BUILDING A SERVICE-ORIENTED TEAM WHILE HANDLING GROWING ORDER VOLUMES WITH EASE
- Accelerated average order processing time by 38%
- 88% reduction in average amount of time an order waits before validation
- 100% elimination of call backlogs
- CSRs now able to dedicate more time to improving customer experience
Handling quick growth without increasing headcount or sacrificing quality
As a global designer and provider of branded, high-quality valves and fittings, Smith-Cooper International knows a thing or two about pressure. Recently, though, the company found itself in a very different kind of high-pressure scenario: how to handle its growing order volumes.
Smith-Cooper has been riding a strong wave of business growth for years — a good problem to have — but with 85 percent of its customer orders arriving via email, fax or EDI, the speed, accuracy and productivity of its order management process was beginning to suffer. The prospect of simply hiring more CSRs to manage the influx of orders didn’t seem like a sustainable solution, according to Christopher Cerf, Smith-Cooper’s VP of Customer Service and Inside Sales.
“We were in a bit of a predicament with trying to increase productivity while also transforming into a more service-oriented team,” Cerf said. “Order entry was taking up a good amount of time, so it was important to create bandwidth for our staff to focus on more value-added tasks.”
Automating order management to free up time for CSRs and improve accuracy
The next logical step for Smith-Cooper was finding an automated order management software solution to replace its manual process. And find one, it did — just not Esker. “We were really close to signing with another company when, late in the process, we realised the provider couldn’t work with one of our biggest customer’s order formats,” recalls Cerf.
“Fortunately, that experience is what led us to Esker. It was enlightening to find a company who knew the industry, understood our diverse process and had the proven track record to back it up.”
With Esker, Smith-Cooper now has a cloud solution that can handle sales orders regardless of customer variability. Today, the overwhelming majority of orders are processed electronically through Esker. The solution uses different layers of AI-driven technology to extract relevant data from incoming orders, improving accuracy and streamlining verification.
"This has been a game changer for our team. We can do various EDI so effectively, and it’s all Esker. Right now, three-quarters of our orders go through some kind of technology solution, and Esker is the lion share of that."
Using automation to improve employee day-to-day and provide higher quality customer experience
Following its implementation of Esker’s Order Management solution in June 2018, Smith-Cooper has seen a number of promising business results.
Post-Esker implementation, Smith- Cooper has already been able to reduce average order processing time by 1.38 minutes. What’s more, the average amount of time an order waits before validation has decreased by 88 percent.
Today, when a customer calls in with a dispute or question about a PO, it can be found instantly within the Esker solution instead of having to hunt down a sheet of paper. And not only do CSRs have more time for tasks that improve customer experience and profitability, but low-value order activity has also been offloaded from tenured workers and inside sales staff.
Thanks to Esker, managers no longer have to be concerned how the staff will handle the volume of customer phone calls because call backlogs have been eliminated due to the additional bandwidth.
"Esker’s Order Management solution represents a fundamental shift in the way we do business. Not only are we more efficient as a team, but we get a higher quality order through the system, without sacrificing our identity."
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