AT A GLANCE
- Corporate Express
- Corporate Express wanted to move to electronic processing of orders after three major customers requested this more efficient way of transacting business.
- Tranzsoft: third-party document-conversion hub
- Improved visibility of and access to business information – now all in one system.
- Removed most manual processes, particularly in the supply chain.
- The hub allows customers to browse the product range, make a selection and then place an order electronically. This has taken out the manual inputting of data at the customer and the supplier end, improved accuracy and efficiency, and reduced paper wastage. It also makes ordering easier for customers.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
It started in 1995, with the acquisition of Berryman’s on the South Island. The buy gave Corporate Express a national presence for the first time. It now had distribution centres and sales offices in six centres across New Zealand.
With a broad office-consumables product range and thousands of customers, Corporate Express had become a robust, professional and technologically savvy company. And one that general manager Brian Rosenberg sees as being very customer-focused. To Rosenberg, this is the cornerstone of a strong business. And changing the way you transact business, in response to the needs of your customers, sends a clear message about the high value you place on the customer relationship, he says.
This change – to electronic transactions – was originally prompted by three major customers, in 2002, who each wanted to see their orders processed electronically and directly mapped back to their own ERPs. Corporate Express looked to Tranzsoft for the technical solution to enable this process.
Hub does the trick
Tranzsoft’s third-party document conversion hub enables companies with disparate software to exchange data automatically and map it to their own systems, without the need for specific solution-to-solution interfaces. Tranzsoft had a proven track record in this area, so Corporate Express saw it as a natural choice for the task.
Corporate Express wanted to streamline its ordering process at the same time, to remove the high level of manual input. By using Tranzsoft, Corporate Express was able to free up around 20 staff to undertake other tasks within the business.
With Tranzsoft’s aid, customers can use Corporate Express’s online ordering solution, NetXpress, to browse the company’s product range, make a selection and then place an order. This data is then converted into a format which can be transferred back to both parties’ systems in a usable format.
This process has resulted in several additional benefits: there is no further need for manual input of data at either the customer or supplier end; levels of accuracy and efficiency have improved significantly; and the impact on the environment has been reduced, by avoiding the use of paper for faxes, email print-outs and post.
Such has been the success of the solution that Corporate Express now encourages its customers to meet Tranzsoft themselves and discover the benefits of business-to-business electronic transactions. An increase in users benefits all, as overall costs reduce as the number of customers – and transactions – increase.
“Tranzsoft is extremely proactive,” says Rosenberg. “They are able to present the advantages of their solution in a non-technical and highly accessible way to customers who would benefit from using their service. Their familiarity with most of the financial packages in the market also makes the move to Tranzsoft a relatively easy transition. So, from our customers’ perspective, we are confident such will be a successful, low-noise integration.”
For Corporate Express, life gets easier the more customers elect to use Tranzsoft hub. “Once we’ve mapped everything the first time, we [then] don’t have to reinvent it for every single user. Tranzsoft does that for us. Their solution works, it’s cost-efficient and it allows us to bring on more customers,” says Rosenberg.
“At the moment, they [Tranzsoft] are evaluating our customer base and how we receive purchase orders from each of them. They’ll then look for opportunities to get the orders streamlined electronically.
“For example, we’ve got a couple of customers that are transitioning systems and we end up getting their orders almost on a manual basis. Tranzsoft uses its Tranzdoc PDF data extraction module to read these electronically for us and convert them into electronic files, so we get the information as electronic data. This allows us to process more orders and still maintain our current head count, rather than having to employ extra staff to handle manual orders.”
Corporate Express sees the main benefits of using Tranzsoft as being the efficiencies the company has gained, rather than just the cost-savings.
“Ease of use is a key value proposition for us; what we sell has to be easy to order,” says Rosenberg. “So, we’re more than happy to have a partner like Tranzsoft that allows us to make this happen without having to develop and maintain systems ourselves, with all the associated infrastructure costs.”
Rosenberg would recommend Tranzsoft as a solution to any company with a high number of transactions. “They’ve delivered whatever we’ve asked of them. We’ve never had a hassle and every time there has been a problem it’s been sorted out pretty quickly.
“Our relationship with Tranzsoft is very important and very good. For me, it’s low noise. I give instructions to the technical guys and it’s done. They have the skills and knowledge to explain to customers why electronic ordering is so valuable to a business.”
From a starting point of simply supplying the means to an end, Tranzsoft and Corporate Express now enjoy a strong supplier relationship. Together they advocate an electronic transactional solution that could enable New Zealand organisations to streamline their business processes and reduce overheads.