Making the move to an online wholesale ordering system is a big step, and involves changes for both your staff and your customers. I have some ideas that will help to make it a smooth transition for everyone.

1. Tell your team
Make sure everybody within the business knows about the new process. Explain the reasons for the change, and highlight all of the benefits. It is important to make everybody feel involved right from the start. Show them the new system and let them have a good play with it to understand how it works.

With the right system, benefits to your team should be easy to demonstrate, and with Manifest they would enjoy so many - some key ones would be:

  • Significantly less admin at all stages
  • Fewer mistakes made with customer orders
  • More efficient picking of stock
  • Fast & easy searches for product and customer information
  • Information at their fingertips 24/7 and on the road, especially useful for reps and sales staff

2. Tell your customers
All of the above also applies to your wholesale customers. With Manifest, for example, here are a few of the main benefits:

  • 24/7 access to a purpose-built wholesale ordering site with all the tools they need to quickly place orders
  • Real-time access to stock information
  • Ability to order from anywhere with internet access
  • Customer-specific discounts automatically calculated for them so they know how much they are spending
  • A more organised, streamlined service from your team

3. Fix a date
It can be helpful to set a date for 'launching' the new system, perhaps include it in your email signature for a few weeks leading up to the change.

4. Have a trial run
It's a good idea to make sure the key people in your organisation really understand the new software. From both the admin and the customer perspective, so they are on hand to help and answer any questions.

Set up a few test accounts so you can see exactly what the customers will see and experience. Then perhaps select a few of your friendliest accounts to have a look and give you some feedback. Once you are happy it is going to work you can invite or upload all of your customers.

Invariably, the actual change itself won't be anywhere near as an upheaval as you might imagine. I only have experience of OrderSpace, of course. The feedback we receive from our clients suggests the move to online order processing was straightforward and hugely beneficial all-round.