Quotation and Order Management process: end-to-end process definition
In ProcessMate we automate quotation and ordering processes. In this short article, we will explain some basics around quotation and ordering in general, as well as the implementation of this process in ProcessMate.
The role of quotation and ordering in the sales process
The sales process (also called Quote-to-Cash process) can be defined as the one comprised of 2 parts:
We define the Quotation process as the process of submitting, approving and accepting the quote. Based on the business model, this process may have other steps, such as, for example, customer location visit or inventory allocation.
In addition, quotation process may vary based on the incoming channel (e.g. if triggered via the e-commerce web-site or by own employee, such as an account manager). It may also vary and include additional steps for certain products, based on their specifics. For example, quotation for certain piece of furniture may not require visiting customer’s building, but fitting a ventilation system often does.
Finally, the quotation process is optional. Many companies do not include it in the model and direct their customers ordering process immediately. The quotation process is often used by companies that manufacture or alternate their products for individual orders, or perform additional services on top (for example, installation).
This is the description of the activities typically taken as part of the quotation process:
|1. Accept quote request (acknowledge)||
Prior to the first step, the customer user or own sales manager may create a draft of quote request, however at some point the quote request is submitted, together with details and descriptions, -services/products, quantities.
This activity, the acknowledgement of the quote request is necessary to kick off further processing of the quote, whereby a "quote request" turns into an actual quote.
|2. Create and approve quote internally||Internal approval might be required, depending on the policies of the company, as well as the size of the deal, estimated profitability.|
|3. Customer accepts quote||OCustomer may accept or reject quote. With that, the process may go back to the Step 2, depending on the feedback of the customer, or terminate as "lost opportunity"|
|4. Quote becomes an order||Once accepted by customer, the quote becomes an order and the subsequent order management process starts.|
The process may be more complex, with tasks going in a different order or other tasks taking place as part of the workflow
ProcessMate can help you fully digitalize the process and allowing communicate via web and emails, if they prefer so. See more about features of quotation & order management in our configurable software-as-a-service product. See further details at Quotation and Ordering at ProcessMate
Order management process
Once the quotation is accepted by the client, the order management process kicks in. The process starts at the moment when quote is accepted by customer and the fulfillment of the order should take place. In case when the quotation process is not used, the ordering process starts after submission of the order by customer, by account manager (sales employee) or via ordering API. The opportunity is considered as “won”.
This is an example of the workflow with activities taken as part of the Order Management (fulfillment) process:
|1. Accept incoming order (acknowledgement)||The first step is to accept the order for further processing. Once that step is done, the other steps can be worked on. This is the step that also is a starting point for the order time line and marks the beginning of the order management process|
|2. Contract agreement signed||If a contract, separate from the quote is required, then this step can take place. The signing of the document may be digital or traditional “wet ink” one.|
|3. Payment request||Once the payment request is issued, the payment itself is done by the customer. This, of course, may take a period of time.|
|4. Payment done||Once the payment request is issued, the payment itself is done by the customer. This, of course, may take a period of time.|
|5. Shipment / Installation/b>||The shipment of products and/or installation and other services may need to take place. For example, fitting in the custom-built kitchen is an additional service and the delivery of it and the installation is valuable to keep track of.|
|6. Acceptance by customer/b>||The final step of the Order Management process is often a written or verbal acceptance of the customer.|
As with the quotation process, the Order Fulfillment can var significantly from business to business, any other tasks may be configured as part of the workflow.
Contract and Payment
Sales contract may or may not be a separate document from quote. Often the quotation document includes all necessary statements and serve as sales contract, for example general and special terms and conditions, warranty information, remedies, information on selling and buying entities, etc.
In case when the quotation is not a sales contract, a distinct activity of creating and signing a contract should take place. In ProcessMate, we view this activity as part of the Order Management process.
The order of payment may also be very different from business to business. For some, payment by customer is a necessary first step, without which other steps cannot take place.
For some other businesses, payment takes place after delivery or in parts through-out the process.
Comprehensive dashboard and reporting
The key capability of any software facilitating sales is dashboards. The reports in the dashboard should report both on historical perspective (for example, “daily sales revenue in the last 30 days”), as well as current state (number of in-flight orders and quotes).
In addition, ProcessMate can integrate with the payment gateways in order to facilitate the payment step in the process. See details at Quotation and Ordering at ProcessMate