Keep Your Orders Moving During COVID-19 Disruption
Hear from Global Interconnect’s Director of Global Procurement, Troy Mauk during a Q&A with SourceDay’s CMO Sarah Moore. Learn how Troy and his team have been able to keep up with orders amid disruption. View the full webinar now.
During the Q&A, They Discuss:
- Expediting updates from suppliers
- Getting quick supplier confirmations
- Focusing on the most critical exceptions
- Preventing production impact
- Containing cost through communication
To counteract COVID-19 disruption, Troy used SourceDay to proactively communicate with his Chinese suppliers and triage the most important open orders and resolve them quickly. To date, none of their sites have had any downtime.
Read the Transcript
Sarah: Hi there, everyone. This is Sarah Moore, CMO at SourceDay. Thank you for joining us this morning. We, as you all have become really familiar with things, have a poll for you to complete while we wait for the rest of the attendees to arrive. So if you wouldn’t mind just answering that question while you wait. I’ll be back with you in just a few minutes.
Okay. I’m just tabulating the results from the poll so I can share that with everyone. And you can see that most of you are manufacturers today. So thank you very much for completing that. We’re going to go ahead and get started now. So good morning, everyone. My name is Sarah Moore. I will be your host and moderator today, Chief Marketing Officer at SourceDay, have more than 25 years of experience helping companies embrace new technologies to modernize their operations. And at SourceDay, I oversee all global marketing, which includes everything from brand to demand gen, field marketing events, etc. But you all didn’t come to hear from me today. You came to hear from our honored guest, Troy Mauk. Troy, would you mind introducing yourself, please?
Troy: I will. Thank you, Sarah. And thank you for inviting me to participate in this today in how we handle the COVID experience. And thanks to SourceDay for helping us through the times. My name is Troy Mauk. I’m director of global procurement at Global Interconnect. We are a contract manufacturer with U.S.-based, Asia-based with engineering and we primarily focus on custom connectors, cable assemblies, electromechanical assemblies for the medical device in the high-end industrial OEM. I’ve been with Global Interconnect for over 12 years, but I’ve been in the business of purchasing in the electronic field for over 25 years.
Sarah: And you’ve been a customer of SourceDay’s for two years now, or coming up on two years, right?
Troy: Two years. Yeah.
Sarah: Yeah. And, you know, it’s sort of like kids, we don’t have favorite customers, but we sure love you guys.
Troy: Oh. Thank you.
Sarah: You gave us kind of a quick intro to Global Interconnect and your line of business, but could you walk us all through your supply chain and what it looks like, sort of where it’s located, what types of materials you procure, etc.?
Troy: Sure. Like I said, we do mainly custom connector, the cable, electromechanical, but my supply chain is truly around the globe. I purchase components, critical components for these devices from the U.S.A. and we ship over to our Asian manufacturers. I buy from Switzerland, from the UK. So it truly is a global interconnect that we do. I always say we have a 24/7 purchasing department because I do have a colleague over in China, when I go to sleep at night, she is waking up and she runs with where I left off, which is a big benefit. And one thing that SourceDay has done is we truly can run a 24/7 purchasing department. Everything is real-time. When I sign on, anybody signs on, it’s all up there for them to see.
Sarah: And so that would include your buyers and your suppliers. What’s your supplier landscape look like?
Troy: Most of our factories are in China. The ones that I have signed up on SourceDay…I have a few in the United States that I have on SourceDay. After this experience, I’m going to add some more to the SourceDay platform. But most of ours are in China. They’ve all been very good about going on, filling out what they need to do. And the learning curve was very short, I must say.
Sarah: And we’ve helped you guys get up and running with that, right?
Sarah: One of the things that we find, as you said, running a 24/7 global procurement team, never have enough time or hours in the day. Unfortunately, none of us have figured out how to extend it past 24 hours. So the last thing that you needed was the responsibility of getting your suppliers trained and onboarded. I know your relationships with them are crucial. So you want it to have a personal involvement. But can you share a little bit about that experience?
Troy: And SourceDay was huge on the training and everything. They did a great job of training me. But I am a hands-on person. Well, I actually traveled to China and we did, through the SourceDay’s help, train them. But then, once the training was done, we said, “If you need any further help, you need to go to SourceDay. Here’s this report. Here’s everything.” I know a couple of my factories have used, I know they’ve called you guys a couple of times and I think is now available in Mandarin as well, which is a big help. So the training was probably one of the easiest parts in getting on SourceDay.
Sarah: Awesome. We love to hear that. That’s what we strive for. Our job is to make that experience seamless and easy. So I’m glad that’s what you had. And then, on your business systems internally at your company, which ERP are you running?
Troy: We use an MRP called IQMS, which is now part of Delmiaworks. We went live with IQMS in 2012. It’s been a great MRP system. But we found a lot of data and how do you manage all the data? And I reached out to SourceDay and SourceDay had a solution for me. And when I first looked at SourceDay, I loved the whole platform, I loved the web base, I loved our, you know, going back and forth with our suppliers. But during the…is this a fun thing? Is it everything? And I learned it’s fun. It saved us so much time that it just worked out amazing.
