Epicor has experienced the advantage of being a player in the ERP game early: they are leaps and bounds ahead of competitors in terms of product development, as well as the specificity and flexibility of their modules. Epicor not only offers core ERP functionality but they now offer more specific packages for more specific businesses, like Prophet 21 for distributors.
Epicor has been a strong player in the ERP scene for a while now, having the opportunity to help businesses develop for the better part of four decades.
Ultra recently welcomed Epicor executives Mark Jensen (Senior Manager of Product Marketing for Distribution), Doug Smith (Director of Product Marketing for Distribution Retail), and Kami Kurth (Senior Director of Product Management & Distribution) to explain their offering for distribution companies called Prophet 21.
Playing Into Distribution Technology with Epicor
Software solutions have upped their game rapidly in the last decade, and companies have more demanding technology needs than ever. They want faster, easy-to-use, tailored options for software to run their company, and ERP systems have responded to those needs.
Distribution companies have very specific demands surrounding warehousing, multiple locations, and product tracking, among others. Thus, the minds at Epicor conceived Prophet 21 specifically for distribution companies and their niche requirements.
Prophet 21 is backed by Epicor’s full force. Epicor services over 20,000 customers worldwide and with just under $1 billion in revenue, its world class functionality is clear. Their solutions are designed for flexibility, extensibility, and scalability, and currently support customers in over 150 countries, in more than 30 languages with end-to-end solutions in the manufacturing, retail, distribution, and services industries.
Prophet 21 is specifically designed to be able to service a range of environments from the small business with $21 million in revenue to the small enterprise with $1 billion in revenue. It offers a complete value chain solution and seems to meet both supply and demand sides of the business. This offering is backed by deep industry knowledge, flexible solutions, continuous innovation, and customer-focused service and support.
To convey just how robust this solution is, Jensen shared the story of Mercedes Medical as a very successful user of Prophet 21, reporting a return on investment (ROI) of 605% since implementing the software.
Getting Into the Nitty-Gritty of Prophet 21
Although Prophet 21 is its own software, it is supported by the full power of Epicor – this makes a world of difference when looking at the specific functionality of the software. All of Epicor’s solutions are vertically-focused, highly intuitive, contain end-to-end functionality, flexible deployment, support for the virtual enterprise, integrated analytics, and multi-company capability.
New functionality and module development occurs in a customer-focused fashion. Prophet 21 subscribes to an agile development model in which new functionality is demonstrated to customers every two weeks to promote their involvement and feedback, and to ensure Prophet 21 is creating applications that will add value to their clients.
Look & Feel
Prophet 21 is highly customizable in terms of appearance. The screen look, portal, and dashboards can be designed based on each user or role. Epicor P21 provides support for unlimited user-defined fields, secure windows, and tabs.
Kurth also highlighted that the software features web-based, mobile portal access which can extend business logic and analytics. It appears Prophet 21 has thought of everything.
Serial tracking and lot traceability with document linking is available, in addition to:
- Hose assemblies and manufacturing
- Routing operations with secondary processing
- Barcoding and advanced warehousing
- Service and maintenance or order history
- Flexible units of measures
The software covers the full spectrum of sales with a robust CRM offering. The system includes basic CRM functions like contact management and opportunity tracking, but also includes a 360-degree view of the customer, sales master inquiry functions, and customer buying trend analysis.
From the sales features, P21 also includes full quoting capabilities, sophisticated pricing and contracts, scheduled order capabilities, and multi-currency support, among other attributes. Prophet 21 can manage vendor RFQs, direct shipping and special purchases, scheduled POs, vessel and container tracking, and tracking PO’s and returns.
In terms of managing inventories, the software does not slack. Prophet 21 makes sure to address:
- Static and dynamic replenishment methods
- Hub and spoke purchasing and replenishment
- Advanced demand forecasting
- Demand requirements planning
- Multi-branch transfer
- Physical inventory and cycle counting
- Wireless warehousing
- Dynamic bin management
- Serial and lot number support
As a part of Prophet 21’s offering they include Epicor commerce connect, which enables an omni channel strategy. This allows customers to:
- Develop a call center
- Schedule walk-ins
- Manage B2B and B2C marketing and point-of-sale
- Provide the benefits of a third-party marketplace/trading partner
- Feature a robust shopping cart capability
In addition to all the functionality described above, Prophet 21 customers also have access to companion offerings developed by Epicor or third-party software integration to take care of those extra needs.
This type of software is crucial for a distribution company as addresses the traditional challenges a company in the industry can face. The distribution industry can be a nightmare when it comes to product tracking and inventory management, as well as keeping tabs on all sales routes and vendor relationships.
Robust workflow and integration is crucial for these companies, as having a reliable single source of information can prevent double purchase orders, conflicting costing, or incomplete analytics. Systems like Prophet 21 seem to be designed with these issues in mind and have taken special measures to combat them.
The Epicor Strategy
Epicor prides itself on having over 400 partners that work with their software and can help customers to implement their offerings. Epicor has a signature methodology to implement their products and provides a wealth of resources for learning and knowledge such as:
- Instructor-led courses: classroom, virtual courses, worldwide access to over 100 courses
- Self-paced learning: embedded courses
- Epicor Knowledge Mentor: on-demand tutorials, learning available any time
- Documentation: illustrated, detailed instructions of major application functions, online, printed, or eBook options
Epicor is a client-focused company with unparalleled technology offerings that continue to be at the forefront of the industry. Their standard tiered solution and global enterprises, as well as their industry-focused offerings have proven themselves repeatedly in customer experiences with rapid returns on investment at a low cost.
Prophet 21 is yet another well-developed application that will allow Epicor to service even more companies in the distribution space with more innovation and functionality to contribute to elevating the industry to a higher standard.
To gain access to our webinars with Epicor, visit our On-Demand Webinars page.