U.S. import distributor realizes massive efficiency gains when pricing updates are 90% faster
Berk Enterprises Inc. imports and distributes disposable food service products, and is comprised of three branches serving different market needs. Berkley Square is mainly plastic cutlery and other related items for the food industry, including its Vegware line of compostable products made from plants. Berk Concessions delivers customer cups, containers, and other items common at fairs and public events. Berk Paper and Supply is the regional distributor of food service disposables, including paper towels, napkins, bathroom tissue, and paper and plastic bags.
Berk’s customer portfolio includes large office supply companies, food service distributors, and popular fast-casual restaurants, among others. With demand for its services increasing across all three divisions, Berk Enterprises sought to automate many of its internal processes and save countless hours.
Freeing up employees from tedious data entry tasks would allow them more time to analyze data and make better decisions for the business.
Specifically, Berk was looking for a software solution to manipulate data and automate some of the cumbersome manual processes, which included updating pricing in the system. Berk’s internal workflows call for constant spreadsheet-to-database updates and inserts, and require XML to JSON conversion for Web Services. Using a database trigger to JSON allows real-time data transmission to an external website, which keeps website data current and enables up-to-date price lists for its vendors and partners.
Previously, users would manually update pricing for items and vendor items, and the processes would take an entire day, if not longer. Josh Garland, enterprise solutions manager for Berk Enterprises, knew there had to be a better way for Berk to provide the real-time pricing information critical to its business.
Berk discovered Cleo via its ERP company VAI, a longtime Cleo partner, and now uses the Cleo EEI™ and Cleo Clarify™ solutions for data transformation and B2B integration. It currently takes just 30 minutes to draft a spreadsheet and mass-update pricing using the Cleo Clarify solution, saving a considerable amount of employee time and effort.
“We just didn’t have a program that was capable of doing what Cleo Clarify is able to do,” Garland said. “And I feel like we’ve barely scratched the service on what the technology can do for us.”
Berk also uses Web Services to push purchase order (PO) information to an external website that allows the company to manage and manipulate the data, which it couldn’t do before. Pushing this information to the website enables Berk’s vendors and PO manager in China to see a real-time view of Berk’s data without requiring VPN or ERP access, which kept its security on point.
Overall, Berk found that the Cleo Clarify solution:
- Automated many manual, time-consuming internal processes
- Increased employee efficiency, saving time and money
- Increased visibility to its data with Web Services, which also improved business productivity
With internal pricing and other translation processes now a well-oiled machine, Berk Enterprises can better pursue its mission to present products of quality and value to its customers.