Sarah: And when you say fun, I’m sure our audience is a little skeptical. How could that be true because, you know, the normal business process or what most people do to collaborate with suppliers and keep their MRP up to date on all the incoming purchase order, changes, and quantity changes, date changes, price changes, I mean, that’s all done via email and spreadsheets. So, I imagine our audience is a little skeptical about you saying it was fun.
Troy: It was fun in the way that, like you just said, the spreadsheets, every week I was doing spreadsheets. I was like, “Okay, this is late. When is the recovery date? Sending out the emails.” That’s one thing. Went on SourceDay, I loved the tabs across the top of it, “Here’s my unconfirmed. Here is my radar that’s shipping in the next two weeks. Here is my hotlist.” It’s just there. I don’t have to download anything from my MRP system, put it in an Excel spreadsheet. And once it’s up there, my suppliers also see what’s hot. They also see what’s coming, “You’ve told me this you’re shipping in two weeks. If it’s not, you better propose a new day.” That’s [inaudible 00:09:50] the different tabs and the layout of it was much better than my Excel spreadsheets.
Sarah: And when we finish with this live Q&A, I’ll just kind of orient people on our product, and then I plan to log in and show them what all this looks like. So if you’re curious, as you listened Troy described, know that in a few minutes you’ll get to see just really briefly the environment that he’s describing. You’ll get to see it with your own eyes. So you used to use spreadsheets and email in keeping your MRP system up to date, so all of your colleagues in scheduling, in planning, in production, your sales teams can all, you know, feel confident. Now, you’re using SourceDay to not only do those updates but also to communicate with suppliers, as you said. So they’re not having to send you spreadsheets back and forth. They just log into one place.
Sarah: Which brings us to now, let’s start talking about the end of 2019 and as we started the year, a global pandemic, something none of us have experienced in our lifetimes, started to happen in China. And as we watched from the States, we know that businesses like yours weren’t just sitting and waiting. You had felt an immediate impact. So, can you kind of tell the story of how that experience happened for you and your team?
Troy: Absolutely. So, China always has what they call the Chinese New Year, the Lunar New Year. And we know the factory shut down for two weeks anyway. And I mean, they shut down, the lights go off, everybody goes home. So we plan a little bit for that two-week variants, and we usually bring in more stock. You know, it’s a seven-week lead time towards the end of the year to cover that period of time. We contact our customers saying, “Hey, this is coming up. They’re gonna be closed for two weeks.” So we had planned for two weeks. What we did not plan for was an extended Chinese New Year because of the COVID-19. And that, you know, two weeks turned into four weeks, then turned into six weeks before the factories are even up and running. So when they did come back, slowly started coming back, you know, we started at 25% capacity, 50% capacity, we had a lot of late orders.
Sarah: And so, when did you first get an indication that things would be late? You know, I’m sure you had suspicions immediately, but that…
Troy: We had suspicions immediately. Yes. And then I think when we first found out they were also doing what we now call social distancing and everything was shut down, nothing was open. Then I came into the office and said, “Okay. This is going to be some issues. We’re going to be late on some stuff. What are those items? How do we identify those items? And what do we do?” And the first couple of days was panic mode until you realize that you have the tools that you need at your disposable, and you just work for what you have and it turned out great.
Sarah: So walk us through that a little more specifically. So okay, the news is hitting, you have suspicions, you have to live in those hours now of anxiety where many of us have now personally experienced, “How is this going to affect us? We know it will have an effect, but we do not know yet exactly how.” When you moved into action, how did you get information from your suppliers? Because I imagine they’re all working from home social distancing and yet you have to keep the business running. So what did you do?
Troy: That’s correct. The first thing I did, I ran the SourceDay and I must say…so I ran my late because there’s a tab up there it says everything is late. I also had a radar and I ran it for the first 30 days and see what is going to be impacted in the next 30 days, 45 days. And I sat down with my sales. I meet with my sales and my quality every week anyway, and we sit down. We went through it part by part and really looked at the items that we needed. And what we decided the best way to do was to put…those critical items that we’re going to shut down our customer lines is to put those in the hotlist.
So the hotlist is used as, you know, just a reminder to the vendors, “Hey, if you can ship this earlier, it’ll be appreciated. Please expedite.” We used the hotlist during this period for the “This is your direction you need to take. These are the hot items you need to really worry about. We know all this stuff over here is late, worry about this and then we’ll start adding on to that.” So within the hotlist, I was also sending notes of your hotlist items, “Of your 40 to 50 items, this is the ones that need to go in order. Do you have the raw material to do that? You don’t have the raw material. Okay, let’s go to number two. What do we need to do?” And I was shipping raw material from the States over there too because their supply chain had shut down. So we really used the hot list with our vendors to tell them, and I also shut off all the supplier performance reports for the first quarter. I told them, “You know, go into SourceDay to redo it. You don’t know what the dates are. Concentrate on what we really need, and we’ll start back the supplier performance on time, April 1.”
