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.

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.

SMB’s Are Adopting ERP Technology – WHY?

 Small to midsized businesses (SMBs) face a number of challenges in todays marketplace.

Under pressure to remain competitive while cutting costs, SMBs adopt ERP systems to:

  1. diversify their business models,
  2. enable descriptive and predictive analytics, and
  3. improve supply chain operations.

Furthermore, SMBs have less tolerance for drawnout implementation projects and continuous ERP consulting spend to configure and adapt their systems. To address these challenges, ERP vendors invest in industryspecific ERP packages, selfservice tooling for extensibility and analytics, and solutions to support HR and Sales. As the footprint of an ERP system within an organisation grows, so too does the potential value and risk. SMBs must consider the hidden costs of an ERP system as part of their evaluation, such as data storage, customisation, training, and maintenance.

Read the full report from Isaac Gould of Nucleus Research 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.

Productivity Gains of 78% within a year of ERP Implementation

The Panorama Consulting Group has released its 2023 ERP Report, with interesting commentary on ERP and its key providers.

The report interviewed 183 companies (between November 2021 and August 2022), that have implemented an ERP system, and had at least one phase live at the time of interview.

Of note within the report:

  • 45% of the implementations had moderate customisation and 34% had no customisation – made possible due to minor configurations, and/or the choice of a tailored ERP solution (e.g. Epicor Kinetic for discrete or process manufacturers),
  • 90.9% of those interviewed realised inventory benefits within a year of implementation,
  • 77.7% realised productivity / efficiency gains within a year,
  • 63.9% realised labor/operations benefits within a year of implementation,
  • 76.2% realised better supplier interactions within a year,
  • 90% of respondents in manufacturing realised supply chain benefits, & finally
  • The top 3 reasons for project overruns were
  1. underestimating project staffing requirements (38%),
  2. scope creep (35%) and
  3. technical issues (34%)

Read the full report here

Epicor for Manufacturing Delivers 14.2% Higher Revenue & $2.90 Million in Annual Benefits – IDC Dec. 2022

Enhance your Business Value with Epicor Kinetic

3-year ROI of 373% (on average), & investment breakeven within 9 months
 

In September 2022, IDC spoke with manufacturing companies using Epicor Kinetic (Epicor for Manufacturing) to run their operations and businesses. These customers reported that Epicor for manufacturing delivers strong value, enabling more efficient and reliable manufacturing operations, and considerably improving business results.

Interviewed manufacturers attributed gaining the automation, integration and flexibility they require to operate efficiently, flexibly, and robustly to respond to business demand. They linked these gains to operational efficiencies such as streamlined manufacturing floor operations and lower operational costs, as well as improved business results such as higher revenue and improved margins. Taken together, these benefits have allowed interviewed manufacturers to capture significant value through their use of Epicor for Manufacturing, with IDC calculating that they will realise an average three-year ROI of 373% and break even on their Epicor investment in an average of nine months.

Key Quotes from the IDC report include:

  • IDC calculates that [manufacturing companies] will realise benefits worth an annual average of $2.90 million per organisation.”

     

  • “Epicor has enabled interviewed companies to increase their capacity significantly (34% on average), allowing them to better deliver their core products to existing customers as well as grow and expand their businesses.”

     

  • “Epicor has enabled interviewed companies to significantly improve their on-time delivery rate, allowing them to deliver in a timely fashion on 94% of orders, which is an increase of 39%. This improvement greatly increased customer satisfaction”.

  • “The study participants experience 63% fewer incidents that affect manufacturing availability and performance, and that when incidents do occur, they are resolved 17% faster. As a result, manufacturing line team members lose far less productive time — an average of 63% less — which translates to higher productivity for these teams worth an average of $150,700 per year per interviewed manufacturing company”.

     

  • Epicor users within the study “also reported an average supply chain productivity gain of 26%, reflecting their enhanced ability to navigate current challenges related to supply chain activities”.

     

  • “IDC calculates that interviewed Epicor customers complete an average of 38% more inventory turns annually and avoid lost business worth an average of $271,300 annually by having the right inventory to manufacture in ways responsive to actual customer demand.”

     

  • “Interviewed manufacturing companies attribute an average of $7.14 million in higher revenue to their use of Epicor for Manufacturing. This equates to an average of 14.2% higher revenue and shows the sizeable impact of Epicor on these organisations’ ability to move to address business demand and ensure customer satisfaction through the creation and delivery of high-quality and relevant products and goods.”

Red the full report here

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 2: BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL ERP BUSINESS CASE (2 of 3)

In this second instalment of “Building a Successful ERP Business Case in 3 Key Steps” we’re talking about CHAMPIONS. 

You won’t find details about wonder horses, Katie Taylor, or league finals here; but what you will find is advice on the type of person you should approach to be your ERP champion, and tips on how to rally them as an advocate for your project.

NOTE: If you missed part one of this blog series, you’ll find it here.  

In step one of this blog we spoke about the importance of completing the right kind of homework before putting your business case for an ERP project to 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. 

Now, lets move on to Step Two.

STEP 2: Gather Your Champions!

Someone told me once that they felt like Sisyphus when it came to getting their ERP project off the ground. They were forever trying to roll that project up the hill only to have it roll right back down again because senior management looked upon ERP as a costly technical issue, not a value driving company necessity.

So let’s be realistic,  you are never going to get sign off on a project if it is not championed by senior management, and I use the word ‘championed’ very deliberately.

Your project needs at least one advocate with decision making power, that will entice/cajole/demand that all the other key stakeholders are on board.

So, if you don’t already have a senior management ‘champion’, make it your business to identify (at least) one within your organisation and get them working on your behalf.

Get them on board by sharing your findings  (from step one).

  • Ask for their council on approaching other key stakeholders,
  • Decide what language would resonate with each decision maker,
  • Identify what pain points concern them most, and
  • work with them to sow the seeds of requirement within other departments.  

That way, when your proposal / business case comes before the decision committee, they’ll already know what value the project will deliver for them specifically, and they’ll be more open to the discussion.

Next, in Step 3, you’ll need to craft an ERP Project Case that sticks to the Be Bright, Be Brief, Be Gone theory of reporting!

Read more here.

 

Written by Leeann Matthews, June 2022