if you are interested in receiving more Order Management research from Forrester, I would encourage you to fill out this quick survey on your experiences with Order Management applications, as we'll be sharing the findings of the subsequent report with all who participate.