Sarah: So old world, you would have had to try to manage that process with your MRP doing exports, Excel spreadsheet, then going to email, finding the last email from the supplier for that particular part number, going back and forth. Now, your supplier is working from home. So, you know, we all know that it can be a struggle to get responses if you’re just dependent on email with the time delay. That’s what it could have been like, right?
Troy: Absolutely. Absolutely. I don’t even want to think about what it could have been like because I’ve been there…thinking back, yes, I would have to run acknowledged orders, late orders, put them in Excel spreadsheets, and then separate them out to every factory because they’re not in the platform, that’s already done for me in SourceDay, cut, paste, send, save as, they fill it out, send it back, I update the system, I can pull up every PO, put in the notes. I’m really glad we didn’t have to go down that path.
Sarah: And I mean, the time and the challenge just, you know, with the stress of all that is one thing, but most importantly, when you’re dependent on that type of process, things get missed, right?
Sarah: Like if assuming something doesn’t get updated or someone forgets to hit send or transposes some numbers and misinformation exists in the MRP. So, now, tell us what it was like? You told me the story when we spoke a couple of days ago that you just went to SourceDay, which organizes everything for you, as you described, and then when you knew that you needed to make changes, you didn’t have to email anybody, right?
Troy: No. The only emails I sent out was once in a while, as I was leaving the office, was, “Hey, supplier X, I had just added like 20 items onto the hotlist. Make sure you go look at it tonight,” you know. And I did shut off some of the automatic notifications just to quiet the noise. If they know they’re late and…but I did keep the hotlist. So, now, the only emails I really send to my vendors are like, “Hey, make sure you go look at SourceDay today because there was a lot of items added.” And they did. And they responded. What I did too, I found out very quickly was, I meet every week with my sales and quality, and we kind of go over what’s coming in, what needs inspected, what’s going to be late, you know, and it was very cumbersome. There was a lot of parts. There was a lot of questions, “What about this part? What about this?” And it came to me very early on that we needed something visual to do this.
So I asked our engineering department if I could take over their lab because on the back whole wall up there, they had painted in the whiteboard, had listed out there the hot items. And then twice a week we would meet into…I call it the war room. And we would go in there and visually I would say, “Okay, this factory is at 20% capacity. They were only at 10% last week. Here’s the hotlist they’re doing. Here’s when they’re going to ship. Is this okay?” “No. You know what, Troy, I just talked to the customer. They’re okay if it’s moved down.” “Great. Let’s move this down. Let’s move this up.” And it was just a visual for my team to see as they walked by to see what parts were coming in. SourceDay was doing it all in the background.
Sarah: Yeah. And we’ll show everyone how easy it was for you to go into that war room meeting with all the information that is sort of the single source of truth. Every supplier is updating their lines. You’re making the changes as you describe that triage process with sales and operations. You guys can make those updates live and real-time. Suppliers are automatically notified through the system. Sometimes they get email notifications if that’s what you desire. Other times, they log in. It just sort of depends on the situation. But everybody is on the same page always.
Sarah: And so those changes are made, your MRP system is automatically updated. You’re not having to rekey or do any manual updates.
Troy: No. And one thing I really liked about SourceDay I must say, you know, we were talking about the MRP system, things falling through the cracks, the spreadsheets and things like that. Nothing falls through the cracks on SourceDay because there’s an agingly thing on there that I come to an agreement with my vendors how long that sits on there before you can confirm it or wait. So there is, “No, I didn’t get that email,” it’s like “No, when you are notified, it’s on your tab and it’s been there for four days.” And the whole history on it is very good. You can view the history every time somebody does something, which was really good.
Sarah: And, you know, we hear that cuts both ways.
Sarah: It’s true for the suppliers too. They’re not having to say, “I never got the email,” and kind of have the argument with their customer that no one wants to have.
Troy: And Sarah, I told this to my suppliers, you know, how do you get your suppliers on board when you go to SourceDay, and this was one of the selling points I did. I was like, “Hey, guys, I know I’ve got an answer. I know it dropped. My day gets away from me when I don’t answer you. I know this. This is for you.” What they didn’t know was once they updated it, I don’t have to go into my purchase order and market acknowledge and change the date. It’s all done in the background.
Sarah: And your planning teams and your production teams can rely now on the information that’s in IQMS. They don’t have to be coming at you with the thousand questions every day of like, “Is this right?”
Troy: No. Not at all. You’re absolutely right.
Sarah: Well, I want to share some insight. We asked our second poll question of everyone to see how…or if they had been disrupted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. And 95% of you said that you’ve been affected. Only 5% of the lucky ones said they have not been affected. Forty-three percent said they’ve had massive disruptions. And 52% have said they’ve been disrupted but they’ve managed through the process. And I know we also have some SourceDay customers online. So shout out to all of you. Thank you for joining. Hopefully, you are able to share similar stories as what Troy is sharing, that we’ve made your life easier through this incredibly difficult time. So, let’s see. So, now, what I want to talk about and explore a little further is that triage process and the impact or what that’s meant for your business. So, you said, one of your lines is at 20%. You’ve also shared with me that nobody’s gone down, that you’ve managed to keep all of them running through this crazy time.
