Handi-Craft Company warehousing software case study


The Company

The Handi-Craft Company has seen some change over the years. It started out as a toy manufacturer in 1963, but in 1997, it dove headfirst into the baby bottle market, which has become the company’s formula for success.

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow® baby bottles feature a patented venting system that promotes a baby’s health by minimizing negative pressure and air bubbles, ensuring that the milk retains vital nutrients. Designed by a doctor, these bottles are Handi-Craft’s flagship product. It also distributes products that complement the baby bottles, such as pacifiers and teethers, sippy cups, and breastfeeding products.

A popular choice for individual consumers and medical facilities alike, Dr. Brown’s bottles keep Handi-Craft busy — orders flood in from every direction. With such a varied customer base, keeping all those orders flowing smoothly from entry to fulfillment is a top priority.

The Challenge

A company like Handi-Craft requires flexible order management and visibility into both customer and inventory data — a challenge, considering its use of Microsoft Dynamics GP. While Dynamics GP is unmatched in its accounting strength, ease of use and visibility are common pain points for businesses that manage their order-to-cash cycle directly within the software.

In order to maintain momentum and prepare their current order-to-cash process for future growth, Handi-Craft needed a way to address the issues inherent in Dynamics GP. And if that solution came with additional functionality and a whole range of tools that complemented Dynamics GP’s strengths? Well, that would just be icing on the cake.

The Solution

For Handi-Craft, the benefits SalesPad by Cavallo® brought to the table were more than mere icing — more like an entire second layer of cake.

Handi-Craft first learned about SalesPad through a connection with an IT manager at a business mere minutes away. Hoy Shoe Co, already a SalesPad customer, recommended that Handi-Craft check out what the on-prem solution could offer. From there, it wasn’t long before Handi-Craft too joined the Cavallo family. SalesPad transformed Handi-Craft’s operations by streamlining processes, error-proofing many tasks, and saving valuable time throughout the workweek.

Gail Perry started with The Handi-Craft Company back when it distributed toys, and she watched as the baby bottles grew in popularity. In her current role, she oversees all order processing.

“Since we’ve gone with SalesPad, my job has been easier, I can tell you that,” Perry said. “In my particular area, it has saved me a lot of time. I actually have a team of five right now, and if I did not have SalesPad it would be at least seven. Probably eight.”

“The first thing I do every day is open up Sales Monitor,” said Nick Padgitt, the order fulfillment manager at Handi-Craft. He works with both customer service and the company website to fulfill around 100 to 150 orders per day.

“Sales Monitor tells me how many orders I have to start off the day,” Padgitt continued. “Also, I can see my priority orders compared to the standard shipping ones, so I can lay out my plan for the day and get everything in order, as far as priorities.”

Hank Murphy, who primarily works in IT at Handi-Craft but is also in charge of shipping medical orders, is also a big fan of Sales Monitor. He considers it his go-to resource in SalesPad.

“I think it’s a wonderful tool to be able to monitor what is going on,” Murphy said. “It shows us what’s actively being picked, and…it’s very efficient.”

Whenever Sales Monitor comes up in conversation, batch updates are not far behind. Sales Monitor provides a crystal-clear status for any given transaction within the company, and batch processing allows the folks at Handi-Craft to perform an action against multiple orders and invoices at once. It’s a huge time saver.

As Perry explained, “Literally, you just grab your batch and you go on. The really cool thing is in SalesPad, I can grab one invoice or I can grab 150 invoices, and they’re all going to flip at one time.”

We have a leaner staff because of SalesPad. We’re able to do more work in less time. Just grabbing your orders and doing a mass update is something that we do in SalesPad that we couldn’t do in Dynamics GP, and the time savings is huge. I mean huge — you don’t really realize it until you actually see it be done. And once you actually see it, it’s…‘How did we live without it?’


Taking the Headaches out of Order Processing

Cara Fleming is an order processor in title, but like most people at Handi-Craft, she does a little of everything. She spoke to us about some of the struggles the company went through before SalesPad came into the picture.

“Prior to SalesPad, order accuracy was a problem. We would miss notes that were pertinent to the carrier, such as whether it was a driver unload, or the driver appointment number. Before, we could miss that, but now it’s just there automatically. We know it’s there — we’re confident it’s there.”

This confidence comes from a little software customization in the form of user-defined fields. User-defined fields, or UDFs, allow companies to specify information that should appear on a transaction that’s not necessarily there with an out-of-the-box setup. It brings a degree of flexibility to distribution operations that many ERP solutions lack.

“The UDFs have been very useful,” Fleming continued. “Before we had them, we had to hand-write specifics for our warehouse and for the trucking company on the bill of lading. Now, it’s saved on the customer card. It automatically prints for us. We don’t have to worry about delivery appointments, emails, or sort/segregate differences. All of that is already in there for the order, which streamlines the process.”

Beyond UDFs, Handi-Craft further customized their SalesPad experience by introducing some color coding to their reporting. This visual aid helps Fleming quickly and efficiently evaluate and take action on reports that she pulls.

“The color-coding feature is very very cool for us. When I do my out-of-stock report, for say, an EDI customer where time is of the essence, it tells me what’s out-of-stock or already discontinued, it tells me if something’s restricted to a specific customer, and I’m able to locate these on the orders immediately.

“I’m able to go in, do the stock report for those specific orders, then forward them and allocate everything,” Fleming explained. “I see what I need to remove, and I can have all of that done and the 855 routed by noon when it’s due.”

Sweetening the Deal with Shipping and PayFabric

One of SalesPad’s biggest strengths is its ability to play well with others. All of Cavallo’s solutions offer a whole suite of add-on products, plus a healthy catalog of integrations. Handi-Craft took advantage of both by incorporating both SalesPad ShipCenter and the SalesPad PayFabric integration into their operations.

“The shipping module’s great,” Padgitt declared.

“It works hand-in-hand with SalesPad. Once I have the order fulfilled, I can print the label within 25 seconds. Simply scan the document, enter in shipment information, package template, weight. It’s as easy as that.”

Padgitt added that ShipCenter further improves Handi-Craft’s shipping operations by streamlining communication between Handi-Craft and its customers. Once a shipping label is printed, the system automatically sends that information to the customer and notifies them that their order has been shipped.

Perry is also enthusiastic about PayFabric. “My experience with PayFabric is wonderful. It saves us so much time — it is amazing. We go into the cash area, run the credit card, post it, and we’re done. Before…it took way too much time. The time savings [with PayFabric] are wonderful…There’s nothing better.”

Running Lean and Clean

“We have a leaner staff because of SalesPad,” Perry said. “We’re able to do more work in less time. Just grabbing your orders and doing a mass update is something that we do in SalesPad that we couldn’t do in Dynamics GP, and the time savings is huge. I mean huge — you don’t really realize it until you actually see it be done. And once you actually see it, it’s…how did we live without it?”

Not only does SalesPad keep the Handi-Craft Company running lean staff-wise. It also promotes visibility into processes for Perry and everyone else at the company.

“SalesPad provides you a view of what’s happening,” Padgitt explained. “It gives you the ability to look into all of your orders in one concise location.”

Perry agreed, and expounded on that thought.

“Since using SalesPad, I now have a lot more insight into what is going on — what my team members are actually doing. Prior to SalesPad, I did not have that ability. And I do need to know what’s in credit hold, or what’s being held for whatever reason, so that we can stay on top of it. I would hate for an order not to go through because of a minor issue that I can take care of.”