AET Films, headquartered in New Castle, Del., is one of the largest North American manufacturers and sellers of oriented polypropylene (OPP) films, with annual sales in excess of $275 million dollars. Although its customers include some of the world's most prominent food and beverage manufacturers, director of information systems Jim Burger says that the competitive pressures never let up.
"Only five to 10% of our business is still on patent so we're a quasi-commodity business," he says. "Anything we can do to differentiate ourselves is good, (such as to) offer a higher level of service than our competitors."
This service-oriented mentality got a lot easier once the film manufacturer decided to integrate document handling -- in this case, with StreamServe's Enterprise Document Presentment (EDP) software -- into its SSA Global ERP system. This allowed AET to reduce printing, postage, handling, and delivery costs for all business documents by electronically staging, merging and delivering documents over any channel -- print, email, fax, XML, Web, etc.
"I had one customer call who said they had increased the amount of material they were buying and now are getting too many copies of Certificates of Analysis (COA)," remembers Burger. "By simply checking a box in the user's SSA Global profile, StreamServe is able to make all COAs for future deliveries available as a PDF directly in the AET customer portal, so the user is no longer getting bombarded with paper."
"Our goal is to integrate tightly with our customers, so it is quite uncomfortable for them to leave for a competitor," he says. "We ask our customers: How do you want to communicate; how do you want us to relate?"
Once AET gets the answer, they can provide a solution tailored to each valued customer, large or small. "We deal with very large multi-national businesses and we deal with mom-and-pop operations. We have to and want to do business with all of them."
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