17 Benefits of Epicor Advanced MES for Discrete Manufacturers

Connect the Shop Floor to the Top Floor

Epicor Advanced MES will radically improve your manufacturing operations, connecting the shop floor to the top floor in a way that is seamless, understandable and actionable for everyone involved.

Benefits include:

  1. Real-Time Data Collection: Epicor Advanced MES collects data directly from equipment and operators on the shop floor in real-time, enhancing data accuracy and process automation.
  2. Preventive Maintenance: The system helps anticipate and solve production problems before they occur, leading to smoother operations.
  3. Enhanced Collaboration: The visual data delivered through Advanced MES empowers employees, fostering openness, accountability, and responsiveness in the workplace.
  4. Efficiency Improvement: Access to real-time information helps prevent issues from escalating, improving response times, and enhancing collaboration.
  5. Machine Efficiency: The system notifies you when a machine is not running efficiently, enabling quick adjustments and improvements for optimal performance.
  6. Continuous Improvement: Collected performance data can be used to implement continuous improvement programs, ensuring efficient operations with maximum uptime.
  7. Quality Control: The use of Statistical Process Control (SPC) and Statistical Quality Control (SQC) maintains high-quality standards and avoids errors in production. 
  8. Workflow Management: Workflow management guides staff through tasks, ensuring asset availability, and avoiding downtime for uninterrupted operations.
  9. Industry 4.0 Integration:  Epicor Advanced MES aligns with Industry 4.0 principles, leveraging automation, machine learning, and real-time data for smart manufacturing.
  10. Customer Satisfaction: The system helps in conforming to customer quality standards, ensuring consistent results without constant oversight.
  11. Operational Excellence: Enabling efficient production management leads to improved problem-solving skills and faster response times.
  12. Smart Factory Integration: Advanced MES is a critical component of Smart Factory initiatives, driving sustainability and operational efficiency.
  13. Global Connectivity: Global connections and collaborations are facilitated by enhancing networking opportunities for manufacturers.
  14. Quality Assurance: The system ensures consistent quality control through real-time data monitoring and analysis.
  15. Risk Mitigation: Real-time information helps in identifying and mitigating risks proactively, ensuring smooth production processes.
  16. Adaptability: The system adapts to changing production needs, ensuring flexibility and responsiveness in dynamic manufacturing environments.
  17. Operational Visibility: Epicor Advanced MES provides visibility into production processes, enabling better decision-making and operational efficiency.

Get in touch to discuss what Epicor Advanced MES could achieve within your organisation.

Sencon Get 67% “More Out The Door”

“In just three months, implementing Epicor Kinetic Warehouse has led to a 67% improvement in our total part pick / putaway rates. We’re picking more parts with less people, increasing revenue, and getting more out the door, with more accuracy. Job well done, Aspera!”.

Rob Young, Operations Director, Sencon

 

CASE STUDY SYNOPSIS

 

COMPANY

  • Industry: Canning & Aerosol Manufacture 
  • Location: Northern Worcestershire, England, UK
  • Website: sencon.com

CHALLENGE
Inconsistencies and errors in warehousing were affecting profits, quality, and customer satisfaction levels.

BENEFITS

  • 3-month project yields 67% growth in warehouse picking ability;

  • Handheld devices eradicate errors and time wasting;

  • Significant improvements to sales order processing;

  • More professional and accurate bin and part scanning validation;

  • Expedited invoicing with detailed shipping labels;

  • Improved customer service; &

  • Additional innovations in stock control through cycle counting.

 

Read the full case study here.

Panorama Consulting: Top ERP Systems 2024

Panorama Consulting, known worldwide for its comprehensive assessment of ERP systems and vendors, has just released its TOP 10 ERP SYSTEMS REPORT, 2024.

