Automation Hero April 2019: Julia Montgomery of EazyStock
EazyStock’s iron woman, Julia, helps businesses automate inventory processes
Name: Julia Montgomery
Job title: Customer and Partner Success Manager
Julia Montgomery is one of EazyStock’s premier stock optimisation experts. In her role as Customer and Partner Success Manager (CSM) she helps companies around the world improve their processes and become more profitable through automation. And, when she’s not at work, Julia competes in long-distance triathlons at an elite level, which is perhaps where her contagious energy comes from! Julia is known for always going the extra mile for her clients to succeed in their projects. That’s why Julia is April’s automation hero of the month.
Congratulations Julia! Can you please tell us a little about yourself and your work at EazyStock?
Thank you! I have worked at EazyStock for five years from our offices in Malmö, Chicago and since earlier this year, at our headquarters in Stockholm. By day I work with our customers to optimise their inventory management processes, utlising EazyStock. Once work is over, I balance my own life with an elite career in long-distance triathlon training.
How do you help EazyStock’s customers and partners to use automation to optimise their processes?
I work as both a Customer and Partner Success Manager. That means I make sure our customers reach their goals and get the best value out of our product, in combination with other systems and their own inventory processes. I also support our partners so that they have the technical expertise they need to help their customers. Customer value is fundamental to EazyStock and the best thing about my job is to see our customers, partners and partners’ customers succeed!
Can you give examples of processes or tasks that you help automate?
EazyStock is a system that calculates forecasts and purchasing parameters. It automatically classifies and categorises all stock items based on their current demand behavior. It then calculates automatic order suggestions, using this data. This means the user doesn’t have to manually collect information from various reports, excel sheets or systems. Instead EazyStock calculates parameters and transfers the optimised values to the ERP. As a CSM, I not only help with the implementation of EazyStock, but I can also draw from my experiences on other projects and thus give extra value to the customer.
What typical automation projects are you seeing your customers currently take on?
Right now, many companies are looking to automate processes that currently require a great deal of manual work. For example, invoice management can easily be automated with smart and accessible systems that electronically handle the invoices. Physical warehouse optimisation and management e.g. picking and packing, is another area in which is increasingly being automated.
What inventory management challenges do your customers solve using automation?
Very manual, time-consuming work is a common driving factor to change. We often find that customers are good at managing their best-selling items, but when they have thousands of SKUs, they simply don’t have the time or resources to manually work each and every item. So when it comes to calculating a demand forecast or setting replenishment parameters, for example, it’s common for them to apply one type of logic for all the products. This often leads to poor forecasts or incorrect order quantities and a can create excess inventory and dissatisfied customers. When companies continue to grow, eventually their inventory becomes so large that they completely lose control. Smart companies realise the value of inventory optimisation and purchasing automation before they end up here, but it’s still better to make the move at a later date, rather than never.
Poor data quality is a factor that sometimes makes customers doubt whether they’re ready for automation. But in my opinion this is a perfect reason to get up and running with automation! EazyStock is transferring data daily and if there are errors in the data, the system will trigger alarms immediately. The shortcomings become transparent and the customer can quickly correct the master data in their ERP.
What do you think the future holds for automation?
There is no question that automation will continue to infiltrate companies large and small. There’s a lot of talk about automating processes, reducing manual work and speeding up intermediate processes. Companies are looking to improve all operational functions, such as sales, purchasing, inventory management, inventory optimisation and resource management.
Large companies have come a long way in this, and today there are tools on the market that make it cheap and easy even for small and medium-sized companies to streamline operations through automation. In today’s dynamic world, the demand for agile systems is growing and I believe that the systems of the future will be even more simple and “self-speaking”.
Do you have any particular “success stories” that you would like to share? A customer who you’ve helped succeed?
One of my Swedish customers used excel spreadsheets on a daily basis to figure out what they sold, how much they should buy and their suppliers’ requirements for minimum quantities. They were pretty good at planning and managing their best sellers, but the issues lay with their other lines. Following the implementation of EazyStock, the company reduced its administrative workload by 67% within six months. At the same time the customer experienced a change in market behavior and more sales began to come via ecommerce channels, putting new demands on processes and flows. Their improved efficiency therefore became invaluable and the time the company saved by using EazyStock was invested in adapting the business to support ecommerce trading, without losing competitiveness.
Thank’s for your insight, Julia!
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