Client Success Story

Global Adhesives Manufacturer Transforms Planning, Fulfillment, and Customer Service with Order Management Control Tower

Industry: Manufacturing

Solution: Power Platform

Introduction

In manufacturing, customer service is no longer a value-add but a necessity. Customers expect timely and accurate delivery of their orders, and any delays or issues can damage loyalty and trust. To meet these expectations, a multi-billion-dollar adhesives manufacturer needed to proactively monitor and manage their order fulfillment process across the global supply chain. However, visibility challenges within their current SAP system prevented the company from proactively addressing potential risks and effectively communicating with customers. 

Challenge

Limited visibility:

The global manufacturer produces adhesives, sealants, and other chemical products for various markets and applications. The international company managed 26,000 active orders at any given time and shipped tens of thousands of products per month. However, they lacked visibility into potential delays and options to proactively manage customer expectations. As a result, customer satisfaction rates consistently fell, employee morale dropped, and the manufacturer risked losing business.    

Custom, third-party solutions not a good fit:

To improve customer service, the company explored SAP solutions for proactively tracking and alerting customers about delayed orders. However, they soon realized a custom solution would be overly complicated, difficult to maintain or extend, and require several months to develop. The manufacturer also explored a specialized third-party application, but at nearly half a million dollars, the app didn’t meet their budget. 

Need to extend business applications within SAP environment:

Rather than take on time-consuming, highly custom technical debt, the manufacturer needed a seamless way to extend existing business applications within its SAP environment. The company soon began exploring Microsoft Power Platform, a set of low-code tools that enable users to create solutions for data analysis, app development, and workflow automation.  

Project Goals

  • increase visibility into potential delays
  • proactively manage customer expectations
  • extend business applications within SAP environment

26,000 active orders managed at any given time

tens of thousands of products shipped per month

Power Platform Example: Insights on missed delivery data help with planning and optimization (click image to see a larger version)

Power Platform Example: With color-coded dashboards, users can easily see if an order is on track, in jeopardy, or delayed (click image to see a larger version)

Solution

Familiar with our manufacturing and Power Platform expertise, Microsoft introduced MCA Connect to the adhesive manufacturer. We began with a Power Hack-a-thon showcasing the capabilities of Microsoft Power Platform, specifically Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI. After seeing how their business could benefit, the adhesives manufacturer decided to invest in MCA Connect and Microsoft Power Platform. 

To help the company proactively address fulfillment risks and improve customer service, we created an Order Management Control Tower. With data fed from SAP, this solution includes Power Apps that track the status of customer orders and surface insights in Power BI. With color-coded dashboards, users can easily see if an order is on track, in jeopardy, or delayed. The Control Tower also automates tasks using Power Automate. 

A dedicated page for the planning team allows users to view all orders and products and automatically flag issues for customer service. This empowers planners to communicate proactively and efficiently without relying on emails or Teams messages.  

The Control Tower also enables the warehouse team to report fulfillment issues. For example, if a delayed truck or material shortage affects delivery, the planning team can flag the order as problematic. The tool will then create a task for customer service to proactively alert the customer or find an alternative solution before the missed delivery date.  

Additionally, the Control Tower empowers customer service with a simple way to monitor and manage tasks. For example, the team can see how many open tasks they have, how long it takes them to communicate with the customers, and how quickly they resolve issues. 

Results

The Order Management Control Tower delivered on the Power Platform promise of a fast time to market. We implemented a minimal viable product within a month and achieved full go-live within 90 days. The Control Tower empowers the growing adhesives manufacturer to:

Save time and improve productivity

by simplifying communication and collaboration across the supply chain. According to a report by McKinsey, improving communication and collaboration among teams can increase productivity by up to 25%. 

Boost customer satisfaction rates

by empowering the customer service team to proactively alert customers about delays and resolve issues in a timely manner. According to one report, 73% of customers perceive a brand for the better when the company proactively contacts them about an issue rather than waiting for the customer to contact them first. 

Reduce costs and waste

by increasing on-time delivery performance and minimizing expedites.

Improve employee morale

with enhanced visibility for order tracking and control over supply chain operations and performance.

Fill system gaps quickly and affordably

by surrounding and modernizing the existing SAP environment with Microsoft low-code solutions. 

As a result, the manufacturer increased productivity, reduced costs by increasing on-time deliveries, and improved customer satisfaction

About MCA Connect

Through passion and deep industry expertise, MCA Connect® helps manufacturers succeed by unlocking innovation with actionable business insights. Our strategic solutions and industry intelligence help manufacturers gain visibility, improve profitability, and achieve a competitive edge. Contact us today to learn how we can help solve your biggest manufacturing challenges.  

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