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Etna Supply

Company Facts

  • Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Industry: Plumbing Supply
  • Number of Employees: 375
  • Website: www.etnasupply.com

“Epicor University offers the best education available for these systems in the industry.” 

Bill Meldrum, Director of Operations | Etna Supply

 

Etna Supply has been dedicated to meeting the commercial and residential plumbing supply needs of Northeast Michigan and the surrounding region for the past 50 years. Headquartered in Grand Rapids with 17 other locations and showrooms spread throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, the company specializes in the distribution of products ranging from fire hydrants, water meters and welding services to snow melt systems and kitchen, and bathroom fixtures.

Nurturing growth with Epicor Eclipse

Experiencing a great deal of growth and operating an antiquated software system, Etna began the search for an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution several years ago, ultimately going live with Epicor Eclipse solution in 2010 after an extensive review process.

“The others were web-based, but this one was much easier to use,” said Bill Meldrum, director of operations, Etna Supply. “We brought in several of our younger staff. When we saw how fast they grasped the system, we knew Eclipse was the answer.”

The Eclipse learning process at Etna began with core users representing different areas of business assigned to learning management system (LMS) training at the company’s Grand Rapids and Wixom, Michigan locations.

These live training modules were conducted by Epicor with “20 to 25 people in every role possible.”

“It didn’t matter if our people were performing order entry or in purchasing or warehousing,” offered Meldurm. “We involved nearly every department of the company because we wanted the feedback. This was incredibly valuable, since it allowed us to carry on business, while our subject matter experts adapted and learned.”

Epicor University—a continual learning experience

According to Meldrum, another benefit of this training methodology was the ability to learn in smaller groups and “cross-talk” in “cross-functional” environments that were “not overwhelming.” In addition, “the instructors, who were really into it” and provided “a great deal of input” regularly spotted talented students, enabling them to showcase their new skills and further motivate others in the class.

“Epicor University offers the best education available for these systems in the industry,” added Meldrum. “It’s easy to make friends with the instructors, who never rush you and take the time to answer every question. So far, this is the sixth consecutive year that we’ve attended university classes. Each time, we narrow the training to various role players within our company. We try to cover all the financial aspects and anything else that’s new. Personally, I enjoy the operational sessions that continue to advance my knowledge of IT and provide the tools needed to help me move product through our distribution center. I always find the information I need to take us to another level.”

“I’ve attended every conference since joining the company six years ago,” explained Brett Klein, pricing leader. “We never fail to learn new things that improve our productivity and efficiency. Most recently, we attended the universe file structure class. It provided new insights into the system that I didn’t know existed. It changed the way we do business."

“It actually took me about a month to truly realize the value of everything I learned. We had thousands of products with 14-digit UPCs. The class showed us how the system’s dictionaries can reference the data and get the UPCs to 12 digits. There’s really nothing we cannot do in this area since attending the session.”



Success Highlights:

Challenges

  • Facilitate company growth through a user-friendly ERP system that would meet the needs of every company department located across 18 separate locations

Solution

  • Epicor® Eclipse

Benefits

  • Enhance distribution services companywide
  • Reduce the complexity and streamline the process for digitally numbering products
  • Utilize Epicor University to continually “learn new things that improve our productivity and efficiency”

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