We recently had the opportunity to review Prophet 21, an ERP software solution that designed for the distribution industry. Prophet 21’s distribution software was formerly part of the Activant product line. Earlier this year Activant Solutions was acquired by Apax Partners and is now formally part of Epicor Software Corporation (Activant’s President is the new president of the combined companies).
Prophet 21’s look and feel is an MS Outlook like starting point for its users. It is very easy to understand which makes implementation easy. Prophet 21 also offers a web portal view for the end user that is an Excel grid view of data (e.g., orders) with drill down capabilities.
The Dynachange tool allows the ERP users to completely customize their screen presentation and layout. This customization includes tab control, which greatly reduces the key strokes for high volume distributors and their employees. Given the nature of wholesale distribution companies, this ease of use feature is a very powerful tool.
Prophet 21’s CRM module is an expanded view of the customer master and provides a unified view of both prospects and customers. A prospect simply would need to be converted to a customer before a sales order can be processed. The CRM module provides a 360-degree view of all customer information, in the future, it will include integration with MS Outlook.
Prophet 21’s Business Analyzer continues the tab view concept, which offers the end user the ability to move from a high level view into the details by customer. A core set of metrics and views are available and the end user may customize this view as necessary.
Prophet 21 Distribution Capability Highlights
- Drop ships and direct ships automatically create a PO and link the PO line to the sales order line item level.
- Prophet 21 has the ability to record sales history at the primary warehouse in a variety of situations including product shipped from a different warehouse, a substitute was used, or it was cancelled.
- Alias part numbers can be used to track the manufacturer’s part number.
- Prophet 21 offers the ability to reprioritize orders when product is in short supply.
Prophet 21’s purchasing module utilizes the classic EOQ reorder point system created by John Schreibfeder, who is the President of Effective Inventory. One convenient feature allows the buyer to view excessive inventory levels and create transfer orders to fulfill demand in other locations. This would eliminate the need for a new purchase order and assists in leveling stock between locations. Future enhancements to the Prophet 21’s purchasing functionality to include DRP (distribution requirements planning) logic.
All in all the Prophet 21 solution is a “must look” for any distributor who is requires an ERP software solution with strong distribution software functionality.