They Call Themselves Jergens Industrial Supply

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… and we're not alone! Jergens Industrial Supply (JIS) was recently named a finalist in Constellation Research SuperNova Awards, which recognize leaders and teams for their innovative application of disruptive technology in business. Congratulations to General Manager Matt Schron and the JIS team!


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Check out the award entry and vote for Jergens Industrial Supply today through Sept. 28! 

Founded in 1960, Jergens Industrial Supply (JIS) touts itself as Ohio's largest, most technical industrial distributor of industrial products. JIS represents over 300 of the top manufacturers for industrial supply in the U.S. and considers themselves a "Partner in Productivity." JIS is a division of Jergens, Inc., a manufacturer of standard tooling components, fasteners, hoist rings, vises and other work holding equipment.

Like many distributors, Jergens Industrial Supply found itself needing to think outside-of-the-box to reinvent its value proposition in the midst of disruptive forces. These included increased competition from industrial supply behemoths with vast order volume and buying power, as well as the need to cater to an uber empowered customer base that recognizes it has many buying options. Meanwhile as Baby Boomers head off to retirement, JIS was faced with redefining its value proposition for a new generation of Millennial buyers with higher expectations for a technology enabled friction-less customer experience a.k.a The Amazon Effect.

Consistent with its commitment to add value to processes and reduce waste, JIS set out to offer a frictionless inventory management solution for today's real-time always-on manufacturer. This began with AutoCrib vending machine system deployment 7 years ago. The machines are stocked with inventory (up to 5000 items) at an agreed-upon price. Personnel get a unique pin code and "order" parts by scanning a bar code for items needed for the job. Parameters govern dispensing, i.e. workers are given access to one set of gloves every 24 hours. In 2015, realizing the opportunity to convert these vending machines into "smart machines," JIS approached MindHARBOR to integrate them with its ERP system. Following this successful initiative, the two companies studied the early IoT Dash Buttons Amazon was bringing to market. From there, a plan to engineer a solution to support an elegantly simple on-premise remote product resupply from WiFi-enabled IoT buttons was born.

JIS has 115 vending machines in the field. Since integrating these machines with its ERP solution, it has experienced 30% improved productivity, allowing the company to grow without having to grow its headcount. Outfitted with an iPad interface, drivers now cover more ground in any given day when they manually restock machines on their routes, since all they need now focus on is fulfillment.

JIS has also seen a significant reduction in customer service effort and costs since now product costs are negotiated up front, eliminating the need to quote items for replenishment, manage orders and purchase orders.  

Since JIS has launched its JIS Express buttons in October 2017, demand has been substantial. JIS has been doubling the amount of buttons deployed in the field, as well as the amount of orders received, and corresponding sales volume every 2 months.

The buttons have proven to be an exceptional entry-level offering for smaller customers with lower inventory volumes. Additionally, the solution provides a replenishment method to manage and maintain larger oversized items that are too large to fit into vending machines. The JIS Express buttons cost only $10-15 each, as opposed to the vending machines that can run from $10,000 to $50,000. 

JIS's innovative use of IoT is revolutionizing the concept of "Just in Time" inventory management and ushering forth a new model for frictionless transactions, making JIS easy to do business with. Now that's innovation!

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