Epicor Software, Dublin, Calif., released version 12.9 of Epicor Prophet 21 wholesale distribution enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. The release includes new features including customer buying trend analysis, demand replenishment planning, and new rewards program functionality.

The Customer Buying Trend Analysis module applies a series of Six Sigma statistical models to determine a distributor's customer/item combinations that have a proven, consistent buying pattern. The system then reports on which of these customers' buying habits are trending up or down the fastest, and the resulting financial impact. The system also proactively alerts the distributor as to which customers have stopped buying and how many sales dollars were missed.

Demand Replenishment Planning provides analytical tools to support purchasing stock now for long-term future requirements. Customer demand forecasts are generated out one year to determine future needs; purchase quantity is then based on need at the anticipated time of receipt of material. Future Stock Analysis Inquiries and Future Stock Analysis Reports in Prophet 21 allow distributors to see the changing stock position of an item over the next year, to help in planning for these future needs.

The Rewards Program option allows distributors to reward their customers for buying targeted items. A distributor can identify items or groups of items for which to offer rewards, based on product group, discount group, price family, or supplier, and can determine how quickly customers will be rewarded for purchasing these items or groups of items. The distributor also has the ability to limit rewards to customers who belong to a specific category.