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Handshake helps Cooper Booth reps be less transactional, and more strategic.Oct. 23, 2015
Replacing an outdated PDA system with a modern sales order management solution that would make frequent, high-volume reorders a simple task.
Serving a High-volume Market
Founded in 1865, the Cooper-Booth Wholesale Company is celebrating its 150th year in operation. The company prides itself on working with the top vendors in the FMCG industry, as well as providing strategic value to their customers––convenience store owners and operators.
Cooper-Booth’s full line represents 95% of a convenience store’s product needs, selling over 10,000 SKUs including general merchandise and a wide range of food and beverage items. In this incredibly fast-moving, high volume market, Cooper-Booth needed a robust order management solution to simplify a frequent and complex reorder process.
The Reorder Challenge
On average, Cooper-Booth’s sales reps visit their customers every one to three weeks. Because these stores are constantly ordering products that move off the shelf very quickly, convenience store operators rarely conduct inventory counts. Instead, they use the reorder process as a kind of inventory check, walking around the store to see which products need to be restocked.
For ten years, Cooper-Booth sales reps were using a Windows PDA device to enter and submit these reorders. The PDA system presented a number of problems. Even at $1200 for each device, they were often unreliable and didn’t allow reps or customers to see order details or product images, making instances of order errors, over-ordering, and returns common.
When asked to describe a typical store visit, Cooper-Booth’s VP of Sales Jeff Katelan explains, “[Sales reps] would go through and scan products, and it would sometimes time out or the battery would die, and then of course everything that was in there was lost. They would have to go and redo everything line by line. The PDA system doesn’t even keep a rolling total. There are no pictures. They don’t know what their balance is. It’s all a mystery until they hit the send button.”
The process wasn’t much easier for customers who called in their orders. With so many SKUs to reorder (the average Cooper-Booth order is hundreds of line items long), they could spend upwards of two hours on the phone with a Cooper-Booth customer service representative. To reduce operating costs and improve this customer experience, the company decided to find a new system.
Key Technology Requirements
In her search for a solution, Lori Homsher, Cooper-Booth’s VP of Information Technology, had several requirements. The order management system had to accommodate scale with thousands of customers (many with individual pricing entitlements), over 10,000 SKUs, and a massive amount of order data. It also had to speed up the reorder process and allow customers to place reorders through multiple channels.
Cooper-Booth needed a system that could do all that, while also being simple enough to implement without any additional IT staff. In the course of her search, Homsher found Handshake.
Since its implementation, Handshake has been able to successfully meet Cooper-Booth’s requirements, bringing greater scalability, speed, omnichannel capabilities, and information access to the reorder process.