How to Outsource Order Data Entry
Businesses are created, and exist, for delivering a product or service that they believe has a demand amongst target customers. Through this act of offering a product or service, they seek to generate Revenue for their business, as customers will pay for it, which is its lifeline. It will enable the business to meet the cost incurred in producing that Product or Service, and, hopefully, leave a profit to compensate the owners for the risk undertaken and effort put in.
An Order, then, or a Purchase Order, is perhaps one of the most important events for any business. It sets in motion a sequence of events that allow the business to earn Revenue.
An Order can be placed in many different ways.
A retail customer looking for a handphone could go into a high-street shop, look at the models displayed, and choose one. She will verbally place the Order with the shopkeeper, who will take out a piece, hand it over, while taking payment for it on the spot.
A retail customer could also navigate through one of the e-commerce sites that sell the product, look at the options available and place an Order with the merchant/ website. In this case, she would normally make the payment through digital means and get a receipt for it, but the product will be shipped to her later. If the product is virtual, she will perhaps receive it instantly.
While the above options for placing an Order are also available to a business or organisation that wishes to make a purchase, the process followed by many, is a direct approach. Some reasons for this:
- Businesses are more aware of their needs, which are often very specific, and are reached as a result of research and discussion, and may not require comparison and ‘shopping around’ to identify the item.
- As their volumes are much larger than the retail customer, they are in a position to negotiate pricing with the supplier and reach an ‘off-market’ price.
Whatever the reason for a business, a decision to purchase after necessary discussion have been completed leads to the issuance of an Order. It is also called a Purchase Order.
An Order is a commitment to buy certain items, with certain defined terms and conditions, including payment terms.
What are Order Data Entry Solutions?
That explains what an Order is. But what do we mean by Order Data Entry Solutions?
This is the set of activities that are carried out once an Order has been placed by a purchaser, that integrate the transaction into the systems and processes of the seller, so that it can be processed smoothly, culminating in realisation of the promised Revenue from the buyer. In so doing, the Order typically becomes a part of the digital world, facilitating further processing and integration with other applications.
Some organisations might view it as a standalone process that begins and ends with the entry of the Order into a software application, while others may view it as part of an integrated chain of processes.
Does it help to outsource Order Data Entry?
An Order being the life-blood of a business may be the reason why most businesses are tolerant of the manner in which an Order is placed; it could be done through the purchaser’s Procurement application, it could be through a physical, or digital, Order Form, it could come via Email, it could be a Fax, it could even be a Verbal Order. As long as it has been received, the seller will perhaps not refuse it on the basis of a procedural lacuna.
At some point these Orders will need to be channelled through a system or a process so that they can be converted into realized Revenue. This process of streamlining the Orders calls for skills that may not be possessed by the business receiving the Order, which has been created with a specific purpose, and perhaps employs staff who are experts in its area of work. A software company is setup for the business of creating software applications for clients, and perhaps employs coders, software analysts and software engineers. A hotel might employ housekeeping, kitchen and guest relations staff. Getting them to organise and manage the Orders is likely to be out of line with their skillset and training. Not only will the company sacrifice what they could have contributed in their regular job, it will probably end up being a job badly done.
What is the solution? Engage an outsourcing outfit that specialises in providing Order Data Entry Services. That lives and breathes Order Data Entry.
Moreover, in today’s world, digitisation can be called an advantage in itself. It enables us to connect into the digital world and reap its benefits. Once we have data in a digital form, it can link in to other processes taking place digitally; invoicing, shipping, payment realisation, and many others linked to that Order. We can even extract and analyse the information out of it which will aid us in taking decisions.
When you outsource Order Data Entry, it will also make more efficient the process of storage of data digitally, instead of storing paper that could be subject to spoilage and degradation and also occupies a lot more physical space.
