- Location: Chicago, Illinois
- Industry: Electrical
- Number of Stores: 5
- Web site: www.revereelectric.com
"Order entry processing has been accelerated significantly for customers targeted for Epicor AutoOrder, and our internal resources are now allocated to more productive, higher value- added tasks instead of entering repetitive orders from these customers."
Mike Prepelica, Director of Information Technology | Revere Electric Supply Company
Revere Electric Supply Company, a Chicago-based electrical distributor serving original equipment manufacturers, machine builders, and panel shops, continues to expand upon its use of Epicor ® Eclipse ™ system. One business process that the company recently targeted for operational efficiency improvements was order entry. In October 2010, Revere Electric became a pilot site for a new add-on module to Epicor ERP solutions, 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 Eclipse, Prophet 21 ® or Prelude ™ systems. It does not require process changes, specialized IT infrastructure, expertise or support on the part of the distributor or the customer. 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.
Before: Traditional Processing of Inbound Orders
Prior to implementing the Epicor AutoOrder solution, Revere Electric utilized typical methods for entering orders into its system: manually, via EDI, and via Web order entry. The company recognized that each method has its challenges. EDI is typically favored by larger customers with the resources to employ EDI staff and the ability to integrate EDI processes into their systems. Usually, this limits the number of EDI implementations available.
WOE is easy to use and has been adopted by a greater number of companies than EDI. However, WOE posed a problem for customers that placed frequent, larger orders for which Revere Electric had parts numbers already loaded into the system; many of these customers felt they were doing "double duty" as they entered orders into Revere Electric's online system as well as their own.
According to Mike Prepelica, Revere Electric's Director of Information Technology, "Historically, the greatest number of our customer orders were handled via the simplest method available- manually-which is also the lowest tech, and not necessarily the most efficient, depending on circumstances that change on a daily basis. Manual order entry works fine, but when faced with a large number of standardized orders having a higher line item count, as we do with many of our customers; it is not always the most effective use of our most valuable resource: our employees."
Revere Electric's objectives for moving to Epicor AutoOrder were fairly basic. Management wanted an automated solution that would work with a minimum of configuration from internal staff and be seamless from the customers' perspective. They also hoped to speed the processing of orders from selected high value customers, regardless of the internal staff workload. Reduction of order entry errors via automation was another goal.
After: Faster, More Accurate Service
The benefits Revere Electric has gained from the Epicor AutoOrder solution include order accuracy, faster order processing, and reduced expense associated with processing orders for targeted customers. Prepelica notes, "These customers are unaware that we are using a system to automatically process their orders. They do know that we are providing faster, more accurate service to them."
In the initial phase, Revere Electric implemented the Epicor AutoOrder system with 30 customers, and plans are under way to target additional 30-40 customers. Says Prepelica, "Order entry processing has been accelerated significantly for customers targeted for Epicor AutoOrder, and our internal resources are now allocated to more productive, higher value-added tasks instead of entering repetitive orders from these customers. We can free up a body and have that person focus on the more intensive orders...and better serve our other customers that need extra hand-holding. This has led to greater customer satisfaction regarding our cycle time and customer service, and happier employees-as they can spend their time more effectively."
According to Dave Christoffel, Customer Service Supervisor at Revere Electric, "I define order entry as the whole process of physically entering the order and the subsequent activities that we require to inform the customer and make sure the pricing and so forth are correct. With regard to the physical entry portion, we have generally seen a 75-85 percent time savings with Epicor AutoOrder. On complex accounts with larger orders or non-regular orders, we still need to do some manipulations within the order, so from a physical order entry standpoint, we are actually saving even more time-90-95 percent-on these larger, specialized accounts."
have taken us at least 20-30 minutes just to enter, in between our regular duties. The Customer Service person received it back within 10 minutes from AutoOrder, and outside of a few parts that needed to be revised (due to internal workings), it was entered perfectly. Not only did we save the time entering it, but we gained back an extra 20-30 minutes to spend on other tasks. This was a true success."
Results like these indicate that for many distributors, the Epicor AutoOrder system can pay for itself based on just a few high volume customers. Concludes Prepelica, "We got out of the Epicor AutoOrder module what we were hoping to get out of it...to streamline the order processing of our high value customers where we have their pricing set up in our system for everything they order and/or they order a common bucket of products."
"Soon after we purchased the Epicor AutoOrder system, Customer Service sent in a 90+ line item order that normally would have taken us at least 20-30 minutes just to enter, in between our regular duties. The Customer Service person received it back within 10 minutes from AutoOrder...Not only did we save the time entering it, but we gained back an extra 20-30 minutes to spend on other tasks. This was a true success."
Dave Christoffel, Customer Service Supervisor
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 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