Ammex Scales to 4X Growth in Personal Protective Equipment Orders

July 27, 2020
LISA MARTIN
Ammex Scales to 4X Growth in Personal Protective Equipment Orders

Ammex, a supplier of disposable gloves used in healthcare, manufacturing, food service, and many other industries, has been helping its wide range of distributor and retailer customers sell its personal protective equipment (PPE) for more than 30 years.

With a decades-long focus on delivering personal service and effectively managing its inventory, Ammex wanted to create a self-service online portal where its customers and customer service representatives could easily place orders and get real-time visibility into order status 24/7.

To enable self-service and scalability, Ammex needed to modernize its IT systems. That initiative began about one year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with the implementation of a new Salesforce Sales Cloud customer relationship management (CRM) application. Ammex also launched its first mobile app and an ecommerce platform called OnePath, built on the Kibo platform, for order entry by customers and its customer services team.

“The common thread across these different products was making sure that the information we have on each customer is available through each of these channels, but only maintained centrally within our Microsoft Dynamics GP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system,” says Mike Cartwright, Ammex's vice president of IT.

Read our full customer success story to learn more about how Ammex has modernized its business with Boomi.

Orchestrating the Customer Experience

To enable its ERP to be the system of record, Ammex chose Boomi to orchestrate the entire customer experience by integrating Salesforce Sales Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics GP, OnePath, and several external ecommerce, supply chain, and currency exchange applications.

Now, when a customer is added to Salesforce Sales Cloud, Boomi facilitates account creation in the ERP and OnePath within minutes. When an order is placed in OnePath, Boomi creates the order in the ERP, checks availability, and sends the order to the warehouse. Boomi then passes the tracking number from the warehouse to OnePath and the ERP, giving both Ammex customers and internal teams 100 percent visibility into order status.

As outlined in our new customer success story, Boomi has helped Ammex modernize its business by:

  • Eliminating data silos and point-to-point integrations between its CRM, ERP, and ecommerce platforms
  • Ensuring its ERP is the system of record, as all updates to a customer order in any of the above systems are automatically synchronized to the ERP
  • Providing customers and customer service representatives with real-time visibility into order status

Cartwright got immediate confidence that Boomi would be the right choice to solve Ammex’s challenges during his first interaction with Boomi.

“I explained the challenge I had with bidirectional synchronization between Salesforce Sales Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics GP over the phone with a Boomi sales representative,” says Cartwright. “[The] Boomi [rep] understood the challenge I was facing, and was able to articulate solutions over the phone. That gave me a high degree of confidence that we could solve the problem with Boomi.”

Since implementing the Boomi Platform, Ammex has realized far-reaching benefits that have transformed its business, including:

4X growth in the number of orders processed

In its first year using the Boomi Platform, Ammex achieved 4X growth in the number of orders processed, something Cartwright believes they couldn't have accomplished without Boomi.

Boomi-powered process automation has enabled Ammex to reduce the time it takes to process each order. The OnePath ecommerce platform has a “fast order” feature whereby a customer service rep placing an order simply enters the product SKU and quantity, and then goes through a quick checkout screen that automatically allows them to pick the customer’s address.

“The ecommerce platform automatically calculates the freight and the shipping costs,” says Cartwright. “Our goal was for our platform to be no more complex than placing an order on Amazon.”

Improved inventory management for fair product allocation

Ammex’s business values include being a pleasure to do business with and making sure it’s a true partner to its customers. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Ammex’s leadership made a conscious decision that the company would try to allocate inventory fairly across all of its customers.

But, one of the biggest challenges Ammex is facing is the availability of raw materials and products, which are manufactured in Malaysia. The global disposable gloves market is experiencing explosive growth, which means that Ammex has to be very careful with inventory allocation.

Leveraging the Boomi Platform, Ammex has built new processes that scan every order, determine what inventory can be allocated to each customer, and what needs to be back ordered. This is a complicated process that Ammex has automated with Boomi as orders come into its system.

Cartwright says that he doesn’t believe all of these functions would have been possible without automation.

