Client: Barlean’s Organic Oils
Technology: .NET, SQL, Great Plains, Ajax, Java, XML
Goals: To reduce total man hours, user error from data entry and increase overall production.
Barlean’s came to us with a very serious problem of efficiency. Hundreds of orders would come in through a proprietary system from Whole Foods Market to Barlean’s on a daily basis. Users would have to log into the proprietary system provided by Whole Foods Market and manually enter each order into Microsoft Great Plains… all while doing several data accuracy checks to ensure no errors would occur in the process, things like correct user ID, quantity thresholds and correct product SKU. This process would take 2 customer service reps spending an enormous amount of time each day just simply entering and checking the orders. Resulting in large amounts of time these customer service reps would have to spend off the phone just simply doing data entry.
We obviously noticed the issue the moment Richard started explaining the whole process to us and it was evident that they needed our help. We developed a system that would pull each order from Whole Foods Market in an XML format and place them into a folder. Than 1 customer service rep would bring up a single web page and click a simple button to process every order and create a single import file to be used within Great Plains. The system checked against several key areas to ensure total accuracy among all orders being entered. Everything from users submitting the correct customer ID to correct item codes and quantity thresholds all while doing the checks in real-time against the already built Great Plains database in use by Barlean’s. Than the system would mark any discrepencies for the customer service rep to make a personal judgment if the order should be allowed or not depending on the set up of the individual store ordering.
The system we built took what 2 customer services reps would do in 8 hours and reduced it down to 15 minutes. Along with being extremely fast and efficient, the system was user friendly allowing anyone to easily enter, process and import all orders with minimal training as there was only 2 steps to complete the entire process.
All in all this project was a huge success for Barlean’s. The final result allowed all orders from Whole Foods Market to be entered, delivered and checked for accuracy quickly and efficiently. This also allowed the customer service reps put with the task of entering all these orders by hand to now spend that time helping more customers and less time doing data entry.