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There is customer order management, and there is Customer Order Management. Lower case customer order management is focused on administrative activities and transactions. Upper case Customer Order Management plays a critical role in maintaining relationships with customers and maximizing potential sales and profitability.
To move from a tactical necessity to a strategic contributor to the company's bottom line, the customer order/relationship manager must have a detailed understanding of current performance, and how it compares to competitors and market expectations. They also need to be able to compare their resource allocation to that of world-class organizations. Benchmarking is the only reliable way to get such comparative data. APQC, an internationally recognized nonprofit research organization, is offering you the opportunity to benchmark your customer order management processes at no cost.
Customer Order Management Realities: If "the easiest customers to find are the ones you already have," it's the customer order manager's job to keep those customers happy and keep them coming back for more. To do this he or she must define a customer management strategy, manage customer service (including entering and tracking orders) and effectively handle returns. The ultimate objective is to strengthen customer relationships, which is reflected by increased brand loyalty, repeat business and referrals. If a company is well-known and highly regarded for anything, it's often for stellar customer service.
In addition to external customers, the customer service and order management team serves a company's sales and marketing department on one side, and the manufacturing and distribution function on the other. In this intermediary role, they are responsible for clarifying and efficiently transmitting orders and other information between the customer-facing and fulfillment sides of the organization. As a result they sometimes get caught in the crossfire between salespeople and others in the organization already overburdened with special requests. To appease everyone and mediate customer expectations requires a thick skin and a unique ability to negotiate priorities.
Objectives of APQC Customer Order Management Benchmarks: The goal of metrics for which world-class customer order management would offer a competitive edge includes the following:
Improve order fill rates and on-time delivery
Improve customer satisfaction and retention
Reduce personnel costs and overhead for entering, processing and tracking orders
Improve employee retentionReduce the cycle time from initial receipt until orders are received by manufacturing and logistics
Reduce the dollar value of returns caused by order fulfillment (incorrect shipments, order-entry errors)
Minimize warranty costs
Again, there is no cost to participate in this research, and in return for submitting your data, you will receive a customized report that includes an overview of the metrics and practices at top-performing organizations.
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