Sales Process Flowchart and Its Analysis

Introduction

A flowchart is a diagram representing a process by detailing the sequence of steps that are necessary to create a desired output. This graphical presentation uses symbols to connect one event to others by showing different outcomes at particular stages. Flowcharts can be used to analyze any process that takes place in an organization including sales, procurement, order processing, and lines of production among others. The chart starts with the input of information followed by the sequences of events in the conversion of that data into the final output form. Below is an example of sales process flowchart.

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Sales Process Flowchart

Sales Process Flowchart

Analysis

The first input in this flowchart is the issuance of quotation by the salesperson to a client through the phone, email, or in person. Depending on the response received, the salesperson can end the communication if the client is not ready to purchase the goods. However, if the client is willing to buy, the salesperson arranges for the signing of a sale contract. This step can be accomplished through an email or in person. The contract is governed by the Uniform Commercial Code and the salesperson should observe the same (Seitz & Grunow, 2016). The agreement, which must be in writing, should indicate the sale and delivery of goods including the amount and method of payment. Additionally, any other material information like the time needed for the fulfillment of the order is added. At this point, a salesperson may hand over the purchase order to the sales department for processing.

The warehouse department is contacted through telephone to confirm the availability of stock. Additionally, specifics of an order including quantity, size, and colors among others are provided to the warehouse department at this point. Additionally, the shipping address of the buyer is indicated. If the product is out of stock, the warehouse operations manager notifies the sales department, which communicates to the production department to start making the product. On the other hand, if the product is in stock, the warehouse department starts fulfilling the order for delivery after confirming that the payment of goods has been done. The warehouse department packages and ships the goods to the buyer. A delivery note indicating the name and contacts of the seller, customer’s details, date of issue and delivery of goods, and a description of the items is issued to accompany the products. The buyer then confirms the receipt of goods through email, telephone, or any other communication method available. The customer service department then contacts the buyer to offer aftersales services if available.

Current Metric

The metric currently used in the above example is ineffective, and thus it can be improved. One of the areas of improvement is the automation of the order fulfillment process. Currently, the sales department has to telephone the warehouse to confirm whether a product is in stock. Similarly, the warehouse department has to communicate back to the sales team to confirm the order or contact the production department to initiate the manufacturing process. Additionally, the warehouse department has to wait for communication from the sales team indicating whether the buyer has paid for the goods. This process is time-consuming and resources are wasted in the process. However, this problem can be solved by acquiring order-processing software that synchronizes all the different aspects of order fulfillment (Calle, González, & Pierreval, 2016). The sales team can easily tell if a product is available and notify the finance department to invoice the buyer and the warehouse department to start processing the order concurrently (Koster, Johnson, & Roy, 2017). All communication occurs through the system and the involved departments can access information in real time. Alerts can also be created to notify the different departmental heads of an incoming request to execute a certain task. Therefore, the current system will function better if technology is used to expedite the order fulfillment process (Nguyen, Leeuw, & Dullaert, 2018).

Summary

One should be aware of the flow of an activity in order to track progress and determine the presence of white spaces that can be filled. Having a flowchart on a given activity gives a clear picture of how duties are executed and the effectiveness of the same. With this information, evidence-based decisions can be made to improve a system by either removing redundant functions or including critical aspects that can add value. As such, prudent financial decisions are made and resources are allocated in areas where maximum utility is realized (Barros, Ishikiriyama, Peres, & Gomes, 2015). In some cases, departmental functions overlap and by using a flowchart, one can determine the presence of duplication of roles and streamline the process. Ultimately, being aware of the flow of an activity helps the management to reduce resources and time wastage (MacCarthy, 2013). For instance, in the example given in the above flowchart, it is clear that the process can be streamlined using technology to avoid unnecessary losses. A flowchart points to strengths and weaknesses of a given process coupled with presenting an opportunity to pursue opportunities that could add value and optimize utility.

Conclusion

Organizations have numerous activities that should be accomplished everyday towards the achievement of set goals. As such, without clear understanding of how different systems work and the role of every participant, it may lead to time wastage and resources misallocation. A flowchart to highlight the different aspects of a system coupled with how, who, why, and when functions are executed helps in the decision-making process. Redundant tasks are eliminated and resource allocation is focused on areas of maximum returns.

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References

Barros, A., Ishikiriyama, C., Peres, R., & Gomes, C. (2015). Processes and benefits of the application of information technology in supply chain management: An analysis of the literature. Procedia Computer Science, 55(18), 698-705.

Calle, M., González, P., & Pierreval, H. (2016). Impact of the customer demand on order fulfillment strategies based on floating decoupling point: A simulation analysis. International Journal of Production Research, 54(24), 7359-7373.

Koster, R., Johnson, A., & Roy, D. (2017). Warehouse design and management. International Journal of Production Research, 55(21), 6327-6330.

MacCarthy, B. (2013). An analysis of order fulfillment approaches for delivering variety and customization. International Journal of Production Research, 51(6), 23-24.

Nguyen, D., Leeuw, S., & Dullaert, W. (2018). Consumer behavior and order fulfillment in online retailing: A systematic review. International Journal of Management Reviews, 20 (3), 255-276.

Seitz, A., & Grunow, M. (2016). Increasing accuracy and robustness of order promises. International Journal of Production Research, 55(3), 656-670,

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StudyCorgi. (2021, March 29). Sales Process Flowchart and Its Analysis. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/sales-process-flowchart-and-its-analysis/

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Sales Process Flowchart and Its Analysis." March 29, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/sales-process-flowchart-and-its-analysis/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Sales Process Flowchart and Its Analysis'. 29 March.

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