Printers Realize Efficiencies with Online Tools from xpedx
CINCINNATI—06/02/2009—For commercial printers Ralph Stewart and Steven Reiss, job profitability is up, customers get orders faster than ever and employees are more efficient because of online support and personalized attention from a core supplier.
Stewart, co-owner of Syracuse, NY-based Liverpool Litho, and Reiss, president of Cleveland-based Business Stationery Inc. (BSI), say Internet-based tools from xpedx enable them to check inventory and pricing in real time. That allows them to accurately and quickly bid for jobs, to do jobs in the most profitable and efficient manner possible—and provide the finished product to the customer under tight time constraints.
“Having detailed online support from our paper and graphic supplies provider is a significant competitive advantage today,” explains Stewart. “The first thing I do when I get to work is launch my customized estimating program on xpedx.com.”
Increasingly, U.S. commercial printers are realizing the powerful benefits of electronic ordering and real-time purchasing management offered by xpedx.com. The site features real-time pricing and inventory status for more than 100,000 SKUs, an extensive data catalog, powerful reporting tools, a specialized Knowledge Center, customized templates for frequently ordered products and chain-of-custody certification monitoring.
A staff of eBusiness specialists helps customers maximize the benefits of the site. xpedx.com’s eBusiness specialists work closely with customers at their locations and the company has a live help desk staffed by xpedx employees available every business day.
The xpedx eBusiness platform provides customers with important financial and operational tools that help their businesses run more smoothly and effectively. In 2008 it helped more than 26,000 customers place in excess of 6 million orders totaling $1.7 billion via xpedx.com or direct computer connections. That’s up 14% over 2007.
Order accuracy, e-invoices and other benefits
Liverpool Litho’s Stewart says he is on xpedx.com several times throughout the day with multiple “shopping carts” to organize his purchases, such as one cart for paper and another for graphics supplies. He builds the carts throughout the week until he’s ready to order.
Stewart uses the xpedx.com e-invoicing feature and takes advantage of discounts offered for early payment. When xpedx delivers an order at 8 a.m., the invoice arrives in his in-box two to three hours later.
He estimates online purchasing saves him six hours a week, allowing him time better spent managing other areas of the business. He credits xpedx for having a strong human element behind the eBusiness platform to answer questions or handle issues that may arise.
“Everything is streamlined, accurate and convenient.” he says. “I can’t imagine going back to the old ways of doing things.”
Cleveland printer sees 15% reduction in estimating and purchasing labor costs
BSI’s Reiss estimates that BSI has reduced estimating and purchasing labor costs by 15% as a result of the efficiencies gained from moving the company’s purchasing online. It has at least two employees who combined spend 20-hours-a-day estimating projects. “That real-time information allows us to give the best possible estimates to our customers, which helps them win new business.”
Reiss said ordering from xpedx.com offers significant benefits for BSI including its ability to respond quickly to customer requests for project quotes. “The world is moving faster than ever. xpedx.com provides us with virtually instant information on stock availability and pricing, and that’s critical in our business,” said Reiss.
Reiss likes the site’s detailed product information, quick access to samples and the “My Items” feature that allows users to customize order templates for frequently purchased items. He also uses the Knowledge Center’s Imposition Calculator, which creates a cutting diagram based on the finished piece size.
“I still remember the days when we had to look up the paper in a book, manually calculate the price, hope the pricing was up to date, then call to place the order, Reiss said. “Today those old books make great door stops.”
xpedx, a business of International Paper (NYSE: IP), is one of the largest business-to-business distribution companies in North America. xpedx distributes a wide variety of printing papers, graphics, packaging and janitorial-sanitary maintenance supplies and equipment to printers, manufacturers, retailers and high-traffic facilities from more than 265 locations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. For more information visit xpedx.com.