To Parse, or not to Parse, That is the Question

One of the biggest admin burdens we see on a daily basis within our sector is the requirement to manually process sales orders. Businesses (hopefully) build up an ever increasing portfolio of people, organisations, platforms and marketplaces to present their product range to over time. Typically, this expansion comes with the associated requirement to process orders in the form that the buyer uses.

This means a typical supplier can be processing dozens, hundreds even thousands of orders each day, and these are often still processed manually. Teams of people whose main role is to take an email, PDF, excel, word or handwritten order and manually input into a different system, or sometimes multiple systems, to get the order fulfilled.


What is parsing, really?

So “parsing” has become part of the language of the sector – traditionally described as the ability to analyse language to discover its deeper meaning, but today more likely to be used to articulate the way AI systems can automate data entry from non-integrated documents.

The automation of sales orders should be something every business is looking at, particularly those with high order volumes, as the operational and commercial impact is often significant. Our technology enabled one of our clients to estimate they are unlocking over 11,000 hours per year back to their operation that was previously dedicated to sales order processing. The business case is often so compelling it writes itself. 

But the key question I guess this offers is around the quality and depth of the “parsing” – whilst it is clear that manual data entry can be reduced or eliminated, the old adage of “rubbish in, rubbish out” definitely applies here – what is the point of automating orders which have incorrect pricing, inaccurate delivery details and non-aligned product codes?

Cerve Data Integration

Our approach is different – the Cerve Data Integration begins with providing Suppliers the ability provide all of their customers with a range of tools to direct share product, pricing and delivery information in a format of their choosing, from fully integrated ERP to ERP connections, to weekly PDF brochures each personalised with products, prices and promotions to each customer individually.

Sales Orders are then raised with a far higher percentage of accuracy, meaning the data and information being parsed will be accurate and reduce the likelihood of any errors being erroneously placed input into internal systems.

So automation solutions should not stop at translating orders – an effective system should have much, much more to unlock the full value available to suppliers including:-

  1. Providing your customers with their personalised product, pricing, promotions and terms before an order is placed
  2. Order verification that prices are correct for the customer
  3. Automated order acknowledgments
  4. Automated inventory management ensuring the products are available and in stock
  5. Order changes being automatically communicated in real-time
  6. Full validation rules around order processing to exactly match your business logic

The answer to the question

Sales order automation needs to be one of your key operational priorities this year, if you are not already on board. But remember, not all parsing solutions are equal. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking all solutions will unlock the full value that is possible.

Cerve delivers solutions for businesses that are designed specifically for you. Drop us a line to arrange a free consultation to help map your current processes and allow us to develop a customised solution.


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