Background Electro-Matic Products is a large supplier of automation components focused on industrial automation equipment and LED and display signage. After serving the industrial, commercial, and retail markets for 45 years, Electro-Matic has grown to 170 employees. Today they operate out of three locations across Michigan and Ohio with revenues exceeding $100M annually. With a significant selection of product lines from a large group of complementary manufacturers, Electro-Matic began using Epicor® Prophet 21® to manage internal resources in 2009. Although this solution streamlined warehouse management, purchasing, and reporting functions, order processing was still completely manual. Customers exclusively emailed, faxed or even called their orders in to their Customer Service Representative (CSR), who then manually entered the orders into the system. This created a few challenges that needed to be solved. Challenges Manual Entry Slows Order Cycle Time Firstly, it caused a backlog of customer orders awaiting manual entry. As an extremely busy supplier, Electro-Matic received a high volume of purchase orders daily. Orders also typically contained a large degree of complexity, with an average order containing five to ten line items. In order to process the order, each item needed to be manually identified by a CSR. This caused delays that increased wait times, which in turn increased order cycle times. Too Much Room For Error As with many suppliers, there was substantial variance in customer terminology and order completeness. In many cases, this required Electro-Matic staff to translate customer needs into actual part numbers in the ERP system and frequently follow-up to confirm their interpretations. This multi-step process resulted in errors, while also slowing down the transition into a sales order. In the case of errors, returns were costly and required rush re-ordering. Error-driven costs were becoming significant for Electro-Matic, both in terms of expedited shipping and labor. More importantly, customers in these unfortunate scenarios were Increased Order Processing with 100% Data Accuracy Electro-Matic Products experiencing longer than expected wait times for the correct parts and in some cases this caused unacceptable project delays. Need to Improve Accuracy and Speed Electro-Matic needed a solution to streamline order processing in order to serve its customers better by reducing order cycle time. The solution needed to alleviate the backlog at the CSR level by shortening the time between customers placing a purchase order and actually receiving products. A secondary objective was to reduce the error rate and associated returns, which further slowed processing and eroded customer satisfaction. The key to maintaining a competitive edge and sustaining customer loyalty lies in the perfect balance of accuracy and speed. The Solution In 2011, Electro-Matic decided to implement Conexiom® Sales Order Automation, which captures and transforms computer- generated purchase orders into electronic sales orders automatically. By mapping customer orders directly into the application, it eliminated the need for manual processing. Proceeding with enthusiasm, Electro-Matic selected its top 20 customers and launched the pilot. Vice President Richard Laramee recalled, “We sorted them by the number of transactions, mapped them to the application, and made the necessary changes to automate them.” Key Results • Increased volume of orders processed • Accelerated order cycle time • Eliminated error-driven returns • Improved customer service • Automated customer orders received via phone, fax, and email 866-860-3388 email@example.com “Conexiom offers significant time savings on large orders and allows us to meet our EDI requirements with suppliers. We’ve also found it’s much faster and reduces errors when entering orders.” Richard Laramee, Vice President at Electro-Matic “Getting customers on board with the change was easy and required absolutely no effort on their part,” exclaimed Laramee. Electro-Matic found the transition to be extremely straightforward without requiring complicated technology, new infrastructure or any changes to their existing process. After informing customers about the switch, it was seamless. According to Laramee, “Once we made sure each customer conformed to a consistent format, the change was transparent to them and they really didn’t have to think about it.” The benefits were evident instantly at Electro-Matic. Benefits Reduced Order Cycle Time & More Volume Customers enjoyed spending less time placing their orders because the process was automated. They simply placed their purchase order once and it was entered into the system immediately as a sales order. This completely eliminated previous delays caused by orders waiting for manual entry by the CSRs. As an unexpected benefit, it also enabled the volume of orders processed daily to increase without requiring any additional staff. Electro-Matic appreciated Conexiom’s ability to create capacity for future growth. Eliminated Error-Driven Returns Using the power of Conexiom to not only capture data from the purchase order but also the ability to encapsulate the business logic that went with the order eliminated the need for translation, which was prone to errors, without requiring any changes to the way customers placed their orders. It also saved time as CSRs no longer needed to verify order accuracy prior to finalizing. Lamaree adds, “Conexiom offers significant time savings on large orders and allows us to meet our EDI requirements with suppliers. We’ve also found it’s much faster and reduces errors when entering orders.” Electro-Matic customers enjoy receiving the parts they need faster with 100% accuracy, eliminating unnecessary errors and returns. Improved Customer Service Now CSRs can focus efforts on customer service rather than struggling with a backlog of purchase orders. Lamaree states, “Last but not least, one of the biggest benefits is that it saves our customer reps time, which they can spend on proactively following up with customers.” Customer satisfaction has risen significantly after implementing Conexiom for both customers enrolled in the system and even for those who are not yet, as they enjoy the personalized touch that sets Electro-Matic apart. Since 2009, business at Electro-Matic has skyrocketed and revenues have doubled. Conexiom has enabled them to manage the tremendous increase in sales orders without doubling the customer service team, helping to keep operations costs balanced. Lamaree credits Conexiom as a significant contributor to Electro-Matic’s success. About Conexiom Conexiom® allows manufacturers and distributors to focus on serving customers and managing supplier relationships instead of entering data. The patent-pending Conexiom solution was created by ecmarket, a cloud solutions developer. Conexiom revolutionizes critical sales and accounting business practices by automating manual entry with 100% accuracy. Conexiom effortlessly converts emailed and printed customer purchase orders and supplier invoices into automated sales orders and invoices, enabling companies to focus on driving growth. Conexiom helps organizations across the globe maintain a competitive edge. For more information visit conexiom.com
Increased Order Processing with 100% Data Accuracy
Download this case study to learn how Electro-Matic eliminated the need for manual processing.