Acorn Paper Products integrates ERP with Oracle Sales Cloud for an even better customer experience. By Jeff Erickson
Acorn executives get sales intelligence wherever and whenever they need it.
Surrounded by big competitors, Acorn Paper Products has survived and thrived by consistently delivering an excellent customer experience.
When Jack Bernstein founded Acorn in 1946, he and five employees sold excess “job-lot” boxes out of an 11,000-square-foot warehouse. Today, the fourth-generation, family-owned business has more than 500,000 square feet of warehouse space and 300 employees, including 85 sales reps.
“Unlike companies that just ship product, we have personal relationships with our customers,” says Jake Weissberg, director of IT at Acorn. “A customer can call a national vendor and order a large quantity, which they’ll get in a week, or they can call us and have their order delivered the next day.”
How does Acorn achieve such high service levels without pricing themselves out of the market? The answer, in large part, comes down to Acorn’s embrace of technologies that both drive efficiencies and support excellent customer service.
The driving philosophy behind our adoption of technology is this—make everything as easy as possible for our customers, including self-service if that is what they prefer.
- Jake Weissberg
“We consider ourselves futuristic thinkers within our industry when it comes to commitment to technology,” says Weissberg.
That includes integrated, comprehensive use of Oracle technologies across its enterprise. When Acorn went live with Oracle E-Business Suite in 2000, the peers of CEO David Weissberg, Jake’s father, were skeptical, telling him that the new system was bigger and more complex than he needed.
“We were probably one of the smallest Oracle customers at the time,” David Weissberg said then. “But we embraced Oracle, and it sure has proven successful for us.”
CRM was the next step for Acorn Paper Products, says Jake Weissberg. Thanks to the close integration between Oracle Sales Cloud and Oracle E-Business Suite, all customer data entered into Oracle Sales Cloud is immediately integrated across all of the company’s key back-end systems.
“We wanted to increase productivity within our sales force and empower sales managers with insights into their reps’ daily activities,” explains Weissberg.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Industry: Wholesale Distribution
Oracle Products: Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle iStore
For its investment to pay off, Acorn knew it needed buy-in from its sales reps. The company’s leaders liked the fact that Oracle Sales Cloud enables reps to use the apps anywhere, anytime, and via any mobile device. They also like the fact that reps could quickly and easily populate fields that relate to their interactions and sales opportunities.
In short, it is easy and convenient to use. “We are already seeing how Oracle Sales Cloud helps reps maximize their time throughout the day,” says Weissberg.
Acorn has always maintained strong relationships with its customers, but sometimes the best form of customer service is self-service—especially for the younger demographic of employees entering the workforce who prefer doing business this way.
“The driving philosophy behind our adoption of technology is this—make everything as easy as possible for our customers, including self-service if that is what they prefer,” says Weissberg.
Execs can quickly double-check reports to make sure sales managers and reps are staying on top of things. If anything stands out, they delegate tasks from right there within the app.
- Jake Weissberg
Until Acorn adopted Oracle Sales Cloud, real-time insight into sales activity was hit-or-miss. Managers had to sort through a wide range of communications, from paper call sheets to phone conversations.
“Now, we have an organized system that gets everyone on the same page, from reps to managers to our executive team,” says Weissberg. “Sales managers get daily insight into who entered what data the prior day, and then can quickly identify pressing opportunities for immediate follow-up.”
The same efficiencies roll up to Acorn executives. “Execs can quickly double-check reports to make sure sales managers and reps are staying on top of necessary tasks,” explains Weissberg.
“We want to continue to be leaders in this facet of the business, and we foresee a long future with Oracle,” says Weissberg. “And I’m sure that in the years to come the relationship will only grow stronger.”
Photographs by Bob Adler