STANDARDISING ORDER MANAGEMENT WITH AN AI-DRIVEN DIGITAL SOLUTION
- ACHIEVEDCSR GOAL OF PROCESSING 50% OF ORDERS THROUGH ESKER WITHIN FOUR MONTHS
- REDUCEDTHE NUMBER OF TOUCHES PER ORDER, INCLUDING FOR EDI ORDERS
- IMPROVEDDATA ACCURACY, PRODUCTIVITY & VISIBILITY IN THE END-TO-END ORDER MANAGEMENT PROCESS
This food manufacturer prides itself on the sustainable, high-quality products it delivers to its industrial, food service and retail customers under its iconic brands. Naturally, this commitment to excellence also extends to how its internal business processes operate.
As the company developed a roadmap for digitising its supply chain, order management was high on the list of priorities. Esker’s automated Order Management solution was implemented in May 2020, facilitating a faster, highly transparent and more standardised process for every order received, while digitising critical pieces of the supply chain process.
FASTER, EASIER & SMARTER IN EVERY WAY
The reliance on “tribal knowledge” is a common theme among companies that employ manual order management practices — this food manufacturer being no different. With Esker, the company now has a centralised digital solution for handling all of the orders it receives, regardless of format.
“It used to be that everything was manual for every piece of the order,” said the company’s Manager of Projects for Center of Excellence. “Now, every order is automatically created through Esker and an image of the PO is attached to each order in our SAP® system without any additional steps required by CSRs. It’s all in one location, easily accessible.”
I used to spend hours processing one PO with 100 lines or 100 orders. And now, within minutes — and I do mean minutes — I have everything done.
Another notable advantage of using Esker has been the company’s newfound visibility into order processing. Esker’s automated Order Management solution is equipped with intelligent dashboards that provide easy access to KPIs, performance trends and items analytics.
“Gathering information had previously been a very time-consuming and involved process downloading Excel files,” said the company’s Supply Chain Analyst. “With Esker, we’re able to easily examine how many orders we’re creating each day, how many are approved, how quickly we’re meeting SLAs. etc. And we’re using all that information to continue to drive less touches orders in our process.”
OPTIMISING EDI PERFORMANCE
Presently, as well as prior to Esker, over 80% of the orders received by the food manufacturer are EDI. However, despite this relatively high percentage, many of the EDI-based touch points the company encountered were manual and timeconsuming.
"As we implemented customers over the years, we didn’t always have the right information coming in from our master records,” said the Manager of Projects for Center of Excellence. “Esker provided us with a solution that addressed this gap.”
How Esker Helped
The cloud-based nature of Esker’s automated platform means that the solution could be easily configured with the manufacturer’s IT installations without altering existing infrastructure or impacting customers. This was a particularly pertinent benefit, as many of the manufacturer’s largest customers are heavily reliant on EDI orders.
In terms of metrics, Esker has dramatically improved our process. We just didn’t have that visibility before.
“Even though our orders come in every format you can think of and then some, it was 100% seamless for our team and customers,” said the Supply Chain Analyst. “We standardised everything with little to no impact.”
SEAMLESS SOLUTION DELIVERY
The food manufacturer went live with Esker’s Order Management solution in late May 2020. This process was facilitated by a period of “hypercare” — a standard practice with Esker’s Agile approach where enhancements are made, and Esker’s team ensures best practices are followed, user adoption is strong and usability questions are answered.
“The team has been very diligent in answering our questions, during implementation and hypercare,” said the Manager of Projects for Center of Excellence. “Overall, we’re just incredibly pleased with the end results."
Adjusting to Remote Implementation
An added wrinkle of complexity to the manufacturer’s order management project was that it occurred in the middle of a global pandemic — limiting the amount of face-to-face interactions. Nevertheless, the solution delivery proved to be a resounding success.
“The communication and ability to adapt from both teams was always there,” said the Supply Chain Analyst. “We touched base at least twice a week, and it really didn’t feel like we needed that one-on-one, face-to-face presence.”
To be honest, to this day, I’m impressed with how well the remote implementation went. There was no negative impact on the quality of the solution.
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