Order Entry—How Are Order Entry Processes Conducted?
Order entry processes are automated mostly. The obvious advantages of order entry via computers includes speed, accuracy and concurent completion of tasks. Also, many of the order entry activities can be completed during order transmision. For example in the few minutes that it would take you to order CD’s from CDNOW.com, the following activities could occur, all in a few short minutes:
• Inventory availability review;
• Reduction of inventory levels to "reserve" your order;
• Authorization of credit card;
• order picking document preparation; and
• processing of payment.
A number of other important functions are also automated and coordinated by computerized order entry systems. Pricing activities, including calculation of discounts and frieght costs, can be completed very quickly. Order acknowlegements and advanced shipping notifications can be generated and transmitted via EDI or E-mail by the system. Key information may also be shared directly with other functional areas of the company.
These capabilities are especially critical in situations where hundreds or thousands of products are being ordered on a regular basis. Toyota and it’s suppliers would find it nearly impossible to operate just in time replenishment systems with manual order entry. Speed is of the essence in these situations. The automaker requires fast response to there EDI Kanban signals for more production parts. Suppliers must be able to confirm inventory availability, configure the orders according to loading requirements (e.g. type of container, quanity, etc.) and production sequence and schedule order picking so that the order is ready by the shipping deadline. Otherwise, they risk being held responsible, and financially acountable, for costly production line shut downs.
Retailers also need effective order entry processes. Large retialers such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Kroger must...