Hodges Supply has streamlined and improved daily tasks, including quoting, order processing, and customer service through its technology platform. The PHCP wholesaler is based in Pontiac, Mich. “In the past, we hand-wrote each quote and priced every item manually,” said Greg Brown, vice president of the firm, which also has a branch in Flint, Mich. Keying everything into the system separately took only a few minutes for small orders, but the occasional large order of 100 toilets and sinks for a school or office building could take hours.

Now Hodges Supply uses the quick item-lookup capabilities, pricing functionality and one-stroke quote-to-order feature of Prophet 21 CommerceCenter software to save its employees time.

Another helpful program feature is the order history that catalogs each item a customer purchases. Many customers call in from job sites with little information about what they're looking for, but a Hodges Supply representative can easily look up their history of purchases and determine which items they might need, Brown said. The software also helps new or inexperienced sales representatives by automatically suggesting items to accompany a customer's purchase.

Brown said he would recommend this type of program to any plumbing wholesaler with veteran employees who might be uncomfortable with technology. “Before we went live, I had people who didn't know how to turn a computer on,” he said. “Now, they're entering orders and checking stock with ease.”