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Birmingham Fastener, Inc.

Company Facts 

  • Location-Birmingham, Alabama
  • Industry-Industrial Distributor
  • Website-www.bhamfast.com

 

“One of the great things about Prophet 21-and what we've been able to do with it-is we can see so deep into our business so quickly. If we're having an issue in a product line, if we're having an issue in a facility, a sales process, a pricing issue, anything like that, there's a mountain of data at our fingertips. Once you become adept at extracting that information, getting that visibility very quickly, getting it into the hands of the right people, you can make very impactful business decisions.”

Andrew Podner, Chief Operating Officer | Birmingham Fastener, Inc.

 

Birmingham Fastener, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and distributor of fasteners for structural steel fabrication, metal building manufacturers, transportation, water works and utilities, original equipment manufacturers, agricultural equipment manufacturers, construction, and maintenance repair operators (MRO).

In 2012, Birmingham Fastener upgraded their system from FasPac to Epicor Prophet 21. “When we were looking for a new system, the ability for it to be cross-organizational was key,” said Andrew Podner, chief operating officer for Birmingham Fastener, Inc. “On FasPac, everyone of our branches was in their own separate silo, and you couldn't see between them. One of the big things we wanted to make sure we accomplished was getting all of these organizations together on the same sheet of music. So, the visibility aspect was huge, and that was a big reason for going with the Prophet 21 system.”

A mountain of data at your fingertips

One of the biggest challenges facing Birmingham Fastener was warehouse productivity in their primary distribution center. “We were spending way too much time picking orders, and we had too many processes that were batch-and-queue on the backend,” said Podner. “As our business started to grow, it became harder and harder to fulfill customer demand. Utilizing Prophet 21 helped us understand what the root causes of all of our issues were.”

He continued, “There was a very strong perception in our organization that there were fundamental issues with allocating inventory. What we found out as we went on was that our issue was not allocation so much as it was fragmentation. We were actually configured in a way that was going to make our inventory become more fragmented over time. Once we understood that-and fixed it with Prophet 21-our inventory allocation problems were solved almost overnight.”

This increased visibility has not only impacted warehouse productivity, but it has also noticeably improved all areas of the business. “One of the great things about Prophet 21-and what we've been able to do with it-is we can see so deep into our business so quickly,” stated Podner. “If we're having an issue in a product line, if we're having an issue in a facility, a sales process, a pricing issue, anything like that, there's a mountain of data at our fingertips. Once you become adept at extracting that information, getting that visibility very quickly, getting it into the hands of the right people, you can make very impactful business decisions.”

A user-focused approach

According to Podner, Birmingham Fastener was also looking to enhance the user experience for its team members that were utilizing the system on a daily basis. “Consumerization of technology is such a huge deal. We talk about how it impacts the customers a lot, but a lot of times, we don't think about 'how does it affect your user'? Your user shops on sites like Amazon just like everybody else does. They begin to want to have that simplicity of interaction. We want to look at how we present information to our users in a way that's very actionable-in a format that's digestible.”

“I think the most important thing you're going to get out of your system is what you put into it,” Podner surmised. “You've got to have a mindset that changing your software is the same thing as changing your culture. Prophet 21 is a great system. It can be shaped in any direction your business wants to go in. We haven't hit anything that we can't overcome, because we're able to bend the process and get the system to do what we need it to do.”



Success Highlights:

Challenges

  • Find a cross-organizational ERP system capable of increasing revenue and productivity

Solution

  • Epicor® Prophet 21®

Benefits

  • Increased revenue per employee by 32%
  • Reduced process time for purchase order receipts by approximately 75%
  • Drastically sped up time to generate order certification packets

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