Empowered customers and customer service reps

The OnePath ecommerce platform was developed for both end customers and Ammex’s customer service team to place orders. When a customer service representative places an order on behalf of a customer, OnePath gives the customer 100 percent visibility into order status, including tracking information, etc.

Logging in to OnePath, customers are now empowered with full transparency into order status and history, whether they placed an order online or over the phone with a customer service rep. That’s a huge improvement over a previous process that required customers to open a ticket with the customer service team, which would then manually find the information.

Providing an excellent online experience demonstrates that Ammex cares for its customers, which, according to Cartwright, is a powerful statement. He adds, “This user experience has been made possible by our integration with Boomi.”

A single source of truth across systems

When an ecommerce order is placed by a customer or customer service rep, Boomi orchestrates end-to-end processes and ensures that Ammex has a single source of truth with consistent and accurate data across systems.

That processing includes things like picking the right warehouse and the right carrier, and checking to see if the customer has inventory allocated. Boomi is at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the processes.

Cartwright explains that from the beginning, Boomi creates the account within OnePath and synchronizes the price list, product catalog, addresses, payment terms, and available credit with the ERP system. Next, Boomi creates the order in Microsoft Dynamics GP, while also checking into inventory availability and which warehouse the order should be shipped from.

Boomi then picks up tracking information and updates records within Microsoft Dynamics GP and OnePath, so it's involved in every stage of the process, ensuring information is consistent and accurate across applications.

Better account management and workforce productivity

If a customer calls to inquire about an order, an Ammex account manager can see the order history in the Salesforce Sales Cloud CRM app, and do things like update an address, contact email, location, etc. With Boomi, any change made in the CRM automatically flows to all other systems, like the ERP and OnePath.

“We can update a customer order once and that accurate data is available at many points," says Cartwright. "This is giving us the opportunity to move more of our customers to a self-service model, which not only gives the customer a better experience, but also removes a significant load from Ammex’s customer service team.”

He added that self-service has allowed the customer services team to reallocate at least three full-time employees to other projects.

Why Boomi?

Ammex knew as part of its implementation of Salesforce that it would need to share and synchronize data with other systems. Because data could be changed in any system, Ammex wanted bidirectional synchronization between Microsoft Dynamics GP and Salesforce Sales Cloud. It had a lot of customized data fields in both systems that it needed to make available.

It evaluated MuleSoft, Talend, eOne Solutions SmartConnect, and TIBCO Scribe, and chose Boomi for these reasons:

  • Out-of-the-box connectors: Boomi’s connectors for Salesforce Sales Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics GP were standouts to Cartwright, as well as its API and FTP technology connectors. Ammex liked that Boomi provides faster, simpler, and more efficient integration between business units, customers, and partner ecosystems with its vast selection of technology and application connectors.
  • Cloud-native: Ammex wanted a platform that was cloud-based, and found that with Boomi it can quickly and easily integrate any of its applications, helping bring together their increasingly complex cloud and on-premises IT environment.
  • 11,000+ successful customers: Ammex was impressed with other companies that have adopted Boomi and the types of problems they are solving with Boomi technology. Customers worldwide use Boomi’s market-leading platform to increase revenue, reduce IT spend, elevate customer, partner, and employee satisfaction, and drive efficiency across their ecosystems.
  • Training materials: Accessibility to training materials enabled Cartwright to train his existing team on the software and ensure they knew how it worked.

With Boomi, Ammex has improved the experience of its wholesale customers by modernizing its technology platforms to:

  • Provide more options through ecommerce channels for placing orders
  • Support 24/7 self-service access to order status and order history
  • Give its customer services team access to accurate, up-to-date customer records across multiple systems

"The real value from Boomi is in the integration among our CRM, ERP, and OnePath systems, because it gives us confidence that customer data is always consistent across our organization," says Cartwright.

Read our customer success story to learn more about how Ammex has modernized its business with Boomi.

About the Author

Lisa Martin is the principal of LuccaZara, Inc, a boutique marketing agency for tech companies in Silicon Valley. She's also a TV host, having interviewed over 400 executives from Michael Dell to personal financial expert Suze Orman on the many applications of technology innovation.