F. A. Parkes Launches Extensive Online Commerce Capabilities with Epicor® Storefront
Sees Sales Increase 20%
Specialist Manufacturer, Reseller and Services Provider Deploys Fully Integrated Internet Sales Portal for 5,500 Products Serving 3,000 Customers in Record Time of Four Weeks from Concept to Go-Live
IRVINE, Calif. & BRACKNELL, United Kingdom--Epicor Software Corporation (NASDAQ:EPIC), a leading provider of enterprise business software solutions for the midmarket and divisions of Global 1000 companies, today announced one of the first UK customers of its Epicor Storefront module has launched a fully functional Internet sales portal within a few weeks of its initial consultation. The new F. A. Parkes online store has increased overall sales by 20% while reducing the cost of processing lower value transactions compared to traditional telephone and fax based systems.
Generally available since June 2007, Epicor Storefront is a comprehensive Web-based order management solution that allows companies to provide Web-based sales functionality to their partners, customers and sales personnel. The solution is available with Epicor iScala, a comprehensive end-to-end suite of proven industry-specific solutions for the global midmarket enterprise.
Since its founding in 1971, F. A. Parkes has been committed to delivering quality products at competitive prices to its customers with speed and efficiency. The Company has grown to be highly respected within the UK Enclosure Industries, Motor Body Builders, as well as the large and small engineering works, where camlocks, handles, rods-sets, gasketing and associated accessories are used. With more than 5,500 products and as one of the leading stockists of Weston Body Hardware, Lowe & Fletcher, Pinet and EMKA products, F. A. Parkes has more than 3,000 customers across the country.
“We considered the idea of an online sales portal back in 1997, but Internet connectivity was uncommon and the cost of integrating it with our enterprise solution was prohibitive,” explained Philip Barrow, managing director of F. A. Parkes. “We put the idea on the back burner primarily due to the high cost, until the start of 2007 when we were approached by our Epicor account manager who explained that Epicor had a storefront solution in development for mid-year release.”
After viewing the release of Epicor Storefront in June 2007, F. A. Parkes worked with consultants from implementer Part Trap and was successful in rolling out its Internet sales portal in just four weeks. “The system is so closely integrated with our Epicor solution that it requires minimal additional management,” said Barrow. “Any item we add to Epicor can be published to the sales portal in a single click, all our pricing and stock levels are accurate in real-time and we have the ability to process both account and single credit card purchases within the same system.”
Customers’ initial reaction has been exceptionally positive. “We have always had a mix of made-to-order, large restock orders and single unit orders and the cost of processing these single, low value purchases via sales person on the telephone is high,” Barrow explained. “The Internet portal makes this process much more cost effective. Additionally, the system is extremely efficient by allowing the customer to check availability and product details ahead of any order.”
Barrow estimates around a twenty percent increase in sales due to the Internet site and he added, “It’s still very early days and we are now in the process of enhancing the sales portal with additional features such as track and trace on orders and more payment options. To-date, this has been an exceptionally smooth implementation that has delivered all that was promised.”
Creating a Truly Global Selling Environment
Epicor Storefront allows companies to reduce the cost of order processing while increasing the accuracy of orders by recording details at point of entry instead of telephone transcription. Using the Internet, customers gain access to product descriptions, prices, discounts, availability and the ability to place an order as well as define delivery requirements at any hour of the day.
The system has a wide range of features including the ability to allow users to create, edit or delete orders and quotations. Real-time stock availability can be displayed together with customer specific prices, discounts and delivery planning, all calculated using Web services. Upon completion, the order is saved into the Epicor back office instantly and the user receives confirmation on the screen and optionally via e-mail with total price, expected delivery date and order number.
Optional features include the Storefront Catalog and the Storefront Configurator. The Storefront Catalog provides support for maintaining and printing a PDF format catalog or individual product pages in the selected language. The Storefront Configurator guides the user through configuring a complex product from preset component options and accessories.
Adam Prince, senior director of product marketing for Epicor, added, “The new Epicor Storefront has arrived at a time when the requirements for Internet commerce are clearly understood, and standards such as XML are well defined to allow delivery of a solution that works particularly effectively straight out of the box.”
Prince concluded, “The tight integration into our Epicor enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution makes Storefront particularly attractive to organizations with limited IT infrastructure, that would rather concentrate on core business processes instead of having to develop Internet assets from scratch.”
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