- Location: Mobile, Alabama
- Industry: Pool Supplies
- Number of Employees: 12
- Web site: www.pioneerpools.net
"Even with a 12 percent increase in credit card usage in 2011, we had a 15 percent decrease in processing fees. It's because Element provides such accurate information that our rates decreased so substantially."
Jonathan Golden, Controller | Pioneer Pool Products
Pioneer Pool Products (Pioneer Pools) is a Mobile, Alabama-based wholesaler and retailer of pool supplies, with $4 million in yearly revenue and 12 employees. The company is a family-run business that prides itself on its local community ties and excellent customer service.
Before introducing Element Payment Service with the Epicor Prophet 21 enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, Pioneer Pools was using two different legacy software solutions for its wholesale and retail divisions. According to Controller Jonathan Golden, having two different systems was beyond inefficient: "Every single morning, a fellow staffer and I spent two to three hours sorting and coordinating the two programs' tallies and receipts. We needed a change ASAP."
They also had a deadline. New compliance rules for credit card usage were coming up, and Pioneer Pools needed to have everything ready for the change. "All of a sudden, everything was changing, from how credit card numbers were processed, to where they were stored, to how the information was encrypted," Golden states.
Golden then found out his company's existing software package did not include the upgrades needed to become Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant: "They told us our version was no longer supported, and we would have to purchase everything from scratch." With that, Golden decided to look for a new software provider.
"We had been with the same local credit card processing company for years. We like supporting local businesses and if we pulled our business out, they would lose their largest customer and 25 percent of all their sales," notes Golden.
So Golden's task became finding an efficient, easy-to-use ERP that would allow the company to retain its own credit card processing vendor, as well as integrate the two company divisions into one complete company.
PCI Compliance and Lower Processing Fees
In the beginning of 2010, Golden and his company started looking for software that fit their specific requirements. He recalls, "We shopped big packages and small ones, but we couldn't find a system with everything we needed. Most packages had requirements that we had to use their credit card processor. Then one day, out of the blue, we got a call from Epicor, and it was just perfect timing! Prophet 21 and Element offered everything we required and more."
The software went live in late 2010, and almost immediately, Pioneer Pools started seeing a huge change. Due to the additional information provided by Element, Pioneer Pools' credit card processor was able to offer the company lower rates.
"The amount of information provided (such as zip codes) plays a role in your rates," explains Golden. "During our busy season of 2011, we saw an increase of credit card usage as the method of payment. We pay more for each credit card transaction than we do if we get paid by check or with cash. Even with a 12 percent increase in credit card usage in 2011, we had a 15 percent decrease in processing fees. It's because Element provides such accurate information that our rates decreased so substantially."
Time Savings and Worry-free Support
Checkout processing at Pioneer Pools' physical location has been halved, as well. "We spend 50 percent less time on checking people out, now that we have such an efficient system," says Golden. "We have eliminated six hours of work per day, which is basically one full-time employee. The cost savings have been tremendous, and it has freed up so much of my time."
"Element makes it so easy for us," Golden raves. "Since the software is server-based, changes can get made to the system and we never even need to know about it. If there are compliance rule changes, Epicor handles them immediately and then lets us know. They truly make it worry-free."
Golden was also impressed with the entire implementation process. He states, "This was a monumental task for a small company such as ourselves, and we have limited personnel. Epicor staffers made it much easier than anticipated. It was almost like having a coach for the whole process."
"I feel like we have a relationship with our Epicor staffers that goes beyond a traditional business transaction. They took a personal interest in us. Traditionally, you don't see too much customer service after a sale. Epicor wanted to see our business succeed, and we truly appreciate them for that," Golden concludes.
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and services industries. With 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.