- Location: Englewood, Colorado
- Industry: Pneumatics/Industrial/Medical
- Number of Employees: 22
- Web site:
"Epicor has the software, resources, and support to be a great partner. The key is to use what they have to offer-make the Prophet 21 system a strategic component of your operation. We have grown every year since implementing Prophet 21. A key element of growth is maintaining profitability. The system is an integral part of maintaining our margins in spite of outside cost pressures."
James Davis, President | Industrial Specialties Manufacturing
Industrial Specialties Manufacturing (ISM) of Englewood, Colorado, is an ISO 9001-certified industrial/fluid power and medical component manufacturer/ distributor. With 22 employees currently generating well over $6 million in annual revenues, the company produces and globally distributes miniature pneumatic, vacuum, and fluid circuitry components. Additionally, the company has just established a new business unit and clean room to supply disposable medical IV filtration and other component products.
One of ISM's core marketing strategies is to sell an extremely wide selection of fittings, valves, filters, orifices, and tubing through its Web site and catalog, supporting OEM operations in many markets including Industrial and Medical, along with Maintenance and Repair (MRO), Laboratory & Research Facilities, Technology, Automotive, Power Sports, and Small Engines.
The company transitioned to new ownership in 2006, led by current ISM President James Davis. With his previous background in computer technology, he recognized that ISM needed to rebuild its technology infrastructure, including a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. "When I arrived, we were on a character-based, green-screen, UNIX® product," he explains.
As he began to evaluate newer-generation ERP systems, Davis was impressed by the ease of use and Microsoft® Windows® front end of the Epicor Prophet 21 solution.
"We were looking for fully integrated order management, purchasing and inventory control in a user-friendly environment," he states. "The Prophet 21 system also had integrated financials, and a Customer Relationship Management module was in development to assist with the management of sales activities and opportunities. Last but not least, we identified the ability to integrate faxing and e-mailing with our transaction processing as a 'quick win' for us during our implementation process."
Process Mapping, Measuring, and Managing to Goals
ISM officially went live on Prophet 21 in April 2007. According to Davis, "The go-live was a crucial milestone, in that with proper preparation and cooperation with the Epicor Professional Services team, it was accomplished on time and on budget." In addition to initial implementation training, ISM used an expanded schedule of sessions with Epicor Professional Services-30, 60, and 90 days after go-live-to ensure employees' support, understanding, and buy-in. "To this day, we have continued our commitment to training. You need to make that ongoing investment, because 'you don't realize what you don't know' about a system with the breadth and depth of Prophet 21," affirms Davis.
ISM also did its "homework" in advance. "We are very committed to quality processes, as part of our ISO certification," Davis notes. "For example, in our business, on-time delivery is critically important. Before implementing Prophet 21, we mapped our processes to the system, and carefully completed the data conversion to make sure we would get maximum value out of it. We can now measure and monitor all aspects of our on-time deliveries to our customers and from our suppliers. These are critical metrics in how we measure our customer service as a subset of our ISO processes."
Likewise, Industrial Specialties Manufacturing measures sales productivity and trends versus revenue targets, margins by supplier, freight costs, inventory balances versus sales, and a host of other metrics using the Epicor Prophet 21 solution. "These metrics are available at a moment's notice," says Davis.
"We also created custom reports, so we can be proactive in tracking actual delivery dates relative to promised delivery dates, etc. We are constantly managing to our goals using the ERP system."
A Strategic Component
Epicor Prophet 21 directly supports ISM's culture of continuous improvement and striving for greater efficiency. Observes Davis, "We could not have built the business as we have without a robust technology platform. The important element to effective technology utilization is being able to grow revenues without correlated cost increases, especially in personnel. Our system allows us to scale the business efficiently."
During the implementation phase, ISM added other aspects of automation shortly after the initial go-live, including credit card and UPS integration. Davis advises other distributors: "Don't try to do it all at once. Take the long-term perspective, and understand that go-live is only the starting point. We have Epicor Consulting come in at least once a year. We never want to plateau with our utilization of the system; there's so much functionality to access in Prophet 21."
Davis concludes, "Epicor has the software, resources, and support to be a great partner. The key is to use what they have to offer- make the Prophet 21 system a strategic component of your operation. It's not a static product; it continues to evolve. Likewise, we want our business to go further, faster, without having to add more people. Epicor Prophet 21 allows us to do that."
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