ArticlesEpicor Prophet 21 vs SAP Business One for Distributors

Are you a distributor looking for a high-performance ERP solution and hesitating between Epicor Prophet 21 vs SAP Business One? The distribution industry is an exceptionally competitive sector, where every effort counts to distinguish yourself from other players. That’s why it’s crucial to choose the right ERP system to optimize your business processes.

There are plenty of ERP software packages available for distributors. However, among the most popular for small and mid-market organizations are Epicor Prophet 21 and SAP Business One.

Our experts in custom ERP solutions for SMBs share all the relevant information on these two business solutions. Browse our detailed comparative analysis and make an informed decision about your ERP choice. Our ERP consultants also are at your service if you need more personalized support.

Epicor Prophet 21 vs SAP Business One:
Exploring ERP Solutions for the Distribution Industry

Did you know that you can choose between different types of ERP systems? Indeed, it’s not enough to choose a brand you trust; you also need to decide how you deploy your ERP. Your choice will be between on-premise, hybrid or cloud-based ERP deployment.

Epicor Prophet 21 and SAP Business One can be implemented in a variety of ways, depending on your needs and requirements. So, let’s start with an overview of these ERP systems before continuing with our more in-depth analysis.

Overview of Epicor P21 ERP Distribution Software

Epicor Prophet 21 is a distribution ERP system which offers a host of supply chain functionalities, such as inventory and warehouse management. This high-performance software is also highly customizable, features user-friendly dashboards, offers real-time predictive analytics via advanced reporting tools, improves customer service, and promotes mobility through cloud deployment.

What sets P21 software apart is its target market. It is aimed primarily at mid and small businesses in the distribution sector and is therefore designed to meet this industry’s specific needs and challenges.

With its ability to simplify the invoice-to-cash cycle, increase margins and fulfill orders, Prophet 21 is one of the best warehouse management and resource planning solutions for distributors.

The SAP ERP Business One Solution at a Glance

Designed for small and medium-sized businesses in a diverse range of sectors, SAP Business One is another ERP system used by distributors. SAP has a set of tools to help manage customer relationships, financial processes and a handful of other functions related to human resources and stock management.

However, it is not considered a distribution industry ERP since it is not explicitly aimed at distributors like Prophet 21.

It’s also worth noting that SAP is no longer creating new features or enhancements for SAP Business One software. In addition, they have announced the end of maintenance services, technical support and security updates for 2027. If you are currently a SAP customer looking for an alternative with quality technical support services, P21 is an excellent choice.

Overview of Epicor P21 ERP Distribution Software vs SAP Business One

ERP Comparison: Epicor vs SAP ERP Software Features for Distributors

P21, an Epicor cloud system for distribution is undoubtedly one of the most powerful cloud ERP solutions for distributors. The SAP cloud ERP solution is an alternative, even if it’s not specifically designed for the distribution sector.

Discover the main differences between these ERP software packages to help you pick the best choice for your organization.

1. The Target Market of These ERP Solutions for SMBs

Prophet 21 is unique in that it specifically targets companies looking for a personalized ERP solution for distribution.

As for SAP Business One, it is a standard ERP solution aimed at various industries. SAP’s primary customers are in the professional services, retail, manufacturing and consumer products sectors.

2. SAP vs Epicor: Custom ERP Pricing with Cloud-Based Epicor Prophet 21 or SAP

Another significant difference between Epicor and SAP products is the flexibility of pricing options. P21 offers distributors the choice between a perpetual license or a monthly subscription (SaaS).

However, Prophet 21 in the cloud is offered like virtually any other SaaS product. The total cost of ownership (TCO) of P21 software in the cloud depends on several factors, such as the number of users, deployed functionalities, and of course, your service contract.

For on-site deployment, the cost will mostly depend on the degree of customization required and the number of users.

As for SAP Business One, there are no perpetual licenses. SAP pricing, therefore, depends on the factors mentioned above, i.e., the number of users and customers, degree of customization, etc.

3. User Interface, Ease of Adoption, Training and Support

Although SAP is a viable alternative, distributors who own small businesses or mid-market organizations will benefit from implementing Prophet 21. It’s one of the best ERP solutions to enhance your employees’ user experience.

A user-friendly dashboard customized for each team and role to facilitate adoption

Prophet 21 is a fully customizable distribution ERP. Everything can be adjusted, from interface configuration to navigation menus, to best serve your needs and working methods.

Simplified search processes to boost productivity

Epicor has designed the P21 ERP system to be consistent, easy to use and navigate. Whether your employees are looking for data on orders, a final sale, deliveries, suppliers, inventory or any other impactful data, they won’t waste any time searching.

Accessible and responsive to companies’ training needs

When it comes to ERP training for P21, the software checks all the boxes. You can access documentation, a forum, in-person help, online help, tutorials, videos, web conferences and webinars.

In comparison, SAP Business One has only documentation, on-site or online help, and a few videos and webinars.

