7 Costs of Outdated Software
What’s at stake for your wholesale distribution business
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1 . Excessive Labor and Hiring Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2 . Operational Inefficiencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3 . Insufficient Data and Insights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
4 . Diminished Customer Satisfaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
5 . Disconnected Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
6 . Stagnant Business Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
7 . Data Security Threats and Disaster Preparedness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Why Companies Delay Software Upgrades—and Why It
Hinders Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Weighing Your Options for a Successful Software Selection . . . . . . . . . . 10
Why Distributors Choose Epicor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
i | 7 Costs of Outdated Software
As a distributor, you face an ever-changing competitive landscape . If your organization uses time-consuming
manual processes or relies on software that doesn’t fit your specific needs, you’ll struggle to compete and grow .
Have you considered what your aging technology is really costing your business? In this document, we’ll discuss
the seven ways outdated business software can inhibit growth for your distribution business and show how
industry-leading software from Epicor—like Epicor® Prophet 21® and Epicor® Eclipse™—helps build a path toward
increased profitability .
7 Costs of Outdated Software | 1
Outdated technology can affect employee retention and productivity when old
systems and processes make tasks difficult for your staff . Outdated software typically
has minimal automation, which reduces productivity and makes it difficult to hire and
retain capable workers .
Like your customers and suppliers, your staff does more of what you want—more
quickly and more effectively—when you make it easy for them . If your systems and
processes haven’t kept up, your good team members will go elsewhere, and those
who stay will be less efficient—in part because the tools made available to them are
holding them back .
1. Excessive Labor and
“Knowing that technology would be crucial to
the development of our business, we made
a decision a long time ago to have a really
capable technology partner...We always wanted
to be ahead of the pack...Epicor is a thought
leader, and we’ll continue to invest in their
technology and take advantage of the tools
they bring to the table.”
—John Wiborg, President | Stellar Industrial Supply
2 | 7 Costs of Outdated Software
The manual, time-consuming tasks and workaround processes typical with older systems may be disrupting workflow, frustrating workers, and limiting your staff’s time to
serve customers and complete other important tasks . A modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution helps your team work more smoothly and effectively, thereby
enabling you to do more with less and to run your business better overall .
2. Operational Inefficiencies
“Thanks to Prophet 21’s quick item lookup capabilities, comprehensive pricing functionality,
and one-stroke quote-to-order feature, sales that once took entire mornings to process now
—Greg Brown, Vice President | Hodges Supply
7 Costs of Outdated Software | 3
3. Insufficient Data and Insights
Insufficient data can lead to costly issues, missed opportunities, and unmet
customer expectations . To make smarter, faster decisions, you need real-time
information at your fingertips to quickly take action .
As competition increases and margins narrow, distributors need sharper
productivity tools and a deeper understanding to grow and operate the business .
“Clearly, we make better business decisions today than we did before
Prophet 21 because of the access to information ”
—Jim Derry, President | Field Fasteners
These tools must also be fast, flexible, and cost-effective . Modern ERP systems
are offering unprecedented levels of business insight to help companies grow by
identifying new opportunities, improving productivity, and speeding decision-making .
Your software should give you interactive dashboards for easy comprehension and
analysis of business data, so you can quickly see how your business is performing .
Business Intelligence (BI) tools allow you to drill down on critical data in real-time in an
always-connected, cloud-based service .
4 | 7 Costs of Outdated Software
4. Diminished Customer Satisfaction
Today’s customers are accustomed to completing tasks easily and intuitively with their mobile devices from anywhere at any time . They expect transactions to be simple and
fast when checking on the status of orders, deliveries, stock availability, pricing, and a range of other relevant information .
If your older system doesn’t provide your current and potential customers with the convenient tools they’ve come to expect, you’re likely driving business to competitors
who will meet their expectations and needs .
firstname.lastname@example.org | 888.463.4700 | epicor.com
Epicor business management solutions empower LBM businesses to make sound decisions to grow
margins and profits and improve operations. Contact Epicor today to learn more.
