EDI Solutions integrated with CRM and Dashboards
Identify the key drivers for change
Our Client was receiving around 6,000 unique orders a week from Homebase, BandQ and other high street and online retailers for their bespoke products. Each item needed to be purpose built and despatched that week, each item could have as many as 100 parts all needing to be adapted to fit together. Orders started life at the retail POS and were being collected into the Freeway/GXS system.
At the client site they received multiple spreadsheets throughout the day from Freeway/GXS with updates as all linking back to the original barcode. The problem was lack of visibility over the stage of each order, inability to update the client and the couriers with ease and problems related to invoicing the wholesale Clients.
Managing multiple spreadsheets was no longer an option and controls were desperately needed.
Committed to the data feed from Freeway/GXS the Client needed to implement a solution for all departments and procedures that would handle all incoming orders, allow updates to alter the details of the order, enable the call centre to engage with customers awaiting delivery whilst keeping the factory aware of changes in real-time.
As orders were ready for shipping so multiple couriers needed visibility of orders awaiting collection. Issues to address such as data security, “need to know” access and a visible audit trail were of concern. SLA performance monitoring and reporting was essential and the Client wanted the system live in a short time scale.
Create and implement a plan for change
We worked initially at Director level to understand their operational needs, then with Freeway GXS to make small changes to the data feed before putting together a training programme for the data administrators who were relieved to move away from multiple spread sheets.
Once administrators were confident they could import, update and assign orders to the call centre, create job orders for the factory and make available orders ready for collection and despatch we trained the call centre staff.
Database design and setup
The installation is in the WiredContact data centre to ensure high availability and performance. WiredContact staff are available to assist our Client as needed with schema considerations.
The system now automatically updates those clients awaiting a delivery with Bi-directional SMS messages (in some cases emails) and sends automated management reports to department heads at pre-set times and when critical events fall outside of SLA agreements.
Sage integration was added in a later phase – other accounting and stock management options are available.
Workflow and user experience
Once the workflow was agreed, it was a simple task to assign permissions to each team so that all could carry out the duties required of their department, this involves some departments seeing different screens that others based upon conditions relevant to the record they are viewing.
Critical fields such as Bar-codes are only visible to those who need them and routines such to to combine orders are only available to key staff. Since permissions can be based on a mix of conditions deployed for a user, client or any combination we can be extremely flexible
The call centre can see all active records but cannot edit the history, Couriers only see a list of orders to be collected and then have reports emailed to them for all orders they are to collect and deliver based upon routes calculated in other software.
Handover and day to day control
Our Client took absolute control within 6 weeks from initial enquiry and remains in control, they can add fields as needed, alter reports and layouts without reference to us.
This client initially thought they needed an ERP solution, what they had was a data management issue caused by rapid expansion and a lack of in house IT support staff.
ERP (Enterprise resource Planning) is often thought to be a simple piece of software that answers all problems for all departments.
Once a Company map out their workflow and understand their own strengths and weaknesses it can often be that you achieve the end-result you desire with considerably lowers costs in much less time than you had imagined possible.