Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) Brings Data To Life For McCloskey International
“Thanks to EDA, decisions are happening quicker and insights are driving better customer interactions. I knew that our implementation of EDA was a success when I heard one of the team refer to it as his ‘bible!’. When that happens, you know you’re doing something right!”
AT A GLANCE (2021 Case Study)
- Industry: Manufacture of crushers, screeners, trommels and stacking conveyors for industries including aggregates, landscaping, infrastructure and road building, construction and demolition, mining, waste management and recycling.
- HQ: Ontario, Canada. Secondary facility in Co. Tyrone, Ireland
- Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) implementation
- Epicor® ERP, Version 10
- EDA from Phocas Software
- A detailed scope of work (with K.P.I’s) is imperative
- Be realistic about what ‘out of the box’ solutions can deliver
- Implement Project Management methodologies right from the start
- Integrated BI/ Epicor solution
- Data visualisation is helping McCloskey’s understand its customers more, identify trends and plan resources, which is invaluable
- Sales insights deliver better customer interactions and opportunities
- Better inventory reconciliation and analysis
- Better financial analysis
- Single version of the truth
Since 1985, McCloskey International has established a worldwide reputation for high performance screening, crushing and washing system products for industries that include aggregates, landscaping, infrastructure and road building, construction, demolition, mining, waste management and recycling.
From its headquarters in Ontario, Canada and secondary facility in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, McCloskey International manufactures a complete line of equipment including crushers, screeners, trommels and stacking conveyors.
In 2015, McCloskey International began a long-term partnership with Aspera Solutions when it engaged the company to implement Epicor ERP for finance, distribution and management.
In early 2020, when McCloskey’s learnt of the partnership between Phocas and Epicor for its Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) solution, it engaged Aspera to support an EDA implementation because of limitations with its existing Power BI dashboards.
Speaking on this, Graeme Donaghy, Finance Director with McCloskey International commented,
“Epicor ERP is a hugely powerful piece of software that has increased our business productivity because it provides a wealth of real-time data about our operations, finance and sales. But we needed a solution that would help us consume that data in a way that was actionable – that’s where EDA came in”.
NEW CUSTOMER, NEW CHALLENGE
Epicor Data Analytics’ (EDA) was specifically designed by Phocas Software as a best-in-class business intelligence solution on the Phocas platform.
When McCloskey’s bought the solution in 2020, Phocus’ EDA implementations numbered 400+ globally, but that didn’t mean that the implementation within McCloskey’s was smooth and painless. Phocas quickly came to realise that every new customer delivers an opportunity to learn and grow!.
According to Donaghy, “The beauty of EDA is that it pulls whatever data is important to you from Epicor and repurposes that data into a customisable visualisation of the data most relevant to your role, needs and priorities. We were impressed by the customisable dashboards, the visual representation of key data and the ease of generating reports, but implementation of the solution wasn’t all plain sailing”.
“We thought that because EDA was specifically made for Epicor, that its implementation would be quick and seamless, but that wasn’t the case. We had nominal ledger processes and reporting requirements that Phocas hadn’t come across before and that led to some difficult conversations and frustrating delays. Thankfully we had Aspera Solutions to act as a go-between and voice of reason. Without their involvement we might have walked away from the project altogether!”.
Speaking on this, Pat Walsh Operations Manager with Aspera Solutions commented, “As McCloskey’s Epicor ERP partner it’s our job to oversee and offer council on anything that impacts the value Epicor is delivering. Sometimes this means that we advise the customer to change their processes, on other occasions the software has to be customised to mould to the customer’s requirements – and that was the case with the Phocas EDA solution. Aspera acted as the bridge between what was practical and what was possible, with the result being that McCloskey’s has a tailor-made EDA solution that addresses their specific requirements”.
Once the three parties (McCloskey’s, Phocas & Aspera Solutions) developed a solution for the nominal accounts issue, the project gathered steam and went live in Q1 2020. Key lessons learnt during this process include:
- A Scope Of Work document, detailing what the customer is trying to achieve and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) is imperative.
- Stake holders should be realistic about what is achievable with an ‘out of the box’ solution. Frequently, the nuances and procedures that evolve within every company mean that ‘out of the box’ solutions inevitably require tweaking.
- Onsite technical capabilities expedite process and go-live.
- Project management (from a third party like Aspera Solutions) is essential for making sure that progress is on track and issues are dealt with.
One year on, both management and everyday users at McCloskey International are extremely happy with the impact of the solution. Especially the depth of information available, the reports being generated, and EDA’s impact on sales and operational insights.
The company is currently using EDA for inventory analysis, and to analyse its success by customer, territory, margin & product line – with one member of the team referring to the solution as his “bible!”.
Senior management use the system to slice and dice data information whatever way they need it. Combining correct, timely data into visual reports across and within regions, drilling down into sales, and illustrating customer insights.
According to Donaghy, “the system gives us a depth of information that we’ve never had before and it’s really proving beneficial to the company as a whole. For example, we can quickly get reports telling us the margin we’re making on any given customer, which has been really insightful. Because data is brought to life through EDA, it’s easier to take action and make decisions that positively impact the business”.
Data visualisation is helping McCloskey’s understand its customers more, identify trends and plan resources, which is invaluable.
What’s Next for EDA in McCloskey’s?
In phase 2 of the project, McCloskey’s will look to extend EDA use within the sales team and expand the solution to provide the same impact for marketing and finance, including purchasing and production.
In time, McCloskey’s can see every aspect of the business gaining from the correct, timely, actionable data that is visualised through EDA and specifically tailored to their roles and KPI’s.
“We’ve come a long way in our partnership with Aspera Solutions & Phocas. Thanks to EDA, decisions are happening quicker and insights are driving better customer interactions. I knew that our implementation of EDA was a success when I heard one of the team refer to it as his ‘bible!’. When that happens, you know you’re doing something right!”