Troy: All of our customers. Yes.
Sarah: So talk a little bit more about that part of the process because that’s the holy grail for us. I mean, we want you to feel like SourceDay’s got your back, that you can be communicating and setting expectations with your customers so that you never miss it. That’s our aspirational goal is to help you always meet your commitments.
Troy: Absolutely. And, you know, the SourceDay helps our vendor and keeps that in check. And, you know, a lot of this too was communication to our customers as well. We’d say, “Okay, we’re going to be late on this. How many will get you by until the recovery date? You know, is it 10 pieces? Is it 100 pieces? Is it 1000 pieces?” And everybody knew, you know, what was going on before it hit here or there. They knew there might be some supply change issues. So, it was a fact that we work with our customer and the communication with our customers as well to make sure that no line went down.
Did we ship everything, all 1,000 pieces? No. But they were okay with 100 that they got until I could get them the 900 two weeks later. You know, we often looked at logistics a Remember, when we ship anything from Asia or from China, it takes seven weeks to get to my dock. So, you want to make sure you’re shipping the right things, air and via ocean. So what we did is looked at, “Okay, that’s 10,000 pieces, but they’re widget X and they weigh 4 pounds. You know what, that doesn’t have to go on the ocean right away. I have seven weeks before that can ship air and still meet the customer’s deadline.” But we really did a good scrub of our parts in logistics and input from our customers as well.
Sarah: And then that was another thing, the curveball that came your way recently, where FedEx changed their SOA on you over the weekend.
Troy: Yeah. I woke up Monday morning, and FedEx is no longer doing economy. They’re only doing priority, and it will be delayed service. So it’s not even priority overnight anymore. So, yeah, how do you handle that? And I think I shared with you, Sarah, we did a custom to SourceDay at the request of our suppliers actually. That shows on the platform on every release, not every line, but every release how that’s due to ship. This one’s going FedEx. This one’s going ocean. This one is dropshipping. So they knew that they were confirming the right line and the right release because some of them were the same dates, we just split them up. I’d walk into my office at home, sign on to SourceDay, ran a radar report for two weeks. I just ran it for two weeks, and there it was, “Here’s everything scheduled FedEx economy. What do you want to do? Do you want to go priority? Do you want to go UPS? DHL still going.” There was an easy way to get all my information right there and make the changes, the changes to the [inaudible 00:24:28] and it was done Monday morning.
Sarah: So within, you know, an hour or two or less maybe you had adjusted, and pivoted, and optimized for that.
Troy: But you’re giving me too much credit. I don’t move that fast. Yes. I had the information very quickly. Now, I changed the orders and stuff, little slow at that. But I had the information at my fingertips and I can’t tell you… I went to a meeting that Monday morning and I’m like, “Guys, I’ve already got this. I just emailed it to you. You know, some customer pays the freight, what do they want to do? We can use ours. We can change it,” and we definitely had to change it by the end of the day.
Sarah: Amazing. Amazing. You know, in some of my promotions on social and the company, you know, I described you as a supply chain hero because I know the horror stories of what that Monday morning could have been like for you. And so, for you to walk in cool as a cucumber and be like, “Don’t worry, folks, I got it,” that did not only help you rest easy, but also the rest of the organization too.
Sarah: And most importantly, allow you to focus on the part of your job that’s really crucial, which is making good business decisions for your business, but also your customers as you said. And so, one just really quick kind of reflective question for you, what lessons have you learned in this experience? And we certainly appreciate the praise that you’re sharing about SourceDay. But, you know, we, as I said, aspire to help our customers have stronger businesses. And so, as we go through this first time ever experience together, is there anything that you’ve learned that will make your business even more resilient going forward?
Troy: There was a lot of lessons, Sarah. And for all those who are listing and are in the purchasing world, you know we’re a different kind of breed. And sometimes we all come to our best under pressure or under, you know, deadlines, “How can I get this product? They’re needed by then. Well, I can’t get the material, let’s do this.” And I remember one day I told one of my colleagues at work, they were like, “What are we going to do?” And I said, “You know what, procurement people are going to step up. We’re trained for this, we’ve got the education for this, and we have the tools to do it. And procurement is going to stand out and they’re going to lead.”
And I think I learned a little bit about myself when I say that is I did, I did stand up and lead. And we got us out of this crisis. I also…my team was amazing. And I think sometimes through crisis you come closer together, you’re hopeful as they’re isolating right now, and I hope that’s the case with your families. But my work family, we all came together every Tuesday, every Thursday, and we talked about the challenges together. “Can you call your customer?” “Troy, I gotta get this. They’re telling me this.” We really worked together as a team and are very thankful for them. And we kept the supply chain up and running.
Sarah: I completely, I can say, I think that has been true in just about every community, every business, every family. You know, it’s one of the silver linings in this challenging time is just build the trust that we build between each other is a really incredible gift.
