Serigraph

Serigraph Achieves Business Growth and a Competitive Edge with the Help of App Technologies and Progress Software. 

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SS_Serigraph

Challenge

Support customers’ requirements for speed-to market of promotional and Point of Purchase (POP) materials and improved services to their franchisees.

Solution

Worked with Progress Partner App Technologies to add complimentary components to existing web-based fulfillment and project management solution by recently adding online catalog ordering functionality.

Result

Doubled number of local and national promotions fulfilled per year for existing customers; reduced promotional cycle from 13 weeks to six on average; 99.9% accuracy of promotional fulfillment; decreased customers’ shipping costs; saved customers hundreds of thousands of dollars by decreasing obsolete inventory; grew business by 15%.

Story

Challenge

Managing any business is difficult. But the challenges of managing a business with hundreds of franchisees across North America can be extraordinarily complex. The effort involved in coordinating marketing efforts, point of purchase materials, and instore promotions while assuring that all elements of a campaign are in the right place at the right time is massive. To add to the complexity, more stores and restaurants are running localized promotions which also require support. Streamlining the processes for communication and delivering the required products and services to customers in a timely, efficient way are vital to maintaining success in today’s fast paced, on demand world.

Serigraph, a market leader providing Point of Purchase (POP) solutions to the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR), retail and other consumer products industries, understands all too well the urgency of its customers to ensure speed-to-market and superior customer service. Offering creative technologies and a suite of 360° services,  Serigraph enables its customers to differentiate their brands and stand out at the point of sale. The company provides clients with a “soup to nuts” offering of services, including graphic design, full-service production, fulfillment, web ordering and tracking systems, planning, warehousing, inventory management and installation.

“The industries we serve are marketing driven, so speed-to-market is imperative to their success,” explains Kevin Newton, E-Business Systems Architect for Serigraph. “Often there is a media component to promotions, such as radio or television commercials, which means our deadlines are firm and unyielding. It is vital that all of the participating stores or restaurants receive the promotional and point of purchase materials on time. But the reality is that throughout the process—i.e.  product design and development, approvals, order placement, etc.—dates often slip. But no matter what happens throughout that cycle, we cannot miss our targets. Bottlenecks are inevitable, and it is essential that we have the technology and processes in place to manage any issues that come our way.”

Solution

Two years ago, Serigraph engaged App Technologies—a leading Progress and WebSpeed® business application technology firm—to update Serigraph’s webbased ezPOP solution for on-line fulfillment and project management services. ezPOP enables Serigraph to pull together everything it needs to support its customers’ promotions—from beginning to end.

ezPOP allows Serigraph to build orders based on how a specific store or restaurant is organized. Once the information is in the system, Serigraph knows exactly what products they need to manufacture and how to fulfill the orders. If there is a tight deadline, Serigraph can set up zone shipping to pack the boxes that need to go to the furthest zone first. All of the data is organized inside of ezPOP,  streamlining the entire process and enabling both Serigraph and their customers to meet their goals and deadlines.

Serigraph’s customers are also able to perform test promotions with ezPOP. For instance, they can launch a limited promotion in a small regional area as a test and then expand the promotion nationally, if it proves successful.

“ezPOP enables us to be extremely nimble, allowing us to make changes up to the last minute and still make our deadlines for our customers.” Newton says the underlying Progress database is rock-solid. “It just runs and runs—it never goes down, and the system requires very little administration which means we can focus on providing more value to our customers rather than troubleshooting technology issues.”

Result

Serigraph has realized a significant competitive advantage with ezPOP and the ezPOP web ordering eCatalog capability, recently securing Culver’s as a new customer—an expanding franchise system with more than 423 restaurants in 17 states. Other customers have expressed serious interest in the solution, including an international multi-billion dollar  energy company.

“Offering a web-based solution is a huge competitive advantage, and being able to combine that with all of the other services that we offer makes us unique to the industry,” explains Newton. “There are very few companies that can manage the entire process from order through shipment. Many customers are constantly trying to cobble together three or four companies to do one thing. Our ability to manage the entire process under one roof on an integrated basis is a huge advantage for our customers.”

The system has enabled Serigraph to double the number of local and national promotions it fulfills per year for existing customers and, as a result,  Serigraph has increased product production and overall business. In industries where success is driven by promotional responsiveness, Serigraph has demonstrated the ability to reduce the promotional cycle by more than 50%. Serigraph’s promotional fulfillment is currently tracking toward 99.9% accuracy, achieving 56 parts per million, far better than industry averages, with an end target of 34 parts per million. In addition, previous dependence on expediting shipments has been greatly reduced, an expense that is five times more costly than standard freight. Serigraph is saving customers hundreds of thousands of dollars by decreasing obsolete inventory. The end result: in this tough economy Serigraph has managed to grow its business by 15% in just under two years.

“ezPOP and the new eCatalog functionality, give us a significant competitive advantage because we are now a true 360° business with the ability to meet all of our customers’ needs,” explains Newton. “The efficiency, productivity and cost reduction benefits to our customers are tremendous. A top 20 QSR chain reduced its entire production cycle—from order through to shipping—from 13 weeks down to just four weeks.”

“We are excited to see the results of App Technologies’ work at Serigraph,” said Scott Blaubach, Vice President of App Technologies. “Developing practical custom solutions that add significant business value to an organization is our goal. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Serigraph and Progress Software.”

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