About The Company
Rexel Holdings USA, part of the world’s second largest electrical distributor, Rexel Group, initially selected the Epicor Eclipse wholesale distribution enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for its Rexel Inc. business in 2009. Operating on multiple legacy systems after multiple acquisitions, the company was looking to standardize its locations on a single ERP system for greater efficiencies.
“We had become difficult to do business with, even internally. We had no visibility across geographical boundaries or divisional lines,” says William Dawson, Vice President, Eclipse Business Transformation at Rexel Inc. For example, the company had more than a dozen ways of labeling and pricing copper wire, a common SKU in the industry. “This was very inefficient,” notes Dawson. “We needed to consolidate on one system — the best system.”
One of Rexel’s larger acquisitions was already running Epicor Eclipse, which gave the company an opportunity to examine the system in detail. According to Dawson, “Epicor’s depth of electrical industry experience is what we needed in an ERP solution. Our singular focus on the customer requires a scalable, off-the-shelf system without customizations, to support our plans for growth and enforce standard operating procedures companywide.”
Over the course of nearly three years, Rexel Inc. completed an initial massive rollout of 3,000+ concurrent users across hundreds of U.S. locations, converting divisions with seven disparate ERP systems onto the Epicor Eclipse solution. The business transformation process began in Rexel Inc.’s Dallas headquarters with its back office operations, and then was rolled out in phases to the company’s branches across the U.S. through late October 2013.
“With the support of an outstanding project team, we executed this business transformation on time, on scope and on budget at every level,” says Mark Daniel, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Rexel Inc.
Results & Benefits
Since the implementation was completed, Rexel Inc. has seen increased speed in servicing customers, and increases in efficiency through Epicor Eclipse and related technology, such as electronic signature capture for proof of delivery. “Our old method of invoicing was completely manual,” explains Dawson. “A paper was signed and kept locally in a box stored in the warehouse. This was very undependable, and customers knew it. They would often request proof of delivery on every invoice just to make sure they were covered. Now, the signature is embedded in the electronic invoice, so there is no doubt about the time, date and signature stamp on the delivery. This is saving us money, plus we get paid faster by the customers.”
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Epicor AutoOrder™ (which captures and automatically transforms any computer generated purchase order into an electronic sales order) are being used widely throughout the business to automate order entry and invoicing. “Our legacy systems couldn’t support EDI,” says Dawson. “Having it allows us to better serve our customers and vendors. And with AutoOrder, there is no more re-keying of data, so we avoid ‘fat finger’ mistakes, and orders are more accurate.”
Job Management is a module/companion product to Epicor Eclipse that has brought better visibility and systemic, automated management to large projects. It is now widely used both in bidding and execution of Rexel Inc.’s projects, to manage and track items and capture all revenue. For example, in a large construction project such as a new hotel, all electrical products would be included in Job Management to make sure every item is available and delivered on time, resulting in better profit margins.
Inventory and Uptime Improvements
Rexel Inc. is now able to share and utilize inventory across the company as a result of having one instance of Epicor Eclipse relying on the Eclipse distribution centers as the warehousing branches that replenish material to Eclipse branches. This allows for fewer centralized distribution centers, and lower costs.
In addition, the company has experienced a decrease in dead stock, due to the purchasing capabilities and built-in algorithms of Epicor Eclipse. “Dead stock is an epidemic industry problem,” Dawson observes. “Eclipse helps us with prevention and treatment. We can identify non-stock items before they are even ordered, and better manage customer returns, as well as return authorizations from our vendors.”
System “uptime” and network response times have been greatly improved compared to previous systems. “The legacy systems had technical challenges in providing 24⁄7 availability,” recalls Dawson. “Eclipse is robust, fast, and scales very well. It is meeting all of our needs.”
Rexel Holdings USA expects to continue implementing Epicor Eclipse in its organization, with an anticipated 2014 rollout scheduled for the company’s Gexpro business. Dawson is also looking forward to introducing eCommerce and mobility capabilities, noting, “These are especially important for our contractor customers, so they can check stock, pricing and availability wherever they are.”
Reflecting on Rexel’s experience with Epicor, Dawson concludes, “This has been a true partnership between the two companies. If one succeeds, so will the other. Like a marriage, you need to constantly cultivate the relationship. Four years into it, we feel this is the case — Epicor is interested in working with us to keep it thriving.”
- Increased speed in servicing customers
- Elimination of re-keying of data
- Proof of delivery contributes to cost savings and faster payment from customers
- Better profit margins with Job Management
- Lowered costs with fewer centralized distribution centers needed
- Decreased dead stock Improved system “uptime” and response times