Ronstan Paper & Packaging’s ERP system also allows them to identify trends throughout the enterprise, including customer’s buying habits. The company can categorize customers based on industry and products based on type. As a result, the company can track developments across a certain type of client or product line that it’s offering. 
This type of intelligence can be invaluable when attempting to understand the broad market for products and when uncovering opportunities, LaMorte says.
“You can then extract that information and just look at customers in that one industry and say that if you are selling one guy this product and all of these others are in the same industry, it’s pretty plausible that they are all buying that same product, letting me go offer it to all of them,” LaMorte says.
Company personnel can uncover changes in a customer account and act upon the changes quickly. This is key, says LaMorte, when a customer stops buying a certain product.
“If we notice a customer was buying something monthly and, all of a sudden, he skips a month, you definitely want the salesman calling to check and make sure that everything is okay,” LaMorte says. “Maybe something bad happened and they needed to skip a month or maybe someone came in and quoted against you so you lost a piece of business.”
Time is of the essence when reacting to lost business, says LaMorte, who adds the information gleaned from the ERP system ultimately allows Ronstan Paper & Packaging to be proactive.
“We found that the quicker that you can realize you lost something and you can go back after it, the better chance you have,” at getting that business back, he says. “Where, if you didn’t realize that you lost it, and six months or a year [later], the customer is so over you, that you are lucky if they even talk to you anymore. The system is our eyes and ears and allows us to stay on top of things and react right away.”

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