How Evenflo and Etail Solutions navigated the challenges of a legacy ERP system, increased faster order processing and achieve 50 percent year-over-year growth in online orders

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Constrained by an Inflexible Legacy Enterprise Resource Planning System

In Ravenna, Ohio, during the 1920s, Evenflo initially launched as a manufacturer of baby-feeding products. More than one hundred years later, the company has expanded to offer child car seats, strollers, high chairs, carriers, gates, and activity centers. Today, the subsidiary of Goodbaby International is known as a market leader in the areas of safety, innovation, convenience, and comfort for baby and children’s products.

Anthony “Chip” Gaetano, Vice President of Information Technology, is the first person to admit that Evenflo’s legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) system shows its age. However, until Evenflo replaces its legacy ERP system, Chip sought a way to work within the system’s constraints while also selling through business-to-consumer (B2C) channels.

“Our ERP system is not what I would call ‘cutting-edge’,” said Chip. “It’s not best in breed in terms of supporting the digital world we live in today. It doesn’t assist us with engaging with the consumer more or selling directly to the consumer, whether it be on our website or other marketplaces.”

Even though Evenflo was able to sell products online, it came with a lot of technical challenges that prevented the company from scaling from several orders per day to hundreds or thousands of orders per day. For instance, Evenflo’s system was reaching its order number limit. That meant once the system reached that limit, it would no longer be able to assign numbers to orders, effectively ending Evenflo’s ability to take and fulfill orders, which could be detrimental to the company’s e-commerce growth and revenue.

Lofty Goals for a Modern E-Commerce Solution

Evenflo needed a modern solution to support e-commerce by connecting the company’s website, its marketplaces, and its existing ERP system. Additionally, since it could take as many as eight hours for the legacy ERP system to reflect a new order, the new solution also needed to deliver real-time visibility into e-commerce orders in the system.

“We wanted a digital order management system capable of both recognizing each fulfillment center’s inventory levels and identifying route shipments from the most financially beneficial shipping point,” said Chip. “Such a system would serve as a digital product portfolio, providing a singular view of the overall performance of a product across all e-commerce websites and channels.”

Essentially, Chip hoped to gain efficiencies and synergies that would support the growth of the business through product cataloging and portfolio management while increasing efficiency through distributed order management. Evenflo issued several request for proposals (RFPs) and then ultimately chose Etail Solutions as its partner to help achieve all of this.

“We expected that the Etail team would be agile, nimble, and hands-on,” said Chip, “and they proved to be all those things.”

“The Etail team is truly interested in our overall success. We’re a consumer products company trying to grow our e-commerce direct-to-consumer channels. The collaborative and flexible nature of the Etail team contributed to us being able to gain experience in e-commerce and solve problems together.”
Anthony “Chip” Gaetano
Vice President of Information Technology, Evenflo

Etail’s Solution for Evenflo’s Path to Success

1—Recognize that Each Client is Unique

The Etail Solutions team operates with one main goal: to create the ideal commerce environment for its clients’ ecommerce operations. They enable brands to scale, streamline, and maximize the profitability of their direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce operations. The Etail team recognizes that every client’s D2C landscape is different. That’s why they’ve built a platform that leverages numerous modules and functionality—all of which can be configured to each brand’s ecosystem to create the ideal commerce platform for each individual customer. This approach streamlines commerce workflows, automates routing and transactional processes, and removes unnecessary bottlenecks and legacy system limitations to enable growth and realize full profit potential.

2—Optimize Order Fulfillment

The Etail Solutions team began its partnership with Evenflo by working collaboratively with Chip and his team to determine the best way to process orders. The shared goal was to ensure that orders and inventory information from Evenflo’s systems traveled through Etail’s platform to be shared across all Evenflo’s sales channels. The creative decisions made at this point resulted in the implementation of both a process enablement platform and allocation system. This solved Evenflo’s problem of how to partition traditional retail truckload sales and still be able to fulfill D2C online orders.

3—Integrate Product Content to Streamline Listing Creation

The Etail team also integrated Evenflo with Salsify, a product experience management platform. That integration automated and coordinated sales listing creation for Evenflo to enable and streamline its new listing creation, inventory publishing, and order processing.

4—Take Control of Fulfillment Capabilities

Next, the Etail team enabled Evenflo to add its own pick-pack-and-ship operations through a new 3PL agreement. This helped Evenflo support its hero SKUs, which are high-volume, high-value SKUs that sell nationwide. Now, Evenflo can confidently sell and ship its hero SKUs out of multiple warehouses, minimizing shipping costs.

5—Enable Migration to Modern ERP

With the legacy ERP system and its online sales components stabilized, the next step is to better position Evenflo to ultimately transition its ERP to Microsoft Dynamics 365. The long-term intent is to make Evenflo’s order-processing architecture more capable. “Once we move to Microsoft Dynamics 365, the order processing bottleneck created by our legacy ERP will be eliminated,” said Chip. “Sales through our website are our number one priority. Because our website is our most profitable channel, those orders are more important than drop-shipping and wholesale orders. Consequently, we want to fulfill those orders first to fuel our ongoing growth.”

Overall, Chip cited several benefits from Evenflo's implementation of the Etail platform:

Expanded Sales Channels

Etail’s platform enabled Evenflo to sell direct on expanded marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart and eBay.

Advanced Selling Functionality

Etail handled Evenflo’s order processing and financial data enabling the client to leverage selling in advance on Shopify, including Shopify Collective and gift card sales.

3PL Migration for Better Data

Etail migrated Evenflo to an improved 3PL Service agreement, allowing Evenflo to use its own shipping systems.

Expanded Selling Options

Etail enabled Evenflo to process pre-and sell-to-zero sales and better manage its order processing.

Sales Increased 500%

Over the past 2 years, online sales have increased 500%+ since being on Etail’s platform, with the ability to handle peak day volumes of 10,000+ orders per day at ease.

Outstanding Results

Improved Processing of Higher Order Volume

“Without Etail Solutions, we wouldn’t have been able to reach the volume of sales that now flow through our website and our marketplaces,” said Chip. “We were maxing out our bandwidth with the legacy ERP system. Now, we can even keep up with orders during peak periods surrounding holiday seasons and Amazon Prime Days when sales have surged from hundreds of sales per day to over ten thousand sales.”

Faster Order Processing

“We now get orders into our ERP and to our distribution centers roughly thirty percent faster than before,” said Chip. “Etail sped up order processing. Now, it’s our legacy ERP that is the bottleneck.”

Better-Informed Customer Service

“A result of having a single point of web-based access to order information helps the customer service team provide better customer service and deal with exceptions more efficiently,” said Chip.

50 Percent Year-Over-Year Growth

Evenflo is now capable of scaling its business. The number of orders flowing through the platform has increased fifty percent year-over-year. Another fifty percent increase is projected for the coming year.

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