2005 Supply & Demand Chain 100 Case Study - DSFI, LLC / Swift Technologies, Inc.

Profiles in Supply Chain Enablement: Paper manufacturer contends with integration mandates from customers

Profiles in Supply Chain Enablement: Paper manufacturer contends with integration mandates from customers

Company: DSFI, LLC (Addison, IL)
Company Size: Midsize
Company Sector: Manufacturing (Paper)
Area(s) of Enablement: Order/Demand Capture, Sourcing, Procurement, Fulfillment/Logistics, Payment, Supply Chain Integration & Infrastructure, Decision Support
Enabler: Swift Technologies, Inc. (Elgin, IL)

SDCE 100 2005Case Study: The Challenge

As a manufacturer selling to resellers, all with demanding integration requirements, from procurement to Web site integration to order integration, DSFI faced growing demand to find ways to integrate and automate the various ways data flow into and out of the organization to and from suppliers and customers.

In addition, with larger customers forcing portal usage for orders, ship notices and even payments, DSFI was finding its increasingly difficult to keep up and train personnel in all the various aspects of each type of portal, Web site and electronic data interchange (EDI) transaction.

The Solution

By utilizing a combination of IBM Websphere, DB2 and its own eConnect products and consulting services, Swift Technologies was able to help DSFI increase its order load without adding customer service personnel. In addition, by adding Swift eService products, DSFI was able to reduce customer service support calls by having more customers self-serve many of their order status questions.

As specialists in the small and medium business marketplace, Swift believes it has both the understanding and experience in helping companies reduce costs and increase the efficiency of their current systems and processes.

The initial implementation with DSFI took less than eight weeks to set up the infrastructure for the integration with the first major customer. After that, it became an ongoing task to analyze each new "opportunity" to integrate and determine the best method (or required method) before proceeding.


DSFI saw its volume of orders (the number of orders and lines) increase by over 35 percent without having to add any additional support personnel. Further, by adding an upgraded, radio frequency (RF)-based inventory system, the company was able to fulfill its orders without adding warehouse resources.

The initial implementation was paid for within six months, according to Swift. Each additional integration has been evaluated individually to determine the cost/benefit (or requirement by customer/supplier).

Larger customers continue to require the use of their portals and other electronic means of communications across all with varied methods and formats (EDI, XML, file transfer, email, etc). Additionally, with smaller customers, where the order volume is correspondingly smaller, the cost to handle orders increases on a percentage basis. As a result, DSFI has continued to work with Swift to integrate the various technologies to reduce labor and contend with transaction volume and self-support capabilities.

For more stories of successful supply chain implementations, read the "2005 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100" article in the June/July 2005 issue of the magazine. Also watch the Today's Headlines section of SDCExec.com every Tuesday and Thursday for more in depth best practices drawn from this year's Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100.