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Ignify eCommerce and Microsoft Dynamics GP Customer Solution Case Study

B2B Website Empowers Medical Sales Force
Reducing Costs and Increasing Efficiencies


Overview

Country or Region: United States
Industry: Health and Distribution

Customer Profile
Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, 3M Medical Sales Division provides wound care management products and services to medical professionals including doctors, home health nurses, and hospitals. 3M distributes these products through its worldwide direct sales force.

Business Situation
3M hired MDI, a leading fulfillment service company, to automate their ordering process. MDI sought an ecommerce solution that would integrate with their Microsoft Dynamics GP system and provide an ordering portal for 3M salespeople.

Solution
Together with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Ignify, MDI integrated Ignify eCommerce software with Microsoft Great Plains. 3M's new site reduced overhead costs, and automated order fulfillment.

Benefits

  • Reduces overhead costs
  • Increases information accessibility
  • Provides intelligent reporting
  • Improves supply chain




"We considered developing the system ourselves, but upon further review, it became obvious that partnering with Ignify offered the long-term benefits that focused on our customers' success, thus leading to aggressive business growth for MDI."
- Jennifer Wilcox, Director of Information Systems, MDI




For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426- 9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568- 2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-ofhearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in the United States or (905) 568-9641 in Canada. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to: www.microsoft.com

For more information about MDI, call (866) 999-9MDI or visit the Web site at: www.mdi.org

For more information about Ignify products and services, call (562) 860-5900 or visit the Web site at: www.ignify.com



"MDI is always looking to provide a better customer experience, and with this new system, we will be doing just that. Ignify and its eCommerce system provided us with the perfect blend of ease of use, integration with our existing accounting and ERP System and great technical support."
- Jennifer Wilcox, Director of Information Systems, MDI

3M Medical Sales Division provides wound care management products and services to medical professionals through a global sales force of over 800 people. 3M was seeking a more costeffective and automated method for its salespeople to place orders, and incorporate intelligent reporting for its management. 3M hired Minnesota Diversified Industries (MDI), who provides market-leading fulfilment, packaging, and assembly services. By choosing eCommerce software by Ignify, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, and MDI, 3M had a B2B online ordering portal live in just four months. The new site uses Microsoft Dynamics GP as the database, pushing information to sales people through Ignify eCommerce providing access to near real time inventory. Zero touch order processing has reduced 3M order shipment time by more than 50% increasing customer satisfaction and reducing overhead costs.

Situation

3M medical sales division in St. Paul, Minnesota, has 800 medical sales people worldwide selling its products and services to medical professionals including doctors, nurses, patients, and physicians offices.

3M sales people place phone orders with telemarketing reps for samples of wound care management products. They provide these samples to doctors and nurses for an evaluation period. A successful evaluation of 3M products is the key to receiving subsequent orders. 3M was looking to automate this order management cycle and get business intelligent reporting.

They chose market leader MDI, founded in 1964, who provides plastic manufacturing, fulfillment and packaging, and assembly services. The company targets mid-large customers operating in private and government sectors and is ISO 9001:2000 accredited. MDI has operations in St. Paul, Grand Rapids and Hibbing, MN.

Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains is the back bone of MDI's operations for all its customers. It manages all information from the moment an order is placed to when the bill is paid extending throughout the entire sales cycle.

3M was outgrowing their phone ordering system to take orders, and needed to migrate to a real time online eCommerce solution that would offer 3M sales force flexibility, accessibility, and more control over the order management cycle.

MDI 's top priority in selecting an eCommerce solution was to empower 3M sales people with an online store and provide bi-directional integration with their existing Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains system,without disrupting their accounting and business management functions.

Solution

In July 2006, MDI chose Ignify, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, to create a B2B site that would provide a self-serve ordering portal for 3M's global sales force. The integrated solution they implemented combined Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains with Ignify proprietary eCommerce software.

The Ignify eCommerce system integrated with Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains provided 3M salespeople with real-time access to quality information and eliminated their reliance on a telemarketing team to place and check their orders. Together the two products automated, simplified, and created a zero touch order processing through a robust, automated B2B store.

