Sherwin-Williams case study

Collaboration with Sherwin-Williams delivers greater ROI on ERP investment and massive gains in accuracy and efficiency

After investing in an advanced enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform, The Sherwin-Williams Company enlisted The Pallet Alliance to help integrate pallet procurement activities into the new application. With much of its pallet accounting and order processing relying on extensive paper documentation and multiple points of manual data entry, these legacy processes presented opportunities for major improvements.

The Pallet Alliance targeted the optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities built into the new ERP suite. This enabled automated pairing, sorting and processing of paperwork and data entry, reducing transactional overhead, increasing process velocity and eliminating errors associated with manual data rekeying. From working with another customer’s ERP platform, The Pallet Alliance brought extensive OCR experience to the table. The team was able to identify and navigate hurdles associated with migrating transactions and deliver a smooth transition.

The project started with IT departments from both Sherwin-Williams and The Pallet Alliance developing a process roadmap, managing both operational parameters and accounting requirements, with a special emphasis to build confidence in digital record-keeping in lieu of paper filing. The Pallet Alliance developed custom QR codes that are applied to all delivery and billing documentation, enabling the ERP system to pair scanned images with digital billing information. Furthermore, they developed database-friendly invoicing files for automatic upload and processing by the ERP to increase manpower savings and process efficiencies.

The rigorous testing and revision of file formats prior to launch has resulted in an error-free track record since the go-live date. The new solution quickly generates billing information, with all documentation delivered and processed instantaneously. Paper consumption and waste has been completely eliminated from the billing process.

The success of this initiative exemplifies what a coordinated effort between corporate cultures committed to savings, efficiency and environmental stewardship can achieve. Leveraging expertise on both ends of the customer-vendor partnership is a hallmark of The Pallet Alliance’s approach to drive real results. Processes can always be further optimized and the rapid growth of software capability presents new tools for improvement seemingly every day. Partnering with a pallet vendor with the expertise to apply these tools to pallet operations offers a competitive advantage unlocking new ways to transform pallet processes and reporting.

Through collaboration, The Pallet Alliance delivers savings beyond the cost of pallets and a partnership that customers can depend on.