Copyright © 2018 Epicor Software Corporation. Terms, conditions, and limitations apply. Epicor and the Epicor logo are trademarks of Epicor Software Corporation, registered in the United States and other countries.
The contents herein are for informational purposes only.
1 Source: The Cost of Doing Nothing: Why You Can’t Afford to Sit on an ERP Software Decision. Nick Castellina, Aberdeen Group, March 2017
2 Source: Epicor—Global Growth Survey 2016 Results
Tips for a Successful
Benchmark your business—
discover areas for improvement
Dedicate resources to the project—
and hold them accountable
Include the owner/key leaders in
the decision-making process
Select a solution that can grow
along with your business
Why Companies Delay
Why It Hinders Growth
Talk to your peers—consider
what works well for them
Develop goals and an action
plan to achieve them
Choose a provider that
understands your industry
Fear of the Unknown
Lack of Capital
Resistance to Change
Many LBM businesses get stuck in the day-to-day,
urgent tasks without time to define the business
strategy. Unless you carve out time today to focus
on the future of your business, you'll limit your
ability to grow tomorrow.
The funds you set aside for software can instead get
chipped away by unexpected costs. It's vital to
prioritize the software investment that can help
grow your business.
Many employees resist change. A successful
transition to new technology requires leaders to
educate staff early on, gain buy-in, communicate
often, and help the team adjust to change.
You may not know where to start or how to best
meet your end goal. Talk to your peers, colleagues,
and other industry experts to gather insights
ERP Impact to Bottom Line1
Running modern enterprise resource planning
(ERP) software benefits your business.
Legacy ERP system Modern ERP system Improvement
of high-growth companies
cite better technology as the
most important consideration
in overcoming business
of organizations update their
software system to take
advantage of new functionality
Risks of Outdated Software
Customers expect you to provide
a seamless and consistent
experience across channels—
online, in the yard, at a jobsite,
etc. Use technology to stay
connected and simplify
Outdated Software Can Stifle Growth for LBM Businesses
Customers are used to completing tasks
easily and intuitively with their mobile
devices. Invest in software that helps
you deliver an exceptional customer
experience and makes it easier to do
business with you.
Manual tasks frustrate workers and
limit time for serving customers.
Technology should enable you to do
more with less and to run your
business better overall.
Excessive Labor Costs and
Outdated technology can affect
employee retention and productivity
when old systems and processes make
tasks difficult for your staff.
Data Security Threats
Cyberattacks can cost your
business and damage your
security won’t block the latest
hacking attempts and viruses,
leaving your business
vulnerable to threats.
Stagnant Business Growth
Without the right mobile, eCommerce,
and web tools, you can’t do business
with your customers when and where
they prefer. Make it easy for customers
to choose your business.
Insufficient Data and Insights
Insufficient data can lead to costly
issues, missed opportunities, and unmet
customer expectations. To make smarter,
faster decisions, you need real-time
information at your fingertips.
Running modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) software benefits your business .
ERP Impact to Bottom Line
7 Costs of Outdated Software | 5
5. Disconnected Business
Your customers and suppliers expect a seamless and consistent experience—online, in the warehouse, in the
field, etc . A modern ERP solution makes that possible—even easy .
Arm your staff with mobile tools so that associates can instantly answer inventory, pricing, and product
questions wherever they are and can even complete sales transactions . Customers value this level of service,
and these kinds of sales often result in higher revenues because they simplify cross-selling .
Older systems are less integrated and often are limited to access from only specific computer stations, which
creates confusion within your business, invites errors, and limits your customer service capabilities .
“The integrated supply management capability of Prophet 21 is
great for VMI and MRO. Now, we have one solution for billing,
data mining, and reporting—all customized for our customers.”
—Jim Ruetz, CEO | AIS / All Integrated Solutions
“The system helps us get the right products out the door at the
right time. That keeps customers happy and keeps employees
focused on driving revenue instead of correcting mistakes.”