Sarah: I absolutely agree with you that that’s an important lesson. And you had talked about bringing some more suppliers onto SourceDay. One of the questions that you see in the press is has this caused you to think any more deeply about your sourcing strategy? Like, are you gonna potentially be expanding your supplier base or changing your procurement team at all, adding people, doing more risk planning, anything like that?
Troy: You know, part of the risk planning that any procurement person does is risk management on your supply chain, what happens if? And we do dual source. And we just didn’t realize that your dual-source may also be shut up just like United States is now feeling, you know. So, again, we had to rely on our relationships with our suppliers and make sure that our supply chain needs were continuing as they could and get them out. I mean, yes, we had a risk, yes, we had to go somewhere else, but they were in the same situation starting over. So it was tough. Would I change anything? Yes, more suppliers will be added on to my SourceDay because a lot of my U.S. suppliers, I have a lot that are not on it, but I have a few. And I can tell you just from working within U.S., even now that we’re experiencing the shutdown, has been much more beneficial than the ones that are not on SourceDay.
Sarah: Interesting. Interesting. Well, thank you for that, Troy. Thank you for those remarks, really deep gratitude to you and your whole team, and for you to make the time to do this for us and everyone who’s listening. We really appreciate you. I want to share the results of our third poll. We asked you how the audience collaborates with suppliers today. And 67% of you are using email, 5% are using spreadsheets, another 5% are using phone, none of you are using supplier portals, and 24% of you are SourceDay customers. So thank you. That’s awesome.
So for those customers, this will be a little bit of a familiar material for you. Hopefully, this picture will also resonate with everyone. I want to do just a quick overview of our solution, and then I’m going to show you the capabilities that Troy described really briefly. And this is not meant to be an exhaustive overview or a sales pitch. I just want to complete the story in the visuals for everyone and encourage you that if you have questions to reach out to us. We’d be happy to share more information when we’re done. And there will be an opportunity for you toward the end to ask your own questions of myself and Troy. So, as I walk through this, be thinking about those and you can publish them in the questions dialog within GoToWebinar, the webinar panel.
So, this picture, as I said, should look familiar to everyone. This is what most procurement teams juggle when they’re trying to acquire and procure the parts and materials their business needs to produce finished goods. On the left, you’ve got your ERP system all the way to the left, that does all the demand planning and determines when it’s time to buy new parts. And when that process kicks off, purchase orders are issued out of the ERP. And typically, a buyer is going to then email that over to the suppliers on the right, asking the suppliers the question, “Hey, did you receive this order?” We often hear that acknowledgement, and crucial acknowledgement step is one that gets missed. And even after they acknowledge the order, can they meet the terms, the dates, the prices, the quantities, etc.
And there’s always a back and forth. In fact, when we look across our customer base, we see that 36% of PO lines that get processed through SourceDay had a change of some kind. So more than a third of your PO lines are likely to have some kind of change that could impact production. And so all of that change is managed through the traditional means of email, phones, spreadsheets, faxes, sticky notes, etc. And the really unfortunate thing is that means things fall through the cracks, and it doesn’t take much for one part to be missing when a production line is all tooled and set up and scheduled for an entire order to be risked being shipped late. And this is bad for you, the customer, it’s bad for the suppliers. It creates a lot of chaos internally. There are obviously other stakeholders, not just procurement that depend on that data. And this is the problem that SourceDay has been designed to fix.
So our software, just to give you a visual picture of how it works, we’re a web-based interface, multi-tenant SaaS, no one has to install any software. And we replace all of that chaos with a system that allows your suppliers to interact directly and also allows your team to interact directly either with SourceDay. Or because our system takes all of that change and processes it, uses prescriptive workflow to help you triage in the ways that Troy described and understand which changes are most important, do all the notifications, all that stuff still lives outside the ERP. But once the decisions are made, and purchase orders are final, and, you know, final terms are agreed upon, we update the ERP automatically.
It’s important to note Troy uses IQMS, but we integrate with every major ERP system, all the big ones, all the little ones. And that is one of the things that makes us unique is that we can be that interface between you and the outside world to help ensure that your entire business is running on the right information. And so our platform, we call it a collaboration engine because collaboration is the human interaction that has to happen to address all of those changes. I’ll tell you, before I jump into the products, that since January, what used to be 36% has now spiked. And on average, Troy’s situation is pretty typical. In fact, on average, 61% of PO line since January have hedged to some kind. So it’s almost doubled. So you all are having to deal with more chaos than ever before. And our collaboration engine is designed to make that easy. We have four products that sit on top of that. The lion’s share of it is your purchase orders. We also provide RFQ capabilities, AP automation, and quality. And then there’s an insights and analytics layer that allows us to do some real-time reporting. One example that I’ll show you and that Troy talked about is supplier scorecards.
