Morse Data Corp. integrates with several solutions to increase your productivity and help you keep your customers happy. One of these solutions is Malvern Systems, Inc.
InOrder integrates with Malvern Systems, Inc., to provide shipping solutions for large and small businesses. InOrder clients with Malvern can also use Amazon’s Seller-Fulfilled Prime capabilities.
Benefits of selling on Amazon can be significant because of the attraction and exposure to so many shoppers. In addition, Internet Retailer reported that 38%of all U.S. online sales were at Amazon this past holiday season. Chances are good that shoppers will stop there to check reviews, and the many benefits of shopping at Amazon will attract them to purchase – possibly from you!
Amazon Seller-Fulfilled Prime allows sellers who store and ship their own inventory to offer items that are eligible for Amazon Prime. InOrder clients with Malvern can use Amazon’s Seller-Fulfilled Prime capabilities, which also complements the InOrder EDI module for processing Amazon orders.
In many cases, stock that will be arriving is (or could be, if you ask) preceded by advance notice from the vendor based on your POs to that vendor. This could be in the form of an email or a fax or a website. InOrder supports importing this data through EDI processes, where both you and your vendor(s) needed to have EDI programming set up ahead of time for automatic transmittal of POs to your vendors, and then PO acknowledgements, ASNs and/or Vendor Invoices back to you.
Industry surveys typically indicate that receiving efficiency can be significantly improved, by as much as 85%, when using an EDI vendor advanced ship notice process.
Yes, all of this could be automated, but what about your vendors who do not have the resources to set up this sophisticated EDI process?
InOrder also supports manually adding and editing ASNs by selecting line items from that vendor’s open POs, and recording which open PO line item expected quantities are on each ASN, at the carton level.
Optimally, for each ASN, the vendor assigns ID number(s) at the carton and/or the pallet, or shipment level. This way, your receiving team can know precisely what to expect in each carton they are receiving. They can generate the inventory receipt line items by simply scanning that carton or pallet ID, and then verify the contents.
And for your accounting team, vendor bill line item entry also works with manually entered ASNs
For more information about using InOrder for ASNs, EDI, Receiving, and other features, please contact us for a free demo.
The InOrder RF communication system efficiently handles inventory through real-time inventory tasks, improving productivity and control for major warehouse functions.
One InOrder site reported that, after rolling out InOrder RF in their warehouse, the inventory receipt processing went from an average of 20 line items per hour to 55 line items per hour, per person, and is now 90% paperless. Some helpful tips include receiving products for many of their vendors that do not provide bar codes by printing a bar coded copy of the vendor PO to use during receiving, using dry-erase boards on their put-away carts, and reviewing a receipt variance report to expose and correct any discrepancies.
InOrder’s RF Communication System supports any internet-capable device. One option includes the Janam XT1 mini tablet, which uses the Android operating system. Another option uses the following configuration: IPod Touch, 5-16 gb ($159, Ebay) with Honeywell Captuvo SL22 Enterprise Sled ($304, Ebay), and Dryrain Technologies’ Enterprise Browser for Captuvo® app ($99).
For more information about InOrder RF, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of InOrder’s functions can be scheduled to run automatically. This is usually done using SQL Server Agent, and can also be accomplished with third party job scheduling tools.
The InOrder Batch Builder Enhancement allows you to schedule several of InOrder’s more complex functions by creating a “Saved Session” consisting of selections and other settings, which can be recalled whenever you want to perform that task in exactly that same manner.
Following is a description of each function that can be run with the InOrder Batch Builder Enhancement:
Warehouse Forms Session – For preparing and/or printing picking or putaway batches.
List Creation Session – For generating periodic catalog mailing lists, outbound sales call lists, or Email marketing.
Reorder List Session – For generating reorder lists to place POs with vendors.
Invoice Session – For reproducing printed, EDI, or Email invoices to customers.
Saved sessions for these functions may also be recalled interactively and then processed, or used as a starting point for interactive processing.
For more information about the InOrder Batch Builder Enhancement, contact Morse Data Corporation.
The InOrder Standing Orders Enhancement lets you create perpetual orders, such as a specific shipment of line items at regular intervals, or an ad hoc item of the month club, where active members all receive the same item or group of items each month. (Item of the month club requires the InOrder Kitting and Kits on the Fly Enhancement).
InOrder’s familiar Auto Order Filling is used to fill the standing orders.