—John Thornton, President | GS Global Resources
6 | 7 Costs of Outdated Software
6. Stagnant Business Growth
If customers and suppliers can’t connect with you on their own terms—through their
preferred channel—they’ll look elsewhere . You need the right mobile, eCommerce,
and web tools to do business with your customers when and where they prefer . If
you’re relying on aging technology, you’ll struggle to provide instant answers—and
instant sales—to potential customers .
“Epicor Commerce Connect…allows us to
provide real-time data to our customers. ECC
allows our Sales teams to focus on bigger
transactions while customers can reorder
electronically. Implementing Prophet 21—and
then connecting ECC—allowed us to grow, and
looking to the future, I see our growth continuing
at a double-digit pace.”
—James Davis, President | Industrial Specialties Mfg (ISM)
“Prophet 21 enables us to connect with a
customer through the Mobile Proof of Delivery.
The signature capture function allows us to give
the customer real-time data.”
—Brian Gross, President | Transply, Inc
7 Costs of Outdated Software | 7
Cyberattacks can cost your business millions, erode customer confidence,
and damage your reputation . Out-of-date security in older systems can’t
stand up to today’s hackers, malware, viruses, and other threats that leave
your business vulnerable .
When network disruptions occur because of weather or basic outages,
older systems may not offer a backup plan to keep your business running
smoothly . Modern systems are designed to provide an affordable backup
plan for maximum uptime and business continuity . It helps ensure you’ll be
able to work offline during these times, keeping your customers happy, your
sales staff busy, and your revenue growing—even if unexpected hardware
or weather outages occur .
Security doesn’t just mean electronic peace of mind and carefully managing
user credentials and permissions . Security today is a comprehensive mindset
that has to be built across every layer of the ERP environment—from the
physical network interface cards to the user passwords . It means a holistic
approach to anticipating and minimizing possible natural, human, and
technical disruptions to your system to ensure uptime and peace of mind .
Today, it’s hard to imagine a client who could possibly create a more secure
operating environment than leading cloud providers such as Epicor . Indeed,
industry analyst firm Gartner1 reported that multitenant clouds “are not
only highly resistant to attack, but are also a more secure starting point than
most traditional in-house implementations .”
1 Gartner, 22 September 2015, “Clouds Are Secure: Are You Using Them Securely?”
7. Data Security Threats and
8 | 7 Costs of Outdated Software
Overcome fear of the unknown
At first, the idea of moving to a new software system may seem overwhelming,
but it can go smoothly if you understand your needs and take it one step at a
time . Start by talking to peers, colleagues, and industry experts to gather insights
and ideas . After you educate yourself, you’ll understand what your next steps
are to meet your end goals of greater efficiency and visibility across the business,
improved customer service, and—ultimately—growth .
Shift away from firefighting
Aging systems keep you and your team busy with complex tasks and processes .
You may feel you don’t have time to plan for your business’ future when so many
priorities are competing for your attention today . Many distributors get stuck in the
day-to-day, urgent tasks without time to define the business strategy . Unless you
carve out time today to focus on making progress toward your future, you’ll limit
your ability to improve and grow tomorrow . Once you do make the investment in
a modern solution, you’ll be glad to complete vital tasks in less time .
Why Companies Delay Software Upgrades—and Why It
Distribution business owners are busy, and it’s easy to put off even important initiatives. If you’ve found yourself procrastinating on eval-
uating new technology, here’s what to do to refocus on growth.
Rethink capital investment
With their inefficiencies and frequent, unexpected maintenance costs, older
systems can drain funds that would be better invested in your future . The solution
is to make moving to modern technology the higher priority and address current
challenges in ways that don’t block progress toward your goal . It’s vital to prioritize
the software investment that can help grow your business .