So with that, I’m going to shift gears and be really grateful that our LAN service has decided to come today. So that’s the background noise. She won’t be here. Sorry about that. Ah, things you can’t plan for. Okay. So scenario. I have now logged into SourceDay as Troy, as, you know, director of procurement or a buyer,. And the first place that I go is to my All Open order report. And so that’s what you see on-screen here. This is a demo account. So the parts you see are parts to make bicycles. This is an in-demo instance for trek bikes. And so you’ll see all of our suppliers, the order status, the aging that Troy talked about, any notifications or communication that we correspond with back and forth, part numbers, order quantities, etc. Troy mentioned logistics. He’s got a column here that that also provides kind of logistics information on each of these PO lines.
And for that war room scenario that he described, all you had to do is go to this tab, export to CSV. And he had a piece of paper that he could walk into that meeting that the group could use to kind of look at visually and kind of work on together. And then he had sourced [inaudible 00:36:53] and was able to make changes as they agreed upon them in real-time and flag things as hot, for example. This order here has been aging for 10 days. It’s pending. I can very quickly say I’d like to make this one hot and I would make a note, “Need these parts ASAP,” mark as hot. And then that notification will go automatically to the supplier. I don’t need to send any emails and it will be flagged here in SourceDay as hot as well.
So then, I can now go over to my hot orders tab, and this is the one that Troy described is telling all of his suppliers to focus on during this time of massive change and disruption. So these are all the orders that he’s already personally said, based on what sales and operations said, are the most important things to get addressed. And so, with each of these, I can see that I, as a buyer, has flagged these as ASAP. I can see notes back from the supplier on this particular one that says, you know, we can have these at your facility tomorrow. So if I’m comfortable with that, I can go ahead and…oh, I’m in the wrong view there. Sorry, folks. I could make any responses or adjustments there and see really quickly and easily the things that I’m waiting on.
In the radar tab, this is where we, as a procurement team, can set specific service levels with each of our suppliers and flag things to go into radar. In Troy’s example, he said he wants a two-week view of what’s coming up. And we configure that each of those rules per customer, per supplier if necessary. And so, the system takes care of populating the radar tab and gives you a really good preview of what’s coming. And then lastly, these updates. This is where the tab that I go to to disposition some of these changes. So we can see this hot order that we just looked at that the supplier said that they can get it to us tomorrow. So I’m going to go ahead and accept that change. And then because I’ve accepted it, now IQM pulls it out of updates. It will pull it out of my view here. It will automatically update the ERP system. My scheduling teams will all know when to expect those parts.
This example here is a supplier, same supplier who’s trying to raise my price on wheels here. And they’re saying it’s 2020 pricing. I’m going to say, “I’m sorry, that’s not our negotiated price. So I don’t care that your rate card in 2020 went up.” I’m going to reject that change. And now, nothing’s going to change in ERP. The notification is going to go back to my supplier, and the supplier is going to have to respond. Again, no emails have to be sent. All the notification is handled through SourceDay.
So then the last thing I want to show is as all of these changes and the collaboration is happening, we’re keeping track of everything. And so we can, as Troy said, look at audit trails. We can assess performance of our suppliers. And so, for example, I can view the history on a PO and see when it was initiated, when it was marked hot and everything that happened to it. I’m not having to dig through emails or dig up old spreadsheets to try to figure out if there’s a disagreement about something what actually happened. All that information lives here and is accessible on every single one of my PO lines. And then the last piece is the supplier scorecard. As I said, all of these changes are recorded. We work with our customers to determine how you want to grade your suppliers, that’s communicated with suppliers, and then we track it all for you in real-time.
So this supplier, Cromax, has an overall score of D, which consists of four things, on-time delivery and how they’ve performed, responsiveness, that’s how they’ve interacted and how responsive they’ve been within SourceDay, price variances, how often are they overcharging or undercharging, and then quality. And then we also include all the detail for these grades so that you can drop into any of the POs that were recently shipped to diagnose any issues with your suppliers. So this was meant to be just a really quick tour as I said. I didn’t want to go through too much here. I know you all didn’t come for a sales pitch, but I did want you to see how our system works. And now I would like to open the floor for any questions that you might have. I’m gonna open my window and see if there are any questions that you guys would like me to answer. So while we’re waiting on that, Troy, how did I do? Did I capture it well? I feel like the irony here is probably we should have had you give the demo.
Troy: No. No, no. You did a great job. I forgot about…you know, I do a lot of the export. I like that sometimes because I can put all my suppliers at one time. The other thing I really like about is the advanced. I’ve used that more and more because a lot of times I have a series of parts. They’re the same family. I want to see all the family at one part. So I just ran that yesterday, like, how am I going to…I’m like, “Oh, my god.” It was very nice I can put all the parts in, and that’s all it showed me. It showed me everything on order, everything on the radar for that family, which was very nice.
Sarah: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. As I said, it’s sort of the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible. We take great pride tailoring, you know, configuring the system to be specific to what you need in your business. So I’ve got my first question here. And it sounds like…the question is, “How long does it take to get suppliers up and going on SourceDay?” So, this is usually one of the biggest areas of skepticism. You know, most prospects will tell us, “I would love it. It sounds great. But my suppliers will never use it.” You shared your story that that hasn’t been the case for you. But this question is how long did that process take?
