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  • How We Did It: 3 Epicor Customers Who Are Using Supply Chain Data to Deliver the Right Part On Time, Every Time

How We Did It: 3 Epicor Customers Who Are Using Supply Chain Data to Deliver the Right Part On Time, Every Time

November 15, 2023

The Insight Advantage in Action

Keeping a pulse on both the prevailing market conditions and the ebbs and flows of individual industries is essential to business. This is no easy task, as things are constantly evolving—monitoring global business conditions while staying on top of inventory to satisfy your customers can feel like a juggling act. At Epicor, our passion is giving our customers the data-driven, AI-infused solutions they need to keep everything moving forward in the right direction—even when conditions are unpredictable.

Here are three examples of Epicor customers who leveraged vital data to see the big picture and make smart supply chain decisions:

Star Lumber

Since 1939, Star Lumber & Supply Co. has served customers in both Kansas and Oklahoma with flooring, cabinets, windows, decking, fencing, doors, and more. Like lots of businesses in the industry, they have experienced a surge in demand over the last three years. Using the capabilities and innovations of Epicor solutions, employees at Star Lumber gained a new ability to look at data, manage open orders, and handle purchase orders quickly and efficiently in all three business divisions: Star Lumber & Supply, Star Flooring, and Star Truss.

According to Eric Chippeaux, Director of Commercial Sales, "We’ve experienced a lot of growth since Covid. We now have the ability to capture a lot more data than we ever had in the past. So managers have the ability to make better decisions, because they have more data. We thought we had good data in the past, but it has multiplied 10 times with what we're doing now." 

With easier, faster training, employees at Star Lumber are empowered with the knowledge they need to take action to serve customers better—including in the lumber yard, where Chippeaux says it had been challenging to know exactly what was coming in and going out. "Special orders used to be a big issue," he says. "Now, using a barcode tracking system, we know exactly where everything is at all times. We can keep our efficiency at a high level."

The company’s results bear this out. Star Lumber’s overall revenue and sales numbers have doubled, a testament to the power of a strong partnership. "Knowing you can trust the information," Chippeaux says, "It means a lot."

Boers & Co Precision Solutions Group

From its 19th-century beginnings to its current embrace of IoT technology, Boers & Co Precision Solutions Group has always looked forward to what’s next. Originally a producer of rubber stamps and name plates, the Netherlands-based company has evolved to include precision machining, mechatronics, sheet metal, and medical devices.

Boers & Co took the leap into robotics, including cobots (robots that work alongside people), and autonomous mobile robots that drive parts around. These IoT additions have a clear purpose: they increase efficiency and free up employees to use their time in ways that directly benefit the company—while also providing seamless, data-driven visibility into where the company is now and where it’s going.

Boers & Co CEO Ronald Koot says, "Change happens daily, whether it’s in the supply chain or customer expectations. Without a powerful ERP system, we wouldn’t be able to immediately adapt. Deprived of the data Epicor Kinetic gives us, we would really have a problem." Along with this powerful system comes a unified vision of data: "IT data, job data—everything is visible," he adds.

Over the next few years, Boers plans to keep evolving and exploring with IoT and Epicor solutions. "We will have more complex products to give our customers the best quality," Koot says, emphasizing the importance of an ERP system that reflects the needs and wants of its users. "Better software makes our employees’ lives better. When they are happy, they make our customers happy."

Piston Ring Service 

In 1953, Piston Ring opened as a machine shop with a focus on rebuilding engines. The third generation Tennant family business has grown to 26 corporate stores and 17 franchises across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Northwestern Ontario. For 28 years, Piston Ring has used Epicor solutions to boost efficiency, stay ahead of technological innovations, and exceed customer expectations.

Trevor Tennant, President, elaborates. "Cars today are computers on wheels. The industry has advanced, and we continue to invest in technology to match our customer’s changing needs," he says. Its long relationship with Epicor reflects Piston Ring’s belief that partnership and data transparency are essential elements of serving customers well.

Piston ring uses Epicor solutions to optimize their showroom space, improve inventory accuracy, and modernize their parts catalog to meet the specific needs of both their rural and urban locations. Their service headquarters also handles sourcing for all corporate sites. "Our goal is very simple. We don't want store staff worrying about inventory. We invest in technology and an IT team so that store employees can take care of the customer," says Tennant. "With Epicor, inventory runs smoothly, stock is replenished on schedule, and each location gets what it needs when it needs it."

A Shared Drive for Success

The determination to offer the best solutions that power real results across the supply chain is shared. Tennant says that the decades-long partnership between Piston Ring and Epicor is a mutually beneficial, evolving collaboration. "Epicor listens to customers and incorporates hands-on feedback. They value our opinion, and it is reflected in thoughtful products."