Skip to content

Posts by Julie Mai

Think You’ve Got Your Order Management Under Control? Think Again.

order management

A few months back a client asked if we could review their order entry process. They didn’t really think there was much room for order entry improvement, but had a mandate to improve the customer experience and decrease operating costs. Read more

Related Posts

Why Are Companies Increasing Their Spend on Customer Experience by 18%?

It should come as no surprise to anyone in business that customer experience is directly related to increasing a company’s bottom line. Reports indicate on average businesses estimate they will increase spending on customer experience by 18% in the next two years. Improving the cross-channel experience and customer analytics are top priorities.

The reason why supply chain and customer service are spending more and more time on customer experience is because it’s directly related to success. It’s time to come to the realization that the customer base itself is a valuable financial asset, and that good service will increase its value, while bad service will diminish it.

A customer base creates two different kinds of customer equity: short-term value and long-term value.

Read more

How Customer Service Teams Maintain Habits & Measure Customer Experience After Implementing Order Processing Automation

better-than-beforeAnyone that I’ve spent time with over the past six months has heard me, at least once, bring up the topic of habits. More precisely, my infatuation with the work that author Gretchen Rubin has been doing and some of the information she shared in her book Better Than Before.

According to Gretchen, “Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.”

As someone who helps customer service teams improve their processes through the implementation of order processing automation, I asked myself “How do customer service teams successfully maintain their new habits and measure the effect on customer experience after implementation?”

Thanks to Gretchen, I have a couple suggestions…

Read more

Related Posts

Baseball, Hotdogs And New Connections

Learn more about Julie Mai.

At the end of Summer 2014, Esker along with Paymetric hosted a Customer Service Excellence event at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, TX—Home of the RoughRiders baseball team.

rough riders - dr pepper ballpark - baseball - events

Esker Pros taking a pose with the RoughRiders Mascot at Dr. Pepper Ballpark

The two primary speakers were Adrian Posteraro from C-Sat Partners and Dan McMenomy from Tessenderlo Kerley Inc. (TKI). The mixture of the two perspectives was very enlightening. Adrian truly focused on the Customer Service Team’s role within an organization and how focusing on their importance can achieve fantastic results for that organization’s bottom line. Dan came from the perspective of the IT department within the chemical industry. His approach to technology within TKI offered a unique outlook on communications between departments, and have gave event attendees insight into the processes that are key within the chemical industry but can prove to be administratively challenging if not properly managed.

The content of both presentations was excellent… so much so, that at one point we all thought we heard angels singing in the background. (Turns out that it was actually the Lewisville High School Choir practicing for the National Anthem.)

“Give to Live”

Even with all of the great information that was delivered at the event, in talking to attendees as the night was winding down, the even bigger “win” from the event seemed to be that everyone felt that the connections made with the attendees and the presenters, on a personal level, was so valuable that they would feel free to reach out to one another outside of this event. There was a camaraderie built that allowed to group to extend the afternoon into future. Read more

Related Posts

"The Happiest Place on Earth"… for AP Professionals

Learn more about Julie Mai.

A couple weeks ago, I was fortunate to attend the IOFM Conference at Disney’s Floridian Resort and Spa.  It was quite the event with hundreds of Accounts Payable professionals flocking to this “magical kingdom” to learn more about trends and innovations in the Accounts Payable space.

The keynote speakers were Debbie Vander Bogart from Levi Strauss and Kerry Ann O’Conner from Maxim Integrated Products.

Both presentations were done by women who are very well-respected in the Accounts Payable world and have seen a lot of different “buzz words” come and go over the years surrounding the Procure-to-Pay process.

They both shared stories of using “Faith, Trust, and a little bit of Pixie Dust” (in this case the “Pixie Dust” was in the form of diligence and hard work) to make significant transformations in their AP processes for their organizations. Read more

Related Posts

How to Make Things "Different"

Learn more about Julie Mai.

Last week I was talking with a company that manufacturers Medical Device products. My contact was a little bashful to call and ask me for the meeting because the topic of Sales Order Processing Automation has already been discussed so many times in the past.

When my contact called, she said: “Julie, this time I promise, we are REALLY going to do this!”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I was more than happy to meet with them about their sales order process and to discuss with them all the “good things” that could happen by automating their manual order processing—but, since we’ve already had this discussion many times, I had to inquire, ”What’s different this time that will allow this to move to the next step?”

Achieve Outstanding Customer Service

Well, the response that I received was just about perfect! My contact was very excited to share with me that they have a new Director in place. She shared that this new Director is adamant that they need to make changes to ensure that their clients see them as “outstanding” in Client Care…not just “satisfactory”.

A couple key items that they want to tackle:

  • Right now it can take up to 36 hours to enter one order. The goal is to get this down to entry within 6 hours.

Read more

Related Posts

SAPPHIRE NOW: You give Conventions A Good Name

bonjovi - sapphire - asug - blog - esker

I am writing this as I sit on the plane heading home from the annual SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Conference in Orlando. This is the fourth year that I’ve attended, and each time I attend, I’m amazed at the amount of value that the week delivers for both vendors and attendees. This year there was also the added benefit of having Jon Bonjovi as the conference performer for the closing Celebration Night event.

Anyone who knows me knows that the announcement of Bonjovi being this year’s entertainment pretty much ensured that I would be attending. And, I’m not going to even try and deny how much fun I had at the Celebration Night with Jon and the Kings of Suburbia, but a funny thing happened. Somewhere between “Lost Highway” and “You Give Love A Bad Name”—I began wondering if Bonjovi ran on SAP. Read more

Related Posts

An Accounts Payable Automation Happy Ending

Written by Julie Mai

A few weeks ago I was invited to a client’s office to discuss an upcoming project that they had for automation of their Accounts Payable process.  They had a few facets of the project that added some additional challenges to the situation:

  • They absolutely had to have the system “live” in a 10 week time frame
  • The resources that they had available were quite limited because they had other systems that were under these same deadlines.
  • They had two different ERP systems that were used for processing invoices
  • There are plant facilities across the country, each one is responsible for coding their own invoices and many of the approvers are not users in the ERP systems.

After some lengthy discussions and some brainstorming we were able to work together to determine a course of action.  Luckily, everyone that was involved was both up for the challenge and recognized that because of the significant changes being requested, there was no way that we could determine all of the functional requirements as a part of the project kickoff.

This worked out quite well to fit into the Agile Methodology that we utilize for our professional services team and the process of getting the project approved was completed in fast order. Read more

Related Posts

AP Automation in the Cloud….What are the Possibilities?

Spring was slow to show up here in the Midwest this year.  On a rather cold and overcast day, I went to visit one of my customers.  They had described their “old” process to me as a “paper addiction”.  Esker and this particular Accounts Payable Customer worked together to come up with a program to allow them to recognize their problem, own it, and then overcome it.

Thankfully for the past two years, this company has been in “recovery,” and they have been “live” on a fully automated solution completely in the cloud.  With this automated solution they have had a number of successes. A few feats that they have shared with me include:

  • Staff having 45% more time to focus on value added tasks.
  • Vendor calls that have been reduced by 50% and they can now be resolved on one single call, which reduces the time to resolution significantly. Read more

Related Posts