Here are a few more details about the InOrder Standing Orders Enhancement:
- Standing Price quotes are supported. Upon customer approval, the standing price quote may be converted to a standing order.
- The standing order filling process can be scheduled to occur automatically.
- Standing Order trigger items can be defined, allowing you to create a new standing order on the fly during regular order entry for the same customer.
- Shipment interval and an optional cancel after date may be overwritten at the order level.
- The standing order filling process generates a new shippable order for each active standing order that meets selection criteria.
- Customizable standing order acknowledgements may be produced.
Credit card fraud is a major topic, and if you collect credit card payments, then PCI compliance should be on your radar. If your website is hacked, you could lose money, incur fines, and suffer public embarrassment. The InOrder system and default website is independently audited and tested regularly for PA DSS compliance and OWASP TOP 10 Vulnerabilities.
With InOrder’s Ratings and Reviews page you can enable live crowdsourcing so your customers can provide feedback for products or product categories. In addition, you can enable product or category- specific on line forums or Q&A sections. Customer feedback can be auto-approved or held for review based on your criteria. Customer feedback can be viewed in customer Timelines or even viewed at the product level from the Inventory window or on your reports.
InOrder’s SOLR search engine integration and Facet Filtering enhancements make it easier than ever for your customers to find the products they are looking for. Fixes you make in your main inventory database take effect on your website in real time, without waiting for cumbersome data feeds to occur.
InOrder’s eCommerce module uses a responsive design for mobile web using Google’s recommended responsive design pattern. This means that InOrder’s eCommerce web site adjusts to the sizes of all devices customers are using, naturally providing optimal presentation. A single cart functions for both PC and mobile, with a similar look and feel, regardless of device size, no longer requiring multiple web sites. This also means that your InOrder web site won’t be severely penalized in search results for not meeting Google’s responsive design recommendations. In fact, we re-test and tune the web site regularly to make sure the best ratings possible can be achieved wherever possible as new releases are rolled out.
Morse Data actively maintains and enhances the InOrder default cart. New releases come out regularly. Some InOrder Users re-customize their website based on the latest release. This approach is fine for customers who do not upgrade their website often, such as on intranet sites or static B2B order-taking sites. Others keep up to date by subscribing to Morse Data’s unique custom website upgrade service, where they can receive upgraded versions of their own custom website, which expose the latest new InOrder website features, but still integrate any in-house customizations that their IT staff has made since the last website upgrade.
InOrder Email Communications Enhancement can immediately email customers to confirm orders they have placed. Customer Service can see these emails, and confirm if and when a customer opened them, right on the main customer service screen. InOrder Email Communications Enhancement also recaptures lost sales by sending out abandoned cart emails, forgot password emails, shipment confirmations, and email invoices. All of these customer contacts are recorded in the customer Timeline so that customer service can see what is happening with this customer.
Website customers need to feel important. The InOrder eCommerce module is constantly improving page load times so customers can shop quickly without feeling like they are in line at a crowded department store. InOrder supports images that achieve the fastest load times, and Morse Data Support knows how to help you when setting up your pages and images to accomplish the best website speeds possible. InOrder also supports geographical caching, so your pages will load fast regardless of the country or continent the customers are shopping from.
The InOrder Team is attending the 5th Annual Operations Summit in Cincinnati OH April 12-14 at Duke Energy Convention Center.
If you’ll be at the Operations Summit and you’re for a place to eat while you’re there, here are my Cincinnati restaurant picks and reviews, for your stay at Operations Summit 2016.
- Taste of Belgium 1133 Vine St. Cincinnati OH 45202 (513) 381-4607
Only a 15 minute walk to the corner of 12th and Vine. A must-try home-made waffle experience that is worth any wait time. And there is always a wait time; however, they do take some reservations. Best for breakfast or brunch. 80% of customers order the shiracha chicken and waffle dish, and I would again every time.
- Senate Pub 1212 Vine St. Cincinnati OH 45202 (513) 421-2020
An upscale bar with great eats, just across the street from Bakersfield and kiddy-corner from Taste of Belgium.
- Bakersfield OTR 1213 Vine St. Cincinnati OH 45202 (513) 579-0446
Mexican fare that includes my favorite short rib tacos, just across the street from Senate Pub and kiddy-corner from Taste of Belgium.
