Trading on line isn’t really the problem nowadays. Many vendors can provide a solution that works and tells you when you have an order to fulfill. The very real problems are in two areas: Managing the staff tasks to get goods out the door in a timely manner and keeping track of stock requirements can be a real headache. By definition orders placed on line happen automatically and it can be easy to lose track of the actual stock position, leading to orders unfulfilled and unhappy customers. Also, over time it is easy for prices on line to drift out of synch with your “traditional” price lists, as both databases have had to be managed separately. Marketing data from on line sales has so far had to be imported into PC based Customer management systems, or re entered, which is slow and inefficient. This approach often generates staff tasks rather than freeing up time.
The latest generation of on line shops (such as Business Builder) are integrated shops and CRM / marketing systems, sharing EXACTLY the same product database and reporting modules all on the internet. This means the staff tasks required to manage the fulfillment process can be automatically allocated and tracked so bottlenecks can be easily identified. Orders placed on line can be viewed real time behind a single Order Pipeline database system, with orders to supplier automated based on reorder levels being hit. Nothing to import as they are a single system! Any product database changes you choose to make to text, pictures, pricing or stock on your “normal” system are reflected real time on your on line shop and marketing data is viewed as it happens behind CRM systems.