– Case Study –

ZLine, SPS Commerce & Brightpearl: An EDI Success Story

  • Customer Type:
    Supplier
  • Industry:
    Home Improvement
  • Retail channels:
    E-Commerce, Drop-Ship, Omnichannel
  • SPS Product:
    Fulfillment
  • Systems:
    Brightpearl
  • Customer Since:
    2018

Executive Summary

As primarily an e-commerce supplier, ZLine Kitchen and Bath is a young company experiencing dramatic growth through online and big box retailers, including Amazon Marketplace, Lowe’s, Menards and Home Depot. They needed to do EDI to sell through these channels, but their first EDI provider was short of customer service, slow on setups and caused daily headaches for the operations team at ZLine. In 2018, the company reached out to SPS Commerce and deployed their full-service EDI solution, integrated with Brightpearl, an omnichannel retail operations platform, for a solution that was “a different world” according to David Ahmadi, Operations Manager at ZLine.

Today, ZLine has automated its order fulfillment process with 13 retailers and reduced its delivery time for drop-ship orders by half of a day.

“I am so grateful to SPS and Brightpearl, and their people. They were a breath of fresh air, professional in every way before we signed with them and at every step since that time.” – David Ahmadi, Operations Manager, ZLine Kitchen and Bath

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The Challenge:

Automate its order fulfillment to attract new business and support current growth.
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The Solution:

SPS Fulfillment and Sourcing shrink shipping times and be a catalyst for growth through new retail customer partnerships.
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The Results:

Five-star reviews from consumers, often citing fast delivery.

E-Commerce Requires EDI Operations

ZLine is known for its innovative kitchen ranges and cooktops and was growing quickly. It had recently launched its products at Lowes, the latest of many retailers selling their products using a drop-ship model. With each new retailer, the supplier expanded its EDI program to electronically communicate order, shipment and invoicing information.

The company had an EDI provider that was not working out. “Our first EDI solution was not delivering on their customer service promises. Our new trading partner setups were taking far too long and weren’t right, and we couldn’t use the full capabilities of Brightpearl. It was a nightmare,” said Ahmadi. A change needed to be made…quickly. When ZLine asked Brightpearl and their integration partner, Business Solution in the Cloud, who to trust with handling their EDI, the answer was SPS Commerce.

Full-Service EDI Delivers the Complete Package

While deploying SPS Commerce Fulfillment for EDI, ZLine had an SPS team to guide and manage the setup, as well as test connections and integrate to Brightpearl. “It was a big project. The SPS team was focused and were the best people to work with. They were open, efficient and so easy to work with,” said Ahmadi.

Given the supplier’s previous EDI experience, ZLine was hoping for a full-service partner that would take on the daily responsibilities of their EDI operations. They wanted a partner they could trust.

“One of our retailers is known for not being helpful during EDI setups, but SPS knew their difficult requirements for each transaction and got it all done. This was an important account for us. The professionalism and speed at which they onboarded the new retailer established a high level of trust,” said Ahmadi.

With SPS and Brightpearl taking care of daily operations, new partner setups and more in a timely manner, ZLine’s staff can focus on other tasks. Ahmadi commented, “Instead of worrying about whether we can get order shipped, the new SPS solution gives us the freedom to focus on other projects for the company. These are higher value tasks that are providing value to our company and a better use of our staff. The only time I need to interact with our EDI is to troubleshoot an order with SPS. It doesn’t often happen, and when it occurs the SPS team takes the lead.”

Drop-Ship Orders Delivered Fast

Keeping up with priority and drop-ship orders can be a challenge for growing companies, including ZLine. The supplier is using Brightpearl and SPS to become extremely efficient and reduce the average number of days to ship orders. “Our drop-ship business continues to expand, including some same day channels such as Amazon Marketplace and Wayfair. With the automation from SPS and Brightpearl, we are able to keep up and have reduced our drop-ship delivery times by half a day,” said Ahmadi.

Automated Inventory Updates

ZLine offers more than 2,000 unique SKUs on it marketplaces and daily updates on inventories are required. “We used to update inventory levels manually every morning. This was very tedious work. With SPS and Brightpearl, this process is fully automated and done automatically on our behalf. This has saved us hours each week,” said Ahmadi.

Ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The third quarter of every year represents a significant amount of sales for ZLine. Ahmadi stated, “With Brightpearl and SPS as part of our operations, we are 100 percent ready for the peak sales season. We’ll be processing more orders across more products. But I am more comfortable with our operations and secure in its ability to scale.”

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