The Sourcing Group Brings More Power to Enterprise Strategy Solutions with EFI MarketDirect StoreFront
The Sourcing Group (TSG) is an enterprise strategy provider. With headquarters in New York City, the company leverages a sophisticated technology platform to fulfill the print, marketing collateral, and branded merchandise needs of clients in the health care, insurance, financial, and restaurant industries.
Founded by Billy Caan and Dennis Clemente in 2005, TSG manages the entire business process of creating, sourcing, manufacturing, distributing, warehousing, and financial accounting for any products its clients need. The technology platform brings together its clients and more than 3,000 certified trade partners in one integrated and transparent ecosystem.
The company embraced a more advanced level of technology integration about three years ago, when it adopted EFI (Booth 8233) MarketDirect StoreFront Web-to-print/ecommerce software to better service a new customer — a large health care provider with more than 111,000 employees, 75 hospitals, and more than 800 clinics. The client wanted to transition its regional processes, sourcing, and purchasing onto one integrated platform.
The need for a powerful web-to-print solution
The MarketDirect StoreFront platform creates ecommerce sites that can be branded and customized for specific clients, companies, or departments. It integrates with EFI MIS/ERP workflow systems for full end-to-end business integration, and with EFI’s MarketDirect software for cross-media customer engagement and campaign management. An application programming interface (API) also supports open platform integration. TSG is establishing bi-directional communications integration between EFI MarketDirect StoreFront and the company’s existing third-party ERP system using the API available from EFI.
TSG had not dealt with EFI before, but it soon realized it had found the solution it needed to undertake the consolidation and integration task required for its new health care client. “Everything we’ve done is geared around EFI’s StoreFront platform,” says Bill Ellis, VP of Health Care Services for TSG. “We took multiple facilities and put them on one network. We now can give our client the price, service, and transparency they need, and we can hold prices consistently across various regions. We can also document and show them the savings.”
Integrating TSG’s MarketDirect StoreFront platform required adding more than 10,000 products to the system, including labels, forms, marketing items, apparel, and promo items. Items were broken down in several categories, and further refined by customized access to facilities based on the needs of different locations. The system accommodates 5,300 users from the health care provider, in addition to hundreds of certified trade partners.
Online job submissions that originate from TSG’s client are routed directly to third-party suppliers, while TSG tracks all request for quotes and transactions, discerns trends, checks production status, monitors and manages inventory, and performs the accounting functions. The system is also fully transparent to client users. A key attraction was MarketDirect StoreFront’s ability to add the health provider’s 13 in-plant shops into the system as well — something other Web-to-print platforms couldn’t execute.
“Basically, anything that’s required inside a hospital is accessible on the system,” says Ellis.
Adding to the effectiveness of the Web-to-print system is EFI SmartCanvas, a web-based design tool within MarketDirect StoreFront that gives administrators the power to create templates for greeting cards, flyers, brochures, and a host of other products.
According to Caan, “MarketDirect StoreFront with SmartCanvas manages the complete customer experience, which gives TSG unlimited capability to expand our suite of services.”
EFI delivers large gains and future growth
“The success of the project has unleashed significant growth opportunities. After originally bringing 40 hospitals onto the EFI Web-to-print platform, TSG’s health care client now has 50 hospitals, and more than 800 clinics using MarketDirect StoreFront — with an additional 25 hospitals in line to be added.
“We’re growing daily,” says Ellis. “As our client acquires or merges with other clinics and hospitals, we pull them onto the platform.”
Savings have been enormous as well. To start, TSG was able to eliminate costs by streamlining sourcing, and driving price consistency for products produced in different parts of the country. The health care provider subsequently reduced its overhead costs, closing nine of its in-house print shop locations.
The successful and positive experience with the Web-to-print implementation recently led TSG to add EFI MarketDirect Cross Media (XM) to its arsenal of sophisticated technology.
MarketDirect XM is a customer communication and marketing campaign platform that offers an intuitive user experience for creating personalized communications across nearly any medium, including e-mail, web, print, mobile, and social media. Content includes graphics, images, text, pURLs, and QR codes.
“When we saw Cross Media, we loved it,” says Caan. “We tailor our technology offerings to meet the needs of our clients. Not all our clients need Web-to-print capability. But we can see deploying Cross Media across all the industries we serve, and we see unlimited potential. In the short time we’ve had it, MarketDirect Cross Media has become a truly valuable tool in our dashboard.”