– Case Study –

Benchmade & SPS Commerce: A Success Story

  • Customer Type:
    Supplier
  • Industry:
    Sporting Goods
  • Headquarters:
    Oregon City, OR
  • SPS Product:
    Fulfillment
  • ERP:
    SYSPRO
  • Customer Since:
    2006

Executive Summary

Benchmade has provided knives and other tools for elite tactical operators, first responders and collectors since 1987. Two decades later, the company’s double-digit growth drove them to launch an initiative to automate and streamline many of their manual processes, including order and invoice processing. Benchmade achieved this goal by integrating their largest retail customers’ EDI orders and invoices with their ERP solution using SPS Commerce Fulfillment. This automation has saved Benchmade’s staff more than 780 hours in its first year, as well as improved order accuracy and eliminated time delays.

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The Challenge:

Scale operations to manage double-digit growth.

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The Solution:

Automate order and invoice processing with high-volume trading partners.

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The Results:

Saved 780+ hours annually by replacing manual processes.

A Strategic Initiative to Automate

Benchmade’s 2018 objectives included the automation of many of its manual processes. With its knives and other product sales skyrocketing, scalability was critical to support their future growth.

To date, the company had exclusively used the SPS Commerce Fulfillment web-based EDI solution to connect with more than 25 retailers and distributors. As order volumes grew, they faced more government and commercial orders that needed to be entered into the solution.

Benchmade wanted to advance their EDI operations to allow orders and invoices from their highest volume customers to flow automatically in and out of their internal ERP system, SYSPRO. With the expertise and system automation from SPS Commerce, Benchmade deployed the SPS Fulfillment for SYSPRO solution for these high-volume trading partners, keeping their lower volume EDI partners unchanged.

“For years we had been talking about automating this process,” said Marjan Salveter, Director of Information Technology at Benchmade. “In 2018 we did it. It has been a breakthrough in productivity for our company.”

Refocusing Staff

Moving from manual to automated processing for Benchmade’s highest volume customers resulted in a savings of more than 780 hours of staff time that was reallocated to other projects. In addition, the company can better manage spikes in order volumes due to promotions without additional employee time.

“The time savings has been a huge win for Benchmade,” said Salveter. “This has had a positive impact on our customer service and employee satisfaction.”

SPS Commerce Fulfillment is more than an EDI technology. It’s backed by hundreds of experts managing the day-to-day operations of its tens of thousands of users. The full-service, end-to-end approach from SPS means the Benchmade team spends less time and money on data entry, troubleshooting issues, testing maps and responding to trading partner changes.

“We are excited to see the continual improvement made possible by partnering with SPS Commerce. Our accuracy and efficiency targets are being met and we have a solid technology to support our growth backed by SPS experts at our disposal.”
– Marjan Salveter, Director of Information Technology, Benchmade

More Automation Ahead

Looking ahead to 2019, Benchmade has identified additional trading partners to automate that will save them more than 40 hours per week or 2,080 hours annually.

“Our next goal is to bring on our second highest volume set of partners, as well as automating our shipping notices,” said Salveter. “We will continue to improve to increase order accuracy, eliminate order delays and reduce chargebacks. This second phase will further address these additional opportunities.”

In addition, the company is planning to automate their shipping documents to manage their inventory and deliveries better while also providing order visibility to its retail customers.

“We have estimated that by automating our shipping notices with just one trading partner, we will save eight hours per week,” said Salveter. “This is a huge workforce improvement for a company of our size.”

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