The Hub Pen Company manufactures quality writing instruments for the promotional products industry. Serving a large number of distributors, Hub Pen specializes in custom engraved silk screen pens, precision laser engraved pens, planners, desk sets and other accessories. Their high-end pens are delivered in a 2-piece gift box, a white tuck end box or a black velvet pouch. With more than 100 employees, the company prides itself of providing superior customer service, with 24-hour service on selected items. As Hub Pen saw its business grow substantially in the early ‘00s, it identified its entire ordering flow process as a bottleneck.

Hub Pen wanted to put tools in the hands of their internal customer service representatives in order to enable them to provide their customers with faster answers over the phone. Customers would call in to inquire about faxed orders, shipping information, tracking numbers, costs, etc., and valuable time was spent looking up the information at different data points in the order process. Valuable time was wasted getting hold of people over the phone and processing paper work.

Hub Pen markets their products exclusively through distributors, who need to supply that information to their own customers, but since Hub Pen drop ships the finished products directly to these customers, the lack of detailed information at each step of the order started to significantly impact the company’s customer service delivery. Not only did the flow of information need to be streamlined, but entire business processes from order taking to manufacturing to shipping needed to be redefined.

WAC Consulting designed a 3-phase solution that was tailored to put all order information at the fingertips of Hub Pen’s customer service representatives, at any time during the order process.
The project was started by implementing the Instant Information Pack (IIP). This 3rd Party Enhancement for Sage Pro ERP now provides Hub Pen’s CSRs with a way to quickly look up and get at order information, by customer name, customer number, purchase order number, telephone number, any which way imaginable, instantly.

The next phase implemented a process tracking system using barcoding, so that orders could be easily tracked from one operation point – order processing for instance – to others such as processing of logo artwork, manufacturing, quality control and shipping. As an order passes from one step to the next, it is scanned, enabling the CSR to always know the status of an order and where it is in the process. Operators are also able to add notes about an order at any point along the way.

The final phase incorporated automated emailing of order acknowledgements and shipping notifications to customers. Since Hub Pen does a fair amount of Drop Shipping, keeping the Distributor in the loop becomes critical to ensure complete customer satisfaction. Using Sage Pro’s Alert module, WAC Consulting was able to provide customized, automated emails that include complete order and invoice information along with UPS or Fedex tracking information.

Hub Pen’s problem-free order process now lets customers know the exact day that their order will ship. Also, within hours of order shipment, the customer receives an automatic emailed shipping notification and invoice, including the tracking number. This high degree of order processing automation has enabled Hub Pen to increase CSR productivity by 40% as demonstrated by the ability to process a greater number of orders per day without increasing staff. More importantly, it has allowed the company to further increase its quality of service to its customer. As a result of this significant implementation, lead times have on average been reduced by 20%.

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