Within a few months, we had thousands of sales reps trying to get their hands on the app. It simplified their work in terms of helping customers.
“This is the lifeline to the business. OpenText provides ultrahigh availability to support mission critical business functions. If the service failed, it would have a huge impact on our business. That’s why we work together with OpenText to make sure that both services and support work at all times,” said the company’s B2B integration manager.
The company also recognizes the benefits of global customer and trading community support around the clock, including transaction and systems monitoring, exception management and incident management. The B2B integration manager noted, “We have three hubs in Asia, Europe and America. We use what is called ‘follow the sun’ support—24 hours a day it provides support for all the application processes. In fact, we have a number of markets, especially in Europe, actually requesting full support from the OpenText side, which means even the business components are being managed by OpenText to reduce the cost on our side.”
Creating an innovative order status application
The company recently turned its attention to another issue, customer inquiries about order status. Customers did not have realtime visibility into the status of their orders, and the tracing and tracking order process was manual. It has more than 30 unique ERP instances and no single view into the back-end ERP system. As a result, customer support and field sales were spending a great deal of time trying to track down information manually.
The company sought a solution that would offer visibility into order-based transactions and improve day-to-day engagement and collaboration with the trading partner community. According to the B2B integration manager, “Our goal was to reduce the support costs related to responding to these inquiries, as well as provide a better solution to the customer in terms of availability of their order data. Originally, we envisioned this as a basic EDI component, but then we realized that we needed to go a little bit further. OpenText stepped in and suggested that they could help us with that.”
Using the Business Network platform, the company worked with OpenText to develop an application that offered realtime visibility into order status, accessible via smartphone, tablet or desktop. Quick and easy to set up, users have full visibility into every order from SAP, whether they were placed by phone, fax, email, online customer portal or EDI. The app also provides information related to changes in quantity and delivery times, while allowing filtering by status and other criteria.
Improved efficiency, transparency and information flow
The simple yet innovative app has improved customer satisfaction and reduced manual workload and related inefficiencies. It provides a single view into ERP information, enabling the company to run like a single business without requiring a massive ERP overhaul. The global CPG can now meet customer expectations—full visibility of order status without having to chase sales or customer service for answers. In addition, the manual efforts of sales and customer service has been greatly reduced.
“Within a few months, we had thousands of sales reps trying to get their hands on the app. It simplified their work in terms of helping customers. For reps in the field, the connection to the SAP system can sometimes be so slow that they can’t do anything for hours. With this app, they can access every order for a particular customer within seconds. It has really made an impact from their perspective,” explained the B2B integration manager.
The company’s small and medium-sized customers were also quick to adopt the free application, which requires very little underlying technology. The solution now supports 8,000 users across 30 countries.
Since the app was deployed, the global CPG has also seen a dramatic drop in the number of customer calls inquiring about the status of orders. “In addition to so many other additional benefits, we can clearly see that it does reduce the calls to customer service about where the order is,” stated the B2B integration manager.