Movie after movie has taught us the same lesson about technology: if you give it too much power, eventually it will become smart enough to break free of its human controllers and take over the world—most likely causing lots of cinematic explosions and toppling international landmarks along the way. Setting aside science fiction, though, it’s valid to ask what the balance should be between human control and technology in any given industry. There is a trap in trusting technology to work correctly all the time; all it takes is a cyber-terrorism attack, and suddenly all the critical functions that you handed over to the machines come to a screeching halt. But there are also obvious pitfalls to keeping those tasks in the hands of human agents. For instance, in the vast majority of cases, humans make far, far more errors than computers do.Putting a well-designed, secure, and closely supervised computerized system in charge at a fulfillment company is a great move for everyone, and here’s why:
- Fewer Order Mistakes
The old model of a fulfillment company is based on human operators taking orders, fulfilling those orders, and creating records of them. Even when an operator is using a computerized system, he or she must take the time to get the information from the client, enter that information into the computer, and (hopefully!) double-check to make sure the information is correct. When you replace that system with an online storefront that connects directly with all of that client’s order history, suddenly the order tracking process happens practically instantly. If the system has been set up correctly, it is also nearly impossible that information communicated by the client will be erroneously recorded by the computer. Those of us humans who are honest about our capabilities recognize that taking the human element out of the order fulfillment process dramatically decreases the chances that a number, name, or address will be misheard, misunderstood, written illegibly, or otherwise altered on its way to the fulfillment center.
- Better Order Tracking
A computer, with its vast ability to filter, sort, manipulate, and use data, can instantly produce all kinds of incredibly useful reports. It can also use data from past orders to look ahead and anticipate future orders. These and other order tracking activities all mean better efficiency for a fulfillment company that is always looking for ways to save money and time for each of its clients. These benefits are particularly valuable for large clients, that may have orders coming in from dozens of national locations multiple times throughout the year. Keeping appropriate amounts of material in stock and anticipating seasonal high order volume based on computerized order tracking help those large clients avoid overstocking/understocking and meet each B2B user’s needs efficiently.
- Making Your Fulfillment Company More Powerful
When you think about it, there are plenty of daily tasks that you perform using technology that would be incredibly tedious without it. That’s even more true for a fulfillment company that relies on a fully integrated computer system for each step of the order fulfillment process. Receiving data in multiple forms from a client, then integrating that data into a single usable format is a great example of an activity that is made practical by technology. That usable data, in turn, allows our system to print customized materials for individual B2B users on demand—again, a process that would be very tedious in human hands.
It’s not too much to say that without the modern inventory, order tracking, and order fulfillment technology that we use at Spectra Integration, it would be impossible for us to offer the levels of efficiency, accuracy, and affordability that our clients have come to expect. And with the rapid pace of innovation in the industry, we are always on the lookout for ways that we can streamline fulfillment even further.
Don’t worry, though—all this focus on technology does not mean that Spectra Integration has lost the human touch. The great people at Spectra are committed to providing the friendly, understanding, and creative service that a computer could never imitate. Find out for yourself by giving us a call at 1-855-844-9393 and speaking with one of our sales representatives!