Freeing customer service from manual order validation [Case Study]

by | Jun 19, 2019

SUR&R Auto Parts, a leading supplier of fluid line repair kits and specialty tools to the automotive aftermarket industry, process orders. Recently, the volume of orders from one of the company’s key customers increased. This is good news for the business but would put added strain on their Customer Service department. This customer’s EDI documents came to SUR&R without pricing details and often had inaccurate quantities. This meant that the SUR&R Customer Service team had to manually enter or check this data on every order so the correct items could be shipped, and invoices could be created. Each order could take up to 30 minutes to validate. It was a tedious process for their Customer Service team, especially when 1,000 or more orders were received monthly.

As the retailer was unable to change their EDI orders, SUR&R looked for a way to eliminate these manual data checks through automation. They reached out to their EDI provider, SPS Commerce, asking for guidance on how to tailor SPS Commerce Fulfillment to automatically populate the EDI orders with pricing and validate quantities.

“The SPS team listened to our business needs and did some ideation to quickly identify a way to address it using the technology’s advanced rules,” said Josh Lombardi, Customer Service Representative at SUR&R. “They walked our staff through the changes needed on our side to make the rules work. The result was a new quick entry process that cut order processing time to two minutes or less.

With SPS Commerce Fulfillment, SUR&R has saved more than 20 hours per week and are able to apply these resources to work on other customer service initiatives.

“My customer service team is saving ten hours each week by using Fulfillment and the adaptions SPS completed on our behalf to automate the pricing checks needed on customer orders,” said Paul Dupont, IT Manager at SUR&R. “Add to this another ten hours per week that we save by doing a mass upload of our order acknowledgments instead of completing each one individually as previously done. The SPS technology and experts continue to make our EDI experience easier. I couldn’t be more pleased to have SPS acting as our EDI department.”

Prior to automation, the SUR&R warehouse and shipping staff would frequently need to unpack an order due to change to its pick list from errors found on the EDI order. Inaccurate quantities on the customer’s orders were not uncovered until after the order almost ready to ship and the label and the order showed a mismatch. The teams would need to open boxes and repack the correct items. Today, the orders are verified with related shipping notice, so items and quantities are confirmed well before it reaches the warehouse.

Read more about SUR&R’s success here.

Mastering the Retail Game

Mastering the Retail Game

Explore the new rules of retail and get real-world advice on how to win by learning from retail experts and peers in the industry.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Sara Duane

Content Marketing Manager at SPS Commerce
Sara Duane is a content expert for the SPS Commerce marketing team. She provides valuable articles and important information about e-commerce, merchandising strategies, order fulfillment and other topics related to retail supply chain optimization.
Sara Duane