- Location: Houston, Texas
- Industry: Industrial hose and sheet rubber
- Number of Employees: 35
- Web site: www.texcelrubber.com
"With doc-link™, we can scan a day's worth of transactions in 15 minutes, whereas it used to take us 2-3 hours. The concept of the doc-link solution is something that I had asked for a while back; Epicor responded, and now this is helping my company as well as other Epicor customers."
Linda Gibson, Vice President of Administration | Texcel
Texcel is an internationally known industrial hose and sheet rubber wholesale distributor headquartered in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1981, the company has 35 employees in five locations, and is a founding member of the National Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution (NAHAD).
Texcel first implemented the Epicor Prophet 21 enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in August 2006. Previously, the Texcel team had been very progressive in their development and use of "homegrown" software, but ultimately, they realized that an in-house system had its limitations (including total dependence on a single IT person), and they wanted the option to pursue industry-leading IT functions such as wireless warehouse and advanced inventory management.
After an extensive search comprising 27 different options, Texcel selected the Epicor Prophet 21 solution. According to Vice President of Administration Linda Gibson, "Prophet 21 was the best fit, because it had the functions that we couldn't create ourselves-specifically, the advance inventory forecasting, and having our accounting and inventory management all within one product. It's what I would've written myself if I had the resources."
Integrated Document Management Saves Money and Time
Most recently, Texcel has begun using doc-link, an Integrated Document Management System (IDMS) that is integrated to Epicor Prophet 21 to increase productivity through reduced paper handling. It lets organizations archive and process documents through workflow, and retrieve and research transactions from the desktop. By automating the exchange and processing of scanned, printed or manually keyed data and documents, doc-link reduces data input and automates the processing of incoming documents. On the face of it, storage of paper might not appear to be a major expense for a distributor, but over time, it adds up. For example, Texcel's document retention requirements necessitated the use of an offsite storage facility where, according to Gibson, "The boxes would sit and collect dust for 10-15 years. Not to mention the inconvenience of us having to dig into those boxes if a question came up regarding an old order."
Texcel had been experimenting with manual document scanning, which required an employee to manually link a PDF to the Epicor Prophet 21 database via a tab. Now, with doc-link, they can automatically scan the daily shipping documentation: the software reads the barcodes on the bottom of the form, indexes the information for future searchability, and automatically links it to the database. "This is particularly helpful for Inside Sales to check on an order in transit," Gibson notes. "They can see the bill of lading, Purchase Order, pick ticket, and any notes associated with the transaction. They don't have to search extensively for the information; the documents are accessible any time, anywhere.
"Management of paper is an ongoing challenge-especially for our Accounting people," adds Gibson. "With doc-link, we can scan a day's worth of transactions in 15 minutes, whereas it used to take us 2-3 hours. Recently, we lost an employee who had been performing this task, and someone else had to pick it up in addition to her regular duties. Anything we can do to automate and streamline the workflow is going to help her, and let her focus on other, more ROI-oriented activities."
Texcel started beta testing doc-link in late 2012, and added the scanner in January 2013. In the next phase, the company will be adding workflow for invoicing and approvals, followed by the introduction of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for scanning vendors' invoices directly into the Epicor Prophet 21 database for Accounts Payable. According to Gibson, with hundreds of freight bills coming in every month, eliminating the time wasted on processing these payables manually will be "a huge productivity gain."
Collaboration with Epicor and Other Users
Gibson describes the Epicor Prophet 21 user community as "unique," noting, "We have a 'we're in this together' mentality- we're always sharing tips to make the best use of the software, and we believe in 'paying it forward' when it comes to helping each other out."
She concludes, "I can't wait to fully automate my A/P process. The concept of the doc-link solution is something that I had asked for a while back; Epicor responded, and now this is helping my company as well as other Epicor customers."
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.