Here’s what the report has to say regarding Epicor Kinetic for Manufacturing:

Key strengths for EPICOR Kinetic for manufacturing:

  1. Leverages the power of ChatGPT to deliver predictive analytics and contextual recommendations via the Epicor Virtual Agent
  2. Allows you to implement Epicor Advanced MES as an add-on to capture data directly from machines and operators and get real-time analytics in a visual format
  3. Provides governance, risk, and compliance tools for addressing legal, regulatory, and supply chain mandates.

Read the full report here.

Gartner names Epicor ‘Cloud ERP Leader’ for Product-Centric Enterprises

For those seeking cloud solutions to support their manufacturing, distribution, delivery and servicing of goods, Gartner has named Epicor as Cloud ERP LEADER in its 2023 Magic Quadrant.

Epicor’s cloud solutions include purpose-built, industry-specific solution packages for SME manufacturers and distributors, delivered through partners like Aspera Solutions in EMEA.

Recent innovations include enhanced analytics with its GROW business intelligence platform and further extensibility. Future roadmap investments are centered around AI-enabled, end-to-end supply chain data and analytics, including the use of GenAI and sustainability capabilities.

According to Gartner, Epicor’s top strengths are:

  • Strong midsize industry offering for discrete manufacturing and distribution: Nearly all Epicor customers are lower midsize, and it has a strong solution set to handle complex requirements for discrete manufacturing and retail/wholesale distribution. These capabilities include CPQ and advanced analytics.
  • Composable platform: Epicor leverages Microsoft Azure for infrastructure services and is able to provide a variety of services with its Automation Studio and Data Fabric. Services include integration, low-code and full-code development, AI/ML capabilities, and analytics in a variety of geographies for hosting its cloud solution. This may enable a highly composable architecture and approach for midsize customers only found in more expensive and large enterprise-focused vendor platforms.
  • Data as a service: Epicor’s product strategy increasingly focuses on a shift from transactional ERP to a data-driven operational model enabled by AI and business intelligence capabilities. This “data as a service” approach is designed to change how data is shared between trading partners to optimize supply chain processes and minimize disruptions.

Follow this link to download the full report.

Epicor Kinetic for Manufacturing, Autumn Release 2022

Latest Release of Epicor Kinetic for Manufacturing Delivers New Industry Features and Connected Services

Released by Epicor: Austin, TXOctober 20, 2022

Epicor, a global leader of industry-specific enterprise software to promote business growth, today introduced a variety of features in its Fall 2022 release for Epicor Kinetic for Manufacturing, part of the Epicor Industry ERP Cloud portfolio. The updates will help manufacturers better compete with deep industry-specific functionality, connected services to integrate and optimise workflows, and deliver a smoother user experience journey.

“Now more than ever, manufacturers need people-centric, open, and connected technologies to gain visibility across their business and optimise supply chain processes,” said Vaibhav Vohra, Chief Product Officer at Epicor. “The latest release of Epicor Kinetic empowers our customers with a variety of fit-for-purpose features and integrations that deliver on that, helping them grow their business and compete in today’s global marketplace.”

New capabilities across the latest release of Epicor Kinetic for Manufacturing include:

Deep Industry-Specific Functionality

  • The ability to track inventory by part and revision allows customers to reduce part number maintenance time, ensure component compatibility, and have full visibility into inventory segmentation
  • Improved API connection between Epicor Kinetic and Epicor Advanced MES that includes passing of Downtime and Scrap codes
  • Embedded electronic signature capability that can be used with Business Process Management (BPM) on any business object to support compliance and quality management needs
  • Enhancements to fulfilment improve visibility of Make-to-Orders, streamlining the release of sales orders to picking
  • Improved financial reporting capabilities, aligning the Procurement to pay trackers and GL reporting showing valuable data that will help customers easily reconcile their data across different areas

Connected Services to Optimise Workflows

  • Epicor Commerce Connect customers can rate shop at checkout by pulling the best freight rates from Quick Ship, eliminating the need to maintain shipping rates in both applications
  • Deeper integration between Epicor Kinetic and Epicor CPQ, including new features such as 3D Sketch & Extrude and a MoM Viewer Widget to view MoM calculations in real-time while users are configuring

Smoother User Experience Journey

  • Built to engage employees across the enterprise with a digital messaging and notification engine
  • Enhanced collaboration offers an optimised mobile experience

For more information on the latest release of Epicor Kinetic, get in touch.

