Hodges Supply Customer Success Story

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Like most plumbing wholesalers, Hodges Supply employees issue dozens of quotes per day. “With the competitive nature of the business, everyone calls at least three or four vendors before they order anything,” says Greg Brown, vice president of Hodges Supply.

“In the past, we hand-wrote each quote and priced every item manually,” recalls Brown. “Then, when someone placed an order, we entered it into our system. Orders with three or four line items only took a few minutes to price, quote, and key in, but since we supply the guys who need 100 toilets, 100 sinks, and tons of other fixtures and components for office buildings and schools, most of the time it took hours.”


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Thanks to Prophet 21’s quick item lookup capabilities, comprehensive pricing functionality, and one-stroke quote-to-order feature, sales that once took entire mornings to process now take minutes.

Greg Brown, Vice President, Hodges Supply.
Company Facts
  • Location: Michigan
  • Industry: Plumbing
  • Number of Employees: 25

Challenges
  • Help a plumbing wholesaler simplify, streamline, and improve daily tasks, including quoting, order processing, and customer service 

Solution
  • Epicor® Prophet 21® 

Benefits
  • Streamlined quoting and order processing
  • Time saved
  • Improved customer service 

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Investing in Epicor® Prophet 21, an enterprise software solution that includes key functionality for plumbing wholesalers, transformed the way the Michigan-based company handles quoting and order processing, saving employees hundreds of hours each month.

“Thanks to Prophet 21’s quick item lookup capabilities, comprehensive pricing functionality, and one-stroke quote-to-order feature, sales that once took entire mornings to process now take minutes,” says Brown. “It’s made a huge difference in the amount of paperwork my people have to manage. And now, they can focus on selling instead of data entry.”

Fielding Phone Calls

Many Hodges Supply customers are small business owners. “These guys spend all day on jobs and keep item information on kitchen tables or in home computers,” he says. As a result, Hodges Supply employees often field phone calls from job sites– from people who have scant information about what they want.

Because Prophet 21 offers extensive order histories that catalog every item a customer purchases, customers do not have to remember item numbers or have an invoice on hand to make an order. “It makes ordering a lot easier–and a lot less intimidating– for our customers,” Brown says. “We check their account information when they call to request the same tub they always ask for. When we see that they’ve ordered 80 porcelain tubs, we know exactly what they want.”

It makes life a lot easier for Hodges Supply customer service representatives, too: “They don’t have to look at umpteen invoices twelve times a day,” Brown laughs.

Capitalizing on Information

Several Hodges Supply sales representatives have many years of experience, and know that every sink they sell needs fixtures and a drain. “Unfortunately, it takes new employees a few months– and a few missed sales opportunities and dissatisfied customers– to learn the same lesson,” Brown says.

This is exactly why plumbing distributors benefit from Prophet 21 and its ability to suggest go-together and accessory items. Prophet 21 automatically suggests products that go with items on a customer’s order, increasing sales and improving customer satisfaction by ensuring they get what they need during the first phone call. Plus, it saves time, since service representatives do not have to flip through catalogs to find accessory items. “It’s perfect for inexperienced sales staff,” Brown says.

Overall, Brown says that he would definitely recommend Prophet 21 to another plumbing wholesaler–especially one with veteran employees who might not feel completely comfortable with technology. “Before we went live, I had people who didn’t know how to turn a computer on,” he remembers. “Now, they’re entering orders and checking stock with ease. Prophet 21 works really well for us.”

Epicor solutions are designed around the unique operational needs of manufacturers and are available in the cloud or on premises. Customers can better manage complexity and focus on core growth activities.

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