Emmerson couldn’t justify the cost and risk of building an all-new SAP-integrated portal from scratch. This meant their customers lost the ability to do business with the company online. Now customers started calling customer service with all kinds of questions.
- Where’s my order?
- What’s the status of my order?
- Which products have been produced?
- When am I going to get them?
- How much stock is still in the warehouse?
- How much stock did I release to my previous order?
- Do I need to place another order to meet my production quota?
Static customer portal and additional CSRs didn’t solve the problem
Emmerson wanted to get their customer portal right, so they pursued interim solutions while researching their long-term options. Emmerson nearly doubled their customer service department to keep up with the inquiry volume, but this made life more complicated for customers, and it increased Emmerson’s cost of doing business.
The company also launched an external website that displayed static data from SAP ERP. Each customer could see their personalized data, but the information was updated only once a day, so it became obsolete within hours or minutes.
Only a few customers used the system, and everyone had to “fly blind” when doing business with Emmerson. Without access to 100% accurate real-time data for their orders (including inventory, invoices, and shipping reports), customers still had to call customer service any time they needed information.
Emmerson looked for a vendor to integrate the site to SAP in real time, but they couldn’t find one.
Carey Leaman, ERP program manager, had all the data that customers needed in SAP ERP. The challenge was to find a customer portal solution that would let customers interact with the right data, safely and securely, in a friendly user interface.