Shedding Light With Sunlight Supply

Are you ready for a peek under the hood? One of the most powerful factors of the ERP systems we install are customized solutions working hand-in-hand with preexisting tools tailor-made for specific industries. Let’s take a look how we helped one of our clients further refine their process and increase their efficiency with two solutions.

Sunlight Supply, Inc., headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, manufactures and distributes gardening supplies. Sunlight implemented Epicor in 2011 and migrated to 10.1 last year, and they have over 150 users.

The first issue we needed to help solve involved Return Material Authorization (RMA). Sunlight was experiencing a large volume of RMAs and the process was bottlenecking because there were too many required Epicor screens for the credit memos to be generated quickly. Working with us, Sunlight decided to automate the process using BPMs, Service Connect, and customizations. This is what they accomplished:

  • To create the RMA, it is imported directing from their website, or entered manually. Data auto-fills from RMA reason codes, Customer, and Part Master User Defined fields. A UPS return shipping label is generated for customer use.
  • When the product is returned and the receipt is entered, the receiving warehouse and bin are automatically populated. The reason code triggers the disposition as rework, stock, or defective. Service Connect automates the disposition in the background, eliminating data entry.
  • A credit memo is automatically created based on the reason code, pulling in the unit price from the last invoice. Restocking fees are added, and the system reverses the term’s discount. Finally, Epicor posts to the specified GL account.

The changes in the RMA process allowed Sunlight to eliminate data entry errors and simplify workflow. They were able to reduce head count in RMA and Accounting and respond in a timely manner to their customers. Finally, this automation allowed Sunlight to expand and improve customer service throughout the RMA process.

The second issue Sunlight was experiencing was with Order Allocation. The standard allocation logic in Epicor was being used differently by just about every user. When orders were not allocated consistently due to staff turnover and training issues, it caused picking problems for the shipping team. Those errors caused customer shipment delays, resulting in dissatisfied customers. Their new headquarters warehouse was more complex, requiring a custom allocation methodology.

Their Customer Service Team used to manually allocate each sales order in the fulfillment workbench and release the picks. This was a two-step process; more steps were necessary if overstock zones were involved. After the changes, the Customer Service Rep ‘reserves’ quantities in the workbench. An automated program then takes over to allocate the orders from appropriate warehouse zones based upon set up for case quantities, pallet quantities, and searching the zones via a prioritized algorithm. The records are then released for picking.

Sunlight used user codes, BPMs, and customizations to automate Order Allocation. Automated order allocation saves Customer Service time. It reduced data entry errors and inconsistencies that slow down the entire shipping process. It improves picking & shipping productivity, allowing them to ship orders to customers more quickly. It is expected to increase inventory accuracy and warehouse operations efficiencies as well. The end result is satisfied customers.