Process Makes Perfect
P+P: What influenced the decision behind this promotion?
PW: Instead of promoting an item, Broker Forms improved a process. By doing so, we allowed the distributor to reduce time spent per tax order. From receipt of the order to receipt of payment from the customer, time spent was reduced by over 80 percent (32 minutes to six minutes), thereby allowing the distributor to redeploy those resources. During this time, the distributor acquired another distributorship, something that would have been much more difficult or even impossible without the automation of its tax forms program.
P+P: How was this a profitable promotion for your company? For your client?
PW: The integration improved profitability for both companies, primarily through automating a manual process. This has two benefits: 1) Quicker service to the end-customer due to data flowing more quickly, and 2) order accuracy. The less manual intervention in order processing the better. Broker Forms ships 99.99 percent of its orders next business day and boasts a 99.70 percent accuracy rate through this process. In addition to improved service, the distributor was able to focus its time on other areas of its business.
P+P: Did you encounter any challenges? If so, how did you overcome them?
PW: It is never easy to change a business process, especially one with so much manual involvement. The biggest challenge was creating confidence in automating a previously manual process. It required communication to multiple contacts within the distributorship, including customer service, accounts payable and billing. Once everyone saw a few orders process through their system completely, the buy-in was immediately improved and full benefits were realized.