Dot Foods offers more than 109,000 products and delivers them in less-than-truckload (LTL) quantities to distributors in all 50 states and over 25 countries. Its e-commerce department is responsible for the electronic data interchange (EDI) with customers, suppliers, brokers and groups. It is also responsible for the synchronization of electronic item data with suppliers and customers through the Global Data Synchronization Data (GSDN), including the marketing and nutritional data and images on the Dot Expressway, and for ensuring item data and barcode accuracy.
Dot Foods works with thousands of distributors worldwide with many of them requiring manual processing of purchase orders (PO). This included several-thousand multipage POs consisting of millions of line items. Sean Ketcham, Senior E-Commerce Coordinator, at Dot Foods, Inc., was part of the team responsible for identifying a way to digitally transform the processing of POs not submitted via EDI or flat file.
To allow customer service representatives to focus on customers, the e-commerce department was charged with automating the pulling of information from POs and sending it into Dot Foods i-Series for sales to accept.
Dot Foods worked with the Todologix, Inc. support team to deploy ABBYY FlexiCapture within its e-commerce department. The solution digitized fax orders then sent automated POs to Dot Foods’sales department to accept and to quickly onboard new distributors. The deployment ran alongside existing operations without any interruption of day-to-day operations and was completed within five days. Since its initial deployment in 2008, Dot Foods has maximized its use of FlexiCapture by first onboarding the 10 highest volume distributors, then because the onboarding process is so efficient, today has more than 700 distributors automated using ABBYY.
The automated workflow for PO processing is extremely streamlined needing minimal human interaction. The customer simply sends their PO to the customer service representative (CSR) as a PDF through Dot Foods’ FastFax or by email. The CSR drops the PDF into a HotFolder mapped on their computers. B2B software used by Dot monitors the folder every minute to move PDFs to a HotFolder on the server where ABBYY FlexiCapture is stationed.
FlexiCapture pulls from the HotFolder every two minute to ensure timely processing.What once required a team of over 60 customer service representatives to allot time for manually keying orders now has only four clerks to monitor verification stations. Additionally, it has narrowed the digital divide among distributors who cannot or choose not to automate their PO process.