- Location: Miami, Florida
- Industry: Automotive Aftermarket
- Number of Locations: 1
- Web site: www.natlsunshine.com
"I would recommend the Epicor Eagle system to anyone contemplating an upgrade. Change is always challenging, but it is more than worth it. Your business needs it."
Jenny Miller, Owner | Sunshine Auto Parts
National Sunshine Auto Parts, a 7,000-square-foot store located in Miami, Florida, has been in business since 1986. With a reputation for exceptional customer service, the company has been able to compete with large auto parts stores in the area to the point of earning revenue that far exceeds industry standards for a single location. National Sunshine's customer mix consists of 85% wholesale and 15% retail, including a diverse customer base of dealerships, body shops, installers, gas stations, and airport-stationed companies. Customer service is the key to their success. "We'll do anything for our customers," said Jenny Miller, owner of National Sunshine Auto Parts. "And that's why most of our customers have stayed loyal to us."
Struggling with inventory control on an outdated system
The biggest difficulty for National Sunshine has been inventory control. "In this industry you have to be very savvy with inventory control," said Miller. "I have to be sure I have what my customers need. If I don't have it, I may lose the sale." National Sunshine's older technology added to Miller's challenges. With only fixed reports to view, data analysis was haphazard. Statements and invoices could not be stored electronically and limited sales history made purchasing decisions almost impossible. "It became very difficult to provide our customers the service they expected, not to mention the difficulty in adjusting our profit margin," said Miller.
Considering the upgrade to the Eagle system
Knowing how much they would gain by upgrading to Epicor Eagle, Miller decided to take the risk. "We produce 400 invoices a day. It made me nervous to imagine my employees trying to process them through the new system," said Miller. "But after hearing another independent auto parts store rave about the Eagle system, I decided it would be worth it to take that step."
In August 2012, National Sunshine went live on the Eagle system. A trainer, provided by Miller's vendor NPW, ensured a smooth transition. "Any time I had a question about how to do something, I was able to ask him and get answers on the spot," said Miller. "We taught our employees the basics first. Once they got familiar with it, we were able to show them the more advanced features of the system. Now my employees love the Eagle system. As soon as they saw how the Eagle system made their jobs easier, they were happy to learn it."
Mastering inventory control
Miller has tightened inventory control considerably using the Eagle system's flexible data analysis features. "With the Eagle system, I can quickly see my last date of sale on each item, how many items I've sold, the price and cost, and how many I have on-hand. It's all right at my fingertips," said Miller. "I have the historical data I need to make better purchasing decisions."
Miller's inventory is still extensive, but unlike before, it's all movable merchandise. "I used to have a lot of dead stock, and I had to rely on the sales reps to tell me what I should stock. Using Eagle, my inventory is more current. I have the right inventory for my customer base readily available" said Miller.
Catalog functionality and electronic storage improves customer service at the counter
Selling parts at the counter has become almost effortless with the Eagle system and Catalog functionality. "My employees can search for a part using a variety of search parameters, and the system displays the information along with a picture of the part," said Miller. Returns or warranty issues without a receipt are no longer a problem. "A recurring customer will purchase something with a one-year or three-year warranty. He'll come in saying he bought the item nine months ago, but he doesn't have a receipt. My counter personnel can pull up that transaction immediately and see exactly when he purchased the part," said Miller. "It has been a great improvement to our customer service."
Streamlined back office sees reduction in labor hours
National Sunshine uses Epicor iNet to run an efficient back office. "If a customer calls asking about an invoice, we used to have to go searching through file boxes to find the record," said Miller. "With a few clicks in the Eagle system, I can quickly access their invoice in the system, and send them a copy by e-mail, fax, or post."
"The system automatically e-mails a copy of an invoice every time one is generated for certain customers," said Miller. "I set up that functionality with a few clicks, and then I don't have to worry about it."
Eagle capabilities continue to impress Miller and the employees at National Sunshine are very happy with the transition to the Eagle system. "The Eagle system makes everybody's lives a little easier. I would recommend the Eagle system to anyone contemplating an upgrade," said Miller. "Change is always challenging, but it is more than worth it. Your business needs it."
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.