To summarise, the following benefits can be realised:
- Specialised attention to the task, reducing errors and enhancing efficiency of the process
- Focus on core activities of the business for the outsourcer
- Linking in to the digital world
Evaluating partners to outsource Order Data Entry
Selection of the outsourced partner is an important decision in any process outsourcing. For Order Data Entry Solutions, this can be evaluated in three parts:
- Ability of the vendor to deliver value-adding Order data entry services
- Vendor capability in providing value-added, or upstream and downstream services
- Organisational capability and support
Ability of the vendor to deliver value-adding services
This part of the evaluation is about the vendor’s capability on the process sought to be outsourced; Order data entry services. The evaluation process should consider:
Quality and Accuracy
When you outsource Order Data Entry, a large part of the value that an outsourcer seeks is based on quality and accuracy. Is the partner able to do it correctly? Is the partner able to maintain quality standards? Here are some suggested parameters data from which could be used to evaluate the partner’s capability:
Prior experience – Have they done similar work for any other client? Prior experience of the vendor shortens the learning curve and enables you to reach a desired steady-state faster. Do others trust them with similar work? If they can share performance data on similar projects handled for others, anonymised as per requirement, it will provide an indication of hat you can expect.
Client testimonials – If an existing client is willing to provide a testimonial regarding their capability, it adds a lot of value to the evaluation. Even better, if they can connect you with an existing client who is willing to talk to you or exchange emails and address your queries. It demonstrates a maturity in existing relationships.
Handling different data sources – Order data entry can be initiated in many different ways. What is the partner’s capability and experience in handling a wide variety? Can they demonstrate their comfort in handling sources that your business expects to use?
An indicative list of sources:
- Procurement system generated Order
- Scanned Order
- Scanned Invoice
- Email attachment
- Web Form
Industry familiarity – Just like each company is different, each industry is also different from others. Staffing is different from Shipping, Elearning from Event Management, Software from F&B and Pharmaceuticals from Footwear. Though they would all have a need to generate and fulfil Orders if they are in business.
As each industry could have its own peculiar requirements and processes, it is helpful if you could ascertain if the vendor has familiarity with your industry as that can enable them to hit the ground running when the contract begins.
With an eight-year history of consistently meeting and exceeding performance standards for multiple clients, oWorkers is a partner of natural choice for Order Data Entry Solutions. We are a pure-play BPO specialising in data-entry services, including Order Data Entry.
Speed of Delivery/ Turnaround time
We know the world is changing all the time. If something needs to be done, it should be done now. The same logic will apply when you outsource Order Data Entry. The partner should be equipped to deliver the required service speedily. Many partners offer a 24×7 working facility, which typically works well for an outsourcer. By the time your work starts in the morning, yesterday’s Orders have already been processed by the vendor. The same situation happens when the outsourcer and partner are in different time zones, which facilitates overnight processing.
oWorkers operates on a 24×7 schedule, leveraging every minute of the clock to ensure your Orders are turned around quickly and ready for you when you need them. In many cases, depending on your location, if you submit a batch before end of the day today, you will have it in your inbox by the time you begin work tomorrow.
As this is a commercial engagement, pricing will always be an important consideration. It needs to be mentioned and suggested that pricing be viewed in the overall context of the relationship, and not in isolation. Excessive emphasis on getting the lowest rates sometimes could diminish the value of the outsourcing arrangement.
This will need to be your company’s evaluation and judgment, as the partner is unlikely to share information pertaining to their pricing arrangements with other clients, unless you can get an indication from other companies in your line of work, probably competitors, regarding the pricing to be expected when you outsource Order Data Entry.
With its transparent pricing mechanism, that includes a dollars per unit rate and a dollars per hour of output rate, along with committed service standards and SLAs, oWorkers offers you choices. Take your pick!
This is becoming increasingly critical as businesses become global. Why just businesses, as the world becomes global. Though this may be seen as relevant for your business only if you operate in multiple geographies around the globe speaking different languages, who knows, tomorrow your business might go global. You cannot go looking for another vendor each time you want to expand. A vendor should support your expansion, not be a roadblock.
oWorkers, with proficiency in over 22 languages across the three global delivery centers it operates from, is well positioned to handle Order Data Entry Services for organisations that have a global footprint just as well as that of localised, single-language businesses.
Technology and data security
The vendor should be using technology that is current and demonstrates a willingness to upgrade as technology evolves and changes. Technology is the backbone of the outsourcing world. It is often referred to as Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES). And do so in a secure environment that protects client data from unauthorised access.
