Gebro Sales is the specialist for placing impulse items at large hardware stores, do-it-yourself stores and supermarkets in the Netherlands and Belgium. EDI offers their customers and merchandisers the opportunity to pass on complex orders with often many lines quickly and error-free. The order process has therefore become a lot more efficient for Gebro Sales.
“Actually, there is little concern about EDI within Gebro Sales. I only occasionally check the portal to see if messages from a new customer are being sent and received properly. But otherwise it requires little attention and that is a good thing.”Dennis Tertaas, IT Manager at Gebro Sales
Challenge: a fast and error-free ordering process that is easy and reliable for all parties
Gebro Sales receives many orders every day, which can often contain up to 50 lines. To process these manually, the company would have to deploy a lot of people and a lot of time. In addition, retyping orders is of course also error-prone. A fast and reliable order-to-cash process was the goal. In addition, Gebro Sales was also asked by a number of their largest customers to do this according to the GS1 standard and therefore via EDI.
Solution: effective EDI communication with retailers
Gebro Sales has been around for many years and was originally a tool wholesaler. In the meantime, the company has grown into a specialist in placing impulse items in hardware stores, garden centers and DIY stores in both the Netherlands and Belgium. The merchandisers drive across the country in their van and check with the retailers what needs to be added to the Gebro Sales wire baskets, clip strips, etc. They order what is needed and display the products on their next visit.
The demand for EDI originally came from customers, but the benefits for Gebro Sales are now abundantly clear. In collaboration with their ERP partner, Descartes' GLN (Global Logistics Network) was chosen to steer this in the right direction.
“The merchandiser uses the store's own ordering system to place the orders. These orders then go via EDI over the business system to Gebro Sales, where they end up in the order processing system. In the same way, the packing slip and invoice are subsequently sent to the customer's head office,” explains Dennis Tertaas, IT Manager.
The system usually requires little attention. “Technical aspects are taken up by our ERP partner and it only happens with new customers that I occasionally check the portal to see whether their messages are being sent and received properly. But otherwise, it requires little attention and that is a good thing.”
Gebro Sales is happy to meet the requirements of the customers. Nevertheless, Dennis Tertaas notices that the company cannot fully go along with this in certain cases, “because our ERP system does not support the correct protocols. Descartes can handle it, but we're up against this challenge on our side,” he says.
Looking to the future, the next step in the EDI process for Gebro Sales is the merger with an industry partner that is almost completed. This company is also a customer of Descartes for EDI and they will use this company's connection together. The merger also includes a switch to a different ERP and WMS system, so that Gebro Sales can also meet more customer requirements than is already the case.
Less manual work - It takes a long time to enter an order with often more than 50 lines. Automation saves us a lot of time.
Reduced error rate - Manually retyping orders leads to more errors. This is no longer the case with the use of EDI: all messages are standardized and automatic.
Process optimization - Automating and standardizing the message flow ensures more efficient processes.
Automated communication via EDI according to the GS1 standard - The GS1 standard guarantees effective communication between trading partners.