NDS, Inc. Customer Story
Keeping Up with Record-Breaking Sales Amid Global Pandemic with Automation
- Reducedorder processing time from 15+ minutes to 4 minutes
- Reallocatedemployees from manual order taking to customer-facing activities
- Improvedcustomer relationships with accelerated order processing
NDS has been an industry-leading manufacturer of water management products since its beginnings in 1972, providing innovative solutions to customers across the U.S. and internationally. With roughly 7,000 SKUs, 4,000 customers across the globe and 5,000 orders monthly, NDS’s 12-person customer service team was struggling to keep up with high volumes of orders received in a variety of formats with their manual order management process. And with ambitious goals of company growth, NDS was about to experience almost double its amount of usual orders, making it obvious that a more efficient, scalable process was needed. NDS turned to Esker’s automated Order Management solution to standardize and streamline order processing, and has seentransformational results for business performance, employee satisfaction and customer relationships.
AS THE MONTHS HAVE PROGRESSED, THE ACCURACY IS ALMOST PERFECT. WE’RE ABLE TO CATCH THOSE MISTAKES A LOT QUICKER THAN WE WERE WITH THE MANUAL PROCESS.
REDUCING ORDER PROCESSING TIMES
With large amounts of orders and a small customer service team handling them, one of NDS’s top priorities was to drastically reduce the time it takes to process a single order. Prior to automation, orders arrived in various formats, some even handwritten, and the manual processing of these orders required so much time that certain employees were dedicated only to order taking. “Each order manually was taking us about 15 to 20 minutes, sometimes even an hour for those lengthier orders. And we were not able to focus on higher priorities, like initiatives for our company,” said Georgina Urtaza, Customer Service Manager at NDS.
After automating its order management process, NDS has successfully reduced order processing time from a minimum of 15 minutes down to an average of four minutes per order. “Now we are able to process at a lot faster pace. It helps our distribution centers get the orders in sooner and get orders out to customers faster,” said Urtaza. The benefits of accelerated processing times span throughout the company and to customers as well.
“WE TALK REGULARLY ABOUT WHAT A TRAIN WRECK IT WOULD’VE BEEN HAD WE NOT HAD ESKER UP IN OPERATION AT LEAST ON A SMALL SCALE WHEN WE DID.”
HANDLING HIGH ORDER VOLUMES WITH FEWER RESOURCES
Unlike many businesses that have seen drastic slowdowns or even closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NDS experienced record-breaking sales during the first few months of the global health crisis. Even though Esker’s Order Management solution was implemented during the pandemic and not prior to, getting the cloud-based solution up and running when it did allow NDS to competently handle the increasing order volumes.
Even with a sudden spike in sales, NDS’s customer service team has been able to reallocate staff that was once solely dedicated to manually entering customer orders to more strategic activities. “We had one person whose job was just printing out orders, and we’ve been able to move her out of that role. Now we can be cross functional and move people back and forth. We’ve freed up one person, almost two now, and I’m hoping to have three people moved out of order taking and into more customer-focused roles,” said Urtaza.
IMPROVING CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS
By reducing processing times and increasing order accuracy, NDS isn’t the only party reaping the benefits of order management automation. Customers have also noticed significant time savings as a result of increased efficiency throughout the ordering process. “A few customers have actually reached out to us and said that they have seen an influx of faster response time with orders,” said Urtaza. “They’re able to generate a sale order number quicker. Now they’re seeing the sales order number within an hour because we’re putting those orders in suspense. They’re really just astonished with how fast it is.”
Customers can now trust that their orders from NDS will be received and processed accurately and quickly, ultimately leading to a stronger, longer-lasting customer-supplier relationship.
“AUTOMATION HAS GIVEN OUR CUSTOMERS PEACE OF MIND. THEY NOW KNOW EXACTLY WHEN AN ORDER WAS RECEIVED AND PUT INTO OUR SYSTEM, AND THAT THEIR ORDER ONLY HAS TO WAIT FOR A QUALITY CHECK.”
AUTOMATING JUST IN TIME
The implementation of Esker’s Order Management solution was done remotely, as the global pandemic forced teams out of offices and into work-from-home environments. Although NDS would have liked to have the cloud-based solution in place before stay-at-home orders were enforced, getting the solution up and running when it did helped the company minimize operational slowdowns and stay on top of incoming orders.
“It would have been great to have the solution before COVID-19, that’s for sure,” said Sharon Stewart, Director of Customer Service and Distribution at NDS. “It would have saved everybody a lot of grief and frustration, but getting it up when we did was probably one of the key things that helped to get us through the COVID situation.”
“It really impacted our attendance, and without Esker, I don’t think we would have been able to keep the level of service up for our customers,” Stewart added. “It would have been nice to have it sooner, but we got it when we absolutely needed it, and it has made a huge difference.”
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