As an IT company you have a lot of knowledge about automation and how to optimize your customers’ business and processes. Yet, did you ever look closely at your own process flows, like the ordering of your cloud solutions? Take a moment and see how you can gain efficiency (and money).
A typical order process flow
Many companies still process their Microsoft CSP manually. A typical order process, we come across at our clients, looks like this:
Customer places an order for a product, for instance an upgrade or additional Office 365 licenses. The order is received by the sales department or the service desk. Its employee performs the following actions:
he places an order at Microsoft or a distributor;
he sends an e-mail to the finance department to set up the invoice;
he confirms the order to the customer and sends the invoice.
Then he makes a booking of the order in the CRM or sales management system.
Sales then receives a confirmation from Microsoft or the supplier in return, confirming the order. The complete flow needs to be checked, specifically the margins, pricing and invoicing. This is mostly done, manually (!), by the finance department which lacks insight and data about the content and quantity of the order.
Once the package is received and proven right, the sales department will send e-mails again:
to the finance department to check and pay the invoice
to the customer to confirm shipping
Plus they will make a notification in the billing system to confirm shipping date.
The risks of a manual system
Looking at the manual process you can see the number of people and information exchanges involved. All of which are a risk. If an employee is absent for a couple of days, if a typo is made in one of the e-mails or if miscommunication arises, processing time will take even longer. Risky, as your customers expect cloud solutions to be delivered right away.
The advantages of automation
Suppose you could automate the complete process of ordering, processing and billing of you cloud solutions, like Microsoft CSP. Skip all the manual activities and e-mails. The advantages are obvious:
less impact on staff
shorter processing time
error risk reduction
higher customer satisfaction
All of these would allow you to handle more customers and sell more solutions, with a shorter time to market. Just imagine this process when you want to deliver Azure to your customers.
Practice what you preach
The benefits are clear. But there is one more thing to gain: your reputation. Customers expect smart tech solutions from you, so why would you not apply them on your own processes?
Give us a call to see how we can leverage your order processing flow. Let’s sit down and talk how we can accelerate your business.
Author: Thijs van Hofwegen, CCO