Epicor Industry Insights Report 2022

Key Findings of the Epicor 2022 Industry Insights Report

What do companies really need from their ERP partnerships?

In 2022 Epicor asked 1,350 technology decision makers (principally in manufacturing & distribution in the USA & UK) about their cloud ERP.

  1. How satisfied were they with their current situation?
  2. What would they look for in a new solution?
  3. How was their ERP journey as customers and how could their experience be improved at every  stage—from first contact through evaluation, onboarding, go-live, and ongoing support.
  4. Finally, how do they feel about their transition to cloud technology? What’s important to them, and how can partners accelerate value at every stage of the journey.

This report details their answers.

Read the full report here.

Read the Andy Coussins, SVP & Head of Epicor International, interview with ERPNews, here.

Epicor – The Powerhouse Behind the Scuderia Alphatauri Powertrain

“Any technical Partnership is crucial for us and especially the partnership with Epicor. 

Because nowadays, Epicor manages the team”.

 

Franz Tost, Team Principal
Scuderia Alphatauri

“The main improvements are the communication, the time saving and at the end the performance, because people aren’t spending time entering the data into they system or to look for the data within the company.

So at the end we gained a very good team performance using Epicor kinetic software”.

Giovani Cattarina, ERP Engineer
Scuderia Alphatauri

“For sure you can see a better performance in the car. More parts in a shorter time, with more reliable data”.

Simone Balilla, Production Planning Manager,
Scuderia Alphatauri

Part 3: BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL ERP BUSINESS CASE – (3 of 3)

In this third and final instalment of “Building a Successful ERP Business Case in 3 Key Steps” we’re finally sharpening our pencils and getting to the nib of the issue.

What info to include in your report to successfully ‘green light’ your ERP project!

Note: In part one of this blog series we spoke about the importance of completing the right kind of homework before putting your ERP business case before a decision committee. The primary take-away from this step was to stop generalising about the results of an ERP project and get really specific about its impact on your company. 

Part two, highlighted the importance of identifying at least one ERP champion on the decision committee that will advocate for your project behind the scenes. The key take-away here is to solve your champions pain points with ERP, and then furnish them with all the details and company specific anecdotes they’ll need to advocate on the projects behalf during the decision making process.

See links below to Step 1 & 2 in case you missed them.

STEP 3: Craft Your ERP Project Case Correctly

Once you’ve done the right kind of research and established your ‘champion’, it’s time to concentrate on crafting your ERP business case / proposal.

The key thing here is to remember your audience, be succinct, and focus on answering one fundamental question – Why Now?

Time and time again, companies decide to stall an ERP implementation because of the imbalance between what they know, versus what they don’t. They know it’s a risk. They know it’s going to be costly. They also know that it’s going to take months of work. 

What they don’t know is whether the rewards will be worth it!

So, admit that there are concerns. Address the anticipated risks (ROI timing / operational disruption / 3rd party integration/ security / etc.), and counterbalance each risk with details on the return.

Articulate the rewards by bullet pointing specific reasons why the project is needed NOW.

For example:

  • We’re all drowning in spreadsheets. It’s causing errors and wasting valuable time (cite examples/facts/figures). With ERP all key data would automatically be pulled through our systems, eradicating the need for spreadsheets and duplication of efforts.

  • The current system is preventing scale and growth. Last month we had to turn away a project because we couldn’t fulfil it. ERP will allow us to improve decision making, giving us visibility on stock flow and labour costs that we currently don’t have.

  • Poor data flow between departments is causing errors (cite examples) and costing the company money (again, examples!).

  • Current [named] competitors/suppliers have the edge over us because….,

  • Customers are sourcing elsewhere because…insert specific facts/examples.,

Clearly answer the ‘What Does Our Company Gain?’ question. 

