Esker automates order management processes at industrial wholesaler AgoNow

MIDDLETON, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Esker, a global cloud platform and leader in AI-powered process automation solutions for finance and customer service functions, has implemented Esker’s order management solution for AgoNow, a pure industrial wholesaler and channel solution provider to reduce manual process errors and increase efficiency and reinvest time saved in premium customer service.

Esker’s automated order management solution combines artificial intelligence and RPA technologies to transform repetitive, low-value areas of order taking through a secure, centralized, cloud-based platform. Any email, EDI, fax, mobile order or portal can be processed electronically with precision, visibility and efficiency.

As a pure industrial wholesaler, AgoNow primarily serves distributors to provide a better channel to strategically spend their capital when purchasing from manufacturers. Distributors can avoid manufacturer order constraints, such as minimum order limits and free shipping terms, and maximize discounts by consolidating orders through AgoNow.

Delivering these strategic purchasing decisions requires high-quality customer service from AgoNow, but manually re-entering information on order documents was slowing down its employees. Despite a website offering and EDI relationships, many companies still place orders via phone calls, emails and faxes.

AgoNow embarked on Esker’s accelerated eight-week program to implement order management automation. Esker’s cloud solution integrates directly into AgoNow’s 100% cloud ERP system, NetSuite, without disrupting its current ERP landscape.

During the first three days, AgoNow screened customers and processed small batches of orders to test automation and familiarize themselves with Esker’s platform. By day four, AgoNow felt confident to open the floodgates and process every order received via email.

“Esker is incredibly user-friendly, which makes it easy to train our end users. Their support team was very responsive in resolving issues almost immediately,” said Kristen Dolen, VP of Operations at AgoNow. “An unexpected benefit of this implementation is that it allowed us to discover other inefficiencies that we wouldn’t even have been aware of without Esker’s workflow solution.

AgoNow is already seeing the benefits of Esker’s order management solution, including faster order entry, reduced errors for manufacturing partners, avoidance of backorders and overall lower operational costs. This productivity gain allows AgoNow to strengthen its competitive advantage and help position its customers to win more business.

“We are not looking for efficiency to eliminate jobs. For AgoNow, efficiency means automating time-consuming tasks, such as data entry, so that our employees can add value to our customers,” said Mike Denning, COO and co-founder of ‘Ago Now. “Our customer service representatives now have the time to call customers and ask them how we can help them or tell them about interesting opportunities. This is where we see the real value.

Esker’s AI engine delivers high recognition and data extraction rates from day one and continuously learns as it processes more documents. This helps organizations overcome their own nuanced data challenges. Differences between customer and manufacturer units of measurement can be a nightmare; the same item may be described as a pack or a box depending on the manufacturer or distributor. Esker’s AI engine will automatically learn to convert measurement units along the way.

“Esker’s ability to quickly build its knowledge engine around how AgoNow, our manufacturers and distributors manage document layout and data was a key factor in our decision. I think it’s taking those differences in the data and being able to build logic around them that Esker’s solutions really stand out,” Denning said.

Automating Accounts Payable (AP) with Esker is the next step in AgoNow’s automation journey to alleviate the pain of their employees who still manually enter invoices from manufacturers. Esker’s AP automation platform with three-way match verification automatically verifies corresponding purchase orders (POs) and goods receipts when a PO-related invoice arrives.

“It has been a pleasure to automate AgoNow’s order management process to help them better serve their customers,” said Steve Smith, COO of Esker in the US. “Esker respects and aligns with AgoNow’s customer focus and mission to create value among manufacturers and distributors in its ecosystem.”

About AgoNow

AgoNow is a pure industrial wholesaler and channel solution provider facilitating successful relationships between distributors and manufacturers. Committed to creating a supply chain where true distribution partnerships can thrive, AgoNow works with distributors to provide a wide range of industrial, safety, welding and MRO products as well as digital marketing campaigns, content and… other solutions. Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, AgoNow is founded and 100% owned by a management team with decades of experience in the industrial distribution and manufacturing markets. To contact AgoNow and learn more about becoming a distributor or manufacturing partner, visit https://www.agonow.com/contact-us or email info@agonow.com.

About Esker

Esker is a global cloud platform designed to unlock strategic value for finance and customer service professionals, and strengthen business collaboration by automating the cash conversion cycle. Esker’s solutions integrate technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to increase productivity, improve visibility, reduce fraud risk and improve collaboration with customers, suppliers and internally. Esker operates in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific with global headquarters in Lyon, France, and US headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information about Esker and its solutions, visit www.esker.com. Follow Esker on LinkedIn and join the conversation on the Esker blog at blog.esker.com.

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