Supplier Collaboration

4 Ways to Bridge the Gap Between Your Epicor ERP and Suppliers

SourceDay recently hosted a webinar featuring our own Epicor Expert, Jim Frye, talking about how one global manufacturer radically improved their supply chain processes and systems. Chatsworth Products is a global manufacturer of power management solutions. Their ability to be aligned with and connected with their suppliers ultimately determines their ability to meet their own customers’ demand.

Jim is SourceDay’s Enterprise Sales Director, but as a former Epicor ERP Solutions Engineer, he helped over a thousand manufacturing and distribution companies increase revenue, reduce costs, and facilitate growth by optimizing their end-to-end value streams. 

As he and SourceDay COO and Co-Founder Clint McRee discuss in the webinar, supply chain disruption is one of the hottest topics being discussed in the boardrooms of manufacturing and distribution companies. Supply chain complexity and disruption are constant challenges, so executives need to focus on minimizing the impact they have on customers and the top line. What many leadership teams don’t realize, however, is that the key to business continuity may actually lay in their suppliers.

The Problem With Manual Communication

Like many companies, Chatsworth Products struggled with late and incomplete deliveries from suppliers, leading to late shipments to their customers. That eroded customer trust and impacted their production schedules and cash flow. The primary source of these problems was manual and inefficient processes that provided almost no visibility to either buyers or suppliers. Both sides were overly dependent on spreadsheets and email communications when managing the purchase order lifecycle, from acknowledgements to price, quantity or date changes. In order to compensate for this, they carried too much WIP inventory, which eroded their profit margins and tied up their working capital. Although Chatsworth Products was using Epicor ERP, they needed to bridge the gap between the ERP and their suppliers.

That bridge consisted of the Chatsworth team being able to satisfy four key requirements:

  1. Reducing the number of late and incomplete deliveries, late customer shipments, and excess WIP inventory.
  2. Extending and expanding the investment they had already made in their Epicor ERP. 
  3. Finding a way to ensure supplier adoption without their team being overwhelmed by supplier onboarding responsibilities.
  4. Increasing their operational efficiency through process automation.

Watch the full webinar.

Accomplish More With Your ERP

In the 10 quarters prior to Chatsworth sharing their story, they made substantial progress in all of the objectives listed above. On time delivery is now over 90% and their work in process inventory is down 66%. They attribute this to streamlined communication with suppliers, which gives them better just-in-time management of raw materials. In combination, these improvements have allowed them to reclaim 90% of their warehouse space, which allowed them to expand their production capacity. 

On average, more than 50% of all purchase orders will have a change to price, quantity, or delivery schedule over the course of the PO lifecycle. Unfortunately, most companies are still trying to manage that change through email, phone calls, and spreadsheets. It is an unsustainable approach for companies and their suppliers – their business partners best positioned to help them predict and prepare for supply chain disruption.

By extending your ERP with SourceDay, purchase orders and changes are buyers and suppliers collaborate automatically through a one easy to use, web-based interface, which can be accessed from anywhere. This increases the velocity, accuracy, and transparency of communications. Best of all, it improves business relationships and supplier performance. By automating the process and eliminating manual steps, companies collaborate in a digital environment where they can effectively combine their people, processes, and technologies in support of high-performance initiatives.

To watch the full webinar, click here. And to talk to a member of the SourceDay team, request a personalized demo today.

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