- Location: North Smithfield, Rhode Island
- Industry: Industrial Safety
- Number of Employees: 70
- Web site: www.nationalmarker.com
"We have definitely seen ROI as a result [of Epicor AutoOrder], as well as a benefit to our customers, because their orders are entered more quickly and bottlenecks are eliminated. Our business is growing; we are now able to enter more orders without adding more people, and AutoOrder is a big reason for that."
Jeff Morris, IT Manager | National Marker Company
National Marker Company, based in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, is a national leader in safety identification, including the manufacture of safety signs, tags, machine and hazmat labels, utility tapes, engraved identification, traffic signs, lockout kits, banners, and scoreboards. Founded in 1934, the company has since grown to 70 employees.
National Marker has been an Epicor Prophet 21 customer since 1999. In late 2010, the company became a beta site for a new application, Epicor AutoOrder. Epicor AutoOrder captures and automatically transforms any computer-generated purchase order into an electronic sales order, solving the problem of dual entry (i.e., an order manually entered in one system that is subsequently re-keyed in another system).
The Epicor AutoOrder solution is complementary to Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and self-serve Web order entry (WOE), helping distributors to better serve their customers. Epicor AutoOrder allows distributors to seamlessly convert orders that are currently e-mailed or faxed by customers into electronic orders that are processed automatically by Epicor Prophet 21, Eclipse or Prelude systems. It does not require process changes, specialized IT infrastructure, expertise, or support on the part of the distributor or the customer.
And because AutoOrder does not rely on Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology for capturing order data, users are able to have the same confidence in their order accuracy as with EDI or WOE ordering systems.
A Collaborative Effort
National Marker's interest in Epicor AutoOrder stemmed from a desire for cost savings and improved speed in processing orders. "Our business is all about speed; we're handling lots of small orders for $10 signs and the like," explains Jeff Morris, IT Manager.
After agreeing to serve as a beta site, the team at National Marker researched their customer base to determine where they would get the most "bang for the buck" with Epicor AutoOrder. The initial targets included customers not big enough to be on EDI, but who were placing a large number of orders or many line items per order, and with whom the company already had a good relationship.
According to Morris, this was very much a collaborative internal effort. "Inside Sales was heavily involved in the setup of new customers on AutoOrder. All of that goes through them directly today, as they know the customers best," he states. He was also pleased with the collaboration with Epicor: "Everything we asked for in beta got done."
Transparent to Customers; "Filling the Void"
After the beta implementation went very smoothly with its first few customers, National Marker added several more that fit the profile. "We are now up to nine customers on AutoOrder," says Morris. "The transition was very transparent to the customers. They didn't really have to do anything different or see that anything had changed."
Epicor AutoOrder proved very flexible in processing a wide variety of incoming purchase orders at National Marker. Observes Morris, "With even the different branches of the same customer sometimes having different PO formats, AutoOrder handles the majority very well; it can do a search for very detailed and specific information with its built-in logic."
He adds, "AutoOrder was a good fit for us; it filled the void between EDI customers and the more 'mom-and-pop' operations we serve-that's really the 'sweet spot' for this application. AutoOrder helped us to eliminate having to enter these orders manually, and the time savings allows our employees to focus on more value-added tasks. We have definitely seen ROI as a result, as well as a benefit to our customers, because their orders are entered more quickly and bottlenecks are eliminated."
Concludes Morris, "Our business is growing; we are now able to enter more orders without adding more people, and AutoOrder is a big reason for that. This is one case where we (in IT) would not have done anything differently."
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and services industries. With 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise, and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.