- Location: Franksville, Wisconsin
- Industry: Fastener and Industrial distribution
- Number of Employees: 46
- Web site:
"The integrated supply management capability of Prophet 21 is great for VMI and MRO-now we have one solution for billing, data mining, and reporting, all customized for our customers."
Jim Ruetz, President & General Manager | All Fasteners
All Fasteners, a Wisconsin-based fastener distributor, is actually two companies with different business models. One-affiliate All Tool Sales-is a traditional industrial distributor, supplying cutting tools, abrasives, machinery and components, and supplies to industrial customers, mainly in the upper Midwest. The other is in the vendor-managed inventory (VMI) business-running onsite parts warehouses for customers all over the Midwest, providing them with the fasteners and other supplies they need just when they need them.
All Fasteners has been using the Epicor Prophet 21 enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to support its customer-specific solutions for VMI since August 2006. The Tool division went live in May 2012, which marks the first time since 1985 that the two company divisions have been on the same software system. "For nearly 30 years, we've been looking for a system that would fit both sides of our business," says All Fasteners President Jim Ruetz. "Flexibility is the #1 attribute of Prophet 21 for us; it's paramount to our service. Prophet 21 gives us much better ability to react to our customers' needs, and lets us be more proactive."
Prophet 21 incorporates functionality that makes VMI a breeze: it downloads customer contracts directly into stockers' handheld computers, which also allows for on-the-fly adjustments in inventory levels according to customers' production demands. All Fasteners' bin floor stockers can transmit data into the system via VPN connection over the wireless phone in their scanners, which saves valuable time that had previously been spent uploading data once the stockers returned to the office.
As a result, overtime required to process orders has plunged dramatically. "For example, we have significantly reduced the number of times we have people working on Saturdays to meet a Monday delivery date," Ruetz notes.
Wireless Warehouse Improves Productivity, Flexibility, and Accuracy
Improvements have been especially noticeable in All Fasteners' warehouse operations, thanks to the Prophet 21 wireless warehouse management solution, which is fully integrated with the Prophet 21 database.
Because All Fasteners employees were already familiar with the basics of wireless warehouse management, the company experienced something unusual after the conversion to Prophet 21: immediate productivity gains. "Whenever you implement a new system, there's a learning curve, and productivity usually goes down," comments Ruetz. "But because we were wireless before implementing Prophet 21, we saw our efficiency improve right after switching."
According to Ruetz, "Wireless warehouse really facilitates VMI; it is very accurate, and one of the key components for improving flexibility and speed in shipping product to the customers." For example, where All Fasteners' old system required pickers to obtain box labels for orders one at a time from a central printer, WWMS lets them print labels in batches on wireless printers attached directly to their mobile work carts, thus dramatically reducing the incidence of "bugs"-order errors caught internally before orders ship. "We were averaging five bugs a month on our old system," Ruetz said. "During our conversion to Prophet 21, we implemented the wireless printers for our order fulfillment teams and had four bugs the entire quarter."
Integrated Technology, Supported by Consulting
All Fasteners has utilized the services of Epicor implementation consultants for both of its divisions. "These consultants really know the business; many of them have used Prophet 21 themselves in their previous companies," Ruetz observes. "They have the tools to make these projects succeed." For example, at All Fasteners, data conversion was a critical aspect of implementation. According to Ruetz, the old data structure was converted in record time.
"With a SQL Server™-based system, it is now easier to get at the data," he adds. "We are able to do more with less, using the Prophet 21 software to serve our customers at a lower cost. The integrated supply management capability of Prophet 21 is great for VMI and MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul)-now we have one solution for billing, data mining, and reporting, all customized for our customers."
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise, and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit