Jack DeMao

C.C. Dickson Co., an HVAC distributor based in Rock Hill, S.C., updated its technology infrastructure to improve the company's efficiency in inventory turns and in number of personnel.

The 108-branch company said it increased its revenue by 15%, increased inventory turns by nearly 25%, decreased the overall headcount of the company by 23% and decreased outstanding receivables by 20% after it implemented Prophet 21's CommerceCenter, a warehouse management system.

“It's helped us become incredibly efficient,” said Jack DeMao, president and CEO. “Before we went live, we employed 650 people. After go-live, we reduced personnel to 500. There were 150 people involved in our manual processes.”

DeMao also said that the system helps the company place purchase orders and control its inventory management. Lead times have improved and as many as 30 days have been taken off of customers' wait periods.

C.C. Dickson regularly reviews its stock levels with its new software system. It can see what is and what isn't selling, and it can view the inventory at all branch locations at once.

DeMao said the technology has gained the attention of vendors. “One of our vendors was reluctant to do business with us because of our lack of sophistication,” he said. “Now, they use us as a beta test site for new concepts.”

The distributor now moves products more quickly and its information flow is quicker because it uses Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to send electronic invoices.