Paper and packaging supplies maker Unisource sells a variety of materials to places like computer manufacturers and grocery stores. One of its customers' biggest challenges is inventory management. When things go wrong, it hurts both the customer (a supply emergency) as well as Unisource (unplanned shipments). For example, Unisource is affected if a grocer mismanages inventory and finds itself without enough food trays to package meat.
To address such issues, Unisource developed SmartSync, a Web-based inventory management system that uses the cloud-based Salesforce Force.com platform. SmartSync bar-coding technology captures item numbers, reorder quantities and pricing, and automatically sends inventory orders to Unisource. When Unisource materials arrive, customers can use SmartSync to scan and add materials into stock. Any smart device that has Internet access and a Bluetooth bar-code reader -- including traditional handheld scanning devices, tablets or smartphones -- can use SmartSync.
SmartSync is free for Unisource customers. The company says that SmartSync customers buy 15% to 20% more products from Unisource than customers that don't use it, and SmartSync customers' orders are 10% to 15% larger compared to non-SmartSync customers.