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Using technology in business can be challenging. Where do you start? What do you need? Does the product live up to its promises of automation and integration? There are many products available on the market, and it can be confusing to determine if they apply to your business.
To help shine a light on different offerings, we are spotlighting Savance, a company established in 1998 to provide network and software solutions that automate business processes.
Savance Enterprise (www.savanceenterprise.com) was specifically created for the wholesale distribution market, and designed to meet the needs of wholesale distributors in nearly any vertical. The primary industries it serves include electrical, plumbing, HVAC and industrial markets. In addition, Savance recently aligned with partners in the janitorial/sanitation and safety markets; it is poised to gain traction in 2021 in additional industries as well.
I sat down with Savance’s Jason Plasencia, vice president of product management, to hear about the product offerings and how they can help wholesale distributors.
“We started with the idea that technology could be used effectively to save businesses time and money and make our lives easier,” the Savance website states. Let’s hear how they do that.
Ruth Mitchell: Please tell us about the company’s background.
Jason Plasencia: Our owners were working at a distributor of electrical products for the industrial, automation, commercial and construction markets. While doing so, they realized the need and demand for an automated sales order solution. Tapping into their knowledge of the workflows, they began to design a software program that flowed with their business processes. The custom development of the automated system worked so well, they moved forward with implementing it for their entire business.
Now, nearly 20 years later, Savance Enterprise ERP has been accelerating distributor businesses with a commitment to customer care and upfront pricing. Wholesale distributors recognize the benefits of its all-inclusive functionality, robust business intelligence, e-commerce, mobility, pricing and warehouse management features.
With no-haggle pricing, our solution creates confidence in distributor businesses by eliminating the need for third-party add-on modules and expensive additional costs. This is a huge competitive advantage as oftentimes many ERP companies upsell warehousing, e-commerce, mobility and more, easily skyrocketing the true price tag of the complete system.
RM: What are the product offerings from Savance?
JP: Savance Enterprise ERP software offers wholesale distributors a complete package of business operations software, including mobile and paperless workflows, order fulfillment, warehouse management, financial reporting, demand management and purchasing. In addition, contact management, e-commerce, analytics, and integrations for automated EDI workflows such as Blue Hawk’s LBMX functionality are built into the system and available at no additional cost; something we pride ourselves on.
The business was built on the premise that it needed to provide distributors with everything they require to fully run business operations; not promise one thing, then upcharge for every add-on.
Savance is also privately held and funded, which allows us to reinvest in our customer care and continuous product development based on our customers’ feedback and input. We do not need approval from shareholders to develop our future roadmap, much like larger software companies do.
RM: What are your customers saying about the one-price model?
JP: As an example, a customer, Jason Carpenter, owner of J & J Kitchen and Bath in Dunn, N.C., told me that Savance “does business the way we do business.” In fact, Jason was only two years into a new ERP contract with a competitor when he decided it was time to re-think his approach and transition to our fully scalable solution.
Savance’s ease of doing business is a key feature for distributors such as J & J. Carpenter says that capitalizing on customer purchase patterns and personal relationships are the differentiator that keeps customers coming back.
RM: How can Savance help wholesale distributors in their daily scope of work?
JP: The functionality in Savance Enterprise ERP software is built to ensure operational excellence, as tested in today’s market conditions.
One of the best examples of Savance’s ability to respond to distributor business needs comes from Carpenter. He points out that Savance’s smart workflows automate invoicing, eliminating the need for him to chase customers for payment. In fact, as businesses across the country struggled to capture payment from their contractors during the COVID-19 pandemic, J & J was receiving payments ahead of time — something it had never experienced in more than 40 years of business.
RM: What systems does the software integrate with?
JP: Savance’s complete software model includes everything in the base price to significantly reduce distributors’ need to use a third-party add-on system. The only thing that changes that is when a customer asks for an additional module to become available. Basically, we simply respond to customer requests. We currently have add-on integrations with Wind River Financial, Trade Service, Ring Central and Avalara Tax Automation. We offer the opportunity to integrate with procurement systems as needed.
Supplementary models add value by enhancing functionality on an as-needed basis, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, Savance’s punch-out functionality enables a company to sell online using a modern-day e-commerce procurement solution. Punch-out catalogs allow customers to purchase online while maintaining their connection with their procurement system, as well as automation of the order-to-invoice processes.
RM: Tell us the benefit of an “all-in one” package.
JP: Our ERP software manages a number of business functions through streamlining and automating daily business operations. It creates a leaner and accurate operation, and provides a complete, 360-degree view into the ins and outs of wholesaler businesses. A true all-in-one ERP package is beneficial to companies who may have outgrown their homegrown ERP systems or simple financial management solutions. Savance’s all-inclusive package ensures distributors get the key functionality they need at an affordable price.
As a fully integrated, all-in-one solution, the software makes it easy to access information for real-time insight into business health. In doing so, distributors can react quickly to market and price changes while dramatically improving the accuracy and efficiency of inventory.
RM: In a time of navigating disruption, how does the software help distributors through these challenging times?
JS: Demand forecasting has evolved from the days of user judgment and simple min/max calculations. Savance analyzes demand patterns for each stocked product in every warehouse to determine if there is unusual demand, and if customers’ purchase patterns are recurring or sporadic. Both demand patterns benefit from different forecasting approaches; Savance automatically decides what approach fits best by using extensive comparison testing.
The result for our users is increased inventory turns, diminished warehouse overstock and increased inventory gross margin return on investment
Additionally, integrated e-commerce is included in Savance’s upfront product offering, and provides distributors with a way to offer self-service for their customers. The feature gives contractors a way to see current and historical orders, price and create new orders, view their account and even pay bills online.