In wake of the new overtime pay regulations recently set by the Department of Labor, distributors and manufacturers are under more pressure than ever to better manage their employees’ time and focus. This case study shows how sales order automation provider Conexiom was able to help a large wholesale distributor accomplish that goal.
McNaughton-McKay Electric Company is one of the largest full-line electrical wholesale distributors in the United States. From its opening in 1910, McNaughton-McKay has grown into a powerhouse today with 800 employees spread over 24 locations in the U.S. and 2 locations in Germany, all working hard to serve more than 10,000 customers.
With a reputation for offering top quality products and technical expertise that enhances profitability, McNaughton-McKay has become a trusted business partner. They represent the best products and manufacturers in the electrical industry and are tied closely with an unfaltering commitment to exceeding their customers’ expectations in the industrial, automation, commercial, and construction industries. Driven by their commitment to peak operational efficiency and providing a top shelf customer experience, they were eager to embrace technology to improve their process.
Slow, Manual Order Processing: As a busy distributor, McNaughton-McKay enjoyed efficient order processing with many of their EDI-enabled customers. But there were many medium and large companies that still processed orders via paper or phone. To accommodate these customers, McNaughton-McKay has a team of customer service representatives in each location that re-enter customer information manually, which is very time consuming.
Manual Entry is Prone to Errors: When working at the speed of light, it’s hard to be perfect. McNaughton-McKay understood this first-hand since the majority of customer orders were manually re-keyed into their ERP system before they could become sales orders. Every time data was processed, it introduced an opportunity for natural human error. “Our staff is as good as it gets but they are human. Mistakes are going to happen which meant our teams needed to carve out time for returns, exchanges and rebills when they were already overloaded,” said Denny Wyss, Senior Project Manager.
McNaughton-McKay was eager to find a better way to process orders that would allow their staff to work with customers to help them find solutions instead of re-typing orders they often already had in other formats. “As a company dedicated to helping customers become more efficient, it just made sense for us to do the same,” explained Wyss. In addition to processing orders faster and more accurately, they were excited about the possibility of freeing up time to focus on customer service rather than processing paper.
McNaughton-McKay turned to Conexiom to change the way they did business. “Sales order automation was the right solution for us because it was incredibly easy,” shared Wyss. “Once the customer map is set up, you email the order to Conexiom and let them take care of the rest.” Conexiom automatically captures data from a purchase order and seamlessly translates it into a sales order in the ERP system with minimal manual intervention.
McNaughton-McKay decided to launch the initial phase with several high frequency customers from each region for a strong crosssection of customers and exposure. “As soon as the team saw large orders coming in clean that they didn’t have to manually enter, they were really happy with the results,” recalls Wyss. “Initially there were some concerns over the accuracy of the information captured due to the stigma of Optical Character Recognition (OCR), but since Conexiom doesn’t rely on OCR, there was no chance of misreading orders.” Conexiom offers customers peace of mind with 100% data capture accuracy.
“Getting set up was painless with the help of ecmarket’s onboarding specialist who translated our requirements with ease. There are a lot of capabilities beyond simply mapping the order that they helped us take advantage of,” shared Wyss. “Mapping customer information was straightforward and only took about 30 minutes with several examples of the customer’s purchase orders. Testing and fine tuning happened quickly over the course of a regular work week.”
Processing Orders in Minutes: For one of their initial customers who places multiple orders each week with typically 70 line items or more on average, it’s made a world of difference. With Conexiom, orders are processed in minutes rather than hours. “The part that impresses me most is Conexiom’s ability to take a manual order process and reduce the time spent on it to virtually nothing,” commented Wyss. To keep that personal touch with the customer, the team still reviews each order before letting Conexiom take over. “We can let the customer know proactively if we see a potential issue. Anything that might impact them, we still want to be proactive about addressing it with the customer.”
Time for Building Relationships: Conexiom has already reduced the amount of manual entry significantly. Rather than handling higher volumes of orders, McNaughton-McKay has decided to reallocate this time to focusing on their customers and finding ways to help them be more successful, which is perfectly aligned with their century-long customer-centric philosophy.
The Future: McNaughton-McKay is excited to enroll even more customers to see an even bigger impact. “It is a very impactful change,” says Wyss. “Now we’re able to hand off more transactional tasks to machines that excel at that and let our staff, often with decades of experience, do what they excel at, which is solving problems and finding better solutions for our customers.” “I would highly recommend Conexiom because it’s the whole package – from being easy to use to being faster and more accurate,” shared Wyss. Conexiom has changed how McNaughtonMcKay does business and they’re thrilled. “Although we’re fairly new customers, the results are immediately tangible and the ROI is clear. Conexiom delivers some really phenomenal capabilities beyond simply eliminating manual entry and we’re really excited to explore that next.”
Conexiom allows manufacturers and distributors to focus on serving customers, not entering orders. The patent-pending Conexiom sales order automation solution was created by ecmarket, a cloud solutions developer. Conexiom enables printed or emailed customer purchase orders to be converted to electronic sales orders automatically, eliminating manual entry and allowing companies to better serve their customers. With 100% data capture accuracy, Conexiom has become a reliable business solution that helps customers maintain a competitive edge. For more information visit conexiom.com