- Location: Greenville, South Carolina
- Industry: Construction supply
- Number of Employees: 50
- Web site: www.newsouthsupply.com
"The technology is always growing and evolving, and Epicor is committed to making Prophet 21 the best product for the distribution business."
Jimmy Sobeck, Vice President of Finance and Administration New South Construction Supply
Founded in 1981, New South Construction Supply of Greenville, South Carolina, is a premier provider of concrete, masonry, and waterproofing products across the southern U.S. and several foreign countries. With 50 employees in nine locations across South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, the company generates annual revenues of $30 million.
According to Jimmy Sobeck, Vice President of Finance and Administration, "We were on a dated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for the decade prior to 2005, when we decided New South needed to upgrade to something more advanced. We wanted a system that would be flexible to the needs of our business and our customers, and something that would have more modern features, including a Windows®-like interface instead of the old text-based systems."
New South Construction Supply went live on Epicor Prophet 21 in 2006, and has since added functionality with Proof of Delivery (POD), DynaChange Rules, and Strategic Pricing. Sobeck observes, "Using Prophet 21, we are easily able to handle a large amount of transaction volume with less staff-we are recording sales per employee of almost $600,000. Bank reconciliations, A/P and A/R, and inventory management have never been better. Today, we have the ability to handle at least a 25 percent increase in business without adding back office staff."
Proof of Delivery enhances customer service
At New South Construction Supply, the use of Proof of Delivery means less paperwork to file and better verification to customers, including photos of material the distributor often has to drop off unattended on job sites. According to Sobeck, additional POD benefits include easy file retrieval, typed names and signatures that can be viewed by the customer later, automatic invoicing, and facilitation of shipment notifications and tracking.
Says Sobeck, "POD gives us data that we can pass on to [Epicor partner] BillTrust for them to e-mail customer invoices, addressing potential questions ahead of time. It also gives us the ability to track delivery metrics, one of our largest expenses, in ways not previously possible. It is helpful to see where delivery costs are outweighing profit margins for particular customers or orders-for example, learning where a delivery could be added on to an existing run rather than requiring a separate trip."
New South is currently developing additional ways to remain on the forefront of information technology with POD, including offering customer portals with real-time access to delivery notifications and status updates.
DynaChange Rules and Strategic Pricing provide valuable tools
DynaChange Rules is a Business Rule Engine that allows users to insert their own business logic into the Epicor Prophet 21 system code base without altering the application code itself. Sobeck states, "This has been game-changing for us. Our operations have gone from reactive to proactive, providing in-application information and visual cues. DynaChange ensures New South processes and procedures are handled correctly. We can get very specific with how things should be done and give feedback to users in real time. Giving our people the tools to handle orders more quickly and accurately-often tailored to specific customer needs-improves the customer experience."
For example, New South Construction Supply's Sales team was required to add fuel surcharges for certain customers, and this frequently led to mistakes. DynaChange provided the ability to extend the programming logic and customize the system to lead users down the proper path. In addition, tax-related rules have cut down on errors that took the Accounting personnel an hour to fix every morning. Concludes Sobeck, "We have 5-6 rules coded at this point. In addition to avoiding mistakes, rules can also introduce informational functionality, such as 'grading' customers for special discounts or waived fees. The possibilities are limited only by our programmer's time."
Meanwhile, Strategic Pricing has given New South the power of a professional pricing department. According to Sobeck, "Margins have increased almost 3 percent since going live. Strategic Pricing saves our Sales team time in looking up changing costs and sales history, and provides better pricing consistency."
Flexible, evolving technology
Sobeck observes, "Building material distribution isn't a business known for its technological edge…but the customers are getting more advanced. The use of ERP technology demonstrates that New South is a healthy, vibrant company. We have the ability to tell our customers 'We can do that' when they have certain needs. We recently met with our largest customer and showed them how we can make it easier for them to do business with us. The flexibility of Epicor Prophet 21 affords us those types of opportunities."
Sobeck is impressed by the continuous development and quick release cycles of Prophet 21. "The technology is always growing and evolving, and Epicor is committed to making Prophet 21 the best product for the distribution business. We consider this a true partnership," he concludes.
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.