ODL Customer Story
Achieving a 90%+ Automation Rate in the Building Materials Industry
- Improvedaccuracy in order entry
- Enhancedvisibility in the end-to-end order management process
- Sustainedheadcount during a period of rising order volumes
With corporate headquarters in Zeeland, Michigan, ODL was founded in 1945. Some 75 years later, the company manufactures a variety of products, including decorative and clear doorglass, enclosed blinds, retractable screens, tubular skylights and doorglass frames, most notably the ZEEL® doorglass frame — all products designed to build value into the home and workplace. For more information, visit www.odl.com.
"I think Esker does a great job in terms of connecting my team where I can’t through tools like the Esker All Access Community Hub."
ODL is a building materials manufacturer company that receives 300+ customer orders each day, with 80% of them arriving via email. Wanting to bring new levels of speed, accuracy and visibility to its order management process, the company selected Esker’s Order Management automation solution, going live in September 2019. Since them, ODL has enjoyed significant improvements in the way its team processes orders, interacts with customers, and accesses and analyzes essential order-related data.
BRINGING VISIBILITY TO THE FOREFRONT
One of the biggest issues plaguing ODL’s previously manual order management process was the lack of visibility it afforded to the team’s Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) and its managers. Even with the help of fax.com reducing the amount of faxed orders, the company still struggled with visibility issues caused by orders arriving via email — particularly if a CSR happened to be out of the office.
“Having a backup CSR handle orders was always a little clunky because they would have to set up in Outlook in another user’s inbox,” said Dan Hagger, Customer Service Manager. “What’s more, as a manager, I never knew when those orders were coming in or how quickly they were being turned around.”
“Esker has helped eliminate so much of the uncertainty and struggle that used to be part of our manual order management process.”
Today, with 90% of its orders being processed electronically through the Esker solution, ODL has been able to empower its team with significantly improved transparency over the order management process. Thanks to built-in intelligent dashboards, every user can access pertinent order data at the touch of a button.
Impact on Working Remotely
The cloud-based nature of Esker’s Order Management solution means that the visibility benefits are also highly compatible with remote working environments — something that’s been of critical importance throughout most of 2020 and beyond. For Hagger, the anytime-access to key order information has meant much less stress for him and his team, saying: “We wouldn’t have been able to get through the COVID shutdown with all we had to do, moving people and working from home, without Esker. I’m can easily monitor things remotely and the team is able to assist one another now that we have complete visibility of all the orders.”
FACILITATING IMPROVED ACCURACY & COMPANY GROWTH
Other issues that were a concern for ODL on the order management side included limiting the amount of order entry errors in its process (a common side effect of manual processes), as well as well as handling anticipated growing order volumes without impactful headcount additions.
“As a business, we have fairly ambitious growth plans, which essentially involves us doubling our business over a certain period of time,” said Hagger. “So, we knew we needed to automate to make that happen in order to handle the growing order volumes — not only making it easier for staff, but more strategically for our business.”
In terms of reducing errors, Esker’s Order Management solution uses different layers of AI-driven technology to extract relevant data from incoming orders — essentially removing the need for error-prone manual data entry, which helps to dramatically improve accuracy and streamline verification.
“We had set up that 90% of orders would go through Esker — and I’m happy to report that this is the case for 10 of my CSRs using the solution.”
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