Controlled Products Systems Group, Inc. is the largest wholesale distributor of perimeter access-control equipment in the U.S., growing more than 20% annually over the last several years. CPSG prides itself in being the middle ground between manufacturer and installer, enabling best-in-class access control systems built and configured to serve the needs of the most demanding facility owners.
-Ray Elliott, CFO
Over the past two decades, Controlled Products Systems Group has leveraged Epicor Prophet 21 distribution management software as a rock-solid foundation to grow its business, while relying on additional Epicor functionality to support advanced financial management and reporting, credit card processing, and sales tax automation.
Most recently, the company expanded its Epicor suite of solutions, deploying Epicor ECM to digitally transform its Accounts Payable function, and adding Epicor EDI to support financial transactions with its largest customer. Both of these solutions were deployed during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic without issue.
Controlled Products is converting 500,000 documents from its legacy ECM system to Epicor. Working with more than 400 vendors, Controlled Products efficiently manages all register reports, invoices, deposit slips, and other documentation within Epicor ECM.
Epicor ECM enables the company to process 300 invoices daily – aided by Intelligent Data Capture, which makes data extraction from any type of document format simple and efficient.
“IDC is absolutely amazing,” said Ray Elliott, CFO of Controlled Products Systems Group. “It handles different invoice formats with ease.”
Epicor ECM works seamlessly with the Prophet 21 solution to pull in receipts and validate quantities and pricing; if everything matches, the invoice is processed and goes to the Prophet 21 system. There’s one final report to validate invoices, then it posts to the general ledger. If any adjustments are required, these are made prior to posting and the invoice goes back into the workflow for processing in the system.
These automated processes have enabled Controlled Products to grow 20% to 25% in a year without adding additional AP personnel. Elliott added that having the cloud-based system in place also helped enable digital transformation as many Controlled Products employees and managers worked remotely, at least temporarily. Authorized personnel could securely view any digital invoices, purchase orders, or other information from any remote location.
Epicor ECM also provides a useful role in providing a digital record for improved tracking and auditability of its EDI transactions.
“With EDI, there is no physical paper,” Elliott said. “Epicor ECM provides digital versions of invoices that help with an audit trail. If auditors need to look up something, we can have them log into the Epicor ECM system to find what they need.”
Controlled Products has also streamlined its Accounts Receivable processes through integrated credit card and ACH payment processing, which also provides ease-of-doing-business for its dealers.
Prior to this, every time a customer made a credit card payment, all of the payment slips had to be copied, sent to accounts receivable, and manually entered. Now everything is automated, so whenever a customer makes a credit card purchase at any one of Controlled Products 35 branch locations, the payment is automatically processed and the invoice marked paid in the general ledger. Customers with existing accounts can also choose to pay via credit card online.
“It’s beautiful; very efficient,” Elliott said about the streamlined automation the company has realized. “I have nothing to do.”
The system also enables Controlled Products to add a processing fee to offset the fees card issuers impose on merchants to cover these costs.
Over the years, Elliott has benefitted from the Epicor Prophet 21 software customer community to learn from other P21 software users, but feels the greater benefit lies in having an end-to-end integrated Epicor technology stack to run and drive its business.
“Prophet 21 software is an incredible distribution system; no one has the breadth of integration Prophet 21 brings to the business. Over the years, while we have been approached by other solution providers, we’ve stayed with Epicor, as none can match the full capabilities and the benefits of the synergy that Epicor provides,” he said.