Technical support services tailored to the needs of modern distributors

Regarding support, you couldn’t do better than the services offered by Epicor and its resellers. We’re talking about:

  • 24/7 online support with a representative
  • Business hours
  • Customer onboarding
  • E-mail service within 24 hours
  • E-mail support
  • FAQ
  • Customer portal
  • Knowledge base
  • Live chat
  • Online support
  • Phone support
  • Professional ERP services and personalized paid support
  • Video tutorials

Epicor offers a comprehensive suite of services and features to support its users. SAP only provides e-mail and telephone support, a knowledge base and live chat.

4. Compatibility Across Devices and Language Modules of the Prophet 21 ERP System and SAP Business One

Prophet 21 is offered in both desktop and mobile versions, but desktop versions are only available for Windows operating systems. As for its mobile versions, they perform equally well on Android and IOS systems.

SAP, on the other hand, is also available on MAC Os and Linux desktop operating systems. The two software products are either on-premise or offered as cloud-based SaaS versions.

P21 also offers more language modules to meet the needs of its international customers.

5. Customize and Extend Software Capabilities With API Integrations

In addition to customizing the interface and menus, P21 can also integrate third-party applications via application programming interfaces (APIs), which is not possible with SAP.

This differential advantage gives P21 a competitive edge that goes beyond the traditional capabilities of ERP and distribution software. Your sales departments can improve their sales processes and customer lifecycle by integrating EDI from suppliers, credit cards or an e-commerce site.

There are also mobile apps for managing deliveries and signatures, payroll, customer relations, finance and enterprise content. Epicor ECC (Epicor Commerce Connect) for B2B, Epicor FP&A for financial management, and Epicor ECM (enterprise content management) are the most popular applications.

We also recommend Epicor Quick Ship for distributors, which offers a number of useful features:

  • Contact carriers
  • Recover shipping costs
  • Tracking information according to weight, size, dimensions, number of packages, and postal code.
  • Print all relevant documents and labels for carriers.

All these data are then returned to your Epicor Prophet 21 solution, eliminating manual input errors.

6. Prophet 21 ERP Architecture

Without getting too technical, Epicor Prophet 21 leverages the simplicity and security of Microsoft Azure cloud technology.

The P21 cloud system is entirely browser-based and accessible on any browser and device. From laptops to tablets to phones, Prophet 21 is available anywhere, anytime.

7. Epicor Prophet 21: The Premier Inventory Management ERP for Distributors

Prophet 21 software is undoubtedly the market leader in distribution process management. Its warehouse management system facilitates label and barcode printing, as well as a host of exclusive functions. The system also integrates easily with most, if not all, of your existing automated warehouse machines.

The benefits and challenges of Epicor Prophet 21 and SAP Business One ERP software.

Pros and Cons of These ERPs for the Distribution Industry

Finding the right ERP for transport and logistics or sales and customer management is a real challenge for the modern distributor. Explore the key advantages of Epicor Prophet 21 vs SAP Business One to make the right choice for your business.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Epicor Prophet 21 software

Here are some of the main advantages of Epicor P21 for distribution:

  • Software customization and development options
  • Ease of use and adoption
  • Simplified management of accounts and access, users and roles
  • Access to a centralized inventory database
  • Multiple partner applications to extend the software’s usefulness
  • Warehouse management (multiple warehouses and locations)
  • Simplified order entry
  • Tailored training services
  • On-site or cloud implementation according to your needs by Epicor-certified experts
  • The ability to grow your business with the product

As for the drawbacks, it’s simply the degree of customization required to tune the software to your working methods. To resolve this situation, all you need is the right Epicor solutions and services provider.

The Benefits and Limitations of the SAP Business One Solution

Since SAP Business One is not designed specifically for the distribution industry, it may seem less advantageous. However, it offers good functionality for inventory management, finance, human resources and internationalization.

As for its shortcomings, users reported difficulties with project management, implementation and a steep learning curve. For these reasons, SAP is slightly less popular with SMBs. It is defined as an enterprise ERP aimed at companies with over 1,000 employees.

Epicor Prophet 21 vs SAP Business One: Why Is P21 the Best ERP Solution for Distributors?

Whether you’re new to ERP environments or looking to switch software, knowing which ERP to implement is crucial. Your system is your greatest competitive advantage. It’s what differentiates you, helps you increase your margins, boosts employee productivity and, ultimately, ensures the success and longevity of your business.

There are many ERP systems for distributors, but as this analysis reveals, none are as powerful and flexible as Epicor Prophet 21.

EC Solutions, Your Strategic Partner for Implementing Tailored Business Solutions

Want to stay ahead of the competition and modernize your business? Trust EC Solutions, an Epicor Gold Certified Partner. We offer superior services ranging from strategic consulting to deployment and support for your distribution ERP.

Our consultants are at your service if you have any questions about Epicor Prophet 21. Choose us and we’ll take your business into the future with our industry-leading solutions! 

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