Moen Incorporated is one of the world’s largest producers of residential and commercial plumbing products – and manufactures the #1 brand of faucets in North America. Moen is a subsidiary of Fortune Brands, Inc., a leading consumer products company with total annual sales surpassing $5.6 billion.
A vital tool for the success of Moen Incorporated’s nationwide sales force of nearly 200 sales associates is product literature. Ranging from relatively inexpensive product-specific tri-folds to an elaborate full-color, full-line product line catalog, Moen distributes as many as 4 million pieces of literature yearly, so it’s imperative that the sales associates not only provide customers the latest, most accurate product information available, but that they get the sales materials quickly and efficiently.
However, Moen managers realized that the printing, storing, ordering and shipping of these 4 million pieces of literature to sales associates was a costly endeavor – and not an especially efficient one – and changes needed to be made. Sales associates on the road would phone or fax orders to a print fulfillment center where the desired item would be located, then shipped (if in stock). Each manual literature order took extra time, cost Moen money, and provided Moen managers with minimal capabilities to track and analyze their literature inventory and usage patterns
AKSESS INVENTORY DRIVER
In late 2001, Moen chose GLI, and its seamless service offerings, to help it modernize its literature fulfillment effort. “Joining forces with Great Lakes was a natural fit,” said Larry Peacock, Manager, Marketing Services at Moen. “We had a long-standing relationship on the print side of Great Lakes. We liked their service level and responsiveness and they were very proactive and aggressive in developing a literature ordering system for us.”
Moen launched AKSESS Inventory Driver in early 2002, linking headquarters personnel and sales associates across the country to Moen’s new fulfillment center, GLDirect in Avon Lake, Ohio. Through AKSESS Inventory Driver, Moen sales associates can check inventory levels, order items and request shipping – all with a few mouse clicks. Up and running 24/7, Inventory Driver provides near-real-time tracking and control over warehoused literature.
“Moen is a very technology driven company, and the AKSESS Inventory Driver has been an enormous improvement,” Peacock said. “Not only is it a great convenience for our field sales associates – who now do 95-98 percent of their ordering online – but it has saved us about $250,000 per year by eliminating manual order entry fees. It’s also a valuable management tool, helping us track and maintain our inventory level, forecast future uses and generate reports. And over time it will be even more useful as the system continues to capture literature usage data,” Peacock added.