Epicor Prophet 21 API empowers development for tile distributor
• Location: Westwood, MA
• Industry: Stone/Tile
• Number of Employees: 45
• Web site: www.marbleandgranite.com
“[With] the Prophet 21 API…Epicor is opening the door to developers to do more outside of the system. I would recommend it to anyone with programming knowledge who wants access to read and make changes to records without going through the ERP.”
Harvey Goodwin, Developer | Marble and Granite Inc.
Marble and Granite Inc., headquartered in Westwood, Massachusetts, is the largest natural stone wholesaler in New England, offering imported natural and engineered stone products including granite, marble, limestone, onyx, slate, travertine, soapstone, and ColorQuartz®. Since 1990, the company has been serving designers, architects, fabricators, and homeowners, and has 45 employees in its facilities in Westwood and Milford, Connecticut.
Marble and Granite implemented the Epicor Prophet 21 enterprise resource planning(ERP) solution in 2003. More recently, the company has been using the Prophet 21 Application Programming Interface (API) to complete a number of .NET projects.
Improving contact management and order approvals
Explains Harvey Goodwin, Developer (and former IT Administrator) at Marble and Granite, “Several years ago, I developed an iPhone/iPad app for our company. It allows our employees to check stock, place an order, look up customer information, and look at our delivery schedules. The app has been a constant work in progress, and this year, we needed to increase its functionality, specifically, the ability to update contact records. The recent introduction of the Prophet 21 API was perfect timing for me to implement this upgrade.”
He continues, “In 2015, Marble and Granite has been focusing on Lean Six Sigma and eliminating waste from our organization. We realized that there was a lot of waste in contact management. The sales rep would write down the contact's information, and it would either get entered into the database when they had time, or e-mailed to our customer service department to enter. Since our salesforce's primary focus is to sell, they needed an easier way to update contacts. With the use of our homegrown iPhone/iPad app and the Prophet 21 API, we have gone from very few contact updates to having added or updated more than 2,000 contact records in about three months.”
According to Goodwin, the Marble and Granite salesforce loves the app, as it allows them to do more “on the fly,” rather than spending hours in front of a computer entering orders and updating contacts after a long day on the road. “And now that our contacts are being regularly updated, our marketing department also loves it, because it ensures we are sending the right e-mails to the right people. We send 4-7 blast e-mails to different customer segments every week,” he notes.
In addition, Marble and Granite has also begun using the API and app to approve open orders. “A lot of times, material is placed on hold, and now via the iPad or iPhone, a sales rep can go in and approve the open order without ever having to go into the Prophet 21 ERP system,” says Goodwin. “We hope to soon use the API to enter transfers and RMAs, as well as make slab adjustments.”
Opening the door to IT development
Goodwin comments, “I think the best thing about the Prophet 21 API is that Epicor is opening the door to developers to do more outside of the system. The extensibility platforms in Epicor Prophet 21 ERP allow users to actually modify or extend the business logic within their system for themselves, without outside help. We don't have to mess with the basic code. It is exciting!”
He concludes, “One of the other nice aspects of the Epicor API is that there is plenty of documentation, as well as .NET code examples. That made it easy to implement. I would recommend it to anyone with programming knowledge who wants access to read and make changes to records without going through the ERP.”
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.