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Esker Launches SaaS-Delivered Sales Order Automation Solution

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Esker Launches SaaS-Delivered Sales Order Automation Solution

April 12, 2010
By Brendan B. Read
Senior Contributing Editor

In an attempt to make it easier for companies to automate sales order processing and control costs, Esker has launched a new software-as-a-service-based solution.

Despite the arrival and maturity of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) and other business data exchange formats, a majority of companies are still receiving sales orders by fax or e-mail, reports the firm. And with the multitude of media delivery methods available today, such as fax, e-mail, postal mail and EDI, processing sales orders continues to be increasingly complex.

This still constitutes a critical process in terms of respecting customer commitments, boosting sales revenue and creating competitive advantages.

Targeting customer management groups such as accounting, operations, sales administration, customer service this new Esker (News - Alert) solution offers process automation including:

*          Automatic sales order reception via a fax number included with the solution and/or e-mail or EDI formats;

*          Automatic data extraction: data is captured automatically from the sales order. OCR technology is used to capture images from faxes or text PDF documents;

*          Automatic order routing: orders are transferred automatically to the correct owner based on the customer, the product line and/or the priority;

*          Workflow validation and processing: orders are transferred to the owner for validation or automatically analyzed and moved into the ERP (enterprise resource planning) application if no exceptions are detected by the solution;

*          Tracking and reporting: the solution offers managers and users real-time availability of order status and transaction data, along with reporting tools to analyze average processing times, individual performance of team members, volume and other metrics;

*          Archiving: orders are automatically archived in electronic format and available online for 10 years;

By eliminating manual order entry, an automated sales order processing solution like Esker's offers an immediate return on investment. Companies can:

*          Lower order-to-cash process costs by up to 70 percent;

*          Receive and enter customer orders up to 65 percent faster and reduce order errors and fulfillment delays;

*          Improve cash flow and lower Days Sales Outstanding;

*          Reduce stored data costs by electronic archiving and increase data entry accuracy by as much as 99 percent;

*          Help increase customer satisfaction levels;

*          Free-up staff time by as much as 65 percent;

*          Access reporting and analysis to balance workloads and identify process bottlenecks

According to Forrester (News - Alert) Consulting, who conducted a commissioned study on behalf of Esker in 2009 of a multinational company using the sales order processing solution from Esker, the return on investment was achieved in less than 11 months after deployment, with estimated savings of more than $5 million. The study emphasized gains in productivity, reduced paper usage and reduced off-site document storage.

"Many companies, such as Whirlpool, the BASF Group, MEDRAD (Bayer Group), and Honeywell (News - Alert) ED&S, have already automated their sales order processing using our solution," said Jean-Michel Bérard, CEO of Esker. "Our expertise, and a proven track record in the SaaS (News - Alert) market, allows us to offer this new on-demand solution and address all companies regardless of size."

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet's Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri
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