Among the ever-increasing alternatives, it becomes difficult to choose the right ERP software for your business. Choosing the right ERP software, the most important step in digital transformation now plays a vital role in the future of your company. Being aware of the importance of this role, JIS ended its search for the right ERP software, with Epicor. We have discussed with JIS, the changes in their business processes and the details about Epicor Prophet 21;

Can you introduce Jergens Industrial Supply (JIS) to ERP News readers?

Headquartered in Ohio, JIS is known as the state’s largest technical distributor of industrial products and represents more than 300 of the top manufacturers for industrial supply in the U.S.

The company’s website offers online ordering capabilities to customers nationwide. JIS is a division of Jergens, Inc., a leading manufacturer of standard tooling components, fasteners, hoist rings, vices, and other work-holding equipment.

Could you tell us about your ERP selection process? What do you think companies should pay attention to when choosing an ERP system?

In 2015, realizing the opportunity to convert our inventory vending machines into “smart machines,” JIS approached MindHARBOR Inc. to help integrate its vending and ERP systems. This included Epicor Prophet 21 software which combines the power of Microsoft® SQL Server® and the familiarity of Windows® in a solution designed to meet distributors’ specific business needs.


When choosing an ERP system for your distribution business, ensure the following:
• The solution can deliver the most value before customization
• The solution has tools for modifying the system and adapting it to your processes without changing the application code and causing expensive problems over time
• The software will integrate with other technology you utilize
• The software has a clear update path

What are the main features that made you choose Epicor among all the other alternatives in the ERP market?

One of our great challenges is to maintain the levels of inventories at our customers’ locations. Large automotive manufacturers spend about $45M on products and tools that they never actually use for intended purposes because it gets lost within the facility and employees can’t find it.

Using Epicor Prophet 21 allows us to be a partner in productivity to give our customers the tools they need quicker, faster, better and now at lower costs.

Prophet 21 has new APIs that allow us to directly link-up our vending machines as a point-of-use application in our customers’ respective facilities that allows them to have the tools they need, right when they need them, and they only pay for the tools once they are using them.

With the Prophet 21 open database structure, we’ve been able to connect those systems together and improve the customer experience and the service level to our customers. This also allows the customer the ability to better manage their inventory and efficiency. Epicor’s solution is so flexible it allows us to customize a lot of the programs. Epicor Prophet 21 has been an exciting change for JIS and a really positive one.

Can you tell us which value-creating activities Epicor Prophet 21 has optimized in your organization?

JIS has improved its productivity by 30% through the utilization of Epicor Prophet 21. 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; providing this level of flexibility and choice for our customers has been a priority and key attribute for our business.

Are there any special developments Epicor has made for JIS? If so, can you tell us about these developments and their advantages?

The ever-growing competitive expectations that Amazon has set a compelling business case for JIS to start innovating in order to achieve its goal of ‘getting ahead of the click’ and offering customers faster, better delivery at a lower cost. 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, we introduced the JIS Express Program, which involved spreading our 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.

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 seen 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 JIS Express buttons, JIS has been able to reach a whole new customer demographic. We box out competitors by giving customers a reason to keep giving JIS their business—a smart, ‘sticky,’ just-in-time inventory management solution that offers ultimate convenience and can scale as they grow.

Would you recommend Epicor to other companies?

Absolutely, Epicor has been a key partner in providing us with an evolving open source ERP platform in Prophet 21 that’s been the foundation of not only how we effectively are capturing and processing transactional data, but then allowing us to leverage that in multiple ways to continually strive for improvement, visibility and improved customer service.

Operations Manager, Tony Filipovic, JIS

About Jergens Industrial Supply
JIS, Division of Jergens, Inc., is Ohio’s largest, most technical 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. The company’s website offers online ordering capabilities to customers nationwide. JIS is a division of Jergens, Inc., leading manufacturer of standard tooling components, fasteners, hoist rings, vices, and other workholding equipment.

About Epicor Software Corporation
Epicor Software Corporation drives business growth. We provide flexible, industry-specific software designed to fit the precise needs of our manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industry customers. More than 45 years of experience with our customers’ unique business processes and operational requirements are built into every solution―in the cloud or on premises. With this deep understanding of your industry, Epicor solutions dramatically improve performance and profitability while easing complexity so you can focus on growth. For more information, connect with Epicor or visit www.epicor.com.