The past year has seen historic levels of job churn. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.3 million people in this country quit their jobs in December 2021, which was slightly less than the 4.5 million that quit in November 2021. The bottom line is that employee recruitment and retention are major concerns in nearly every industry, but especially for wholesale distributors who are still reeling from a post-pandemic environment that has left their industry struggling to find workers.
The cost of recruiting, hiring and then training workers is extremely expensive. But not being able to satisfy salary requirements and employee satisfaction can lead to your top performers looking for work elsewhere.
For many wholesale distributors, the process of onboarding an employee can take months. Complicated, legacy systems require significant man-hours of training to ensure that new employees can efficiently operate the order management system. In addition, these same systems are cumbersome, hard to use and lead to employee dissatisfaction. But modernizing your system can be costly and has the potential to disrupt your business in a significant way.
So what should an organization do? Organizations need to start thinking about flipping the narrative and invest in ways they can help streamline and better equip their best asset – their employees. By doing so, they will find that they will improve their customers’ experience as a whole. What are some ways to begin?
Reduce new employee training time
For organizations in the wholesale distribution space, onboarding new employees, or an existing employee that is new to a position, can often take months because Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are historically complex and have complicated screens that are not intuitive to use. What you get in return, obviously, are frustrated employees. Frustrated employees quickly look for greener pastures. Therefore, reducing the amount of time it takes to onboard an employee while create a better training experience and will result in a better employee retention. Customers can tell when they interact with a sales associate that likes their job. These days, that is a rare find.
Eliminate repetitive tasks
Another area of employee frustration is with repetitive tasks. Legacy order management systems often require employees to manually key in orders into their ERP system by hand. Ordering through a typical ERP can take up to 40 clicks, 50 keystrokes and 10 screen just to complete 1 order. Multiply that across the course of a day and these can add up to hundreds of keystrokes and clicks a user must negotiate through daily. This tedious, repetitive task frustrates employees. Reducing the time it takes to complete an order will alleviate this and free up more time they could be spending building relationships with customers.
Focus on customer relationships
Legacy systems often do not have access to real-time master data. For organizations that still have legacy systems in place, this lack of data visibility means a sales rep must reach out to various locations to determine if the inventory is available before he or she can complete a customer order. If it is a situation where there is a stock shortage, organizations must order more material from a supplier and have the supplier drop ship to the customer. This process can take days, increase cost and liability for the company, and greatly decrease an employee’s ability to provide a timely answer to their customer. And customers, as we know, have become more demanding and expect immediate action. Being able to speed up this part of the order management process allows an organization to be more competitive in capturing more customer orders which will increase their bottom line.
Yet how difficult is it to implement these kinds of changes into your system? Easier than you might think. A leading global manufacturer of packaged pavement products was able to create a superior experience for both its employee and customers. By implementing DataXstream’s OMS+, they drastically reduced the training time and resources needed to introduce a new user to the company’s SAP system.
OMS+ is the only cross-channel order management product on the market that directly overlays your SAP ECC or S/4 system and it gives them the ability to leverage the power and flexibility of their SAP sales and distribution modules, with the ease of use of a traditional online store interface.
By implementing OMS+ organizations are able to:
- Reduce their employee training time from 30-90% and condense it from months to a matter of 1-2 days
- Decrease the turnaround time on quotes by 95% and go from 12 hours to a mere 20 minutes, as one customer experienced
- By eliminating tedious, repetitive tasks, organizations can improve order accuracy and reduce order rework by 50-90%
The speed OMS+ delivers easily improves the customer experience as a whole and delivers true Unified Commerce. Simply put, OMS+ makes using SAP rewarding and reduces your time to money. For more information about our award-winning product line, go to www.dataxstream.com.