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The Challenge

Any product that we use at home or work has some form of labeling, whether it's a barcode, energy rating, ingredient list, or RFID mark. More than likely, that label has been produced by Etisoft, a global leader in labeling and automatic identification products. Founded in 1993, Etisoft has since been developing itself as a manufacturer and supplier of solutions and systems for industrial automation and automatic product identification and process tracking. For instance, Etisoft is involved in AutoID devices, RFID, printing and application systems, AGV/AMR systems, and vision systems, to name a few.

The business has over 1,800 customers from industries such as automotive, electronics, household appliances, food, chemical, pharmaceutical, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), including many well-known global brands.

Every month, Etisoft receives 8,000 orders from its customers for labels and markings, thermal transfer ribbons, Auto ID devices, RFID systems, functional elements, and control panels. Moreover, Etisoft is focused on Industry 4.0 initiatives, embracing digital technology like machine learning, as well as the Internet of Things and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to enable production lines, business processes, and departments to communicate regardless of location, time zone, or platform.

Costly Processing Errors

Etisoft has already advanced on its Industry 4.0 journey with digital systems in place to automate business operations, such as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application. However, document processing – exchanging orders, order changes, advanced shipment notice (ASN), and invoices with customers – was still manual.

Documents were received as PDFs, spreadsheets, or emails, and data had to be manually input into the company's ERP system. With some documents comprising multiple pages and hundreds of items, the process was slow and prone to mistakes. If there are errors in an order process, under some contract SLAs, Etisoft has to pay compensation to the customer.

Etisoft wanted to partner with Epicor because of its knowledge and expertise in EDI and the detailed, hands-on support it provides. Also, Data Interchange was the only product on the market that could handle the complex and different document formats coming from our customers.

“One of our customers has 50 factories all over the world, each manufacturing a different part or product and therefore needing different Etisoft parts, often ordering hundreds of parts at a time,” said Małgorzata Figołuszka, Project Manager, Etisoft. "The problem was our customer service department had to enter these orders into the ERP system manually."

Etisoft had previously tried out an EDI solution, but it did not meet all of their requirements. Connecting to a customer was complex, and integration with Etisoft’s ERP system was difficult. After evaluating three potential vendors, Etisoft turned to Epicor for a solution.

“Etisoft wanted to partner with Epicor because of its knowledge and expertise in EDI and the detailed, hands-on support it provides,” shared Figołuszka. “Also, Data Interchange, an Epicor solution, was the only product on the market that could handle the complex and different document formats coming from our customers."

Smart, Streamlined EDI

Etisoft has deployed the Odex module from the Data Interchange platform. Odex integrates with ERP applications and automates the exchange and processing of documents between Etisoft and its customers. It is a Managed File Transfer (MFT) application that includes features such as reporting performance metrics, automatic file transfer notification, auditing, and information security. It acts as an EDI gateway centralizing communication, data mapping, and translating document formats and protocols such as EDIFACT, VDA, TRADACOMS, and PEPPOL.

Etisoft has used its Data Interchange platform to set up automated workflow processes to ensure data is directed to the right place and alerts are triggered when there is a mistake or data error before it impacts production.
Automatic watches are also sent to the relevant team when a new order or customer request arrives.

Epicor worked with Etisoft to deploy the application and manage data mapping so that different document standards from customers could be translated into the format used by Etisoft’s ERP system for seamless and accurate data exchange. When Etisoft has a new customer, Epicor works with both Etisoft and the customer to ensure fast, error-free data communications.

Epicor has developed two functions in the Data Interchange platform that help improve customer service. Some customers do not use EDI; they send orders in a spreadsheet, so customization in the solution extracts data from a spreadsheet and ingests it into the ERP system. Another function automatically spots and corrects cumulative quantity errors making it easier to plan and order raw material stock. The Data Interchange platform is already being used to communicate with 30 customers, who among them have over 200 factories and production plants.

Each location is effectively a separate customer since they often produce different brands, use different Etisoft products, and have different EDI document formats. For example, an automotive company will have manufacturing sites in several countries where local tax and accounting rules are different. Etisoft estimates it has now onboarded around 70% of those customers that could use EDI.

Customer Interaction Transformed

Using Epicor, Etisoft has automated document exchange with its customers, reduced order processing time, virtually eliminated order errors, and improved customer service.

Fewer errors speed up order processing and mean Etisoft avoids penalties or fines imposed by customers.

“Data Interchange platform is now critical to business operations at Etisoft,” elaborated Figołuszka. “It has transformed how we interact with customers by making document exchange fast, efficient, and error-free. Today businesses expect their partners to provide first-class business services and processes, and Epicor is certainly delivering a competitive advantage to Etisoft.

Processing an order from a customer factory used to take a few hours; now, it takes just a few seconds, and any errors are immediately highlighted. This avoids order delays and mistakes. Fewer errors in customer orders also reduce inaccurate stock purchasing. Before, some order errors would not show up until the production phase, which was very costly.

Data Interchange is now critical to business operations at Etisoft. It has transformed how we interact with customers by making document exchange fast, efficient and error-free. Today businesses expect their partners to provide first-class business services and processes, and Epicor is certainly delivering a competitive advantage to Etisoft.

Besides making document processing more efficient, Data Interchange, an Epicor solution, has improved delivery forecasting needed to plan for and order raw materials required to fulfill a customer order. Some customers place orders for parts up to a year in advance. Before Data Interchange platform, staff did not have enough time to enter all long-term orders in the ERP system, so Etisoft could not do effective long-term forecasting.

The solution increases the visibility of historical sales patterns so Etisoft can forecast customer demand weeks, months, or even a year ahead of time. This saves the business money because it reduces over-ordering raw materials and the associated costs of holding stock for a long time. Epicor has helped to automate over 80% of Etisoft’s forecasting processes.

These improvements mean Etisoft staff spend less time processing orders and firefighting errors and more time on more productive and value-add work such as customer service. Etisoft estimates that faster order processing, saving time on rectifying errors, and working more efficiently and smarter have increased productivity by up to 30%.

Having an effective EDI solution helps increase competitive advantage and customer relations. Etisoft is able to demonstrate it has a high-quality, Industry 4.0-compliant solution to improve communications and document exchange with customers. Customers are starting to order more Etisoft products; hence Data Interchange, helps win new business.

Solutions

Epicor EDI

Company Facts

  • Location: Gliwice, Poland
  • Specialist Industry: Labeling & Commercial Printing
  • Website: etisoft.eu

Challenges

  • Manage 8,000 documents monthly
  • Time-consuming and prone to errors in document processing
  • Improve forecasting and stock control

Benefits

  • Reduces order processing time from hours to seconds
  • Delivers 30% improvement in productivity
  • Automates 80% of forecasting processes
  • Eliminates customer service errors
  • Increases competitive advantage Supports drive toward Industry 4.0
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