Suture Express Inc. located in Lenexa, Kansas is a specialty distributor of wound closure products for the healthcare industry. For nearly ten years Suture Express Inc. has differentiated itself from other healthcare product distributors by focusing on providing products such as suture, endo-surgical, and adhesive products from premier manufactures such as Ethicon, US Surgical, and Aesculap. Through collaboration with manufacturers and dedicated product focus Suture Express is able to pass on savings to their customers for these products resulting in lower costs for consumers.
As an emerging company back in 2000, we primarily sold product to doctor’s offices and small surgical centers,” says Brian Forsythe, CFO of Suture Express Inc. “As our reputation grew, we began to bring on large hospital customers which changed the landscape of the ordering requirements we were used to. Most of our orders were faxed to us back then. As we began to see EDI requirements from our customers, we knew that EDI capabilities would be critical to achieving our growth strategies.
Suture Express Inc. replaced the EDI solution with TrueCommerce EDI for Microsoft Dynamics® GP (formerly vSync’s embedded EDI solutions for Microsoft Dynamics GP). Utilizing EDI for Sales Order Processing, Suture Express was able to import EDI sales orders directly into Great Plains. Manual intervention was required for exceptions only—those orders that were flagged by the system for non-compliance. Extending ordering capabilities to suppliers was made possible using TrueCommerce’ embedded EDI solution for Purchase Order Processing. Together, the solutions had a large impact on gaining efficiencies, improving operations, and re-deploying employees from reactive to proactive activity such as analysis.
With our former EDI solution, we avoided bringing on new EDI customers because it was just too painful, said Forsythe. Today we’re proactive about getting customers on EDI because it’s no longer a labor intensive issue. With the TrueCommerce solutions we now have the back office capabilities we need to meet and exceed customer expectations. At the same time, we see EDI as a critical tool for us to continue our sales growth”.
Exceeding Customer Expectations
Using TrueCommerce, Suture Express was able to easily provide customer-specific data on invoices. The TrueCommerce solution enables the automated creation of the EDI invoice using line item data pulled from the original sales order. When customers order product using their own nomenclature or item numbers, the system is configured to pull the exact line item data and transfer that data directly to the outbound invoice. This results in fewer calls to customer service and contributes to improved customer satisfaction.
Improved Supplier Relations
TrueCommerce’ solutions also enabled Suture Express to electronically generate sales reports for each of their manufacturers. Using the EDI 867 Product Resale and Sales Report document, suppliers now receive accurate sales data. This process enables Suture Express to comply with supplier agreements and assists suppliers with planning and forecasting for Suture Express.
Today, Suture Express enjoys the ability to analyze and review the responsive subtleties of their business. The result is continuous process improvement resulting in streamlined operations. Automated orders have greatly streamlined order processing and fulfillment allowing Suture Express to deploy resources in a manner that enables them to analyze their business. As their business continues to grow, the company is able to quickly bring up new customers utilizing a fixed cost model. Order processing through-put has increased by 20 percent.
Sewing up the Future
TrueCommerce is a valued partner that is responsive to our needs and works with us to brainstorm new ways of adding additional functionality,” said Forsythe. “Our strength is our focused niche. In that respect TrueCommerce and Suture Express are alike. Their focus on innovative embedded EDI solutions for Microsoft Dynamics® GP has enabled us to leverage our software investment and provide us with capabilities that enable us to be agile and focus on the needs of our customers. Yes, they know EDI, but they also understand our unique business needs and are good at devising solutions that work best for our company.”
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