- Pho Lang Thang 114 W Elder St. Cincinnati OH 45202 (513) 376-9177
A 6 minute drive, or a 10 minute bus ride, North down Elm and into the Findlay Market. Known for their pho noodle soup, and a phenomenal banh mi (gilled lemongrass pork) sandwich.
- Terry’s Turf Club 4618 Eastern Ave Cincinnati OH 45226 (513) 533-4222
A 15 minute drive East, down the Ohio river but still in Cincinnati limits. A medium sized home-made diner atmosphere, full of nostalgia and circuses. Best juicy burgers in Cincinnati, and one of the top places ever featured on Diner’s Drive-in’s and Dives. Terry’s decor is full of bells and whistles. Also Terry and his brother frequently engage the audience to provide back stories, trivia, and laughter.
- Virgil’s Cafe 710 Fairfield Avenue Bellevue KY 41073 (859) 491-3287
Just across the Ohio River in Kentucky, this down-home fine dining establishment works great for lunch or dinner. Reservations are recommended.
- Blue Ash Chili 9565 Kenwood Rd Cincinnati OH 45242 (513) 984-6107
All three locations are in the Northeast suburbs of Cincinnati. At the nearest from the Convention center (under 30 minutes) in Blue Ash Ohio, usually all the seats are just about taken, but I’ve never waited more than a few minutes. Blue Ash Chili is an flavorful chili experience that for chili fans, is definitely worth passing the Cincinnati skyline. Several clever dishes add chili to a few special foundations such as spaghetti or over fried jalepeno caps.
- Island Frydays 2826 Vine St. Cincinnati OH 45219 (513) 498-0680
A dive cafe featuring rich and savory caribbean chicken plates.
- Melt Eclectic Cafe 4165 Hamilton Ave Cinncinati OH 45223 (513) 681-6358
A tiny Cafe, with a daunting but quick line that usually runs out the door, but a clever system that gets you a table when your food is ready. The perfect savory Melt sandwich can be had here.
Inventory management has come a long way. In today’s fast paced, Internet-connected world, customers are not willing to wait for a product to be “made to order,” and then shipped in six to eight weeks. They expect it much sooner. This creates the need to stock the product in the warehouse so it is available for immediate shipment when an order is taken. When one firm offers rapid delivery by carrying stock, competitors are generally forced to do the same. And so goes the path of improvement for both businesses and consumers. You want your business to be the one in the lead. Here are five lessons you can teach your competitors about inventory.
Lesson 1 – Keep Fill Rates as High as Possible
If stock is depleted from the warehouse, and a customer’s order cannot be filled within a reasonable or requested amount of time, the customer will often cancel the order and then re-order from a competitor that has stock available.
Lesson 2 – Preventing Attrition is Critical
Once a customer switches to a competitor, it may be much harder to get future orders from that inconvenienced customer. You don’t want to lose the repeat customers that you worked so hard to build up over time.
Lesson 3 – Increased Order Cycle Time Increases Shipping and Fulfillment Costs
For customers who are willing to wait out the backorder fulfillment process, shipping and fulfillment costs will be higher, especially if the order requires partial shipments as stock becomes available. Delayed shipment notices may need to be sent to customers, and the liability for unearned cash prepayments with backorders must be tracked. The cost of filling separate backorders may exceed the profit of the original order, and the only remaining argument for filling the backorder will be to prevent customer attrition.
Lesson 4 – Inventory Turnover is Important
Inventory turnover measures the performance of your investment in your inventory. Carrying too much stock in the warehouse puts a burden on an organization’s cash flow, which can easily outweigh benefits that may be offered for “ordering in bulk” in excess of near-future demand. Carrying too much stock on hand also increases the risks of theft, damage, and obsolescence to inventory on hand during long-term storage.
Lesson 5 – Accurately Forecasting Demand is Critical
Obviously, forecasting is vital for keeping your inventory investment as low as
possible without negatively impacting fill rates. The ability to forecast customer demand accurately is advantageous for obvious reasons:
- It improves customer satisfaction.
- Shipping and fulfillment costs are reduced when orders can be shipped complete at once.
- Inventory quantity on hand is more level, which controls costs and reduces the risks associated with carrying excessive inventory quantities.
