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EstesGroup chosen as a finalist as Best Tech Company 2016

EstesGroup chosen as a finalist as Best Tech Company 2016

EstesGroup is honored to be chosen as a finalist for the Colorado Technology Association’s “Company of the Year” award.

EstesGroup has been serving national and international clients through Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation since 2004. Headquartered in Loveland, Colo., our company serves clients ranging from manufacturing, distribution, retail, financial services and professional service industries.

Rather than a cookie-cutter, one-size fits all approach, our software and business process specialists recognize that each organization needs individualized attention. We have a strong team of professionals who are trained in NetSuite, Epicor, and IQMS ERP practices. Our experts focus on your business process and what makes your core competencies unique to your organization. From there, we fit the ERP to meet the requirements of your business, making sure any changes are tested in order to prevent anything from falling through the cracks. Our clients have been extremely happy with our work, with several reporting high ROI and improved, streamlined systems. One client who utilized our ERP implementation saw a growth of over 30 million dollars in just two years, without any additional personnel.

According to the APEX Awards, the winner of the Best Company award shows “profitability from sales of its products and services, strong financial growth or return on investment for its investors and shareholders, and technical innovation and concrete examples of how it is meeting a need in the marketplace.” Companies must also show corporate responsibility by being a strong leader in the community.

Since 2001, the APEX Awards have recognized Colorado in technology excellence through nominations for Company of the Year, Startup of the Year, and Project of the year, along with a host of individual awards. Founded in 1994, the Colorado Technology Association is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing the technology industry in Colorado.

For more information, please call 1.888.300.2340 and join our conversation on Twitter and LinkedIN.

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Venn in the Art of Systems Implementation: Company-Package Alignment

Venn in the Art of Systems Implementation: Company-Package Alignment

Contemporary systems theories frequently explain application implementations using the paradigm of structures. A structure can be thought of as a pattern of behavior implicitly used to govern a business process, be it system-driven or manual in nature. From the structuralist perspective, an organization consists of multiple overlapping structures, which guide the way it does business. An ERP system similarly consists of structures, which guide its functionality. ERP implementation strategy thus constitutes a situation in which the structures inherent in an organization’s business process need to be brought into harmony with the structures provided by the implemented package. The familiar Venn diagram is helpful in representing the challenge of integrating or “overlapping” enterprise package-embedded structures and company structures:

Venn in the Art of Systems Implementation: Company-Package Alignment

Adapted from Soh and Sia, 2005

Ideally when implementing the system, a perfect overlap can be identified between the ERP structure and the company structure—that is, the capabilities of the system perfectly address the business requirements of the implementing company. Using the Venn diagram, this would be depicted by the two structure-circles perfectly overlapping. In reality, this rarely occurs—even when the best possible system is selected for a given implementation, misalignments between company structures and package-embedded structures inevitably occur. Veteran project managers do not panic when misalignments are identified, as they understand this inevitability. The goal of an ERP implementation strategy is to maximize the overlap between the company and the package, understanding that misalignments will occur.

Venn in the Art of Systems Implementation: Company-Package Alignment

Adapted from Soh and Sia, 2005

Given the inevitability of misalignments between ERP structure and company structure, it comes as no surprise that successful implementation projects surface misalignments early, and identify them clearly. Once identified, work can begin to resolve the misalignments and “close the gaps.” According to some theorists, organizations have one of two options when closing the gaps created by structural misfits: organizational adaptation or package modification.

venn erp implementation pic3

Adapted from Soh and Sia, 2005.

As part of an Epicor ERP implementation strategy, organizational adaptation may involve additional prototyping with the system’s standard configuration and master file settings, in order to identify alternative means of addressing the businesses requirements. It may also involve the creation of manual processes or “workarounds” to address business needs. Within an Epicor context, package modification may involve the creation of custom queries, dashboards or reports to address information requirements, or the customization of a given form to allow the entry of custom data fields. It also may involve the use of BPM’s to provide specific validation or automation functionality. It may further involve a Service Connect workflow to interface with an external payroll or Engineering system. Quite often, addressing misalignments between ERP structure and company structure involves a combination of configuration, workarounds, and customization. The overall goal of these activities is to minimize the degree of customization required while supporting the company’s strategic core competencies.

As we’ve noted, misalignments between ERP structure and company structure are a normal and expected occurrence in the course of implementing an enterprise system. Not surprisingly, successful projects are often defined not by the presence of misalignments, but by the project team’s reaction to them. When companies plan for misalignments as part of a normal implementation, they can focus on closing the gaps, without sending the company into a panic when they surface. In doing to, they improve their chances of successful implementation, and optimally using the package they’ve implemented.

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Epicor Multi-Site & Multi-Company: More than Just Turning the Dials

Epicor Multi-Site & Multi-Company: More than Just Turning the Dials

While many small, single-facility companies find Epicor’s ERP offerings to be an appropriate fit for their businesses, Epicor offers extensive capabilities to larger companies seeking to implement across multiple locations or divisions.  Epicor’s multi-site module allows customers with multiple geographically-dispersed facilities to configure individual sites to manage the activities in each facility.  For customers who consist of multiple independent business units, each with their own financials, Epicor offers the ability to define individual companies for each business unit.

While these capabilities are fine in themselves, it sometimes occurs that Epicor’s multi-site and multi-company capabilities are interpreted as mere matters of licensing and configuration—of purchasing the additional licensing and configuring the additional companies and sites to run the various entities within the business.  This sounds simple enough, but focusing exclusively on licensing and configuration can be problematic for a number of reasons. Firstly, Epicor provides various opportunities for collaboration between business entities that allow companies the ability to design new processes that cross traditional business boundaries in new ways.  To ignore these capabilities would be on par with buying a dune buggy only to park it in the driveway.  Secondly, implementing across multiple companies and/or sites introduces many complicating factors to an implementation project, which may be unapparent at the project’s onset.   These factors can exponentially complicate implementations, if left unmitigated and need to be incorporated in to the implementation plan.

Epicor’s multi-site module offers many more capabilities that allow large or geographically dispersed companies to streamline their processes across disparate locations.  As companies seek to structure their organizations for future success, implementations become opportunities for reengineering.  In such cases, implementation projects can become complicated, as business process decisions and project implementation decisions supersede system configuration.  Some of the decisions that companies encounter might include the following:

  • Does the company intend to go live on Epicor with all companies/sites at the same time or is the preference to implement in a staggered sequence?
  • What level of process consistency does the company intend to have between sites or companies?
  • As part of the implementation, are there processes that the company intends to centralize across plants or companies?
  • Are there internal supplier-customer relationships that you wish to leverage between plants or companies?

Answering these questions is no simple matter—it takes a combination of business acumen, project management experience, and Epicor knowledge.  EstesGroup offers implementation methodologies tailored to different approaches—be it a staggered implementation (one site-at-a-time), or a big bang (all sites concurrently).  EstesGroup also offers business process management methodologies to cater to various centralized or decentralized management approaches.

EstesGroup also offers a pool of experienced consultants and project managers, well-versed in large corporate implementations across multiple sites and companies.  Not only can we help you set up your system to run smoothly—we can help you develop a business process management strategy that leverages best practices and process excellence across multiple locations, while working these decisions into the implementation plan, so you can set up your company for the future on-time and on-budget.

Download Our Epicor 10.1 Out Of The Box Tools Video Series and contact us to make your business run better!