Troy: Actually, the suppliers coming on board was probably the shortest of the whole thing. I mean, after we signed contract with SourceDay, and there was some work going on the background to make sure your system could talk to our system, but once that was all done I got on a plane and flew to China and showed my suppliers how to use it. They was ready. You guys did have some training with our suppliers as well. So for the supplier, there was no setup, there was no cost. It was a big seller that I…you know, this is to keep me under control and you can see what’s going on. There was no cost. It was web-based. So that part was very, very, very short.
Sarah: Yeah, and that is typical. I mean, on average with our ERP integrations, we always run into snags. You know, there’s always an edge case here or there. But typically our customers are live within 30 days, independent of the ERP. And our supplier, onboarding team, we’ve got a whole manage services group that supported you, not every one of our customers loves their suppliers enough to fly to China to onboard them. And really, we’re on late night calls. You know, as you said, we have Chinese language interpreters that help us with the Asian suppliers so that we’re communicating clearly with them in getting them trained. Normally, we take the lion’s share of that work. We strive to have the first batch of most strategic and crucial suppliers live within the first 90 days. Usually, it’s less than that. Usually, it’s a couple of weeks to a month that we have your first suppliers live and using SourceDay. And then we’ll face the rollout, just for everyone’s benefit. So your team isn’t overwhelmed and so that your suppliers…you’re focusing on the process in a really organized way.
So next question is, “Can you print the history or download it?” Yes. In fact, I glossed over that really quickly but absolutely. That’s kind of one of the main reasons it’s there, that you can go into an individual PO line, pull up the history, print it, and then use it to communicate internally, externally, or whatever is necessary. And it’s just a basic CSV format. So you can use Excel or whatever other tools you want to use that data for.
Next question, “Is the interaction with the ERP real-time?” Yep. We are deeply integrated. We use, you know, software to write deep integrations into the MRP portion of the ERP system. So unlike old integration formats like EDI, that integration is bi-directional. It reads and writes. And the integration setup process that I mentioned, that’s 30 days, we do all the mapping of figuring out what your ERP system fields need to be to map into SourceDay. We take the lion’s share of that work off your IT team. So we do the integration work. They’re just helping us with sandboxes, and testing, and access, privileges, and that sort of thing. And that way, we can be sure to be keeping your ERP system up to date always in real-time without you having to take or do any additional work.
The other thing I need to note there is that we do sync with the ERP every few minutes. So we’re not constantly bombarding your ERP system with messages. We organize that communication so it doesn’t disrupt, and it happens on a regular basis. Another question, “Do the suppliers have to pay for this and what’s in it for them?” I think, Troy, you’ve kind of already eluded to this. We never charge suppliers. We actually guarantee adoption. So for customers, it sounds like some of our audience is really concerned about this issue. We are happy to stand behind our commitment, and we know that if your suppliers don’t use SourceDay, then you’re not going to get the value. So we back that up with a guarantee, and we’ve never had to honor the guarantee. We always have our customers at their core suppliers live within the timeframe that we both agree upon. Oh, good. We have a question for Troy. I can get out of the hot seat, Troy. Get ready.
Troy: Yeah. Okay.
Sarah: “What was the IT project like to integrate with your ERP?”
Troy: With SourceDay?
Sarah: Yes, to integrate SourceDay.
Troy: So you said it better earlier, Sarah. I was kind of out of that. Once we signed the contract, we put you in touch with our IT and IQMS, and SourceDay and IQMS and the next email I got was, “Hey, we’re ready to test. You want to sign on and test it?” So, again, I know there was, you know, some mapping things in IQMS, we had to, you know, work with, but my MRP system, my guy there worked with SourceDay and was very quick.
Sarah: Yeah. That’s probably the second concern that we get from prospects, especially times like this where they say our IT team is slammed. And three weeks ago, we had a customer say that their IT team had to go buy laptops for their entire company because they had to work from home and [inaudible 00:49:22]. So I want to be sensitive to that. Even in normal times though, your IT resources are really constrained. And so, we take the lion’s share of the work. I’m glad to hear that you didn’t need to be involved and you could just trust that we’d handle it for you.
Apparently, we have a lot of folks in the audience who are interested in our AP solutions. So I’ll give a couple of minutes on that and then happy, as I said, to follow up. You can reach out to us and we’ll get all of your questions answered about it. But at a high level, our AP automation solution is really special because it integrates with our core platform. And it takes into consideration all the change that I talked about related to your direct materials. And the knowledge or the truth of the fact that when a PO is initially issued, we know a third of the time it’s going to change. And so that can create a lot of chaos on the invoicing and payment side of the process. Because you never want to be overpaying or underpaying your suppliers, you don’t wanna be paying for things that you didn’t receive or that arrive broken. You don’t want to be paying the wrong price. You don’t want to be paying for things that hadn’t even shipped yet.
