Case Study

Thruway Fasteners deploys jLAN Mobile Sales Tablet Edition

 

Overview

Is your Industrial Parts distributor’s on time performance of concern? Do you know precisely what parts you will need, or how much of something you’ll sell? Of course not, and that level of uncertainty can negatively impact your business.

Being unable to meet customer demand could cripple your company. Shutting down production due to missing components can create lost opportunity and eventually erode market share.

Thruway Fasteners understands this challenge that faces their customers.

 

Thruway Fasteners Company Profile

Thruway has been in business since 1958 and serves customers in 40 states, as well as 28 countries. Thruway Fasteners created their niche in the marketplace by offering Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) systems.

Specifically, they undertake to provide and maintain sufficient quantities of replacement parts, stocked at their customer’s manufacturing facilities, for all their needs.

VMI saves the customer money by maintaining lean inventory, reducing staff commitment to inventory maintenance, and keeping adequate supplies on-hand to prevent costly process shutdowns due to lack of parts.

 

The Business Challenge of Thruway Fasteners

Thruway has a vast selection of parts, many of which are quite similar, further complicated by the fact that some of them are small and often times difficult to differentiate minute differences.

Each part has its own Thruway Fasteners identification number; these numbers can be completely different from the customized number which the individual company uses to identify its product.

Furthermore, customers also may have an annual Blanket Purchase Order that must be referenced every time an order is placed.

Parts orders need to be created continuously throughout the day. As soon as a part gets low it must be ordered; failure to do so could shut down some portion of the manufacturing process at great expense.

 

A Business Relationship Lasting More than a Decade

jAN Technologies has worked with Thruway Fasteners since 2006, streamlining and improving their inventory system. In close cooperation, jLAN developed a custom version of jLAN’s Mobile Sales Tablet edition.

“This tool allows us process improvements in our
daily activities. This has been an overwhelming
success .”

Steve St. Clair, General Manager

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Customer Profile

Thruway is a distributor of both Engineered and Standard components that are critical to OEM manufacturing companies. They need tight inventory control, data they can rely on, and practical stock-reorder times for both themselves and their customers.

Thruway’s remarkable reputation hinges on thier ability to always deliver the right parts on-time. Their customers know they can rely on this high level of service to keep their manufacturing processes flowing.

Business Problem

With over 100,000 parts available through Thruway Fasteners, the system always relied on knowledgeable representatives visiting their customers on a regular basis to make sure they had what they needed.

Customers couldn’t be spending time thumbing through massive volumes of potential parts, looking for something that might not be any bigger than a piece of aquarium gravel. Generally speaking, they only needed a very limited subset of all those parts. Their sales rep knew, or could find, what they needed.

Solution

The custom version was rolled out to select customer sites and thoroughly tested. With the completion of the successful pilot program, they are now prepared to roll it out to a larger customer base. By taking advantage of tablet technology, Thruway can now deploy Windows-based touch screen devices at the customer’s location, each equipped with a bar code reader to simplify the order creation process.

Solution Cont.

Each station is fully configured with the customer’s authorized parts lists, their blanket purchase order numbers, their contract pricing, and any other pertinent information for a particular Thruway customer. If desirable, customers can simply scan items periodically, over the course of the day, and seamlessly send to Thruways ERP system where it is fulfilled in real time.

Explore jLAN Mobile

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  • All legacy hardware replaced with Microsoft Surface tablets
  • Touch-screen technology allows reps to complete orders much faster
  • Eliminated long synch times, making working hours more productive
  • Reps have all data at their fingertips, including customer buying history
  • Reduced incidence of out-of-stock situations
  • Instant delivery to the Dynamics platform for fulfillment of next-day delivery promise
  • Turnkey, fully integrated mobile solution
  • Web-based route and sales monitoring
  • Centralized server administration
  • Flexible, reliable, scalable technology
  • Mobile platform and device options

Results

Customers don’t have to know their own product numbers; they don’t have to know Thruway’s product numbers; all they need is the bar code on the item. At the end of the day they press “Send” and it’s all taken care of, automatically.

The jLan Mobile Sales system integrates with Thruway’s back office, Microsoft Dynamics GP Sales Order Processing, for order fulfillment and shipping. The parts will be on their way the next day, or even the same day, if required.

Sales reps can make fewer trips while ensuring the customers still get all the parts they need, when they need them.

The combined Lean Inventory system and the Just In Time strategy increases productivity, streamlines their processes, and assures zero stock-outs while reducing transactional and non-value added activities. jLAN Mobile software has made a difference for Thruway, their customers, and it can make a difference for you.

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