I’m sure you’ve experienced the frustration of ordering a product, only to wait what seems like forever for it to arrive. And, if you’re like me, your frustration only mounts when you tear open the package to learn that the product you’ve received doesn’t match the one you’ve ordered.
While it may appear simple on the receiving end, any company that manufactures and distributes products understands that processing orders can be a complex operation—one that requires the right processes and the right software.
One customer intent on delivering the best possible ordering process is Innovative Medical Products, Inc. (IMP), a Connecticut-based manufacturer and distributor of medical devices for the orthopedic industry. The company had outgrown its MYOB accounting software, which only had basic functionality, and decided to explore full-range enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
After comparing seven ERP software packages, IMP decided upon Microsoft Dynamics GP and SalesPad DataCollection GP offered by Microsoft partner CAL Business Solutions. “For everything we asked, CAL Business Solutions was able to show us real scenarios of how the data could be organized to fit our business,” says Rich Larkin, IMP’s Director of Operations. “They gave us solutions rather than just telling us there were open fields available to do whatever we wanted.”
To date, the benefits have been phenomenal. Consider the following:
- IMP has increased its order processing speed by a whopping 150 percent without adding a single new employee. How? By setting up automated workflows that speed up the ordering process and by giving customer service representatives all the information they need in a central place. Says Larkin: “Prior to Microsoft Dynamics GP, we could effectively process about 20 orders a day per person; now we're up to about 40 or 50 orders a day per person. Our customer service reps have information at their fingertips. When they enter an order, all the customer data, history, and order details are right on the screen.”
- IMP has increased order accuracy from 85 percent to an impressive 98.5 percent. Using Microsoft Dynamics GP and SalesPad DataCollection GP, workers now use handheld barcode scanners when picking products in the warehouse, improving their productivity while reducing the chance of order errors. “We have a lot of products that have similar names,” Larkin says. “For example, we were registering errors such as when a customer would order a 1092P (hip position pad) and we would actually ship the 1092 (hip positioner), the difference in price being about $7,000. With the barcode system, there is very little chance of error.”
- IMP has significantly sped up its reporting. For example, sales representatives were previously mailed paper-based checks and calculations showing their monthly commission data. Now, using Microsoft Dynamics GP, they obtain their checks and commission information electronically. By automating this reporting, the company has saved an IMP employee three days a month, not to mention the hassle of printing, sorting, stapling, stuffing, and mailing the 500+ pages.
Such impressive results. And now that it has a reliable ERP system, IMP is exploring other ways to further improve efficiency as the company grows. As Larkin puts it: “Microsoft Dynamics GP gives us the functionality we need to manage our processes without being overkill. I can’t say enough good things about it.”