Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Why customer portals fail.

If you think driving internal change is difficult, why waste time and money trying to drive change within your clients’ business?

A customer portal may sound like a great way to interact with your clients.  They can reduce administrative burden, minimise errors, save you time, help you collect valuable information about your customers and generally improve service levels. 

However, lets be honest, most customer portals are designed to make your life easier, not your customers' and especially not those customers that are not sophisticated purchasers of goods or services. 

If you’re HP, GE or even Coca Cola, you can dictate your customer’s behaviour.  If you’re not, you can’t - you need to respond to customer behaviour. 

This problem sits at the heart of why customers portals, launched to much fanfare, often sit underutilised.  Of course its easy to make the argument that having a customer portal allows your customers to control the order process and to interact directly with your business - "it makes so much sense, how could they not love it?".  Why not? Because customers have their own systems for placing orders and these systems have been designed by them to make their life easier.  It shouldn't surprise you to learn that these involve emailing, telephone and (gasp) faxing their orders.

Without putting the customer at the heart of your decision making process, you risk alienating your most important asset. 

But don't despair, there is a simple alternative to establishing a customer portal.  An alternative that is far more cost effective, will improve your processes and won't impact the customer experience one iota!

Before you spend a cent, sign up to our free OrdersInbox trial today.  We promise, no hard sell, just simply designed order management software that will save you time and money.  Sign up for your free trial now.

Enter your details and we’ll send you a username and password no questions asked.  The free trial will give you access to your own FREE OrdersInbox account for 3 months. 

Join great Australian companies like National Tiles to discover how OrdersInbox can help you.  For more information go to, or email ( or telephone 03 9024 6268 to arrange a short demonstration.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Email is Dead - Long Live the Email

Ever since email began to rule the workplace, many people have predicted its demise.

It's now 2014, are there are certainly no signs of abatement.

There are many reasons for this, but for us, the one that stands out the most is the fact that email is 100% universal & belongs to no one company. And while it does have it's disadvantages, we believe that no social network or new communication method can override it.

As Winston Churchill said of democracy, "it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others have been tried".

While we don't doubt there are many communication methods which will emerge over the coming years, our money is on email retaining the number one position as the most prevalent method of communications.

Therefore, the challenge for businesses is to ensure that they use email in the most efficient way possible.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Free Business Guide

We've put together a free business guide that will help you discover:
  1. The 8 key elements of every good order management process.
  2. Tips to improve your order management process.
  3. The secret to turning your order management process into a goose that lays golden eggs.
  4. 6 Costly mistakes to avoid when selecting an order management system.
Download now for free from

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Document management - not just for policies and procedures.

We've discovered that when people talk about the term 'Document Management', they're often referring to documents such as Policies & Procedures. This is natural, because a company's Polices and Procedures are arguably the most important documents a business has. From listing strategic objectives, outlining how to deal with internal HR issues and most importantly, how to apply for leave, a company's set of Policies & Procedures is the base from which everything happens on top of. So it makes sense that these documents are subjected to features such as version control, roll back, workflow, history and audit.

But document management should not be confined to policies and procedures. The ability to view who has read a document that relates to an order, or perhaps when a work order document was changed, can be an equally important to the business.

So try applying some basic document management processes to your order management process and you'll reap the rewards.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The 4 Critical Components of Order Management

Our customers range in size - our smallest is a 2 man business; our largest has nearly 400 employees.

While they all do different things and operate in different industries, we've put together a best practice order management methodology called LAIR:

1 - Logging
This is all about how an order arrives into your business and how it is initially logged.

2 - Automation
This is about how you can automate as much of the order process of possible. This aspect looks at OCR, workflow, notifications, escalations etc.

3 - Integration
Be it integrating with a Financial, Sales or ERP package, integrating with your existing systems is a critical way to keep costs low.

4 - Reports
Getting real time reports on how you fulfil your orders.

If you want more information about our free LAIR appraisal, please contact us.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Purchase Order Management

Purchase order management is often a challenge for businesses because as a process, it involves many people from across the business. From sales to fulfilment, from support to finance, a purchase order needs to be visible across the business.

Adding to this challenge is the fact that because nearly all businesses start small and grow organically (without external funding) their systems often lag behind - this is a matter of necessity as small businesses need to focus on sales, not process.

The result of this is not only inefficient processes, but often fragmented ones as well.

The most frequent example we come across is as follows:
  • a user creates a Purchase Order in Word on their own PC;
  • then the user updates a centralised Excel spread sheet which lists all PO's;
  • user sends PO to customer/supplier/client
The process is simple for the user however can lead to simple mistakes, loss of documents and most importantly, poor management & financial transparency.

OrdersInbox addresses all these problems by combining all these processes into one, easy to use system, with full tracking, workflow and audit capabilities, while still being simple to use.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Managing change - The security of feeling paper

Most people reading this blog will understand how much paper businesses use when managing even a simple order. From purchase orders, to change requests, from delivery dockets to emails, even the most simple of order can use a heap of paper.

So while the technology is available (and has been for years) to avoid printing out such documents, the fact is that most people are more comfortable in printing something out knowing they can access at any time.

Tablets and digital paper will go someway to eliminating paper altogether, but in the interim years, we are seeing a clear trend towards some key documents being printed, while all others stored digitally.