10 min read
A New Approach to Automating PO ChangesDownload Now
Optimizing logistics and transit times is a huge, huge business advantage of ours right now. Effectively managing shipment and transit times is a major international challenge right now. SourceDay makes us far more competitive and gives us a lot more opportunities for professional development for our teams.
Adam Lynch, Apparel COO at Marine Layer
Setting the Stage
Sustainable clothing retailer Marine Layer was previously only focused on ecommerce and retail. In 2019, the company added wholesale as a third channel to their business, along with several new warehouse locations. These changes saw their PO volume triple, from 1,500 annually to 4,500. Their buying team was looking at triple the work with the same antiquated processes in place.
Frankly, managing suppliers was a time-consuming, error-prone mess for Marine Layer. The company sent every PO back and forth via email, and all PO updates were entered manually into NetSuite. Their approach has been called “laborious” and “error prone” by their higher-ups, and the entire sourcing chain was affected. It required more work than necessary—“tons” of man hours and manual work, and ultimately, their on-time delivery suffered. They needed a way to work smarter.
The delivery delays and our inability to keep things on time had a significant negative impact on the top line of our business. Our vendors couldn’t communicate with us in a streamlined fashion to give us accurate estimates of our work and progress across the full spectrum. We had very little visibility into critical attributes of our products, and this affected not just on-time delivery but product development as well.
How Marine Layer Has Benefited from Automating Their PO Process
- Speedy PO process Quantity, cost, and data updates are now fully automated
- Automatic ERP Updates All data updates are fed automatically back into NetSuite 24/7
- Improved Communication Communication between buyers and vendors are streamlined in one single source of truth
- Increase in Data Accuracy 100% accuracy is now guaranteed in their NetSuite ERP
- Manual Data Entry Manually input quantity, cost, and data updates. Sometimes they got done, sometimes not
- Time Consuming ERP Updates Data updates in NetSuite were done manually with two people over multiple days
- Ongoing Miscommunication Buyer-vendor communication was done through emails, PDFs, and spreadsheets leading to missed correspondences
- Inaccurate Data Not a chance for 100% accuracy in their NetSuite ERP
A Brave New Workflow
Instead of chasing every PO and line item change, Marine Layer’s new approach allows them to rely on their vendors for necessary updates in the purchasing process. No more manually updating quantities, dates, costs, and other information; once vendors are onboarded, The Marine Layer team relies on them to ensure POs, quantities, and dates are accepted and costs are approved.
Changes are inevitable. As the production process progresses, downstream management of critical PO data is now a responsibility easily managed by their vendors and flows seamlessly to the Marine Layer team and into NetSuite. Marine Layer’s buying team only needs to approve or edit changes. This is a critical component, and one of the most valuable aspects of their partnership with SourceDay.
This has had a huge impact on our business. As a COO, I need to depend on the accuracy of our product flows. It’s critical that the information we use to make business decisions is accurate, timely, and drives the valuable analysis that our teams need to meet our customers’ demands. To drive the business forward, we absolutely need bulletproof information. This is absolutely a critical value we’ve unlocked with SourceDay.
The company processes 4,000+ POs per year; each must be turned into a shipment and then received at one of the company’s distribution centers. With SourceDay, the vendors update quantities across all clothing styles before those goods become an outbound shipment. This has greatly improved their accuracy on the receiving end, which can become a bottleneck if the DC receives goods that aren’t expected. Marine Layer no longer has to manually check and count shipments, and the downstream effect is better accuracy before a shipment leaves the port.
With SourceDay’s PO Automation The sourcing side of the business has seen drastic improvement as well. In the past, the team emailed 1,200 times (literally 1,200) to vendors over 10-unit PO changes. They committed two people to multiple days of gathering PO info, uploading it to NetSuite manually, downloading them as PDFs, attaching them to emails, waiting for every PO’s terms and cost to be accepted and approved, then following up each one via email.
With SourceDay’s PO Automation solution, they are now freed up from long manual processes, and can work strategically on value-add work. What previously required multiple days now only takes about 20 minutes. The team is free to focus on optimizing vendor flows and most importantly, effectively managing shipment tracking times.
Seamless Implementation and Support
Marine Layer needed a new solution, and they needed a smooth transition. They had spent years building their business around their NetSuite ERP for backend management and purchasing processes. SourceDay gave them just what they were looking for.
“I can’t say this enough—the ease of rollout and SourceDay’s ability to seamlessly tie in to our NetSuite ERP really just can’t be overstated. It’s an incredibly important piece of SourceDay’s value to us. Post launch, they have been very strong partners. Very responsive to suggestions and feedback and always available for support.” — Adam Lynch, Apparel COO at Marine Layer
The ROI Conversation
When asked about the ROI of SourceDay, here’s what Adam Lynch, Apparel COO at Marine Layer had to say: “The relative cost-to-ROI didn’t need debate. It was very clear to us that we would unlock a near-instant payback on our investment, primarily in man hours and additional staff we would have needed without SourceDay. We’ve improved performance with the team we have by giving them the tools to work more efficiently.”
Who We Are
SourceDay provides PO and AP automation solutions to manufacturers, distributors, retailers and supply chains the world over. We do more than save time and money; we transform procurement’s value proposition within the company.
Marine Layer, a San Francisco-based clothing retailer built on sustainable, custom-made fabrics, was founded in 2010. With over 100 custom-developed fabrics and counting, they use recycled materials across their entire line, building a responsible business that cares for the community and the planet.