Cite specific improvements / value that will be delivered through ERP and (again) remember to include specific facts / figures for your company wherever possible.

Examples:

  • We’ll have more competitive advantage because…

  • We will be able to offer more services such as…

  • Decision making will improve because we will have real time information on stock levels, x, y, & z.

  • By getting things right 1st time, every time, we’ll decrease costs, improve customer satisfaction &… etc.

  • An integrated business system will provide us with new operational capabilities to…. (include specific examples).

Next, include baseline information around the potential solutions you’ve identified, but don’t make the mistake of prioritising solution specifications over the reasons WHY you need the solution in the first place.

Taking up your audience’s valuable time with an overload of data on the differences between Epicor V’s SAP V’s NetSuite V’s whatever, will only serve to confuse and augment perceived risk at this early stage of the process.


Answer
the
Question
-

What
Does
Your
Company
Gain?

So, with all that said, inclusions in your ERP business case should include:

  1. Why [insert company name] Needs ERP Now

    Summary of why the lack of ERP is hindering current process and future growth.

  2. Internal & External Factors Driving the need for ERP

    Specific, data driven commentary on both the internal and external factors /pain points driving the need for ERP.

  3. What [insert company name] will Specifically Gain from ERP

    Scope out the project requirements and develop a data driven list of how ERP will improve your company’s specific operations, increase sales channels, improve supplier & customer relationships, and reduce CAPEX / OPEX in the long term.

    Take care to include improvements that will resonate with each stakeholder and decision maker.

  4. Solution Options

    Briefly outline your top 3 – 5 ERP solution offerings. Cite the pro’s and con’s of each solution when set against your core requirements, and include ballpark upfront, recurring and TCO cost estimations.


    Don’t get bogged down in technical data (include this in the document appendix if required) or cut and paste information from the vendors website or sales collateral. Technical data and sales spiel will only serve to clog your plan with information that’s irrelevant to this stage of the process.

    Think about ranking each solution against the same set of criteria so that you, and your audience, can easily discern differences. Make sure to rank for costs, core, and bonus functionality, references, support, and the providers local or global reach (as this will be important as your company grows).

  1. Next Steps

    List the steps needed to drive the project forward and make sure to include a proposed timeline. (Note: I’ll be posting a blog soon with recommendations on this) 
  1. Why Now (Conclusion)

    Conclude with a detailed list of the improvements and benefits that the ERP implementation will have on the company, making sure to include a short-medium-long term timeline, and improvements within each of your stakeholder functions. 
  1. Appendix
    To include your research sources, solution specifics, etc.

Written by Leeann Matthews, June 2022

Part 1: BUILD A SUCCESSFUL ERP BUSINESS CASE IN 3 KEY STEPS

If you are struggling to get budget for an ERP project within your company, read on.

This 3 part blog series cites key advice that has proved successful for your peers, irrespective of whether you work in the manufacturing or distribution sector.

Over the years, I’ve had countless conversations with managers that need ERP in their business but can’t get a project off the ground.

Interestingly, it’s not usually the cost of a project that is stalling progress, most ERP projects get benched because of deficiency in two primary areas – stakeholder buy-in, and time.

Simply put, if those with the power to green light an ERP project don’t understand the company-wide value of it, you will never get budget. And, if you can’t articulate why now is the perfect time to start, decision makers will keep kicking that ‘can’ down the road, letting other priorities override progression on a project that you know would positively transform the company.

If that sounds familiar, and you’re keen to learn ways to overcome these issues and get the green light on your ERP project, read on. This blog series cites the 3 key things you need to do in order to build a successful ERP business case.

Step 1 (below): Start with the Right Kind of Homework

Step 2: Gather Your Champions!

Step 3: Craft Your ERP Business Case Correctly

Lets get started. 

STEP 1: Start with the Right Kind of Homework

Writing a business case that states you want to implement ERP in order to boost productivity / automate tasks / decrease costs / etc., simply doesn’t cut it anymore.

