“Touchless” Is a Touchy Subject When It Comes to Order Processing

Kasey Schmitz

touchless order

If you’re anything like me, you’d prefer things get done as quickly and easily as possible — avoiding any unnecessary pain or time-consuming issues along the way. A magic wand of sorts, to just get things done perfectly.

A lot of companies might think the order processing equivalent of this is “touchless” order processing, sometimes referred to as Lights Out Order Processing (LOOP), whereby orders come into an organization by fax, email, EDI, etc., the magic wand is waved, and they end up in the ERP/business system automatically without anyone having to so much as look at the order, let alone manually key in the order data.

I get the appeal. However, as with most things that sound too good to be true, “touchless” order processing can often be more trouble than what’s it worth if used incorrectly.

The Issue with “Touchless” Order Processing

The expectation of “touchless” order processing is that every single order in every single format from every single customer is going to be captured with 100% accuracy, every single time. And assuming that doesn’t happen, then what? Then orders get shipped out incorrectly, customers get mad, you have to spend a lot of time on the backend fixing mistakes, restocking, reshipping, and at the end of the day, you still have to correct the order.

There is a time and place for going fully touchless when makes sense and can be enabled for specific customers or channels, and safeguards can be put into place to prevent automatic ERP posting in case of failed data checks. However, using “touchless” for every order is simply not realistic.

The Solution: AI-powered order data capture

A much more realistic approach to processing customer orders is a perfect compromise that falls somewhere between manual data entry and “touchless” processing: AI-powered order data capture. With this approach, AI technology instantly captures key data off the orders coming into your organization (regardless of their channel, format or layout) and interprets this raw data, automatically filling in data at the header and line-item level.

The big distinction is that CSRs have the chance to review and validate the order data before it hits your ERP/business system, without entering any data unless you find you need to. A quick glance to review, a click to approve, and the order is created correctly in your ERP/business system — which has a much better end-result.

You don’t have to take it from me. Check out how one of Esker’s customers, Suntory Beverage & Food Spain, was able to reduce their average order processing time by 60% thanks to AI order data capture technology or listen to our podcast episode with Dave Sterkenburg from Skytron.

Author Bio

Kasey Schmitz

Kasey is a Senior Marketing Manager at Esker, and oversees Esker's lead generation, demand generation and database teams.

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