Borosil Glass Works Ltd.
(BGWL) is the market leader for laboratory glassware, microwaveable kitchenware and explosion proof lighting systems in India as well as across the globe with a significant presence in the USA and the Netherlands. It was established in 1962 in collaboration with Corning Glass Works USA and is now headquartered in Mumbai. The company with its vast product portfolio caters to a large varied audience ranging from the education sector to industries in microbiology, biotechnology, photo printing, process systems to consumer’s kitchenware.
Why Borosil is the Category Champion :
Borosil with over 5 decades of experience under its belt has established a consistent performance making it truly a market leader.The culture at Borosil can only be described by the words “passion” and “commitment” hence they adopted modern technology boom early in the game and realized that digital transformation was essential.
The management team thus decided to launch brand eStore along with the presence on Amazon to conquer the channel of online retail. This was being aimed at with SAP as the backbone of the entire operations- from production in manufacturing plants to managing their retail and distribution network.
Critical Ecommerce Challenges:
Within the first few months post setup, the eCommerce channel fetched a large number of orders and the team was quick to realize the exacting nature of eCommerce as opposed to their traditional sales channels. It entailed cumbersome, time-consuming and labour intensive data sync between eCommerce channels and SAP environment via multiple spreadsheets repeatedly. That involved a lot of people trying to work via systems that practically do not communicate with each other. Borosil also realized that:
- Disconnected Systems- Unlike offline retail, Ecommerce is a multi-step transaction vis-a-vis inventory updation, order fulfillment, return and replacement before the final payment settlement. Accurate inventory updation to each store is a major challenge as the warehouse management system used doesn’t communicate with the online store channels.
- Lackluster sales growth- In the eCommerce world, product rating for a product is what content is to marketing and majorly impacts buyer’s purchasing decision. The ratings are indicative of how well the products perform in terms of customer satisfaction based on parameters/matrices like swift delivery (imagine Amazon two day delivery promise), keeping buyers updated with order status, packaging etc. The company warehouses still followed wholesale fulfilment process built for traditional sales channel which does not work for high number of single unit orders in online sales and in turn hampered sales.
- Sales Opportunity loss: Inventory inwarding and outwards were being done in a disconnected WMS causing the online portals to not be in sync. This led to out of stock situation and/or sales loss due to inventory unavailability. Not being able to plan for inventory replenishment for eCommerce business due to disconnected SAP environment also caused regional warehouses to run out of inventory.
- Low profitability: Payment reconciliation for eCommerce is truly a nightmare due to the complex procedures such as returns, weekly payment cycles, storage fees, distance & weight based shipping charges, category driven commission etc. Invoices and credit notes automation for all the online channels including Amazon, Flipkart, Brand store is a basic hygiene step and trying to do it manually is plain impossible due to the sheer volumes.
- Incomplete accounting leading to lack of compliance: Payment matching and knocking off of invoices is a mammoth task in reconciling books. Situation is exacerbated due to two facts:
- Payment is received on a weekly basis for a large number of orders. Detailed payment advice is provided which is in-compatible with most accounting systems including SAP
- Same invoice can have multiple payment entries under heads of:
- Payment for delivered orders
- Payment reverse entry if order was returned by the customer
- Payment entry for claims raised against wrongly settled orders
Handling such complex reconciliation for a large number of orders proved to be a deterrent for Borosil. Additionally, governing such tasks across different departments via spreadsheets proved to be quite challenging.
How Easyecom took the Bull by its Horn:
The IT teams at Borosil have been very accepting in adopting new technologies and were out in the market looking for an effective solution for quite some time. Easyecom, having catered to large sized brands with similar issues, was the right choice for the job. Easyecom, after a thorough understanding of the issues, deployed the following features :
- Centralized inventory management solution with advanced WMS capabilities required for eCommerce. Solution seamlessly integrates with major sales channels such as Magento powered brand website (www.myborosil.com), Amazon, Flipkart etc.
- Shipping carrier automation based on priorities and assignment rules. This eases the operational challenge of manually assigning tracking numbers from different carriers based on deliverability.
- Key features such as order routing based on inventory availability in regional warehouses and assignment priority for efficient and timely fulfilment. This solution completely removes the possibility of sales loss due to inventory stock out in one particular warehouse as the orders will automatically get routed to the next warehouse.
- Automatic tracking of shipments and regular updates to customers. This is afforded by integration with major shipping carriers such as Bluedart, Delhivery etc.
- Completely automated push of all the Sales, credit notes and payment transactions fetched from online portals to SAP.
Auto invoice knocking in SAP once the payment settlement is done by Amazon, Flipkart etc. This ensures seamless reconciliation to identify unpaid or wrongly paid orders.
Final impact on Borosil online business: Post implementation of our solution, Borosil achieved:
- 55% MoM topline growth from eCommerce channel
- 60% reduction in time spent on inventory and order management during the height of busy seasons! ( 9 hours a week to 2-3 hours)
- Shipping carrier automation based on priorities and assignment rules resulting into 25% improvement in delivery SLA.
- Seamless management of the warehouse by the operator in managing all the daily workflows related to packing, dispatching and invoicing without disturbing the SAP environment. Manpower cost in the warehouse was reduced by around 33% to handle daily activities.
- Mechanized the Sales invoice, credit notes and payments sync to SAP via Easyecom’s solution completely eradicating the operations performed via excel. This resulted in 100% reduction in manual data entry errors and manpower cost reduced by 75% during the reconciliation process.
What borosil has to say:
As per Mr. Siddhartha (DGM-IT at Borosil) mentioned, “We started with Amazon about 5 years back in 2014 but had to shut down this venture shortly as it was becoming very difficult to maintain our books in SAP. We had a lot of pressure from the executive team to devise a solution. There was no quality platform available that could help us accomplish this goal. Internal SAP team tried to develop a custom solution but they didn’t have any eCommerce background and it ended up complicating the matter even further.
EasyEcom’s professional and knowledgeable team did a great job in consulting us with the best practices to follow and we are happy that now we have a completely automatic solution for eCommerce that works seamlessly with SAP and across channels. We are planning for an international launch via eCommerce to US, UK and other parts of Europe and Middle East. Happy to have a partner like EasyEcom”.