OZtrail & SPS Commerce: Automating the Purchase Order Process

Shorten the Purchase Order Process with Order Automation
  • Company Type:
  •  Industry:
    Outdoor/Sporting Goods
  • Headquarters:
    Eagle Farm, QLD, Australia
  • SPS Solution:
    Fulfillment, System Automation

In 2017, OZtrail became part of the Adventure Operations family and began doing business with leading retailers including Anaconda, Bunnings and Super Retail Group. While they’d stepped aside from doing EDI in the past, it was now critical to support their trading partner relationships.

With most of their partners using SPS Commerce’s retail network, the choice was easy. OZtrail automated their purchase order process, integrating SPS Commerce Fulfillment (EDI) with their Lilac ERP. But it wasn’t just compliance that drove their decision. Andrew Whittaker, Operations Director at OZtrail shared, “Data entry of purchase orders, some with as many as 400 lines, are now entered automatically thanks to SPS. No more errors and our customer service team is back to doing other tasks.”

The Right Time to Automate the Purchase Order Process

OZtrail wasn’t new to EDI. They’d tried it in the past. The company had wasted many hours correcting data instead of processing orders. So, they stopped the project. Fast forward a few years and the supplier’s situation called for EDI. OZtrail was growing. Their new parent company had OZtrail products selling through national retailers. Order automation was needed. Order throughput was increasing and so was order complexity. The customer service team spent their days downloading orders from vendor portals and keying them into internal systems. OZtrail didn’t want to hire more staff to support a manual purchase order process. Instead it was time to automate.
“Our customer service team was spending most of their days logging into various portals, printing or downloading orders and keying them into our system,” explains Whittaker. “There are plenty of other things we needed them doing. With EDI from SPS, orders arrive automatically and there is no data entry.”

Above and Beyond EDI Service

The supplier’s past EDI experience wasn’t ideal. So, selecting the right EDI provider this time around would be important. “Many of our partners used SPS Commerce and liked them,” states Whittaker. “Their reputation was good, their full-service approach was different, and their pricing fit our expectations. We chose SPS. Our retail partners were using the same retail network. This gives all parties visibility to the full order cycle so if an issue arises, there would be less finger pointing and faster resolution.”

SPS met the company’s deadline to automate OZtrail’s purchase order process using EDI. They worked alongside OZtrail’s ERP partner to integrate the systems. “SPS Commerce was fabulous,” explains Whittaker. “Their team went above and beyond expectations, truly a full-service experience. We are so delighted that we are asking more of our retailers to do EDI.”

Order Automation Improves Accuracy

The purchase orders coming into OZtrail were often lengthy. It wasn’t uncommon for a purchase order from Big W to have more than 400 lines. “OZtrail was manually entering purchase orders. They were becoming longer and more detailed,” states Whittaker. “Our purchase order process made room for massive errors to occur. We couldn’t afford mistakes. With automation the errors have been brought under control and minimized.”

Acquisition Brings Higher Order Volumes

OZtrail, and its new sister company Primus Australia expanded the supplier’s operations. They were now fulfilling orders for retailers and B2B wholesalers.
“The new industrial arm of our business was migrated onto our EDI system with SPS at once,” said Whittaker. “Our order volumes alone were 300-400 transactions every few days for one of their B2B customers. Coupled with our existing business, bringing them onto our EDI-enabled purchase order process was needed.”

Cross-Docking, Labelling and Rapid Shipping Requirements

Retailers have a variety of trading requirements and offer little flexibility in complying with them. OZtrail warehouses everything themselves and uses EDI to manage diverse order models including ship-to-DC, ship-to-store and cross-dock.

“For one of our retailers, we ship hundreds of products in unique cartons labelled for individual store delivery,” explains Whittaker. “With EDI from SPS, we can quickly produce a Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) label and affix it to bulk shipments in no time.”

The Interviewee:

Andrew Whittaker, Operations Director at OZtrail

The Challenge:

Increasing order volumes and complexity was outpacing manual order entry.

The Solution:

Deploying the full-service EDI software solution from SPS, supported by local experts, to meet trading requirements.

The Results:

Returning customer service staff to other tasks, no order processing errors and visibility to the whole purchase order process in one system.

“SPS Commerce was fabulous. Their team went above and beyond expectations, truly a full-service experience. We are so delighted that we are asking more of our retailers to do EDI.”

– Andrew Whittaker, Operations Director at OZtrail