Foodservice distributor Morco Fresh deliver fresh produce to thousands of customers across Australia every day. With almost 50% of their active customers sending purchase orders via email, the Morco customer service team were spending a considerable amount of time doing data entry in an effort to fill orders promptly.
Recognising they needed a more efficient way to handle this volume of manual orders, Morco Fresh turned to Lucy.
From local cafes and restaurants to large hospitals, airlines, and prisons, Morco’s customer base is as diverse as the fruit and veggies they supply. But one thing all customers have in common is the need to receive their produce orders quickly.
Fresh produce has a short shelf life, and many foodservice customers submit orders today that they expect to receive tonight. But when a single purchase order contains 80+ lines and is worth $20,000, it requires appropriate time and care to ensure it’s keyed into the ERP correctly. Some of their very large customer orders might take Morco staff more than 45 minutes to enter into the system, creating a lag that put turnaround time for the customer at risk.
Having had exposure to the software in a prior role, Morco’s IT Manager recommended that the business automate their purchase order processing with Lucy.
Customer Service Manager Dennis Risteski recalls how Lucy satisfied their most important criteria:
Not having to go out to a third-party partner for every single change.
Having complete control of the system, having it link up with our source system and truly integrate in the background was a key requirement on our end.
As IT projects go, implementing Lucy was remarkably smooth, with the team picking low-hanging fruit first. This meant starting Lucy off with those customers who generally sent orders in a predictable, consistent PDF format with minimal quirks. This allowed the Morco team to get comfortable with Lucy’s document mapping feature, and to develop their internal process for handling any data issues flagged by Lucy during validation. From there, scaling up was straightforward.
The results Morco are seeing with Lucy have been transformative, with far-reaching benefits brought about by automating this previously manual process.
Internally, Dennis’s order entry team love Lucy. She’s freed them up to focus more on quality control and excellent customer service.
“Feedback’s been phenomenal internally. Our orders team, this is their saving grace, so to speak.
As you can imagine, no one’s too fond of keying in an 80-90 line order... our orders are 10s of thousands of dollars. And it does take time to go through and ensure accuracy if you're manually keying that in.
Lucy's completely automated that process. So an order that would generally take upwards of 45 minutes to enter manually, is now being entered within a minute.”
Aside from faster processing times, order accuracy is also higher with Lucy validating the product and price data on the order against the source of truth, the ERP.
Externally, Lucy has also transformed the customer experience – without asking anything of the customer. As Dennis notes,
“One of the things I personally love about Lucy is there is no impact to customer effort.
The customer doesn't need to change what they do, or how they order, or log onto a new platform, or do anything different - the change is with us internally.
So Lucy's been transformational - it's taken away that lag and significantly improved our customer experience.”
In addition, since bringing Lucy on board, Morco Fresh have been able to implement an entirely new Transport Management System for their business. The TMS project had been on the backburner, but the efficiencies Lucy delivered allowed the business to seize the opportunity to proceed with the new project.
With Lucy processing incoming orders instantly, Morco are now able to set – and communicate – clear order cutoff times.
Morco Fresh customers now know exactly when they can expect to receive their order based on when they submit it. The team can now accurately plan runs and proactively organise customer deliveries.
“Previously it was a matter of getting the orders in and getting them entered. But it was really hard to forecast how long manual order entry would take, given some orders can be 50-80 lines long.
With Lucy, we've been able to forecast and use that data to streamline our workforce, and Lucy’s also allowed us to lean into another system which has completely transformed our customer experience.
The time frame that we're now able to go out, procure fresh produce, pick it, pack it, and deliver it is just second to none.”
Whilst the “ultra fast-moving” nature of fresh produce might be considered unique to the foodservice industry, faster order fulfilment, innovation, and process improvement are goals that every business aspires to.
By automating their sales order entry with Lucy, Dennis and the Morco Fresh team have removed the burden of manual processing to deliver an infinitely better customer experience.