Improved Visibility Boosts Bottom Line at ACO Medical

Supplier turns to Prophet 21 for new accounting package with inventory management, purchasing, reporting capabilities

Supplier turns to Prophet 21 for new accounting package with inventory management, purchasing, reporting capabilities

Yardley, PA — July 23, 2004 — After a five-year growth spurt that pushed ACO Medical through three progressively larger warehouses, company executives knew it was time to replace their limited accounting software with a robust, enterprise-wide solution.

Developing a feature wish list that included inventory management, real-time reporting and purchasing capabilities made ACO executives eventually settled on a solution from Prophet 21 called CommerceCenter to meet their needs.

"CommerceCenter gives us what we need to enhance service levels and handle new business without increasing overhead," said Jimmy Gray, ACO vice president. "It's one of the reasons we've been able to continue to grow so quickly."

In addition to inventory and reporting capabilities, functionality incorporated in CommerceCenter includes financial management, B2B seller integration and customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities.

"The first step to helping a business prosper is truly understanding the ins and outs of its daily processes," said Chuck Boyle, Prophet 21 president and CEO. "Because Prophet 21 knows what makes businesses like ACO Medical tick, we can address their needs and offer solutions that help increase sales, improve customer service and reduce operating costs."

A Diverse Customer Base

ACO's customer base consists of doctors, office personnel at rehabilitation facilities, and purchasing agents at hospitals and medical schools, people who cannot spend all day on the telephone.

Yet before investing in CommerceCenter, ACO service staff often kept customers on the line for as long as 10 or 15 minutes. "Sometimes, it took a full minute to pull information for a single item," Ellis said. "When someone called to order 45 or 50 different items, they knew they'd be on the line for a while."

Because CommerceCenter offers access to item and customer information, the average time ACO customer service representatives spend taking an order has dropped from about three minutes to less than one. "Because it's so easy to accept and enter orders, CommerceCenter has helped us manage at least 10 percent more business," Ellis said. "It's increased our existing staff's efficiency and productivity dramatically."

Increasing Margins

Without the proper reporting and analysis tools, it can be difficult to understand exactly how profitable a company is. "You can't manage what you can't measure," Ellis noted.

However, Prophet 21 said that CommerceCenter gives Ellis, Gray and other ACO executives the tools they need to maintain — and grow — profit margins. "Thanks to increased visibility, we're able to see exactly where margins fall and how much money we're making on our products," Ellis said. "We can also view each sales representative's overall profitability, so we know who might need a little push."

Thanks to this increased visibility, ACO has boosted its bottom line by approximately 5 percent. "CommerceCenter has helped us determine where to focus sales and management efforts," Gray said. "It's done wonders in terms of pulling us out of the dark."