These terms are bandied around so frequently that they’ve become generic ‘noise’.

To put it bluntly; you could state, “we need to implement ERP to boost productivity, drive efficiencies, and increase competitive advantage”, but your decision-making audience only hears “yada, yada, everyone wants budget for the same thing, yada!”.

To overcome this, stop generalising about the results of an ERP project and get really specific about its impact on your company.

Take time to identify and list all the areas of the business that will be affected by an ERP implementation (finance, operations, manufacturing, warehousing, etc.).

Identify the key people in these areas (i.e., the people that the business can’t afford to lose), and then put your investigative hat on in order to gather details from them about:

  1. Their specific pain points & bottlenecks (including facts and figures wherever possible),
  2. What they’ve heard competitors are doing better,
  3. What improvements they know customers/suppliers are looking for, and
  4. What they’d love to automate in order to make their everyday job more enjoyable/easier/more productive.

This information is golden for two reasons. Firstly, its coming directly from key staff that are integral to the business. And secondly, it relates specifically to your company and its current operations, so decision makers can’t ignore its impact or pretend that the information doesn’t relate directly back to the bottom line.

For added impact, consider compiling a short video (simply taken with your phone) showing peoples responses to the question, “What would you most like to automate to make your job easier?”. The visual impact of watching staff / colleagues / friends talking about what would make their life easier is hugely powerful. And humanising the impact of an ERP implementation could go a long way to getting sign off on budget.  

Next, you’ll need to identify at least one champion in senior management (or the Board of Management) that will advocate for your project.

Read STEP 2 of this blog series for tips on how to identify an advocate and get them on-board. 

 

Written By: Leeann Matthews, June 2022

Epicor has acquired Data Interchange, a UK-based provider of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Cloud Technologies and Managed Services

Epicor Acquires EDI Provider Data Interchange, Expanding Global Reach in Helping Customers Drive Value in the Supply Chain

Austin, TXJune 07, 2022

Epicor, a global leader of industry-specific enterprise software to promote business growth, today announced it has acquired Data Interchange, a UK-based provider of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) cloud technologies and managed services. The Data Interchange acquisition expands the reach of Epicor in European markets and adds to the company’s portfolio of B2B integration technologies, empowering customers to connect businesses and trading partners, increase efficiency, and drive value in the supply chain. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“The future of EDI is about creating more flexible and transparent supply chains that can seamlessly accommodate a wide range of inputs while ensuring automated and controllable outcomes,” said Epicor CEO Steve Murphy. “The Data Interchange acquisition gives Epicor customers an even more powerful set of cloud-based EDI solutions to streamline supply chain collaboration, simplify processes, and make data-driven decisions to identify trends and opportunities.”

As companies, particularly across European markets, manage increasing requirements for data integration across B2B supply chains, they are challenged in navigating the complexities of trading partner compliance, communications protocols, and local language support.

Data Interchange’s B2B integration solutions – including the company’s DiNet global EDI Network, Odex B2B communications platform, Darwin order processing solution, and XE EDI mapping tool – will help Epicor customers streamline their supply chain strategies, providing a single-source of truth to more closely manage supplier relationships, automate business processes, and plan for changing business needs. That includes support for European market protocols and standards such as OFTP2, EDIFACT, VDA, TRADACOMS and PEPPOL.

“Our goal at Data Interchange has always been to streamline the way EDI is delivered and presented to our customers and partners,” said Data Interchange CEO Andrew Filby. “By joining with Epicor, we’re extending our mission to help companies drive positive business outcomes by simplifying every stage of their EDI journey.”

Backed by more than 30 years of experience, Data Interchange pioneers the technology underpinning the world’s most complex supply chains with fast, accurate data exchange. A deep and experienced team and partner channel with specialists across Europe help customers in automotive, manufacturing, retail and logistics sectors optimise supply chains and trading processes, with an innovative product and services portfolio that helps customers improve their business operations.

See www.epicor.com for further details