As a food supplier you need to be able to accurately take orders and then fulfil them without error. And whilst it may seem like you've got a good system in place receiving orders via text messages from your customers we are here to tell you that this isn't a long-term solution and it certainly won't help you grow your business.
If you think we're over-stating the point then take a look at the below reasons why we think text messages are not an ordering system:
1. It's actually the least effective option for you and your customers
You may be thinking, taking orders through text messages will increase both your sales and your repeat business because you’re offering your customers an easy-to-use ordering option. And whilst we wouldn't disagree that flicking you a text is easy, at the end of the day you will be the one taking the time to manually enter these orders into your system and with the orders rolling in how can you guarantee you don't miss anything?
2. Text messages don’t automatically integrate with your system
Because orders placed via SMS won’t appear in your system until you've manually entered them they also don’t integrate automatically with your business tools, like your inventory system and accounting platform. This can lead you to accept orders without really knowing if you have the stock to fulfill them.
3. It’s time-consuming
Since orders don’t automatically appear in your system, you will need to check all your customers’ text messages one by one and send the confirmations separately (and manually). If your plan is to grow your business so you're receiving hundreds of different retail orders at any one time then a text message ordering system will quickly become cumbersome and time-consuming not to mention error-prone.
4. They are difficult to track
Orders placed through text messages aren’t organised in any way and are hard to track and respond to. Imagine the amount of time and effort it will take to find one particular retail order in an inbox full of text messages (most likely from unrecognised numbers, unless you're also going to spend the time adding every one of your customers to your address book!).
5. They aren’t 100% accurate
Even though the orders are in writing, you can’t be absolutely sure they are accurate. There is no guarantee that your customer has picked the right product and sent the correct code or correct quantity to you. What's more there are no product images that they can simply select - they still have to look at a separate catalogue or menu and manually text the product code and quantity to you creating double the work for them.
So, what should you use instead?
To be able to manage all your retail orders properly and provide exceptional service to your customers, you need to get rid of your “old-school” way of accepting orders and start leveraging a tool that can improve your operations and make you more efficient.
Ordermentum is an ordering app that has been specially designed for the food and beverage industry and here are 5 reasons why it's a better option than text messages.
1. It will completely eliminate your admin work
With an ordering system, you never have to manually enter in data ever again. All retail orders placed by your customers through the platform will go straight into your system and appear in your dashboard in real-time. Not only will this save you precious time, it will also reduce ordering errors.
2. It automatically integrates with your current tools
Implementing an effective ordering system means, you can rely on it for almost everything. By using Ordermentum, you can guarantee that all your data is synced across all your favourite business tools. Retail orders will integrate with your accounting platform for correct invoicing and your inventory system for an accurate view of your stock. You'll be able to see ahead of time if you have sufficient products to fulfill your customers’ orders.
3. It saves time
Not only will you save time on your ordering process but a top ordering system like Ordermentum can also send accurate invoices to your customers instantly as well as generate pick slips and delivery reports, leaving you with zero admin work.
4. Transactions are recorded and can be tracked easily
All the data and information you need can be accessed from a single platform. When you need to review a particular order, you can do it easily as the ordering system records every transaction. You can view all your retailers, all their orders, and even all their invoices.
5. Orders are 100% accurate
Since the orders will appear in your system directly, you can ensure that all of them are correct and accurate. If you choose to leverage a dedicated ordering system like Ordermentum, you can even guarantee that your customers will pick the right products. And the best part? They never have to text any codes to you. The Ordermentum app can act as a digital product catalogue that lets customers view your current product line directly from their smartphones and place their orders straight through it. With clear product images and the ability to re-order their past order in a few clicks, they will get their orders right without having to remember product codes (or even names!)
Accepting retail orders through text messages may seem like a cost-effective option but in reality it's costing you significant time and money and the error rate is huge. If you truly want to have more time to do what you love and grow your business, ditch this method and incorporate an effective ordering system into your back office. Remember, a little change won’t hurt, especially if it will benefit the business you have worked so hard to create.
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Our insights team is made up of passionate writers, researchers, chefs, baristas, web developers, tech gurus, our Founders, and even an accountant. We keep a pulse on the Food & Beverage industry to bring you insights and research to help our industry trade smarter.