For specialist parts distributor, Aerco, Strategix OneOffice was the natural choice for integrating every link in its supply chain to increase sales and achieve previously unattainable levels of customer satisfaction.
Aercos goal was to streamline its supply chain operations and improve customer relationship management. It knew that if it failed to achieve this, it could be in danger of losing market share. Therefore, the company moved from a manual, paper-based system to Strategixs OneOffice supply chain management solution. This proved to be an effective strategy, as the transition has not only seen Aerco achieve a 10 per cent increase in sales over the previous year but also significantly improve customer relations.
Aerco is a stockist and distributor of quality electrical and electro-mechanical components to the aviation, military, medical and transportation markets. It supplies customers with high-spec, high-tech widgets, which are then integrated into aircraft, trains or battleship systems. Managing director Rob Laughton explained the stock control set-up at Aerco: We hold a huge inventory of the most frequently ordered stock and fast-moving items in our warehouse where they can be drawn off and delivered with minimum delay. We also act as a warehousing facility for larger projects that demand a scheduled delivery; say 100 items every month for a year. Laughton pointed out that, with all core activities migrated to OneOffice, it very quickly got to a point where there was virtually no aspect of Aercos operation that didnt depend on the OneOffice system. From warehousing to sales to delivery to quality control, everybody within the company was online and sharing the same up-to-date information, he said.
Professional, accurate and knowledgeable
However, having a stand-alone system that holds the information is not enough, as Laughton elucidates. I strongly believe the way forward for the company is via a comprehensive customer relationship management capability allied to our complete supply chain operation, he said. We need to provide a professional, accurate and knowledgeable service to our customers to ensure we win tenders and increase sales. OneOffice gives us the ability to do that.
For Laughton, customer relationships begin with the first call for a quotation. He realises that calls will also be made to several competitors before a decision is made where to place the order. This means Aerco sales people must deliver accurate, consistent and competitive pricing combined with an assurance of availability and delivery that meets the customers schedule. OneOffice offers us a sophisticated customer relationship management capability thanks to two key functions: a graphical dashboard and a timely alert feature, Laughton added.
The dashboard functionality within OneOffice means that anyone at Aerco authorised to log on to the system can be much more proactive with their customers. The dashboard is a powerful and flexible mechanism for providing customised, context-sensitive information. It can be configured to display key information to the user within the context of their task. The dashboards are a major advance over traditional systems, remarked Laughton. Previously, users had to run individual enquiries to learn the details of previous orders or stock availability. With the dashboards, its all there automatically to see and respond to. This not only saves valuable time, but also ensures accuracy, consistency and our quotes are both competitive and profitable.
Another vital aspect of OneOffice is the timely alert feature that demands human intervention if conditions within the business change; for example, if a supplier unexpectedly changes a delivery date. In our business, its rare for a supplier to phone a customer and tell him that an order may be a couple of days late, so the alert function has really helped to differentiate us from the competition, said Laughton. Weve found that most of our customers really appreciate the advance warning and thank us for it. In conclusion, Laughton highlighted the overall reliability of the product. In the 12 years weve had Strategix software, weve not had one day without service. The reliability of the software that forms the basis of the system is fantastic.