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Named to North Carolina's "Mid-Market Fast 40" list in 2014, Duncan-Parnell Inc. is a distributor and service provider for professional equipment, serving the AEC (architectural/engineering/construction) market including contractors, surveyors and designers. According to CFO Vicki Hafele, "In the service arena, we are a digital and large color printer, we provide service and training on all the equipment we sell, and we have major repair centers for surveying/mapping equipment. The interesting thing is, we are a 68-year-old company and we are one of the fastest-growing companies in North Carolina. That is the result of adapting to a changing market and having the right partners."

One of those valued partners is Epicor Software Corporation. Duncan-Parnell converted to the Epicor Prophet 21 enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution in 2012 for its 135 employees in 14 locations, including the headquarters office in Charlotte. Explains Hafele, "We had been on a different Epicor platform since 1995, but we knew that Epicor Prophet 21 had integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as well as Service and Maintenance. Our senior management really wanted those applications, believing they were vital to the growth of our business."

She continues, "We knew from our prior experience that Epicor was a strong company; they helped us firm up the direction we were going in. At the end of the day, we picked Epicor Prophet 21 for CRM, Service and Maintenance, and report functionality. For example, the Excel download capability in Prophet 21 opened new opportunities for us, giving us control over our reporting and allowing us to do things we couldn't before, such as streamlining journal entries for accounting."

Because Duncan-Parnell needed the ability to review past inventory value levels as part of the go-live, Epicor Prophet 21 Development integrated a new inventory value tracking system into the software (in v.12.11, now available to all Prophet 21 customers). This Aged Inventory Worksheet report provides a method to review inventory value levels for item/location records for a specific day with various filtering mechanisms. In addition, the report shows quantity on hand information, unit costing, and other metrics that are valuable to the Duncan-Parnell accountant. Observes Hafele, "The report will reflect any changes made to inventory after year end. This allows us to make cost changes to high dollar inventory after year end, when there is more time for closer examination, and still have a physical costing report for the year end that is current."

Quantitative and qualitative results

"The last few years, we have seen good numbers!" Hafele notes. Duncan-Parnell's profits are up 133 percent, and sales have increased 58 percent, over the three years since implementation of the Prophet 21 system. And while headcount has increased, sales per employee have gone from $15,700/month to $22,500/month due to improved efficiencies. Likewise, inventory has gone up 36 percent-but not as fast as sales or profits, allowing the company to conserve cash. And 62 percent of Duncan-Parnell's billing is now done electronically.

Says Hafele, "Our sales managers love that the CRM functionality allows them to see performance, opportunities, etc., all in one report or portal, which helps them manage their sales teams. The top sales manager is the biggest advocate; Prophet 21 saves him hours of preparation time in collecting data."

The Service and Maintenance module allows users to easily enter and process service quotes and orders at all phases of a service transaction. Managers can also go in and see technicians' notes after service calls. Hafele notes, "Prophet 21 allows us to call up a service order and autopopulate it with ship-to, machine type, pricing, service agreements and other information, which has really streamlined our operation." As for rentals, she adds, "Prophet 21 is just starting to go down that road, but already, it allows us to take a quote and convert it into a rental billing with all of the notes included."

Warranty agreement and annual service contracts can also be automated. Warranty records note expiration dates for given serial numbers, as well as coverage details down to the individual part and labor level. "We can add, update, extend, or remove warranties as necessary at the serial number level," states Hafele.

Expertise and trust

Hafele observes, "Because Epicor is developing the technology solutions that we will need 5-10 years from now, this frees us up to do what we do best, and focus on our customers. We don't have to worry about the processes to run our company. We trust in Epicor's expertise, and they do a lot for us, always looking for ways to improve their offerings."

She concludes, "With an ERP system, you know you're going to be involved with the software provider for a long period of time. And with Epicor, we know we have a partner that will support our growth and profitability, and allow us to stay ahead of the competition. I feel totally comfortable that we're in the right place, and will have a relationship for many years to come."

Epicor solutions


Prophet 21

Company Facts

  • Location: Charlotte, NC
  • Industry: Professional Equipment Distribution
  • Number of Employees: 135
  • Website:


  • Support the fast growth of a Southern distributor and service provider with strong CRM, service and maintenance, and reporting functionality


  • Profits are up by 133%
  • Sales increased 58% over three years
  • Sales per employee went from $15,700/mo. to $22,500/mo.
  • Inventory is not going up as fast as sales or profits, allowing cash conservation
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