The ongoing Customer Q & A blog series highlights a wide range of Jitterbit customers to find out what business needs drove their integration requirements and why they made Jitterbit their integration solution of choice.
In this week’s hot seat is Kim Anderson, Director of IT at Profill Holdings.
Can you tell me a little about Profill Holdings?
We’re a supplier of imprinted sportswear to the licensed products, advertising and uniforms industries. We do business under three companies: TSC Apparel, WearMagic, and CollegeHouse. TSC specializes in branded clothing such as tees, sports shirts, and accessories. WearMagic is one of the largest screen print and embroidery facilities in the US, producing about 8 million imprints every year. Finally,CollegeHouse is our national supplier of licensed apparel to the college retail marketplace. Fundamentally, we are a distribution and apparel business.
How did you find out about Jitterbit and what were some of the reasons you chose it as your integration solution?
About three years ago I decided we needed an integration solution to make our order fulfillment process more reliable and more flexible. A major challenge for us had been that our supply chain really did not have a file standard. We use a quasi-EDI standard but we needed a way for our customers to connect to our system more seamlessly. Before Jitterbit, every interaction with customer data was ad hoc, and this was time-consuming, created data accuracy problems, and a lot of the time wasn’t worth the hassle. Generally our answer to a customer wanting to use EDI was “no” – and this was something we wanted to change.
I found Jitterbit through a search for a solution that met these various requirements. What I immediately liked about Jitterbit was that it not only met our needs but seemed to present the solution to these problems with a pretty elegant interface. We were able to download Jitterbit and develop a data mapping template that we could present to our various customers and partners. It was intriguing that Jitterbit could do everything we needed and we were able to get all the systems involved to talk to each other.
There were other applications out there that offered similar functionality but they were much harder to understand and use – so we went with Jitterbit.
How do you currently use Jitterbit?
Jitterbit is the ‘plumbing’ to our order fulfillment process. Using Jitterbit we are able to access our suppliers’ inventories – whether that is a database or an FTP site of certain file type – and then automatically update our own internal files through our industry standard. Most of our suppliers are running some type of commercial database, a lot on Microsoft.
With Jitterbit it doesn’t really matter what they are running because we are able to map and transform their data into a format our systems can read. Every time an order is placed, Jitterbit grabs that order and processes it through to our systems running on IBM DB2. We have a lot of items in stock that we sell but we also have a lot of items that we don’t keep in stock – so it’s even more important that we can accurately and quickly track demand for these products.
With Jitterbit, everything is now done electronically which means it is quick, accurate, and up to date. Without Jitterbit our call center would likely be hammered. With it, we’re able to know exactly why our customers are calling and what SKU they are looking for.
From a business perspective, how has Jitterbit helped you?
Before Jitterbit, we really couldn’t make a business case to use EDI because there was no basic standard between Profill and our partners/customers. Our fulfillment process required a lot of manual data entry and we tracked orders through a single computer. If that computer had issues our entire fulfillment business would go down.
Jitterbit has allowed us to use templates that transform partner data and map to our systems. This has obviously significantly improved communication between our internal systems and those used by our partners, but more importantly, it has made the entire infrastructure much more reliable. We’ve gone from ad hoc data connectivity and often turning down EDI altogether to an automated system with standards. This has saved a ton of time and even more savings on personnel resources alone; without Jitterbit we would probably need half a dozen additional IT staff and data entry personnel.
Jitterbit is so engrained in our fulfillment business that if we lost that integration it would be devastating to a number of our processes.
Thanks Kim! If you want to learn more about Profill Holdings’ integration, be sure to check out theirCustomer Success Story.
Do you have a Jitterbit success story you would like to share? Drop us a line at customersuccess [at] jitterbit.com or @jitterbit on twitter.