- Location: Eugene, Oregon
- Industry: Automotive aftermarket
- Sales profile: 90% professional, 10% retail
- Number of locations: 2 warehouses, 1 service center and machine shop
- Employees: 66
- Website: www.eugeneserviceparts.com
“I’m seeing people who were hesitant to try new things before but who are now excited by what they’ve learned they can do with the Vision software. How do you put a value on that?”
Gary Davis, VP and Co-Owner, Automotive Service Parts
“It was time.” That’s how Gary Davis, vice president and co-owner of Automotive Service Parts (ASP)—a two-step automotive replacement parts distributor with locations in Eugene and Medford, Oregon—explained his company’s decision to upgrade from Epicor Prism software to the powerful Epicor Vision solution. ASP had used Prism since the mid-1980s, and while it remained popular among employees, all signs pointed to the need for a change.
Working smarter, not harder
“We knew back in 2000 that we needed to upgrade,” Davis said. “We finally came to the conclusion that we couldn’t put it off any longer. If you don’t step into new technology, you’re going to work a lot harder just to maintain your existing capabilities. We needed to invest time in new opportunities rather than just chasing hours figuring out what we had in our inventory.”
From service to parts to multiple locations
Founded in 1970 as a Volkswagen repair shop, the company soon added a machine shop and small parts business. In 2010, another wholesale parts warehouse and regional ACDelco and Motorcraft distributor were purchased. The business now has two warehouses and 66 employees.
Although Prism had been running individual areas of the company for several years, it was not until 2010 that Davis, along with the other business partners, consolidated locations under the legacy software. “Back then it was the easy choice because we knew (Prism) and our people were comfortable with it,” explained partner Scott Lewis, whose father, William, founded the business. “But when you looked at our ACDelco and Motorcraft lines and all of the purchasing we do to support them, we really needed to have a lot more capabilities.”
Old habits become new opportunities
Davis and Lewis have found those critical new capabilities through their implementation of Epicor Vision software. Increased efficiency, dramatically improved inventory management—these and other benefits figured prominently in the partners’ decision to upgrade to Vision. But there has been an equally important—and surprising—return on their investment: “Our employees are now excited about challenging themselves and not having to do things the same way they’ve been done for 15 years,” Davis explained. “I’m seeing people who were hesitant to try new things before but who are now excited by what they’ve learned they can do with the Vision software. How can you put a value on that?”
Davis and Lewis can point both to tangible and intangible benefits because of their move to Vision, with most falling into one of three operational areas: inventory control, pricing, and business intelligence.
ASP’s initial annual inventory using the Vision software was the first in the company’s history to be fully scanned. As a result, accuracy and efficiency are significantly improved, according to Lewis. “We’ve reduced pick times, mis-picks, and delivery time—all of which ultimately strengthen our business by improving service levels.”
Implementing modern pricing strategies is also much easier with Vision software. “We’re still learning everything we can do because there’s so much more flexibility (with Vision),”Davis said. “It’s much easier to price individual parts and groups of parts within a product line, or assign prices based on specific categories.”
Management now also knows significantly more about how the company is performing at any given moment, and has deep new insight into market conditions through integrated Epicor Compass business analytics and Epicor Vista market intelligence. Rather than the relatively limited number of “canned” reports available through Prism software, Davis and Lewis can quickly write and extract Compass reports covering virtually any operational metric. ASP also uses the Vista “Market Basket” tool to build stock assortments based on actual product demand at the street level.
The Epicor difference
While Davis and Lewis regret delaying their investment in new technology, they wasted little time in choosing the provider. “We only considered Epicor,” Davis explained. “Sometimes, when you’re making a change that’s this significant, it makes sense to stick with an experienced company. Their products have always proven themselves throughout the years and that was important to us.”