Edlund Company Gains Visibility and Control with IQMS
Return on Investment
- Total visibility and tighter control over operations and customer satisfaction
- Improved efficiencies across the board
- Seamless transition to Web-enabled operations
- Reduced administration costs
- Improved customer service and communication
Moving to Web-Enabled Operations
For over 80 years, the Edlund Company has been a leading supplier of stainless steel appliances and equipment to the food service industry—awell-established, highly competitive industry where demand for quality is priority, but operating margins are lean. Superior products that hold up under the harshest conditions are one reason Edlund has stayed on top of its market. The company's dedication to excellent customer service is another. To uphold these quality standards and gain better visibility and tighter control over its manufacturing process and customer service functions, Edlundsought to replace its outdated Material Requirement Planning (MRP) software system. In doing so, the company wanted to facilitate better customer relations and communication, and to improve data access company-wide.
Edlund is an ISO certified company, and many of its products are also NSF certified and USDA approved. These certifications mandate that Edlund adhere to sophisticated quality management and assurance specifications, while continuously aiming to improve performance and customer satisfaction. To fully support these initiatives, Edlund needed a Web-enabled software operations system that included comprehensive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to support customer service and sales, and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) capabilities to comply with the requirements of some of its larger customers. The company also needed to better track product returns and repairs, and thus required Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) functionality to support its manufacturing repair business, which is a growth area of the company's overall revenue stream.
"Our MRP system was not Web-enabled, so information was slow flowing," explained Brian Cavanagh, director of operations at Edlund. "The system also lacked customer service capabilities, and upgrading it would have entailed multi-party software and platforms that would not have worked as a cohesive unit. We were faced with spending a lot of money to upgrade, and even that would not have been adequate for our needs. We clearly needed to consider other options."
Data Accessibility Speeds Customer Service
Edlund saw Web-enabled operations as a means to break down barriers between departments, communicate more readily with customers, and improve data access and integrity throughout the company. With EnterpriseIQ from IQMS, Edlund's entire operations system functions as one unit. Modules such as CRM and RMA work collaboratively with the overall system, giving Edlund a number of advantages. For example, with Web-enabled CRM, Edlund is now able to track all levels of customer interaction, from order status and repairs, to available credit, recent payments, and overall customer satisfaction—all using the same data. There is no double entry, and no second guessing
"Having readily available data has been the biggest advantage of using EnterpriseIQ," said Cavanagh. "We can now track customer information better and more accurately. The system also makes it easy for each division within the company to customize reports. Our managers now have total accessibility and control of relevant business data, when and where they need it."
For its larger customers, such as the Sysco Corporation, North America's leading food service marketer and distributor, Edlund's move to Web-enabled operations has brought streamlined service capabilities via EDI. Sysco operates approximately 20 warehouses nationwide, and Edlund ships to Sysco daily. Whereas these orders were handled manually in the past, they are now shipped and invoiced electronically. Edlund is also working with other key customers to expand its data services through EnterpriseIQ EDI.
"The EnterpriseIQ EDI module saves us and our customers time and administrative costs," said Cavanagh. "It is another level of service we can now provide to customers that would not have been possible without a Web-enabled, single-source system like IQMS."
Enhanced ERP Solution Streamlines Repair Business
While Edlund was initially impressed with the affordability, benefits, and many built-in features of EnterpriseIQ, according to Cavanagh, what really sold the company on EnterpriseIQ was IQMS' customer service, flexibility, and willingness to adapt the product based on Edlund's specific requirements. With Edlund's processes as a guideline, IQMS made program enhancements on the RMA module specifically for the needs of businesses like Edlund, helping the company to streamline its repair business.
Many companies that sell equipment to the food service industry utilize contracted service providers; however, to maintain quality control, Edlund performs all service repairs and maintenance at the factory. With the RMA module in place, repairs and returns are immediately logged into one database and categorized according to failure codes, allowing for built-in failure analysis. The module automatically estimates the cost to repair, generates a request for parts, and issues an invoice when the work is complete. Like the CRM and EDI modules, the RMA module ties directly to the overall EnterpriseIQ system, giving everyone at Edlund, from sales representatives to the repair technicians, access to the same data throughout the process.
"The IQMS RMA module is another way IQMS enables us to provide value to our customers," said Cavanagh. "With proper repairs and maintenance, our products can last 20 years. The RMA module has helped us speed up turnaround time and ensure accuracy of the work performed. With RMA, our customers have their equipment back in service within a week's time from the initial order being received. We also have greater visibility to track product quality."
IQMS Integral to Total Quality Management
Across-the-board, effective, efficient operations that support continual improvements to quality and customer satisfaction are key tenets of the Total Quality Management philosophy. Having a single-source, Web-enabled ERP solution has allowed Edlund to centralize its business activity, and improve its overall effectiveness and efficiency of operations. EnterpriseIQ is a comprehensive solution that enables Edlund's separate business areas to consistently achieve the rigorous quality standards set forth under ISO certification.
"At Edlund we are bound by quality standards to exceed our customers' expectations both in product performance and customer service," said Cavanagh. "EnterpriseIQ has been central to this effort. I have never worked with a technology company that has been as responsive, flexible, and easy to work with as IQMS. Most technology companies target markets, but IQMS targets customers."
Technologically Poised for Future Success
Though Edlund has already realized many returns on investment using EnterpriseIQ, Cavanagh believes EnterpriseIQ positions Edlund to reap even greater benefit in the future as the food service industry evolves to rely more and more on Web-enabled technology.
"Our transition to EnterpriseIQ was seamless and transparent to our customers," said Cavanagh. "In an industry where many are still off-line and reluctant to change, that is a huge accomplishment. Overall, however, the food service industry is shifting to Web-enabled technology. Edlund wants to stay on the leading edge of that shift. Because IQMS is dedicated to the long-term success of our business, I'm confident our EnterpriseIQ technology will grow with us and help us do just that."