Magazine Article | February 1, 2006

Wireless Technology Speeds Shipping, Boost Sales

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

Taking orders with handheld devices increased this
construction materials manufacturer's sales by 25% and
helps get merchandise out the door 50% faster.

Integrated Solutions, February 2006
Enco Manufacturing Corp. manufactures paints, roof sealants, grouts, thin-set mortar, and related products for sale to construction/contracting firms and retail stores. Two years ago, MIS Director Ezequiel Vazquez was charged with finding a solution to the company's order-processing problems. At the time, Enco's field salespeople used a paper-based method for recording orders placed during visits to customers' sites. Each evening, orders taken over the course of the day were faxed to corporate headquarters. On the following morning, clerks at headquarters retrieved the orders and keyed them into the company's CRM (customer relationship management) database. "This setup just wasn't working for us anymore," Vazquez says. "We needed to improve the speed and accuracy of our sales process, as well as reduce its cost."


To do so, Enco realized it needed to remove the manual aspects of its sales processes. Vazquez and his team evaluated four different mobile field sales systems, eventually choosing the ActiSales MobileSales system from e-Nabler Corp. Of the four systems, it was the only one that had a Web-based administrative system, could transmit data without a separate cellular device, and featured an intuitive interface that wouldn't create a huge learning curve for Enco's sales force, Vazquez notes. The solution, which went live in July 2004, was easily interfaced with Enco's SQL server.


With the new system, sales force members access the ActiSales program on Symbol Technologies PDT 8037 Pocket PC devices featuring embedded Cingular Smart Chips that enable wireless communication. Salespeople use the devices to first check inventory levels at Enco's warehouse and ensure that desired merchandise is in stock before adding it to an order. Order information is then input into the hardware, and the purchaser's signature is captured electronically. Signed orders are then wirelessly transmitted back to the main office, where they are immediately printed out and brought to the warehouse for picking. Office staff access the orders through the system's ActiSales BackOffice Web-based administrative component.

Eliminating the manual steps entailed in building and processing orders has improved both the speed and the accuracy of the company's sales, according to Vazquez. The time interval from order receipt to shipment has been reduced by 50%, and sales have increased by 25%. "Now our salespeople have more time to visit more clients and get new ones," Vazquez reports. "Also, our office staff can focus on other daily jobs, maximizing our human resource capabilities. This is a really good mobile sales system for any size and type of business."