EDCO relieves CSRs 500+ hours of work with B2B Commerce
A veteran with a vision
After World War II, thousands of veterans returned home to their families, prosperity was within reach and the “American Dream” was realized for many. Veteran, Arthur Edwards recognized an opportunity in the booming housing market and founded a manufacturing company rooted in innovation, quality and service.
In 1946, Arthur’s vision to bring to market a lasting and affordable residential siding product came to life as EDCO Products, Incorporated. In the beginning, EDCO produced and distributed asphalt siding. As the world saw material advancements, EDCO shifted from asphalt to aluminum and eventually to steel.
Arthur passed away in 2012 but his innovative, visionary and entrepreneurial spirit live on today through more than 200 EDCO employees. As the largest manufacturer of pre-finished metal siding products in the United States, EDCO offers a comprehensive line of siding, roofing, soffit, fascia, and gutter systems.
A focus on customer-prioritization
Over the years, EDCO has built countless homes, employed hundreds of people and fostered a stronger community by delivering the highest quality products and providing a relentless commitment to their customers.
From the people behind desks, to the workers on the manufacturing line, and even to the employees in the warehouse who package and deliver products, every EDCO employee bends over backwards for their customers. EDCO’s has a diverse customer base of distributors. EDCO does not sell directly to homeowners.
EDCO’s transformation over the years
Here are a few ways EDCO has changed over the years:
- In the 40s, 50s and 60s, EDCO’s asphalt siding product served the company well. Today, EDCO manufactures beautiful, award-winning steel siding and roofing products with HD-enhanced print coats.
- Just 20 years ago, EDCO hand loaded trucks. Today, EDCO boasts automated packaging, robotics and lift-assists.
- 20 years ago, the sales office shared one computer with internet access for the CSRs. Every desk had a stack of carbon paper. The fax machine was their best friend. Today, of course, everyone has their own computer, reliance on the fax machine is going away and EDCO is finding new, better ways to serve their customers.
That’s where the partnership with Optimizely comes in. EDCO set out to serve their customers anytime, anywhere and from any device with Episerver B2B Commerce Cloud.
Investing in eCommerce
EDCO’s initial goal for eCommerce was to provide their customers with improved connectivity. They wanted to make it easier for customers to do business with them. In addition, EDCO wanted to streamline their processes, gain efficiencies and improve accuracy with order entry.
EDCO envisioned a future where customers could easily and efficiently serve themselves online. EDCO wanted their customers to be able to easily access products, view pricing, check inventory levels and perform other digital self-service tasks.
Building a team
Any digital transformation requires a strong team to lead the charge. At EDCO, eCommerce is managed by a team of three.
Dean Karlsen is the Customer Support Manager responsible for managing content, the online product catalog and pricing. Tim Walterson is EDCO’s Business Analyst Developer ensuring the integration between Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud and EDCO’s IFS ERP stays strong. Finally, Kristi Peterson, EDCO’s National Marketing Manager plays a crucial role in building the website and driving EDCO’s marketing strategy.
Why Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud?
Finding an eCommerce system that accommodates the unique needs of a manufacturer isn’t always easy. EDCO narrowed their search by creating a 3-tiered approach to finding the right fit: needs, wants and nice-to-have’s.
“We found that Optimizely’s out-of-the-box solution fit all of our needs, most of our wants and even some of our nice-to-have’s,” said Dean Karlsen. “Other platforms would have needed massive customizations to do what Episerver B2B Commerce by Insite is able to do natively.”
Other factors that solidified the decision for EDCO included:
- Robust B2B features in the platform
- Business values were aligned
- Guest user vs. login experience
- User friendly admin console
- Intuitive CMS
- Complex pricing capabilities
EDCO’s new world with eCommerce
EDCO went through a four-stage release to get their website up and running. EDCO’s full customer launch went live in May 2019. Today, EDCO’s product catalog is easily accessible online, customers are digitally enabled and EDCO’s team is more efficient than ever.
EDCO has seen more than 300 registered accounts. Over 1400 orders have run through Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud. But more importantly than accounts or order frequency, EDCO values the efficiency gain they’ve seen since incorporating Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud.
Customers are more empowered than ever before to self-serve. They can easily check inventory levels, pricing and account history. Because customers can conduct business on their own terms, EDCO believes their CSRs have been relieved of over 6,000 phone calls. As each phone call takes an average of 5 minutes, EDCO estimates that Episerver B2B Commerce by Insite has saved CSRs more than 500 hours of work.
EDCO employees have even reported increased job satisfaction since incorporating Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud. As the platform has freed salespeople up from entering orders or completing other simple tasks, they are now able to problem solve and offer proactive, consultative guidance to customers. Overall, salespeople enjoy their job even more.
Finally, Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud has helped the EDCO team onboard and train new employees. Training new employees by getting them acclimated with EDCO’s ERP can be complicated. An eCommerce system is easier to navigate and offers things like product images and descriptions which makes understanding the breadth of EDCO products simpler.
EDCO continues to put their customers first by consistently improving their customer experience. Looking ahead, EDCO wants to move even more orders online. The team is also looking into making more technology improvements like incorporating EDI and updating their CRM.
No matter what changes, Arthur Edwards’ legacy will always live on. EDCO will continue delivering the highest quality product with a relentless focus on their customers. As Arthur once said, “We are never satisfied. We have to fulfill our desire to make a better product line, a better company and hire more employees.”
Manufacturing and distribution