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The Integral Blog

The Integral Blog

Replace Email, Telephone and Fax Ordering with Excel

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It can be cumbersome if you have low-tech customers that send orders to your warehouse by email, telephone or fax. Data entry into your WMS is time consuming and it’s easy to make re-keying errors. An alternative is to ask your customers to send their orders in an Excel spreadsheet. How does it work?

We will create an Excel workbook with a customized order worksheet to match the requirements of your WMS. At a minimum, the columns in the spreadsheet will include customer number, ship to name and address, item number and quantity. Other columns will be added as needed. To make data entry easier for your customers, a second worksheet will list all their products in your warehouse. On the order worksheet, the customer chooses a product from a dropdown list which auto fills most of columns on the order.

Now that orders are in a standard Excel format, we can integrate those orders with your WMS. The customer saves the Excel file and sends it as an attachment to an email address such as Our Avalon Agent runs on your network and it will regularly poll the email account looking for those Excel attachments. One by one each, each spreadsheet from a different customer is imported into your WMS and you will receive an email notification after each upload.

The more customers you can encourage to use Excel for ordering. the more efficient you become. Some customers will resist, especially if they only place one or two orders per day. Another option is to use the Excel workbook inside your office. As you receive orders by email, telephone and fax throughout the day, you enter them directly into the spreadsheet. Once or twice a day, all the orders from all customers are uploaded into your WMS.

Contact us if you would like to receive more information.