Your firm manufactures specialty chemicals and dyestuffs used in plastics, fibbers, and coatings. It operates five different production facilities in the island, with corporate headquarters in Kingston. Management is looking for ways to make order processing more efficient. This is how the firm’s order processing works. A customer can call, fax, or mail in an order. A customer service representative (CSR) writes down the order information on an order pad. This information includes the customer name, shipping address, billing address, product number, product description, quantity, and shipping instructions (such as to call the receiving manager to make an appointment for delivery.) After gathering all the relevant information, the representative confirms the entire order with the customer.
While taking down the order information, the CSR accesses the company’s order entry system and checks the inventory for each product ordered. The CSR first checks the warehouse closest to the customer’s shipping address. If the product is not available there, the representative checks another warehouse. If the order is placed on the telephone, the CSR suggests a delivery date, which is 4 to 5 business days away. If the customer needs the order sooner, the CSR queries the existing order entry information system to see which warehouse might have the inventory to fulfil the order. Generally the order will be filled by the warehouse closet to the customer’s shipping address. All the current orders are collected manually and entered into the firm’s order entry system. The order will not be accepted by the system unless it includes the customer’s identification number, shipping address, and billing address. (If the order is from a new customer, the system can assign a new customer number.) If the order has a delivery date of 8 to 10 business days in the future, the order form will be held manually for several days and then input into the system. If an order is for more than 10 days...
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