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Jergens Improves Distribution Process with New ERP Solution That's "On the Button"

Leading technical distributor of industrial products experienced 30% increase in productivity, with millions of dollars in cost savings, after implementing IoT Express reorder buttons.

Jergens Industrial Supply (JIS) is Ohio's largest distributor of metalworking products with quick delivery and a 1,000-square-foot showroom representing over 300 of the top manufacturers in the United States. Its parent company, Jergens, Inc., is a leading manufacturer of standard tooling components, fasteners, hoist rings, vices, and other workholding equipment.

With its JIS Express buttons, JIS has been able to reach a whole new customer demographic.

 

 

Recently, JIS turned to Epicor Software Corporation to help promote its business growth and so far, the results have been outstanding. The distributor has improved its productivity by 30 percent through the utilization of Epicor Prophet 21 -- an end-to-end distribution ERP software. The solution empowers a frictionless inventory management solution and flexibility to deliver world-class customer experience.

Epicor Prophet 21 anticipates and delivers on shifting customer demands and preferences to drive process efficiency and productivity. JIS caters to customers with many buying options, where this has been a priority and key attribute for its business.

"One of the problems our customers typically have is that they don't have the tools that they need in order to do their job," explained Matt Schron, general manager at JIS. "We are always trying to help them get the supplies they need quicker, faster, better, and at a lower cost. More and more customers are jumping online and buying. So, we need to get ahead of the click."

The distributor boxes out competitors by giving customers a reason to keep giving JIS their business -- a smart, just-in-time inventory management solution that offers ultimate convenience and can scale as they grow.

 

 

 

 

Following the success of implementing Epicor Prophet 21, JIS began to examine the early Internet of Things (IoT) Dash Buttons that Amazon was bringing to market, and have recently been discontinued. This sparked a plan for JIS to engineer Wi-Fi-enabled IoT Express buttons themselves, which would support on-premises remote product resupply.

Integrating the IoT Button to Reduce Reorder Costs & Time

"The ever-growing competition of Amazon presented a compelling business case for Jergens Industrial Supply to start innovating in order to achieve their goal of 'getting ahead of the click' and offering customers faster, better delivery at lower cost," said Mark Jensen, senior director of product management, distribution, at Epicor. "The Epicor team saw this as a great opportunity to put expanded IoT capabilities to use in Prophet 21 to see how we could help this steadfast company remain successful amidst growing market challenges."

In order to get "ahead of the click" of online buying, JIS introduced their JIS Express Program, which involved spreading their IoT buttons to multiple vendors. When pressed, the Express button sends an order to the distributor that includes the part number and the amount of product that needs to be replenished. The IoT Express buttons also serve a dual purpose as a visual reminder for customers to reorder items as needed.

With deployment options in the cloud or on premises, Prophet 21 helps keep distributors healthy and thriving.

 

 

Every time a JIS Express button is pushed, it collectively represents hundreds of millions of dollars saved. Since integrating vending machines with Epicor Prophet 21 software, the company has experienced 30 percent improved productivity -- which represents millions of dollars in cost savings. The buttons reduce walk and talk time for workers to get the tools and materials needed; decrease time and effort in contracting and purchase order processing for manufacturing back office personnel; and lower time and effort for JIS customer service personnel in contracting, order entry, and fulfillment.

"With our unique Express buttons, we've reached a whole new customer demographic," concluded Schron. "We always want to give customers a reason to keep giving JIS their business rather than switching to new competitors, and in this case that was a smart, 'sticky,' just-in-time inventory management solution that offers ultimate convenience and can scale as they grow."

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