With true bidirectional integration with Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains, management now had access to a variety of key performance indicators and could pull intelligent reports.

"MDI is always looking to provide a better customer experience, and with this new system, we will be doing just that. Ignify and its eCommerce system provided us with the perfect blend of ease of use, integration with our existing accounting and ERP system, and first class technical support," said Jennifer Wilcox, Director of IS for MDI.

"We considered developing the system ourselves, but upon further review, it became obvious that partnering with Ignify offered the long-term benefits that focused on our customers' success, thus leading to aggressive business growth for MDI." says Wilcox.

When integrated with eCommerce, Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains acts as the system's database, communicating with the third-party solution and supplying real-time pricing and inventory data for display online as well as managing order details throughout the sales cycle.

End-to-End Integration
"Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains' strength lies in the richness of its functionality-and its integration capabilities," explains Sandeep Walia, President of Ignify.

Using Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains eConnect Enterprise Application Integration, Ignify was able to easily connect the two systems. These integration tools supported the creation of a B2B storefront for 3M, using Microsoft Great Plains for back-end transactional access.

The two systems exchange information about 3M sales orders and its product catalog seamlessly. Any changes made in Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains are automatically reflected in Ignify eCommerce, and vice versa.

Benefits

In choosing the right eCommerce solution MDI had several criteria, to be cost effective, improve 3M's order fulfillment process, provide intelligent reporting, and have a proven track record of integrating with Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains ERP system. Ignify won on all fronts.

Reduces Overhead Costs
Ignify eCommerce self serve ordering site, eliminated the need for 3M to have a dedicated telemarketing team. By eliminating the telemarketing team, 3M also eliminated the high training, hiring, and utility costs associated with it.

Another cost savings realized by 3M is implementing Ignify's built-in fraud management system. In the past, 3M management had no controls for salespeople who exceeded their credit limits, creating problems in inventory management and exceeding their budget for samples.

Now, for example, if a salesperson placed an order for samples exceeding $500, Ignify eCommerce automatically put the order on hold. Orders also go on hold for high priced samples that require management approval prior to shipment. This internal checks and balances system has helped keep 3M salespeople within their credit limits and kept 3M on target with their budget requirements.

"We continue to see interest from a broad array of companies which shows that ecommerce platforms are beneficial not only for business to consumer (b2c) businesses but also for business to business (b2b) companies especially when it comes to improving supply chain management." said Sandeep Walia, CEO of Ignify.

Increases Information Accessibility
The availability of real-time data from Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains on the ordering portal allows sales people to view real time inventory levels for samples, get online shipping quotes, and track order history, rather than contacting a telemarketer. The availability of this information at the sales reps fingertips reduced inbound calls by over 50% and allowed 3M to eliminate a dedicated telemarketing team.

Provides Intelligent Reporting
3M management now has visibility of key performance indicators and can pull a variety of reports from eCommerce or GP. For example, Ignify eCommerce pulls average order size, orders by sample type, total shipment costs, total sales by sales person from the business management system, generating more than 10 automated reports.

This increased knowledge helped 3M management to ensure proper inventory levels for samples in high demand, gave a snapshot view of each sales representatives activity level, design appropriate sales incentives to boost productivity and spot important sales trends.

Improves Supply Chain
Combined with MDI's expertise in fulfillment services, and the ability for salespeople to place orders directly on the website, MDI is able to process and ship an order within 24- 48 hours. This is more than a 50% improvement in order fulfillment and shipment from the previous phone order process.

Improving this supply chain, helped salespeople to deliver their samples to doctors and nurses on a timely basis, this in turn shortened the evaluation cycle and the entire sales cycle.

Boosts Sales Productivity
Empowering the sales people with an online ordering system, accessibility to information, improving the supply chain, and delivering samples on timely basis has boost the salespeople overall productivity and morale.

Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, which means less of a learning curve for your people, so they can get up and running quickly and focus on what's most important. And because it is from Microsoft, it easily works with the systems that your company already has implemented. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success.

For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to: www.microsoft.com/dynamics


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