With the facility in Bulgaria situated in the Euro zone, being GDPR compliant and maintaining data securely are not choices for oWorkers. They are requirements. oWorkers is committed to following best practices in technology and has successfully undergone the ISO/IEC 27001 certification process. We are also PCI DSS compliant.
Value Added Services
An Order is only the starting point of the journey. After an Order is placed, there is a series of events that get triggered.
Outsourcing is not merely getting work done somehow through a vendor, at the cheapest rate and in the quickest time. Outsourcing is a partnership that could unleash significant synergies for your business. There are many providers who will be able to handle a whole spectrum of services related to Order Data Entry, upstream and downstream processes that, when handled efficiently by them could leave you free to focus on your core business.
Does your business have a need for these related services?
Does the vendor have the capability to support you in these services?
This is not an exhaustive list, but the chain of processes is likely to include:
- Acceptance of Orders
- Accessing and downloading automated Orders, like from web pages
- Purchase Order Management
- Customer Database Management
- Tracking movement of goods
- Updating inventory
- Tracking receipt of payment
- Data Capture, Indexing / Extraction, Validation and Archiving
- Data Input into various software applications
oWorkers has been supporting clients from around the world, including unicorn marketplaces, in their Order Data Entry and related processes for over five years. Many of our clients are referenceable.
As the outsourced business process will operate under the larger umbrella of the contracting organisation, it is equally important to evaluate those parameters where the larger organisation will play a role in ensuring effective delivery to your process.
Financial health of the organisation is essential to ensure continued delivery. If compromised, it will cut corners, leading to delivery issues and the possibility of a sudden stop. One also needs to watch out for inordinately low pricing offered for a project. While the outsourcer may have its own reasons for offering a low price, which is welcome, you need to protect the interest of your business. It will not help if the vendor terminates the contract after a short period as they have won other better-priced deals. Consistency in financial and other decisions is a good indicator of soundness.
All global delivery centers of oWorkers are registered as local companies and pay local taxes. Right from inception we have continued to be a tightly run ship, profitable and giving back to local communities.
Hiring is done at the organisational level. This is normally the case since hiring is an activity that interfaces with the external world. Organisations like to maintain uniformity in their external face. Besides, it is more efficient and economical. The organisation’s hiring engine should be well established and regarded in the community to provide this support.
All the staff of oWorkers are employees, not freelancers, which provides much greater control and flexibility in operations. oWorkers is viewed as a company many people would like to work for and have been rated 4.6/5 on Glassdoor.
Training is a key component of enablement of the workforce. BPOs operate in a process-driven environment, in general look for basic competence in terms of communication, numerate ability and willingness to work when they hire, and equip the hired staff to perform through a training regimen. Some part of it is generic that is given to all new hires, while some parts are more process specific, given only to people who have been identified as staff for a particular project.
oWorkers operates a training facility in each of the locations it operates in, with the objective of skilling new hires to the level required for effective performance.
There are many other services that the organisation needs to provide in order that your work can continue smoothly that can be placed under Management Commitment. Like Legal, that ensures compliance with required regulations. Like Workforce Planning, that ensures all processes are adequately, but not inefficiently, staffed and is able to project future requirements to head off challenges early. Each of them should be evaluated based on the need of the hour. Like Facility Management, to ensure people have a clean and hygienic workplace.
It goes without saying that the management should demonstrate their keenness and desire to take on the contract. There is no specific parameter or tool to look at for ascertaining this, but the ability to work together generally can be established during the pre-contract interactions. A business contract will only work if there is something in it for both parties. Some vendors may even offer a free look-in period to new clients.
oWorkers has a transparent process of delivery and pricing. We commit what we can do and do what we commit. Our leadership team will engage with you from the time you initiate the discussion and continue to oversee delivery.
The oWorkers Advantage
Our BPO services offer cost savings upto 80% as compared to Western Europe and USA without any compromise on the quality of output. As a result, we have been a trusted partner of several UNICORN marketplaces over the years.
oWorkers is a pure player, specialising in Data and Content services with multilingual capability. Our delivery centers are located in three global locations providing the benefit of business contingency in times of need. Our deep engagement with local communities enable us to ramp by a hundred people in just 48 hours. We are GDPR and ISO/IEC 27001 compliant.
In brief, oWorkers should be your partner of your choice when you outsource Order Data Entry.