- Headquarters: Nashville, Tennessee
- Industry: General
- Number of Employees: 300
- Web site:
"Prophet 21 is basically the foundation of everything we do. Prior to its use, too many people were involved with the daily handling of payments, as well as the receiving and ordering of inventory. As a result of implementing the system, we are now equipped to respond faster and more accurately to customer requests throughout all 11 branches."
Tim Kentner, Chief Financial Officer | Blevis Inc.
Founded in 1971, Blevins Inc. of Nashville, Tennessee, now stands as one of the nation's largest wholesale distributors of general hardware, plumbing, electrical, and repair supplies in a variety of segments of the building supplies industry. With 11 full-service locations based throughout the eastern half of the United States, Blevins regularly handles the sale and delivery of more than 10,000 individual items (ranging from insulation, set-up materials, doors, windows and coatings to appliances, tools, carpeting, air conditioners, water heaters, towing equipment, and lighting fixtures).
In 2005, Blevins began researching upgrades to its existing software solution, stemming from the company's commitment to continually advance customer service and the system's inability to generate comprehensive customer histories and tracking reports in real time. In most instances, these reports would taken early a full night to produce, which greatly slowed delivery cycles and the speedy fulfillment of urgent requests.
"Many of the software solutions firms we contacted only dealt with companies much larger than ours," adds Chief Financial Officer Tim Kentner. "Epicor not only understood our business, but was able to help us upgrade our system without reinventing the wheel. They also opened our eyes to a multitude of easier and more advanced ways for managing our inventory and financials that utilized substantially fewer people and paper printouts."
Supporting Customer Request Fulfillment
The Prophet 21 enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution went online at Blevins in 2006. During the transition, Epicor worked diligently with the company both at onsite and offsite locations to ensure the proper training of all personnel.
According to Kentner, this transformation included the reorganization of each of the company's warehouses. Using Prophet 21 as a guide, thousands of products were grouped into specific categories, enabling Blevins' pickers to fulfill orders in approximately 20 percent less time and with far more accuracy.
Other Prophet 21 benefits include improvements in customer service that offer the ability to retrieve detailed customer and item master information with the push of a key. Customer service and sales were also improved with the "Accessories" option for selling complementary items. "Prophet 21 enhanced our ability to refine customer pricing, thus improving our margins. Purchasing benefited from advanced demand forecasting, which lowered inventory and reduced stock outs," adds Kentner.
Keeping Track of Transactions and Payments
"I use Prophet 21 all day, every day," offers Joan Sparks, Blevins'credit manager since 1985. "This includes the extensive oversight of nearly 12,000 different accounts, as well as collections and cash reporting."
"The user-friendly, Microsoft® Windows®-type GUI allows me to easily follow the trail of transactions performed at each location. This includes centralized access to historical and comparative data that helps me do my job quickly and efficiently," she adds. "As a credit manager, I need the most up-to-date information available, and Prophet 21 provides all of the 'who, what, where and when' specifics in a nutshell."
"Prophet 21 is basically the foundation of everything we do," concludes Kentner. "It is the glue that connects our business functions together. Prior to its use, too many people were involved with the daily handling of payments, as well as the receiving and ordering of inventory. As a result of implementing the system, we are now equipped to respond faster and more accurately to customer requests throughout all 11 branches."
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