Finding a fast, intuitive order writing solution to replace paper catalogs, order forms, a buggy internal order entry interface, and cumbersome manual order confirmations.
Ceramo’s internal sales reps can handle 20-30% more orders every day.
Ceramo has replaced their cumbersome paper catalog with a sleek digital version available on their reps’ mobile devices.
Digital order confirmations can be sent to customers immediately after orders are written, and all orders from independent sales reps the field arrive in the back office in one, standardized digital format.
Ceramo is one of the leading importers and distributors of lawn and garden containers, pottery, and accessories in the United States. Sourcing products from around the globe, the company has been in operation for over 70 years and works with independent garden centers and chains across the country.
At a trade show, Alec Junge, Ceramo’s Director of Product & Marketing, noticed that competitors were using tablets to write and place orders. Recognizing that this was the wave of the future, he went online looking for a similar solution. Handshake has since changed the way the company makes sales at both trade shows and in the field, as well as how orders are processed.
Sales reps are now able to carry all of their products (including images, descriptions, etc.) on their iPads. “Our business is very design-driven. We wanted a way to show beautiful, high-resolution photographs of our products, and we couldn’t really do that with a paper catalog. I love scrolling through all of the images. Customers see the digital catalog, and it boggles the mind to get a sense of the scope of what we’re offering,” says Junge.
The catalog is also easily searchable. With 2000 items in the catalog, reps can search by typing in a SKU, product name, or simply by navigating through the product categories. According to Junge, “It’s a lot faster than flipping through a 128-page catalog.
While Ceramo does have an internal sales team operating on the phone and at trade shows, the company relies heavily upon independent sales representatives in the field. These reps have between 5-8 store visits per day, making weekly or bi-monthly rounds in their respective territories. According to Junge, most of these reps carry 7 or 8 other lines in addition to Ceramo’s products.
One of the biggest benefits of having all of their independent sales reps on Handshake is that every order from the field comes to the back office in one standard format. In the past, certain reps would send emails while others scanned paper order forms. “We were finding ourselves missing orders,” says Junge. “Reps would take the order and forget to fax it in, or forget to attach the order in an email. This technology has eliminated all of that. Orders now come in through a single channel, and the back office team can process them more quickly.
Not only are their field reps using order writing software, sales reps taking orders over the phone in the back office are also using the technology. The intuitive user interface has made entering orders into the system much easier than the buggy data entry interface the company used to employ, and has resulted in significantly increased productivity. “It’s so much faster than the way they used to have to key in orders. They’re handling 20-30% more orders a day now,” Junge reports.
The ability to immediately communicate back to the customer what they ordered has also been a boon to the business. In the past, there was a 4-step process to send out an order confirmation. The purchase order would come in via email and then have to be printed and manually entered into QuickBooks. Only then could the order confirmation get issued.
Today, each order confirmation is emailed out right after the order is written, and they all include images that allow the customer to visually refer back to what they’ve purchased. The order is also synced with the company’s QuickBooks system at the same time.