Arizona Tile Case Study by Epicor Prophet 21 ERP Software
The Company: About Arizona Tile
Bob Traxler, president of Arizona Tile, knows his business from the ground up. After all, he started his career in the company’s warehouse, picking orders and receiving shipments. “Everybody starts somewhere,” he relates. “I’ve been fortunate to learn about the business from many different perspectives. It’s been a really big help for me and for Arizona Tile.”
Another role Traxler played at Arizona Tile was that of a computer programmer. He developed the company’s first software system and implemented a distributed network of microcomputers. “In 1981 and 1982 when it was first developed that kind of technology was almost unheard of,” Traxler says. “Many people questioned whether or not it would even work.” The system did work, and Arizona Tile staff made the leap from pencils and paper to keyboards and electronic printouts.
As the years progressed and Arizona Tile grew, Traxler and other programmers added new features and functionality. “But, it was still a proprietary system, and it limited our potential,” Traxler says. “We needed something that would facilitate future growth.”
In the late 1990s, when Traxler and other company leaders began their search for a new enterprise software solution, Windows-based systems were becoming more and more prevalent in the workplace. It was for that reason Arizona Tile that Traxler knew he should look for a Microsoft® Windows®- based solution designed specifically for the distribution industry.
Only one company and one solution offered Traxler what he wanted: Epicor Prophet 21. “At that time, Epicor was just introducing what we were looking for,” Traxler remembers. “They were the only company and still are, really that offered a genuine Windows-based system with a SQL Server database.
The Situation: Customer Satisfaction
Arizona Tile is one of the country’s largest distributors of ceramic tile and natural stone and serves contractors, designers, and architects throughout the southwestern United States. Founded in 1977, the company has grown exponentially, and now has 17 locations and more than 600 employees.
Since going live on Prophet 21 in 1998, Arizona Tile has experienced annual double-digit sales growth. Traxler contends that this growth would not have been possible without Epicor technology. “It has absolutely helped us grow in a number of ways,” Traxler says. “We wouldn’t have been able to accommodate the customers we have today if we didn’t make the move.” Additionally, Prophet 21 has helped Arizona Tile improve customer service. “So much of our business depends on customer satisfaction,” Traxler says. “With Prophet 21, we can give our customers very accurate information and up-to-the-minute data. Our service representatives can answer questions in a matter of seconds; they’re not walking out to the warehouse or calling around to check stock.”
Help a Tempe, Arizona-based tile distributor exchange a proprietary system for a more flexible, scalable enterprise software solution that enables growth.
The Solution: Epicor Prophet 21 ERP
Since Arizona Tile has so many locations, it is very important that inventory information is up-to-the-minute. Additionally, to ensure that the company’s unique — and very expensive— stock always moves, the entire company must be able to view inventory levels at each of the 17 locations, in real-time.
The Prophet 21 ability to provide this constant, real-time information has helped the company increase sales, contends IT Director Terri Weber. “Instead of telling a customer that we don’t have material, we just check the system, find it at another location, and make the sale,” she says. Plus, Prophet 21 has helped Arizona Tile staff reduce manual tasks and streamline processes, thereby reducing labor costs. “We used to type orders, and fax them between locations,” Weber says. “Then, they’d have to be re-keyed and invoiced. Now, we only enter the information once.”
The Results: Epicor Prophet 21 ERP Implementation Benefits
Traxler sees technology playing an even larger role in Arizona Tile’s future. Already, using Prophet 21 technology, he has equipped his sales representatives with PDAs to better serve customers in the field. “We are working on ways to leverage this technology with Prophet 21,” Traxler says. “It’s another tool to help our sales reps become more responsive — and proactive — to customers’ needs.” In the future, Traxler hopes to introduce a fully integrated Web site, like Epicor B2B Seller™. “A Web-based solution really appeals to me because it’s truly cross-platform,” he says. “It’s independent of whatever legacy systems our customers have in place.”
Increased capacity for double-digit yearly sales growth
Improved customer service
Real-time information, all the time
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