Facilitate and reward openness to change
You and your team will at times question the value of a tool or method that
departs from what you’re accustomed to . Some employees will resist change . A
successful transition to new technology requires leaders to educate staff early on,
gain buy-in, communicate often, and help the team adjust to change . This will
make it easier for everyone—including you—to move forward .
7 Costs of Outdated Software | 9
Benchmark your business—Compare your distribution operation with those of your competitors to see
how you stack up . You’ll find some strengths and also identify key areas you want to improve . Knowing and
prioritizing these will help you narrow your technology needs .
Do your research—Check with other distributors businesses that you trust to see what has worked for them .
Most will not recommend a solution if their experience was less than ideal, and that will help you eliminate
ineffective systems from consideration .
Commit—Dedicate resources to the effort . Give team members assignments, and hold them accountable for
their part in the process of selecting the right solution .
Set goals and work toward them—Set realistic goals, create an action plan, and work towards that plan . The
goals and plan will evolve, so be sure to revisit these periodically to stay on track .
Team up with leaders—Include business owners and other key leaders during your planning and keep them
involved as the project proceeds .
Choose a technology expert—You’ll want a technology provider that has plenty of experience serving
businesses in your industry and will give you references .
Emphasize the importance of growth—Some software is designed for businesses at a certain stage while
other software accommodates, accelerates, promotes, and enables business growth . We recommend the latter .
Weighing Your Options for a Successful
Here’s what to keep in mind as you evaluate possible ERP solutions.
10 | 7 Costs of Outdated Software
Why Distributors Choose Epicor
1 .800 .776 .7483
www .epicor .com
Contact us at:
Growth—Epicor distribution business systems—Prophet 21 and
Eclipse—help transform your digital presence to meet new customer
expectations for speed, simplicity, flexibility, and personalization . By
delivering an outstanding experience on any device, you can build
stronger relationships and greater customer loyalty .
Distribution software from Epicor gives you actionable data and
analytics to identify growth opportunities and meet customer
demand . You also have a single source of truth for greater visibility
and control . With Epicor software, you’ll have the tools to ease
collaboration across the demand-to-fulfill network .
Profitability—Big competitors are driving narrower margins
across the distribution industry through sophisticated digital
tools . To compete, you need to increase productivity and process
efficiency to achieve greater profits . Distribution software solutions
from Epicor help you simplify inventory management, maximize
inventory turns, and maintain flexible pricing .
Easy to learn and use—Take the pain out managing the
services and value-added processes that differentiate you from
your competitors . With a powerful, flexible suite of distribution
software from a single vendor, you can simplify, streamline, and
compete on speed .
Manage custom quotes and contracts with ease . Streamline
kitting, assembling, and processing handoffs . Gain agility to
respond to new opportunities for growth through business
automation, improved processes, and elimination of redundancies .
Epicor Prophet 21 and Eclipse help you do all this and much more .
Productivity— Keep everyone connected no matter where they
are . Epicor distribution software offers robust communication
tools and intuitive functionality to empower employees in every
department to stay productive and engaged .
Onboard new employees quickly with easy-to-learn interfaces .
Manage online training and certification . Keep your workflow
focused on the customer—not the software . This is what Epicor
helps distributors do every day .
7 Costs of Outdated Software | 11
The contents of this document are for informational purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Epicor Software Corporation and its affiliates make no guarantee, representation, or warranties with regard to the enclosed information
and specifically disclaims, to the full extent of the law, any applicable implied warranties, such as fitness for a particular purpose, merchantability, satisfactory quality, or reasonable skill and care. This website and its contents, including the viewpoints,
dates, and functional content expressed herein are believed to be accurate as of January 2019. The usage of any Epicor products or services is subject to Epicor standard terms and conditions then in effect. Usage of the solution(s) described in this
document with other Epicor software or third-party products may require the purchase of licenses for such other products. Epicor, the Epicor logo, Prophet 21, and Eclipse are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epicor Software Corporation in the
United States, in certain other countries, and/or the EU. Copyright © 2019 Epicor Software.
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 .
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