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Furniture Company Sees 600% Output Gain with BOM Web Service

After embracing a new bill of materials (BOM) web service, Brandon and Jen from SAFFE Furniture experience a 600% increase in ordering output efficiency - leaving their old ordering process behind.

Client & Background

Saffe Furniture Logo

“What makes our business great is the time we take to design new products - but this ordering process is stealing that from us.”

Brandon and Jen from SAFFE Furniture were feeling the frustrations from an inefficient ordering process. Besides taking 2 hours on average to complete an order, it was easy to make mistakes - leading to excess inventory and increasing costs for the business.

The answer was clear - find a way to reduce the amount of time it takes to complete an order, while also streamlining the process to eliminate mistakes.

The Challenge

In order to produce furniture products, SAFFE Furniture relies on what’s know as a bill of materials (BOM). In other words, products sold by SAFFE Furniture can be translated into a list of “ingredient” components. Once put together, these “ingredient” components create the end product. To fulfill customer orders, SAFFE Furniture must first purchase these “ingredient” components from a combination of their many vendors.

The Original Ordering Process

SAFFE Furniture’s ordering process was manual, tedious, and time consuming. The bill of materials records were managed through an Excel spreadsheet.

Bill of Materials Manual Lookup Spreadsheet * Bill of materials lookup spreadsheet

In order to create purchase orders for their vendors, a manual lookup process was performed. This was needed in order to discover the following information:

  • Which components do we need to purchase?
  • From which vendor(s) do we purchase these components?
  • How many of each component do I need?
  • How much will it cost?

Technical Challenges

Indeed, some automation solution was desired. However, for this to work SAFFE would need to somehow “hook” their bill of materials into their ordering software. At that time, Sage desktop was being used to conduct all ordering operations. Here were the challenges:

  1. Sage desktop is a standalone desktop application, is difficult to interface with programatically, and doesn’t scale well. SAFFE Furniture would need to migrate to some new online web-based application.
  2. The new ordering software needs to support Sales Orders. At time of implementation, very few web-based accounting applications support this, including Quickbooks Online.
  3. The new software needs to support a bill of materials, or at the very least, have a robust API in which we can program-in our own bill of materials functionality.

The Solution

After researching and vetting several accounting programs, Bitzerk helped SAFFE Furniture establish their plan. First, we would migrate their accounting system to Zoho Books. Second, we would implement a custom bill of materials (BOM) web service (replacing the Excel spreadsheet). Finally, we would leverage Zoho Deluge scripts within Zoho Books, allowing us to interface with the BOM microservice seamlessly and conduct automation logic.

Bitzerk Bill of Materials Web Service Diagram * SAFFE Furniture’s new infrastructure plan

The Scope

Whenever a new customer order is received, implement some automated solution which calculates and generates purchase orders for all relevant vendors. Broken down, this automated process should:

  1. Lookup the customer’s sales order.
  2. Using our bill of materials, calculate all “ingredient” components needed to build the entire customer’s order.
  3. Finally, generate purchase orders to our vendors, such that we can fulfill this customer’s order.

The New Ordering Process

With this new solution in place, SAFFE Furniture now generates vendor purchase orders with a simple the click of a button:

Zoho Books Sales Order Screen * Zoho Books - sales order screen

And the resulting auto-generated vendor purchase orders:

Zoho Books Purchase Order Screen * Zoho Books - purchase orders screen

The Results

Brandon and Jen from SAFFE Furniture are now enjoying the fruits of their new system. With extra time at their disposal, SAFFE Furniture now spends more time on what makes their business great - designing new products. Not only did SAFFE Furniture increase their ordering output efficiency by 600%, but they also saved money in the process.

600% Increase in ordering output efficiency.

329% Decrease in ordering costs.

The Breakdown - Old Ordering Process

Avg. Orders / month = 18 orders
Hourly Rate = $20/hour
Order Time = 2 hours
Order Time / month = 36 hours/month
Order Cost / month = $720/month

The Breakdown - New Ordering Process

Avg. Orders / month = 18 orders
Hourly Rate = $20/hour
Order Time = 0.33 hours
Order Time / month = 5.94 hours/month
Bitzerk’s Charge = $100/month
Order Cost / month = $219/month

brandon from saffe furniture

Brandon Gerard

SAFFE Furniture - CEO

"Bitzerk has been amazing and has helped our Company – SAFFE Furniture grow tremendously with Information Technology. Bitzerk has worked with us to better support our customers and manage our organization."

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