G. S. Hydraulic's business has grown as much as 25% in the past two years, but the distributor of fluid power and electrohydraulic equipment and electronic components hasn't had to increase its staff to keep up. Thanks to a Windows-based SQL server package for distributors, the company cuts the mental processing involved in a lot of tasks by tenfold and produces meaningful reports in minutes instead of hours.
Prophet 21's CommerceCenter drives costs out of distributors' processes and ensures that they absorb new business without adding resources. The lets users manage costs and streamline operations to maintain competitive prices and healthy profit margins.
About 50% of G.S. Hydraulics's revenue comes from custom assemblies. Prior to CommerceCenter, tracking bills of materials (BOM) for these assemblies was a daunting task involving three separate databases. Employees kept engineering and CAD BOMs in one database, pricing information in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, and other BOMs in the company's business system.
"Things got really confusing with triple data entry," comments company president John Thornton. "We lost money on many occasions because price updates didn't automatically transfer from one location to another."
CommerceCenter consolidates the company's databases. "Because CommerceCenter has an open infrastructure, we can link to BOM information and effectively cut three databases down to one," remarks Thornton. He estimates that this consolidation saves employees more than 2,000 hr/year.
When the company's business increased, so too did customer complaints because employees were rushed to get work done. CommerceCenter considerably lessens the amount of complaints, despite the company's increase in business.
"It helps us get the right products out the door at the right time," says Thornton. "That keeps customers happy and employees focused on driving revenue instead of correcting mistakes."
CommerceCenter also improves G.S. Hydraulic's inventory management, allowing the company to identify slow and fast-moving items. It now redeploys its assets into once-neglected areas and avoids replenishing slow-moving items. As a result, turns have increased by about 15%, according to Thornton.
Prophet 21 Inc.