Demand forecasts developed within the inventory system must be generally consistent with planning numbers generated by the marketing and other departments. However, your ERP system must use inventory forecast methods that are proven most useful with inventory systems, rather than forecasts generated by marketing or budgeting departments. It is important that inventory forecasts be made by SKU, by warehouse location, and by time unit. Merchandising managers may perform SKU forecasting based on demand history, and market managers may perform forecasting based solely on the predicted sales curve of catalogs. If the marketing department is planning an unusually big promotion and expects to sell three million units of an otherwise unpopular product, and the merchandising department forecasts project a total demand of only one million units, senior management must reconcile these very different visions of the future. While you may influence your customers with pricing, catalogs, and promotions, customers ultimately will order what, where, and when they desire.
The heart of an organization’s forecasting success is knowing how customers will order. The best way to control inventory to your advantage is through an ERP system that plans for future actions of your customer base.
It is important to know what your customers think of your products because then you know how you can improve your offerings, and where you should consider raising or lowering prices. Additionally, reviews can increase sales by steering and bolstering confidence as new shoppers are considering a making a purchase.
InOrder lets you review the reviews, edit them when necessary while saving the original, but most importantly, it gives you a chance to discuss and resolve problems with customers who might not otherwise come back next time due to a misunderstanding or a solvable problem. It also lets your reps see a customer’s past reviews and thank the customer, or use their feedback to help make new recommendations.
Regardless of these conveniences, it is vital to keep customers engaged after a sale because then they are more likely to remember your website the next time they are ready to make their next purchase. A perfect way to seal this deal with busy customers is to send an email that offers a small compensation, such as a $5 coupon for customers who submit their first follow-up review to your site. The coupon code can simply be a key code linked to a promotion that allows one-time customer use. InOrder will only allow a discount up to the amount of the purchase.
When you purchase a new software system, it typically comes with many features and functions that can be used to help enter, manage, and process your transactions. But it also pulls together all of this data over time, and gives management the ability to see what is happening across the entire organization, enabling better decision making. What are the most important decisions you need to make every day? It’s one thing to confirm that you are keeping up with customer orders and accurately filling them the first time. It’s another thing to be able to service those orders with in-stock inventory while still minimizing your inventory investment. But there are also growth decisions, such as how to best market to your customers, how to analyze marketing results. There are other questions, such as how to keep the customers you’ve acquired, and keep them coming back for more.
Getting the most from your enterprise system means exploring, testing, and implementing new procedures and functions that maximize throughput, maximize the use of your resources, and maximize growth. To accomplish this, you must fully understand how the system works today in your organization, as well as other ways it can potentially be configured to be used more effectively. This especially becomes important when new versions of the system become available to you because they always include new capabilities, as well as improvements to existing functionality. In some cases, years go by, and the system might be considered “stable,” so the managers do not want to upgrade it. In the meantime, they are manually performing tasks every day that the latest version of the software can do automatically.
Several years ago, we asked customers what their biggest wish list items were, and the top request was for smoother upgrades. We made this a top priority and completely re-invented every aspect of our development infrastructure and our new version roll-out processes. Not just one time changes, but rather we put into place a “process for continuous improvement” that has been going now for the last five years or so. Great emphasis was placed on collaboration, testing, documentation, build and deployment automation, faster patch rollouts, and additional service offerings, such as SQL Health Monitoring and Website Update Services. All of this has resulted in a better customer experience, as well as our ability to now develop and offer more functions and capabilities, such as the new RF subsystem and the new adaptive mobile shopping cart.
A recent analysis of the InOrder versions currently under maintenance (pictured below) shows that while most of our customers stay relatively current on their upgrades and their annual on-site refresher training, there are still users utilizing older versions of the software. For example, do you still require your customers to call for order status information, or do you send out email confirmations with online order and shipment tracking capabilities? InOrder’s latest email communications and marketing capabilities include a multitude of communication pieces to keep your customers “in the loop” at all times. And not only can you give customers the ability to “unsubscribe” by type of email, you can let them personalize the frequency for each type of email you might send them.To help introduce new InOrder features, we send out several regular publications including “InSight,” “InOvation” for InOrder Customers, and “InSide” for the I.T. people managing InOrder systems. We also publish to our customers, an “InOrder ReadMe.txt” listing of software changes, and updated InOrder context help libraries, as the InOrder weekly new versions are released.
Of course, none of this matters if your system has not been upgraded in years. Perhaps the oldest version of InOrder still in use is over 15 years old and can serve as a testament of system stability. But at Morse Data, the development and introduction of new modules and functionality is steadily accelerating, and keeps pace with the latest expectations of today’s and tomorrow’s technology-enabled customers.