Strengthening customer relationships & exceeding automation goals
- Increasedelectronic orders by 41%, exceeding original goal by 5%
- 10% decreasein order entry errors
- 55% of all orderselectronically processed through Esker
H.B. Fuller is an industry-leading chemical adhesive (aka glue) manufacturer with 72 facilities in over 36 countries that provides companies around the globe with adhesive needed for everything from automobiles to potato chip bags. In the words of H.B. Fuller’s Customer Service/E-Commerce Trainer Amy Wuertz: “If you don’t nail it, you glue it.” That being said, it’s easy to imagine the sheer volume of customer orders H.B. Fuller receives on a daily basis — some of which can be upwards of 100 lines in a single purchase order (PO).
CHALLENGES: Improving customer experience & job satisfaction with automation
The company is in the process of deploying SAP® across the globe, and in 2020 decided to implement an automated order management solution in conjunction with these deployments. H.B. Fuller chose Esker’s AI-driven Order Management solution to automate all global facilities as it rolls out the new ERP system, leveraging Esker to fill in technology gaps and generate efficiencies that allow for a seamless transition for both CSS and customers.
The main automation objective for H.B. Fuller is to standardise order management processes throughout its facilities to make training, keeping up with demand and maintaining strong customer relationships simpler, cheaper and more personalised.
- Implement automation and SAP simultaneously to create a seamless transition for customer service that is transparent to customers.
- Standardise order management to make it easier for the customer service team to handle each other’s desks and create a more efficient ordering process.
- Improve customer experience by allowing customer service specialists (CSS) to spend more time with customers, rather than entering orders.
SOLUTION: Using automation to bridge technology gaps
Order entry isn’t the majority of what our CSS team does, but it affects their ability to be as proactive as they want to be with our customers. Automation has really helped free them up to do that.
One of the benefits of automating with Esker’s Order Management solution was the ability to use Esker as a bridge between H.B. Fuller’s legacy e-commerce site in EIMEA and SAP to ensure a seamless, almost unnoticeable transition for customers. Manager of North America Customer Service Mike Carney explains it here:
“We were able to leverage Esker to capture customer orders that were entered on the legacy portal and enter them directly into SAP. Thus, we didn’t cut off those customers from using an online portal for three or four months while we developed the new one. We were able to tell them, ‘You can continue to enter your orders, and they will immediately be placed into our new SAP system.’ We used Esker as kind of a middleman, and it’s still working really well.”
As H.B. Fuller continues to transition its other global facilities, this tactic has proven to be highly effective and beneficial for both CSS and customers. Overall, the company has been able to build even stronger relationships with customers thanks to the significant amount of time taken away from manual order entry and given back to the CSS staff — time that can be used to increase customer satisfaction.
To train a new employee on Esker is so much easier than to train them how to use our own ERP system. When I show them Esker, they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so much easier.’
RESULTS: Surpassing automation goals & drastically reducing errors
Change management can sometimes be the biggest obstacle to digital transformation. That’s why H.B. Fuller used a “proof is in the pudding” concept to turn CSS staff into Esker cheerleaders and get them excited about the new order management platform. “We tried to convey the benefit of Esker to them personally,” said Mike Carney. “That this is going to make your job simpler and make you more efficient so you’re not stressed about making sure you get these orders in today, because you’ll be able to get them in quicker and spend more time actually serving the customer.”
After automating order management with Esker, orders that once took hours to enter now only take minutes — and when lines are pre-filled, all staff has to do is check and approve, saving significant amounts of time.
H.B. Fuller set a high automation goal for the first year of its order management digital transformation, hoping to achieve 70% of orders being electronic. As of now, orders are 75% electronic, 55% of which are processed through Esker. Thanks to automation, H.B. Fuller will be able to easily keep up with demand while transitioning to a new ERP system globally.
With Esker, you reduce the risk of order entry errors so you improve your accuracy. When you’re doing everything manually, there’s just a higher, inherent risk of human error.
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