And so because we think about this problem from a direct material’s perspective, our AP solution does a three-way match that looks at the final agreed upon purchase order terms for price, quantity, dates, quality, etc. It looks at the invoice terms, and it looks at receipt data, what has actually been received and accepted by your teams. And the power of being able to take what in many cases…like we have a customer, a Canadian grill manufacturer that recently rolled out AP, they were having to manually touch every single invoice, 20% of them to find the 20% that had discrepancies so that they could then focus on getting those discrepancies fixed and then have to chase down people like Troy or reach out to the supplier to try to figure out what was wrong about it, get it resolved and pay the invoice correctly.
That took a lot of time, it cost them money, they missed things, they missed their supplier early payment discounts. Now, using SourceDay’s AP automation solution, three-way match, we auto voucher for payments. And all your finance team has to do is review the vouchers and approve them. So no one has to touch 95% of the invoices now at Napoleon. All of those are processed automatically through SourceDay. And the AP teams, and the procurement teams, the receiving teams only focus on the 5% of the exceptions that can’t be resolved by the system that need human intervention. So that’s what I’m going to share about AP. We have webinars regularly on the topic. So I recommend you keep an eye out for that where we can show you how that software works.
The next question is “Do we have integration with Epicor ERP 10?” Yes. Epicor is one of our most common ERP systems. We have a ton of customers that use multiple versions, and sometimes even multiple instances. So a really common scenario for us is many of our customers will grow through acquisition, where they may have different types of ERP systems installed at different locations or different versions of the same ERP where they’re going through a staged rollout of an upgrade. And because SourceDay can integrate with any of them, we can be that business logic that insulates the business from all of that technical change.
Let’s see. So, this is a really interesting question, “How many PO line items does a company need to have on a monthly basis for this to be worth the investment?” Troy, I’m getting tired of hearing myself talk. So, how would you answer that question? Like, is there a minimum number of line items that would be worth the effort?
Troy: Interesting you say that because I was gonna run a report on SourceDay and tell me how many open line items I had today and I didn’t get a chance to. When we first went live, of course, we picked out what we thought was our major manufacturers. And some of those are, of course, our factories in China, but that also included some in the United States. What I’m finding, though, as my business grows, there will be some…it’s just not worth if you’re only buying one or two items and the catalog houses and stuff, they probably aren’t interested in that anyway. But I am finding, once you make the investment, you can go to unlimited, you have different packages. I don’t know if there’s a number of lines, it’s more as to how the part is critical. I have one vendor that the lead times are very long. And it’s constant going back and forth. It’s not a lot of releases and not a lot of skews. But that’s what I’m probably going to put on there just because it tracks it better than, “Oh, is that 12 weeks up yet? Did you ship that?” You know, it’s all in one place.
Sarah: Yeah. Excellent point. We think about this similarly, the critical parts, also the amount of interactions that need to happen in order for the final negotiated terms to come into play and how many parties need to be involved in that interaction. That’s another reason why Source Day, you know, can be justified. You know, the range for us is customers who maybe have 100 PO lines a month to we have, as I said…I probably haven’t said on this call, we have many Fortune 50 customers who have hundreds of thousands of lines a month that get run through SourceDay. It really is a matter of complexity and risk, how important is it for both sides and for your internal organization to have one single source of truth that everyone can depend upon and not have to worry about? So question for you, Troy, “How do we turn off the supplier performance scorecards?” How did you do that?
Troy: You’re testing my memory. Actually, when I went in, I told my vendors we will not be sending them out, and then I had to work with my quality because it is in our quality manual course that we’re going to send them out every quarter. They’re still there. We’re just not sending them out. So when I shut them off, we’re just not sending them out. We’re not grading them. We’re not doing anything. If I ran a report for SourceDay, it would show a lot were late. There is a thing in SourceDay that I use when I do go through my supplier performance. We do a lot of what is called first articles. And it’s the design thing. I use SourceDay for that to kind of keep track of the first article, but sometimes it’s a second time. There’s a design phase. So I do go in those and I always exclude those from the supplier performance, which is very easy to do because I do a different PO number and then you can exclude those right away from the supplier performance. But we went back live. We told everybody, “April 1, back on the clock.”
Sarah: And our team will help you with those configurations too if you need the help, Troy. The thing to know is the scorecard is a really specific thing for every business and every supplier. So our customers kind of give us the guidance of how they want to create suppliers and then we help them configure the scorecard so that they’re all graded correctly. And so in situations like this, we can always change those configurations. As you said, you know, we suppress certain items so that they aren’t skewing results, etc.
Well, everyone, we are coming up on time. I want to thank you all for your time, and your attention, and your participation. This is the first time I’ve done polls within GoToWebinar. I hope you found that valuable. I certainly liked hearing from you. And as I said, we’re all doing these more and more. So we would love to see you again on our next webinar. Troy, thank you, from the bottom of our heart for taking the time today and sharing your story. We really appreciate you.
Troy: Absolutely Thank you.
Sarah: So later today, all of you will be receiving a recording of the webinar. It takes a little bit of time for that file to process but you’ll be receiving that via email from us. And we look forward to speaking and hearing from all of you very soon. Thank you. Stay safe everyone. Be well.