- Location: Waukesha, Wisconsin
- Industry: Building materials
- Number of locations: 6
- Website: www.hllmark.com
"We need to leverage new technology to support greater efficiency, responsiveness, and customer service. Epicor ERP has helped us do all this and more."
Todd Lienke, Vice President of Technology, Hallmark Building Supplies, Inc.
Founded in 1974, Hallmark Building Supplies, Inc. provides marketing, sales, and distribution of branded building materials to the residential and commercial markets throughout 21 states in the U.S. The company is an authorized wholesaler and dealer/distributor of DuPont™ Corian® solid surfaces, DuPont Tyvek® weatherization systems, DuPont™ Zodiaq® quartz surfaces, Kohler® and Sterling® sinks, and Nichiha Fiber Cement Products, renowned for their quality and durability in the building industry, as well as many other fine building materials.
Once a small company with only one warehouse, today Hallmark has five warehouses and serves as a manufacturers' representative to an area of approximately 75 million people, which represents nearly 25 percent of the U.S. population. In recent years, Hallmark has leveraged Epicor ERP as a tool to support its growing operations and position the company for future growth. And in 2014, the company opted to upgrade to the new Epicor ERP version 10 platform.
An advocate of the methodology of W. Edwards Deming, an international consultant in quality and productivity management, Hallmark is driven to pursue continuous improvement in quality and efficiency. And it has found Epicor ERP to be a tremendous tool to support operational improvement and on-time delivery through a focus on inventory management, and coordinating sourcing from other distributors and shipments directly from the factory.
Speed and responsiveness are vital to Hallmark's business, since all orders are shipped the same day. "We take in approximately 100 orders, allocate the inventory, and ship all in one day," said Todd Lienke, vice president of technology, Hallmark. "Supporting this type of responsiveness requires that every one of our 75 employees interact with the Epicor system. Epicor ERP helps support all our day-to-day operations; we use pretty much all the functionality outside of the manufacturing capabilities."
Seamless integration of Epicor and the company's eCommerce platform is handled via Epicor Service Connect, a web servicesbased business integration platform that functions as the central point for implementing secure workflow orchestrations within Epicor applications and with third-party applications to enhance collaboration and automate business processes.
Distributors and dealers often have complex pricing structures that must be accounted for, and Hallmark is no exception. "We have a unique six-tier pricing structure that is dependent on different scenarios," said Alex Frey, ERP administrator at Hallmark. "Working with the Epicor Custom Solutions Group, we were amazed that we were able to build the custom pricing logic we needed. The extensibility is exceptional."
Hallmark has also found the platform's Microsoft® SQL Server® back end delivers exceptional performance and ease of administration. This is key because the IT team consists of only Lienke and Frey.
The software has also helped improve Hallmark's cash flow by streamlining the process of reconciling overages in estimations for its vendor materials accounts. This process, which was formerly done once a month, is now done once a week.
And use of the software has supported gains in other areas, as well. "In the past, we incurred a certain amount of material damage in the process of shipping material across the country-damage that we could quantify by using the Epicor Advanced Quality Management module. Now, with greater visibility and improved planning, we have eliminated a great deal of the need to transfer material among plants, so we can avoid incurring that waste," said Lienke.
Epicor Enterprise Performance Management assists with corporate planning, execution, and analysis at both strategic and tactical levels, to ensure alignment with big-picture company goals. "Enterprise Performance Management gives us an overview of key company trends, so we can make better decisions," said Frey.
Hallmark leverages a host of reporting options to run and operate its business with exceptional visibility, generating a broad range of customer and vendor reports through the integrated Crystal Reporting in Epicor, and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to quickly and easily generate reports from Microsoft SQL Server databases.
Additionally, the company is also making great use of Epicor dashboards-the flexible, powerful tools that provide easy access to critical information in a real-time environment. "We've built many dashboards for different business areas-tracking usage, inventory levels, sales and other day-to-day transactions," said Frey.
To make sure employees had the right training, Hallmark provided access to Epicor Embedded Education courses, which are designed to teach customers how to use the application, and to help them learn key concepts and functionality.
Additionally, Hallmark leveraged the Epicor Knowledge Mentor rolebased educational training solution, which allowed the company to easily create, deploy, and manage custom training and documentation to ensure its users could be proficient on the software quickly.
"At Hallmark, one of our core values is that 'innovation fuels our growth and improvement,'" said Lienke. "We need to leverage new technology to support greater efficiency, responsiveness, and customer service. Epicor ERP has helped us do all this and more."
Moving forward, Hallmark plans to leverage mobile functionality to deliver information straight into the hands of customers right when they need it most. "Our goal is to continue to raise the bar for our customers, and we are just getting started," said Lienke.
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 www.epicor.com.