Unger Global was founded more than 50 years ago in Germany when Henry Unger, a professional window cleaner, started designing cleaning products for his industry. Today the company is a leading global manufacturer of high quality, innovative cleaning products for professional use.
Unger is the parent company to numerous divisions, two of which rely heavily on EDI: the Unger Enterprises (UE) unit, which sells to industrial supplies and equipment providers for the professional market, and Unger Industrial (UI), whose customers are big-box retailers, such as Home Depot, True Value, and Ace Hardware.
Selling to so many distributors and big-box retailers means EDI plays a major role in Unger’s operations. However, as the firm pursued its growth trajectory in recent years, their existing EDI system was becoming a bottleneck. For example, it was taking almost three months to get each trading partner up and running on EDI.
Knowing there had to be a better way to go live with their EDI trading partners and manage their EDI operations, the Unger team explored other options and decided on Lanham EDI -- based on the problem-free experience they had using Lanham E-Ship. They also opted to use the Lanham VAN for their EDI communications.
Since the Lanham products are built with the same User Interface as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, and Lanham EDI does all the EDI translation and processing inside that ERP system, the transition has been smooth.
"By switching to Lanham EDI, we’ve been able to eliminate the cumbersome integration required to connect the previous EDI software with our ERP. Now all of our EDI translation and cross referencing takes place inside Business Central, giving us total control. With Lanham EDI our process is seamless and intuitive. We can initiate EDI transactions and store all of our EDI data right inside our Business Central system that we know and understand," says Kim Mullin, PMP, Systems Specialist, Unger Global.
Speed -- Unger implemented Lanham EDI and the Lanham VAN in 2019 and has made significant progress breaking through previous bottlenecks. They now get new trading partner mapping done within a day or two, with the most significant time constraint being how soon the trading partner is willing to do the testing.
They’ve progressed from previously getting 16 trading partners up and running over the past four years to getting 43 trading partners, with 193 EDI documents, across their two divisions, up and running within the course of one year using Lanham EDI.
Efficiencies -- For a concept that is built on standards, EDI can be handled with many different approaches. Since Lanham EDI offers a variety of implementation options, ranging from completely outsourcing it via Lanham Managed EDI Services, to doing some of the EDI mapping, to implementing and managing it all inhouse, or just getting help when needed, Unger was able to take additional control over the process by choosing the inhouse option.
Now if there’s a problem they fix the map themselves, whereas previously if there was a problem they would have to go through layers of external vendors and consultants, and their associated costs, to achieve a resolution.
Ease of Use -- Unger’s previous EDI provider offered a master map (one map for all customers). This meant that if a programming change was made in order to comply with a new, on-boarding trading partner, and it caused a problem, all user companies on that master map would be affected and a barrage of chargebacks would follow.
Since Lanham EDI does not force one large “mega-map,” and has maps dedicated by customer, Mullin says that once she got her first maps into the system, she just used them as templates, easily updating any segments that changed on a case-by-case basis.
Savings -- Due to all the external parties’ involvement with the previous EDI vendor, it cost Unger on average $20K per year to set up new trading partners ($5K each per new trading partner at a pace of about four in a year). By implementing Lanham EDI inhouse, they have eliminated all third-party costs associated with EDI set-ups without increasing their staff.
Lanham Products Used
Within a year, using Lanham EDI, Unger has: