Behind the Scenes with Core Health & Fitness [Part 2]

Core Health and Fitness a manufacturer of fitness equipment, most notably the StairMaster, Nautilus Strength, Star Trac, and Schwinn brands. We recently published a case study about its use of Esker’s Collections Management tool after talking with Corporate Credit Manager Sy Mares. Below is Part 2 of our conversation with Sy. You can find Part 1 here.

Esker: How do your customers feel about using Esker? Do they enjoy it?

Sy: Our customers love it. We’ve gotten a lot of comments about how easy it is to manage their account through the Esker portal and how appreciative they are that they get their invoices next day when a product ships. Our customers are able to have access to their statements and for audit purposes, they can go back as far back as they need.

We recently conducted a customer survey and found out that a couple customers had given us a not favorable NPS because they wanted us to accept credit card payments rather than just ACH. We were able to fix that problem pretty quickly by turning on that feature in Esker and did another survey to find that our NPS came back at nearly world class level. And it’s because of the services that we provide. It’s not just the product that we sell, it’s “how easy is it to do business with us?” It’s important to us that from a customer’s perspective, we want a platform that presents a positive journey for the customer. We wanted a platform that was seamless and transparent and offered immediate service to the customer.

Esker: So Esker has been helpful in improving your customer experience and differentiating you from your competitors?

Sy: Absolutely.  But it’s not just our customers that have given a lot of great praise about Esker — it’s also our partners! We’ve had some of our distributors that, when I presented Esker as a tool we were using, I also presented it as a tool for them to implement into their business. And we’ve had several do that. One of our largest distributors in the North America, they just turned on Esker and love using it. It’s so easy. They have one person that manages their receivables now because Esker basically does everything for them. We have distributors that sell our product globally and they are all in Esker. They carry balances in China, Japan, Thailand, all around the world, and they’re able to access their account anywhere.

Esker: How many of your customers use Esker? Do you have a percentage?
Every one of them.

Esker: They all do?

Sy: All of them. Every one of our customers is in Esker. Most of our customers are relatively the same in that they need a statement, they need an invoice, and we need payment. We only have maybe a small handful out of those thousands of customers that need or require some sort of customized report or EDI type transmitted document. With some customers, they would say “I can’t pay unless I have an invoice”. Well, we don’t invoice until we ship. And we can’t ship until they pay. So with your help, we went through and created a process where when an order is entered in the system, the account coordinator will email the customer their order confirmation, which looks similar to an invoice and they’ll copy in the finance coordinator. The finance coordinator will go into Esker, create the profile, upload the order confirmation and email the customer with a beautiful email introducing them to Esker. It’s free service to them and they can pay online, be it ACH or credit card.

Esker: Wow, that’s amazing.

Sy: We also globalized Esker by implementing it in our UK and Germany offices and training them on the system as well.

Esker: Tell me more about that! How does Esker work with your multiple subsidiaries? What benefits have you seen from doing that?

Sy: So we rolled out in phases, starting with North America to work out all the kinks before rolling out to UK and then Germany. Implementation was very smooth since we already went through the North American implementation and we knew what was required. Within a week we had UK and Germany set up.

As far as the benefits we’ve seen, I like using the term “plug and play”. I want to make sure that if there is a process, everyone’s following that same process. The benefit of globalizing is again the reporting, the process to which we are sending out customer information, and the fact that now all our locations and subsidiaries can get paid sooner. We want to be sure that all the tools are available to everyone.

Germany also is taking advantage of the translation features available in Esker. On the account level, we’re able to change things on the customer side on their behalf so they can see it in their language. And that was really helpful!

Esker: I know you’ve worked pretty closely with your Customer Experience advocate and our support team. What has that experience been like?

It’s ridiculous, in a good way. Everyone I’ve worked with is fantastic. Once, one of my employees suggested having a search bar and within months we got a notice, “Hey everybody, there’s this new search bar”. I don’t know if it was because of his suggestion or what but the fact that Esker listens to their customers and then does something about it is fantastic. That’s service and Esker provides excellent service and support. Everyone’s timely. You don’t have to wait hours or days to get answers.

Esker: Is there anything you’ve been able to achieve through Esker that you’re particularly proud of in terms of our own personal career?

Sy: Implementing Esker itself was a highlight for me. If I left this company and went somewhere else, I’d want to take Esker with me. No matter where I go, I’d fight tooth and nail to get a company to get rid of any other platform they’re using and get Esker put in. I’m very glad to be a partner with you guys.

Check out the full Core Health & Fitness case study here.

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