Marshall-Tufflex wanted to use Sales Order Automation to reduce unnecessary manual tasks and allow teams to spend more time on strategic activities.
B2BE’s solutions and services have underpinned Marshall-Tufflex Sales Order Automation journey from early EDI connections through to OCR used to digitise PDF sales orders.
Cable management company Marshall-Tufflex wanted to use Sales Order Automation to reduce unnecessary manual tasks and allow teams to spend more time on strategic activities. The company wanted to address the challenges of automating their sales process while receiving purchase orders by email from customers who were unable to take advantage of their existing EDI solution. They improved service for customers to enable their customer services and sales teams to focus on their 2028 Vision to increase the amount of recycled plastic used in PVC-U trunking.
In short, their primary goals were:
- Automate purchase orders received by email.
- Reduce opportunities for errors in manually inputting orders.
- Dedicate more time to their sustainability agenda and more pro-active activities.
Leading from the front
Marshall-Tufflex is a leading manufacturer and supplier of cable management solutions with a dedication to upholding ambitious standards, best practice, and ground-breaking in-house research and development. Based in Hastings, East Sussex, Marshall-Tufflex began in 1942 and has a proud, industry-wide reputation for their quality, consistency, reliability, value for money, and innovation. Throughout their long history, their priority has always been to re-invest for the future and to continue to produce and innovate new and effective solutions. The company continually delivers top quality cable management systems to an increasingly complex global market, specifically across the commercial, industrial, healthcare, education, and domestic sectors.
Marshall-Tufflex had already begun its Sales Order Automation journey by taking advantage of EDI connections with its largest customers to address unnecessary time spent on manual tasks. However, it was not possible to have EDI connections with all customers and clients were continually sending their orders by email, which meant that the processes that were supposed to be automated were still taking too much time.
Removing manual processes
Since introducing Sales Order Automation, Marshall-Tufflex has been able to create new roles within their sales teams and establish more active relationships with their customers. For its staff Marshall-Tufflex has removed manual processes allowing employees to focus on more interesting and value added activities, increasing job satisfaction and growth opportunities. Further to this, it has reduced negative environmental impact of these processes through the diminished use of paper by ending the need to print, copy and scan thousands of customer sales orders. Despite early scepticism at the beginning of the journey, Sales Order Automation has proved high successful with over 70% of sales orders now processed automatically.
“We are very pleased with how this is working, we always knew that it could never provide a 100% automated order entry solution, but we are consistently above 70% and we still have more customers to move over to the automated system. Our order input errors has diminished significantly which has taken a lot of “recovery” cost away.”
Reducing environmental waste
By automating their email orders, Marshall-Tufflex generated time savings and allowed the organisation to focus on new priorities. They asked themselves how new initiatives best serve the business, its customers, and its industry? They reflected that the construction industry was the UK’s biggest producer of waste, creating 120 million tonnes each year, causing serious problems for the environment. After considering this, Marshall-Tufflex decided to use the resource freed up in the sales team to educating the market about reducing environmental waste caused by the construction industry.
Driving for sustainability
Marshall-Tufflex redeployed these resources to reshape the company’s sales organisation, creating the role of Internal Sales Co-ordinator in each sales region to work more proactively and get engaged with consultants and specifiers of projects. With this approach, Sales Coordinators could encourage Specifiers and Consultants to factor in or include in cable management specifications that a minimum recycled material content should be used as standard. The sales teams can also work in more decisive ways with contractors and wholesalers to supply useful information, including product literature and quotes fulfilled by distributors.
B2BE’s solutions and services have underpinned Marshall Tufflex’s Sales Order Automation journey from early EDI connections through to OCR used to digitise PDF sales orders. Once digitised, it can process PDF orders using the same method as EDI orders to deliver automation and upload sales orders into their ERP system. There has been no change for customers who email sales orders as the B2BE system automatically extracts the PDF documents from the emails for processing.
“We are pleased that one of the additional benefits is that by automating our order input supports our drive for sustainability through the significant reduction of unnecessary paperwork.”
Marshall-Tufflex’s 10-Year Vision
Marshall-Tufflex are using their success in sales order automation to launch them into their future strategies and helping to build a more sustainable PVC-U industry. They are passionately campaigning that there should be a minimum requirement on specifications for the manufacture of PVC-U systems to using at least 50% recycled material. They want this initiative to become the norm, industry wide so that the plastics industry becomes more sustainable and sends a message about environmental responsibility.
Internally, Marshall-Tufflex have shown their commitment to the recycling agenda. In 2020, Marshall Tufflex manufactured their PVC-U cable management products using an impressive average of 74% recycled material. The company’s vision is that, by 2028, this will inspire all manufacturers to ensure that all PVC-U cable management products installed in buildings will have, at least, 50% recycled material.