Switching from paper order forms to electronic order forms

Posted in Electronic product catalogue management and tips.

If you’ve been stuck using a paper-based ordering system and present products to customers, then switching over to a more efficient electronic ordering system might seem like a difficult and daunting task. However, the process of switching over is an easy one, and moving over from paper to electronic order forms should be a no-brainer because of the myriad of benefits associated with it. Here are quick tips on how you can leap into the electronic world without sacrificing your current efficiency:

Involve all of your reps

Your reps will be the ones using the new electronic-based system the most so it is important for them to have a voice in the process. When you plan the switchover, take note of all the areas where paper will be removed (ordering, quoting, shipping, etc.) and then decide what your reps will need to know to make the switch. Teach reps what they need to do to effectively use the new electronic system. Always provide ample opportunity for everyone to provide feedback or raise concerns about the process, and also sufficient time to implement what has been said.

Take it slow

There is no need to do the switch immediately. Set a time period of, say, 30 days, and gradually switch each section of the department over to the new electronic system. This will allow everyone to mentally prepare beforehand and also for you to deal with any issues that may occur during the switch without slowing down the entire department.

Find the right tools

When you decide to start using a mobile sales app and/or electronic catalogue, you will discover that there are a lot of options when it comes to different electronic devices, for example, tablets, smartphones and laptops. Each type of electronic device has its own advantages and one device might suit your unique needs better than another. Get to know the benefits and drawbacks (like screen resolution, storage size, etc.) of different devices, and then match that with what you plan to do with the devices. Involve those who will be using the devices the most in this decision. If you’re planning on using many different types of devices, make sure they are compatible with each other as well as any software that needs to be implemented.

Decide what to do with current documents

Once you make the switch over to electronic you shouldn’t throw out all paper documents as it would likely need to be referenced from time to time. You are also likely required by law to keep any legal documents for a certain period of time. Seeing as all your future documents will now be electronic, why not give all of your paper documents the same treatment by scanning them into your computer system? This may take a long time if you have a lot of documents and will require extra hours from staff, but it will be worthwhile for future ease of reference. Also, going fully electronic will free up extra office space and save money on buying paper in the future.

Furthermore, have a time period in mind for how long it is appropriate to keep past records. This will all depend on the type of business you have, what is required by law, and how often you reference old records.