A little bit about Greg
Right after engineering school, I began my career with McNaughton-McKay and have been here ever since. Over the last 28 years, I’ve worked throughout the organization: sales, engineering, general management and now, in my current role as Vice President of Information Technology. As the VP of IT, I oversee all ties between operation processes and technology, including everything from general IT and business systems to data networks, electronic data interchange (EDI) and business process management.
Why he loves the IDEA Exchange:
Cost and reliability – two simple words that are a very big deal to me. So much of our business is going electronic, and as we invest in the resources to support this shift, the competitive price of the IDEA Exchange is a key factor. Exchange has been so reliable over the last decade that it’s mostly invisible to us, just the way we like it. Exchange seamlessly handles our EDI business transactions with little to no human intervention, and alerts us about potential errors before it becomes a major issue.
We also use the IDEA Exchange Conversion Tool which automates the processing of inbound documents from our customers that aren’t EDI-enabled. Some customers may email us as many as 40 purchase orders (PO’s) a day, and the Exchange Conversion Tool translates those PO’s into EDI documents so we can process them into our business system as we would with any other EDI PO. This has saved our customer service reps many man-hours previously devoted to manually entering those PO’s into our system. We’re able to handle more orders and respond more quickly with the same amount of people as we increase our use of the tool. The Exchange Conversion Tool also helps speed up our order fulfillment; the service runs 24/7 so orders placed through the tool can be delivered “next-day” up until midnight.
How EDI influences his operations:
EDI impacts the efficiency and service levels of all departments, reducing operating costs and enabling us to redirect our people from manual repetitive tasks to revenue-generating initiatives that increase the value we provide to our customers. For example, the use of EDI helped us drastically speed up the receiving process. McNaughton-McKay recently started testing the import of Advanced Shipping Notices (ASN’s) from our vendors into our business system. In the past, our warehouse team had to open shipments coming in from a vendor and manually compare each delivery to the corresponding PO we sent the vendor. Now, with the EDI ASN import, we have a more automated receiving process: the warehouse team can scan the barcode on each order to automatically match it with its associated ASN, telling the team what is inside each order and where to stock the order in the warehouse. Errors will be reduced in this critical process, and the time saved through automation can be put to good use in other areas of the warehouse operations such as replenishment and special orders.