Business pundits promised us paperless organizations decades ago. Many companies are still some distance from that goal line. But today Simcona Electronics—a Rochester, New York-based electronics distributor—has taken great strides toward that lower-cost, more productive future with the help of HelpSystems.
The Information Slowdown
Simcona’s IT department is comprised of just two people and limited time. Accessing data, reporting on it, and distributing those reports took too long. They needed a faster way to access information and deliver it to those who need it. They found the solution with Sequel Data Access and Esend.
Sequel offers real-time business intelligence that lets organizations decide how to access and analyze their data and distribute it exactly how users need it. With Esend, they gain automated electronic distribution capabilities, eliminating the need to print, burst, and mail hard copy reports.
An All-in-One Toolkit
Sequel and Esend started as a data access and report distribution tool, but it’s become so much more.
Simcona users make extensive use of Microsoft Excel. With Sequel, they can do even more with Excel. Sequel helps to feed their spreadsheets through convenient, seamless exports from the company’s IBM i-based systems.
“A lot of times the output from Sequel is the starting point for users’ Excel spreadsheets,” explains Jim Coursen, Business Applications Manager. “They’ll take what I give them and do pivot tables and other things like that. And they know that the data is accurate because it comes right from the system.”
Users also appreciate the Sequel dashboards provided by IT. Dashboards enable the inside and outside sales force to see a visual representation of data. With just one glance, the salespeople understand the status of the business and can spot trends. In just one click, they can quickly drill down to what needs attention right away.
“The dashboards went over very well,” continues Jim. “A lot of the other departments saw them and said, ‘Hey, where’s my dashboard?!’”
Sequel also facilitates other data displays that would have been difficult in the past. For example, Simcona uses it to upload shipment tracking information to the company’s web store so customers can easily track their orders. The company also uses Sequel to feed data to four or five large-screen TVs located in the office. Those screens provide sales metrics so salespeople can track their success relative to other salespeople.
Serious Savings on Data Reporting
In addition to saving time, Simcona is saving on costs as well. Providing employees with online reports that they used to get on paper, and distributing documents to customers and suppliers electronically rather than physically, has dramatically reduced paper costs at Simcona. The company now saves $2,000 per year on pre-printed forms and blue bar paper, and the cost will come down even further as more reports and forms are converted from paper.
Reducing the cost of printed forms was only one way Simcona saved—and not even the largest. Simcona also reduced postage costs by about $7,000 a year through electronic distribution of quotes, invoices, purchase orders, debits, credits, and other documents.
And saving money isn’t the only benefit. The company has been able to produce more professional-looking documents by seamlessly integrating graphical elements, such as the company logo, into the forms and reports it sends to customers.
And the future looks even brighter. “I’m coming up with new things every day,” said Jim. “And users are very aware of the capabilities of Sequel. We’re getting a lot of new, focused requests from them. We can meet all of those requests because, with Sequel, it doesn’t take long to do these things.”
Try Sequel at your organization and discover the benefits for yourself.