Personal Small Business Enterprise

Field Force Automation: Sales Data Automation

We can’t get rid of paper entirely just yet. But when it comes to sales data, shifting to an automated system makes sense. You can access valuable information in real-time, which isn’t always possible with paper. And there are many other benefits as well, including cost control, greater efficiencies and improved customer service.

In the first part of this series, I looked at the advantages in automating fleet and asset management. Here, I’ll outline five key ways that automating sales data can help improve your business.

Eliminating paper. The obvious advantages in paper reduction are reducing clutter and environmental impact. But those advantages represent just the tip of the iceberg. Accuracy can also be vastly improved because, as we all know, paper can fall victim to human error, missed fields and illegible penmanship. There’s no need to track paper trails, and you don’t need to worry about reports getting lost or damaged, which is especially important when you consider that a single lost document can cost a company anywhere from $350-$700. Not to mention the time that can be saved in completing and revising reports and in eliminating the need to submit reports in person, or physically pick up work orders.

With a system like ProntoForms from Bell, data is updated in real-time through a single web-based portal that can be accessed from tablets, smartphones and computers.

Gaining access to real-time data. An automated program keeps the information flowing nicely from a job’s beginning to its end. Forms can be created and managed online, jobs dispatched and teams monitored as they carry out the work. Orders can be modified and instantly shared with the team. Problems can be identified immediately. With a system that integrates with the back office, workers can quickly get details they need on customers, parts, and pricing. Barcode scans, photos and signature captures can also be included with sales data, which is unheard of in the paper world.

Speeding up invoicing and job completion. Invoices can be completed more quickly than with paper, from a desktop or on a mobile device, and sent back to the office for immediate processing. More detail can be added as well, like photos to show that a job has been completed, and proof of service with signature, time and location stamps.

Reducing costs. From the cost of dealing with errors or lost time in identifying and communicating a problem, to less data entry and paper management and lost or late deliveries, the savings can really add up. An average of 15% of a typical company’s revenues are spent on paperwork, including managing, distributing and creating documents.

Improving efficiency. It’s a no-brainer that if jobs are completed in less time, there’s room for completing more jobs per day. This also means workers aren’t wasting time on tedious paperwork, and can be fully focused on getting the jobs done.

The bottom line
The end goal of any successful business is, of course, to make money. But running your business as efficiently as possible is an essential step that can lead to generating more profit in the long run.

Have you thought about automating your sales data yet? If not, what’s holding you back? Let us know via the comment section below.

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