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How Field Fastener Saved Time and Increased Profitability with Touchless Automation

Each month, we’ll highlight a customer using the Conexiom Platform to achieve their automation goals. While we’re admittedly proud to hear how customers have replaced time-consuming but necessary manual processes with Conexiom, we also share these stories to help similar companies envision a better way to process documents using touchless automation.

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“One of the great benefits of using Conexiom is that it doesn’t rely on optical character recognition (OCR) to grab order information. This gave us the confidence to be sure our customers would see a decrease in order errors. Today, we have a 99.96% correct shipping rate.” – Chad Olson, Director of IT

With a reputation for meeting their customers’ cost reduction, material availability and quality requirements, Field Fastener puts a strong focus on implementing superior systems to help their team members meet these goals. By teaming up with the right people, partners and technology, they can make their processes smoother, faster and better. Field is obsessed with providing a positive customer experience; it is interwoven deep in their company culture.

Finding Technology That Drives Better Customer Outcomes

Chad Olson, Director of IT at Field Fastener, was initially hired to drive adoption of their ERP, Epicor P21, but he also seeks ways to better support internal and external customers through technology. He doesn’t want his people to spend time on repetitive, manual tasks that don’t add value and believes that these repetitive tasks should be automated to drive value for both Field and their customers.

People may see fasteners as insignificant parts, but they keep factories running. If the fastener isn’t where it needs to be at the right time, it can cause the entire line to be shut down, causing extreme supply chain issues and delays. Like many distributors, Field has felt the effects of COVID-19. It has led to a ramp up of buying as companies want more stock in their buildings, causing caused congested ports. The supply chain is currently under a lot of pressure, and Field is trying to make sure they have the products they need to support their customers.

Modernize the Processing of Critical, Inbound Documents

To streamline and modernize their order, invoice, and vendor acknowledgement processing, ensuring customers will receive the correct parts on-time, Field looked for a solution that would complement their existing ERP system, Epicor P21.

Field found Conexiom and implemented solutions for Sales Orders, AP Invoices and Order Acknowledgements. Many of Field’s suppliers are using EDI, but there’s also a large amount sending order acknowledgements and invoices by email, which are automated with Conexiom.

Per Olson, “There is no conflict between EDI and the Conexiom Platform. Our team, to be quite honest, would prefer to use Conexiom vs. EDI. Doing EDI with your top 10 vendors is a process. There’s a lot of mapping back and forth.”

Integration with Epicor P21

By leveraging Conexiom’s P21 API connection, which is a much simpler process than enabling EDI, Field has clean data flowing into P21. Prices, quantities, and part numbers are validated, and discrepancies are corrected ahead of time so there are no issues with order fulfillment. This allows Field to employ “lights out processing” with many of their customers. The orders come in and do not require anyone to touch them. Intake happens automatically, populating systems with accurate data without requiring a human-in-the-loop for oversight.

“Those are thousands of lines a year that used to take time, effort and energy,” says Olson. “We used to have a person dedicated to downloading reports, manually entering them, and processing them. We’ve freed that person up to focus on more value-added activities.”

Invoice Automation to Simplify Relationships with Vendors

When Conexiom presented invoice automation to Field, they jumped on it. It has simplified their processes greatly for over 100 of their vendors. Vendors have no idea Field is using Conexiom because it doesn’t impact how they buy. They send emails as usual that are processed by Conexiom, providing a huge time savings without asking customers to change how they operate.

Partnering with Conexiom on automating vendor acknowledgements was a no brainer amidst the pandemic. When email acknowledgement come in, Field can automatically confirm that it matches their data in P21. This helps to avoid late fees and ensures that customers have their products on time by ensuring suppliers supply them on time. If they find that their suppliers cannot do so, this provides the ability to pivot and source from others.

Providing Best-in-Class Customer Experience

The continuous investments Field has made in the Conexiom Platform frees up time for customer service representatives (CSRs) to spend interacting with customers, providing a best-in-class experience. By enlisting Conexiom to automate their ordering process, Field has:

  • Reduced errors inherent to manual entry
  • Gained substantial time savings
  • Refocused customer service reps toward revenue-generating tasks (like data analysis)

Field’s team feels extremely positive about automation. Jim Derry, one of the owners, has always had a focus on systems and continuous improvement, so the excitement around automation starts at the top.

When sharing his vision for automation with the company, Derry said,

We’re going to automate and systematize as much as we can, but what we’re doing is taking these tasks away and repurposing you to something that adds more value. We’re just taking away the stuff that adds zero value to your day so you can focus on what we want you to focus on, which is generating more profitable, valuable sessions for your customers.

Watch our interview with Chad Olson to learn how they freed up time to grow revenue here!

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