“By receiving an order electronically through Dell Boomi EDI, we are able to process the order extremely quickly with 100 percent accuracy.” — Kelley Parkes, Director of Technical Operations, First Source
Located in Toano, Virginia, just outside of Colonial Williamsburg, 50-year-old First Source LLC is a distributor of fine chocolates and other specialty food items, including Lindt Lindor truffles, Ghirardelli chocolate, extra virgin olive oil, gourmet barbecue sauce and even caviar. The company distributes through a single retail outlet as well as to customers nationwide via online sales and retail partners, so having a secure and high-performing technology infrastructure is critical to the business.
As First Source grew, it needed an updated security infrastructure to better protect against threats 24×7 as well as a way to improve the speed and quality of its order processing.
The gourmet food distributor deployed Dell Boomi iPaaS with EDI integration capabilities to keep the business safe and running smoothly around the clock.
First Source implemented Dell Boomi AtomSphere integration platform as a service (iPaaS) with EDI integration capabilities that would allow the company to automatically receive orders, send invoices and distribute shipping information 24×7.
Dell Boomi for EDI
First Source is using Dell Boomi AtomSphere iPaaS with EDI capabilities to share information with trading partners or customers, take orders, and send electronic invoices and real-time logistics and shipping information. The company now uses it for nearly 40 trading partners.
“Dell Boomi has increased our ability to take and process orders by geometric proportions,” says Kelley Parkes, Director of Technical Operations at First Source. “There’s only so much that a human customer service person can do to take orders every day, whereas an EDI system is the customer service agent that never goes to sleep.”
When First Source brings a customer on as a trading partner using Dell Boomi AtomSphere for EDI, the onboarding process is fast. Customers then have a high-speed, efficient way to trade orders, invoices, shipping paperwork and other documents.
“Dell Boomi makes tasks easy because it has an intuitive, Visio-like interface that allows users to move shapes into a workflow process. It’s really visual. Some of the other EDI products on the market use command-line interfaces or a spreadsheet style of design, similar to Excel. It’s just not as intuitive,” Parkes says.
First Source uses AtomSphere’s EDI features to process inbound 850 purchase orders, which are then packaged and shipped. Next, the company sends invoices using EDI 810. If the customer requires an EDI 856, First Source can use AtomSphere to send the advanced ship notice or the bill of lading and shipping paperwork that accompanies the shipment, so the customer can reconcile the products received at the distribution center.
“Dell Boomi helps us serve our customers better than traditional formats such as call-in or fax orders because we remove the element of human error,” Parkes says. “By receiving an order electronically through Dell Boomi EDI, we are able to process the order extremely quickly with 100 percent accuracy.”
Visibility into real-time transactions allows First Source to take a snapshot of what’s going on, at any time during the process or business day, allowing the company to improve sales forecasts each year.
Speed, accuracy and revenue benefits
Automating business processes with AtomSphere has had a significant impact on business, from improving order accuracy to speeding up processing. “It absolutely reduces and, in some cases eliminates, errors in order taking,” Parkes says. “It also provides a way for us to give the customer information in real time.”
Dell Boomi’s EDI integration capabilities also reduce the order-to-cash cycle time. For large national customers, Parkes says First Source distributes hundreds if not thousands of electronic invoices every month, so using communications other than EDI would add significantly to the man hours. Distributing invoices to its larger national customers via EDI allows First Source to take advantage of the net 15 or net 30 terms they typically offer. The management team also benefits from the reporting that EDI makes possible. The database generates information on an automated schedule that is then distributed to management through EDI email transports.
“Dell Boomi is a fantastic product when it comes to EDI. It is one that I have recommended to a number of our customers that are transitioning beyond a small business mentality to make their sales and invoicing processes move at a highly efficient, high-performance pace,” Parkes says. “The EDI process will take a company from being a small business to a medium- or enterprise-level business in a very short amount of time.”