We are a leader in the Fluid Power Industry in which we design, sell and Service equipment and parts along with manufacture custom hydraulic systems through distribution. We have 2 companies across 9 locations with 3 manufacturing divisions. Each location has a showroom for Front Counter Sales (Point of Sale) and a Service Department with a stocking warehouse. We perform central based purchasing and forecasting mainly with some location based purchasing where needed. We use Prophet 21 software in every aspect of our company across all locations, short of payroll and internal purchasing of our business consumables in a mostly dominant thin client environment.
Prophet 21 has a vast amount of features that allows it to be compatible with many different business models throughout several industries which can make it a little over complicated on what to do via data-entry as your company doesn't use every single piece of functionality and you have to fill in the appropriate area for what your company is using as there are allot of fields and tabs that you could have to update. So it can produce very detailed information if allot of the fields are utilized. Speed is a huge concern with this software as it has multiple layers of programming on top of an outdated platform that makes the data entry workable but painfully slow once you get used to running the software.
Scale-ability and the capability to mold to a lot of different companies business models.
The Purchasing/Forecasting functionality is top notch and very mold-able to any purchasing model ranging from central purchasing down to individualized seasonal items. Once set up it will let you get away with a smaller procurement department as the system will tell you what you need to order.
The vendor is good about fixing issues quickly but sometimes difficult to distinguish between an actual error and a company specific business process.
There are a ton of purchasable add-on's from the Vendor them-self along with even more third party add-on's that makes this a wonderful software if you have the money and skilled personnel to support it.
Scale-ability and the capability to mold to a lot of different companies business models. Since this software can mold to a large variety of business models it can make training difficult and long due to the complexities of the software's advanced features. This also makes data entry combersome as you have to know what fields to enter depending on what functionality you are using.
Slow to implement vendor driven Idea's Network from user ideas.
The product feels extremely slow once you get used to running the system and is glitchy because of the method chosen to release updates and advancements. Developers run a continuous improvement program with multiple releases a year so as they are designing new features at the same time they are cleaning errors and glitches rather than waiting a long time for advancements and a rock solid release. This could also be considered good and bad if you need an advancement, you don't have to wait!
The companies move to have the first level of support go to India can lead to frustrations because of the communication blearier along with the new support teams are not yet very knowledgeable with the software and the level of experiences with the software is still being developed
Recommendations are in order of robustness in each area of business.
Purchasing - Very Strong
Distribution - Very Strong
Sales - Strong (Does not currently have a "true" Point of Sale Module / No security for sales pricing over-rides)
Pricing Sales/Purchasing Structures - Strong (Does not show % discount for orders / Rebates are cumbersome)
Service & Maintenance - Strong to Medium: Needs a lot of work for differences in business models for Service. Scheduling a service is a challenge.
Manufacturing - Light: When they mean light manufacturing they mean it. Not a CNC type manufacturing add-on. They are currently working on a scheduling functionality that will help a ton but would still be a lot of work to run a large caliber manufacturing facility using this add-on. Some things are nice and some other are horridly missing. There is better software that handles manufacturing easier.
CRM - Thumbs is half down: Can get away with the baseline functionality and better with some customization but a purchasable integrated add-on's make's a world of difference!
Reporting - Baseline: Thumbs Down - Need to purchase add-on if you want any business oversight and strong reports. Someone with Highly developed SQL and or C Skills recommended. Crystal skills is a bonus. Can get away with middle of the road knowledge in those areas but the highly developed skills make a world of difference in molding your business processes.