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Enterprise Software Made Simple: PIC Business Systems is bringing ERP to the uniform industry

Ideally, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system manages all aspects of a manufacturing or distribution business, including initial quotation, sales order entry, warehouse management, production, inventory control, quality control, shipping and accounting. These systems usually require a sizeable investment but can ultimately provide incredible value to companies, who are then able to eliminate costly, ineffective and disconnected subsystems.

Unfortunately, many ERP system implementations end in disappointment. According to research conducted by the META Group, ERP implementations can take one to three years and fail 60 percent of the time. Custom modification is typically required and can result in expensive add-ons over time. The scope of work is oftentimes underestimated.

Customers of PIC Business Systems Inc., on the other hand, have a vastly different experience with their ERP implementation. The typical implementation cycle will run six to nine months, and since the company’s start in 1987, it has not had a single implementation failure. Additionally, PIC has never lost a customer to a competitive ERP system. As he shares these statistics, PIC executive vice president Steve English says PIC’s successful track record was built on a dedication to quality, hard work, advanced technology and customer service. He highlights a personal relationship with their customers and says, “Our success is based on their success. It is a simple formula that has served PIC well over the years.”

PIC Business Systems ERP screenshotPIC was founded in the early days of ERP and Microsoft Windows. Customers purchased servers to host the application and data, and typically hired IT staff and programmers to manage and maintain the system. Things have changed. PIC recognized the power of the internet early on and made the move to a browser-based environment and managed application hosting more than 10 years ago. They were in the “software as a service” world well before it became a popular business model. Founder and CEO Stan Zwinggi says the switch from a text-based environment to browser-based “was a huge job and transition,” requiring a great deal of time and effort, yet the benefits for its customers made the transition worthwhile.

PIC’s e-PIC One Enterprise is designed to run inside the browser, thus businesses can implement it with nothing more than an internet connection. PIC hosts all data and maintains the servers, allowing customers to eliminate costly servers and ongoing internal maintenance.

On average, e-PIC One Enterprise replaces numerous customer subsystems given the nature of the fully-integrated approach by PIC. Their motto, “one system, one solution,” certainly holds true. There is no need to incorporate other third-party applications into the mix. The system is designed to manage all business processes including quotes and sales order processing, online sales rep and customer center, production control, procurement, decoration, supply chain logistics, warehouse management, human resources, online shipping, accounts receivable, accounts payable and general financial reporting.

The Online Sales Rep and Customer Center is an especially popular tool for PIC’s customers. It enables sales representatives and customers to log in and place orders, check order status, see live inventory levels, acquire invoices and statements, and make payments 24/7. Use of iPads and smartphones to access this area of the system has become the preferred choice.

What really sets PIC apart, however, is their dedication to the success of their customers. PIC’s staff is involved in every step of the setup, launch and maintenance of e-PIC One. The company will visit a prospective customer’s business, evaluate their current process flow and identify the keys to implementation. They then tailor e-PIC One to that particular company and are physically present at the system launch, making sure everything runs smoothly. They provide ongoing training services including a “boot camp” for startup planning. Zwinggi says, “We build a personal relationship and strategic partnership, and become part of our customer’s business. We are committed to the success of our customers.”

PIC Business Systems ERP screenshotPIC is also unique in their commitment to technology. The company keeps abreast of new technologies, constantly making improvements and updates to e-PIC One at no additional charge to customers. They automatically update the system, keeping customers current and better equipped to run their business. “The tech landscape changes dramatically and quickly. We have to reinvent ourselves every 12 months,” says Zwinggi. These reinventions are no small task. In fact Zwinggi notes that this is an expensive proposition for the company, yet it’s a critical component to PIC’s proven and long-term tenure in the ERP arena.

This commitment has helped PIC remain successful, even during the recent recession. Though business slowed as companies reined in their spending, PIC found a silver lining. Zwinggi says, “Businesses have to be more efficient and cost effective, and we make that happen. This has brought new customers to our door. They want to manage better, be more efficient and more profitable.”

The recession has also enabled PIC to focus on new technology and features, and the company has some big updates on the way. The first is a voice picking option that allows the integrated warehouse management system to direct picking operations by voice, eliminating the need for paper pick tickets. PIC’s programming team is also working on an advanced user interface to use the latest in web tools and technology, including AJAX, JSON, wireframing and prototyping. The company is excited about its soon-to-be-released sales force tool to provide real-time upstream management capabilities, improved sales metrics and data gathering tools.

PIC works with a variety of industries including custom apparel, uniforms, decoration, blinds, shades and shutters, steel fabrication, custom printing, draperies and fabric distribution. e-PIC One is scalable, serving companies of all sizes. Some key clients include apparel manufacturers and suppliers Edwards Garment, Zorrel International and J. America Sportswear. It includes key features that are particularly useful to uniform and apparel manufacturers and distributors, including an online image library and decoration center. “We are able to streamline business processes for each of these companies and help them replace numerous sub-systems with a single system, e-PIC One,” says Zwinggi.

The future of PIC Business Systems looks bright as prospective customers regain confidence in the economy and begin investing in new technologies to improve their businesses. And of course, PIC will continue to update and improve their technologies, always striving to remain a step ahead of their competition.

To learn more about e-PIC One Enterprise and PIC Business Systems, visit www.picbusiness.com or call (800) 742-7378.Made to Measure logo