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Wilson Auto Parts improves inventory management

Friday, January 12, 2018 - 09:00
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Managing and balancing auto parts inventory among multiple locations is crucial to avoiding lost sales and obsolescence, and improving turns. Manually managing those inventory movements is not only time consuming, but can potentially lead to costly errors.

Wilson Auto Parts, a five-location distributor based in New Jersey is upgrading its existing Epicor Prism business management solution with Epicor’s Vision software to improve distribution and inventory management.

The company is a 20-year customer of Epicor. Although it had digitized a number of its processes, there was still a significant amount of manual labor involved in turning the sales and inventory data into actionable business intelligence. An audit of the company’s daily operations found multiple areas that needed improvement. Team members were spending too much time engaged in manual processes that didn’t generate any revenue.

“We’ve been in business for more than 40 years, and we do a lot of things the ‘old school’ way,” says Nuno Barroso, general manager at Wilson Auto Parts. “Prism was our first and so far our only business system. We outsource parts from vendors, and it takes a lot of time to manage purchase orders and run reports. The reports have to be custom made and the existing system had some limitations there.”

Barroso investigated a number of different software products, but ultimately decided to upgrade the Epicor solution because of the company’s experience and the new features that were available.

“We’ve been with Epicor a long time, so I know that the support is there,” he says. “Vision has really good inventory management and reporting features. We scan parts in and out of our warehouse, and Vision does a good job with managing and shifting inventory compared to other systems.”

Once the new solution is in place, the company said it will be able to eliminate hours of manual processes involved in generating purchase orders, running reports, or dealing with invoices and statements. The software also will automate inventory balancing between locations, which will not only save time, but should also improve sales and increase inventory turns.

Manual efforts bog down operations

Currently, Barroso converts the Microsoft Word-based inventory reports he can get from Prism into an Excel spreadsheet report, which can take hours to complete.

“We have five warehouses, so there is a lot of overstock,” Barroso says. “The only way to manage that currently is by hand. When we do stock or replenishment orders, we have to manually review each order by location, and take the excess inventory and ship that to the location that needs it. Then you have to log into the physical location in the system and bill the store where you are allocating the excess inventory.”

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