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Epicor Functionality in the Admin Console, Unwrapped

Epicor Functionality in the Admin Console, Unwrapped

New User Access, New E10 Functionality

 

Managing the Epicor functionality available to the user community is one key role of an Epicor Administrator.  In this light, it’s not uncommon for customers using the Epicor application to continue to add new modules.  An understanding of Epicor 10’s functionality develops over time, as administrators and users learn the full capabilities of E10 and how ERP can help run a business.  Once new E10 modules are licensed, and once the license is installed, users will need to have an administrator enable access through the Epicor Admin Console in order to allow users to make use of this new Epicor functionality.

 

Let’s walk through the steps you need to know to effectively manage newly installed Epicor modules.

 

In order to enable a new module, you will first need to be logged into the application server, which is the box where your Epicor application is installed.

 

Once on the application server, open the “Epicor Administration Console”:

 

 

Once the Epicor Admin Console is open, perform the following steps to enable the desired module:

  • Open the “Server Management” node in the left tree view and locate the Epicor instance in which you wish to enable the new module.  In the example below, it is the “Demo” instance.
  • Open up the E10 instance node and click on the “Licensing” node beneath it—this will display the license file in the panel to the right of the tree view.
  • Double-click the license file.  This will raise a little properties window.
  • Navigate to the “Modules” tab.  Sort by module name and locate the module you wish to enable.  Check the “Enabled” box to enable the module in question.
  • Click the “OK” button to commit the change:

Once that is accomplished, a user who has just logged into the Epicor application should see the new module available in the menu:

 

 

If your team is making suboptimal use of your Epicor application, you can easily enable some new functionality through the Epicor Admin Console, and they’ll be licensed to thrive.  There are several ancillary modules that can help extend the benefits of the Epicor application throughout your business.  Epicor has plenty of goodies in the basket.  The Epicor Admin Console is the tool for unwrapping these bonbons, enabling delectable Epicor functionality.  Bonbon appétit!

 

 

Not sure what specific Epicor functionality to enable?  EstesGroup specializes in Epicor ERP, and our consultants can help your users make the most of your Epicor License.

 

 

 

Are you interested in some more Epicor traps and taps?  Download our “12 Days of ECHO” guide for the Epicor Administrator here.

Epicor Optimization Success for Remote Teams

Epicor Optimization Success for Remote Teams

Rock the House by Refining Your Epicor Application

 

After completing an implementation, you can continue fine-tuning your processes to gain maximum return on investment through Epicor optimization.  If your team is working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the temptation might be to stall ERP optimization (Phase 2) steps.  Such delay has been the pattern among Epicor customers over the years.  But home can be the ideal environment for managing these Phase 2 actions.  Epicor optimization activities that improve the utility of your Epicor application can be accomplished via remote work.

 

ERP Optimization

 

 

Improve While in the Home Office Groove

 

By necessity, companies implement ERP with an initial push for the system’s essentials, as to go live in a timely manner with the intention of circling back and further elaborating on the ERP application as time allows.  When implementing Epicor as a customer, I once had a teammate bemoan this delay in the implementation of a certain element of functionality: “If we push it to Phase 2, it’ll never happen!”  The functionality was, to his dismay, postponed until after cutover.

 

His concern was not unfounded: Epicor ERP implementation Phase 2 activities frequently get set aside in lieu of the daily grind.

 

You might similarly worry that if you push tasks to Phase 2, they’ll never happen.  This is a good reason to be proactive in your Epicor optimization.  The remote organizational structures necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 give you time to focus on process improvement, leading you toward improved on-site ERP functionality in the future.  Remote Epicor ERP optimization allows for time to be spent knocking off Phase 2 projects that will help you make better use of your application.

 

Let’s look at some of the optimization steps that your ERP team can do from home:

  • Data Cleansing: It’s not uncommon for a company to look back at its data and note the places where data discipline has been found wanting or where additional data could be updated to improve downstream processes.  Use remote ERP team time to query the data out of your system, massage it in Excel, and run updates through Epicor’s Data Management Tool (DMT).  DMT is a great tool when it comes to data cleansing—use it to your advantage.
  • Improving visibility across the enterprise: This is a great time to improve visibility to processes and data throughout the organization.  This is necessary in any organization, but even more so when the workforce is distributed.  Dashboards provide the simple kind of visibility that streamlines business processes and improves communication across your company.  But dashboards take a certain amount of quiet time to work through the underlying queries and predict how users might look to access the data.  Remote work gives your team those quiet hours.  Similarly, a well-done SSRS report can save time and effort, and remote work assignments to create these reports can help bridge communication gaps.
  • Enhancing existing modules: It’s not uncommon for customers to buy more functionality than they actually use at cutover.  Each functional area within an organization likely has some application capabilities that have gone underutilized, and Epicor optimization often begins with revisiting usage. You can also introduce or refine existing supplier and customer price lists, or even dust off the Buyer’s Workbench or the Fulfillment Workbench and put them to use in relating supply and demand.
  • Implementing new modules: Beyond utilizing existing licenses, some customers may take this time to implement new modules entirely.  Case Entry and Field Service are customer-facing modules that often get pushed to Phase 2 and are comparatively easy to do when implemented on top of an existing system configuration.  Project Entry is another module that can provide benefits when implemented on top of a live system.  Similarly, a customer looking to implement product configurator, to further enhance order entry and engineering processes, recently reached out to me, and remote consulting was a good way to address this Epicor optimization step.
  • Bullet-Proofing: Once a company is live, a number of places where processes can be tightened up always surface, such as missing steps or missing data that can create downstream troubles.  Optimization of your Epicor application can be remotely organized to help with tightening up or bullet-proofing existing processes.  Extended properties are a simple way to make fields mandatory or read-only, which may be of use in a given situation.  Similarly, a few well-placed BPMs can assist in providing extra validation or automation as needed. Cumulatively, these simple fixes go a long way in standardizing a given process.

Do More Than Float While Working Remote

 

Even if you’ve always used on-site consulting for your ERP implementation, you can, with a simple click into a web conferencing tool, have an expert consultant helping you with your Epicor optimization.  Sure, face-to-face meetings can be the ideal way for you to manage your team, and we’re all excited to eventually get our projects back in the office, but many Epicor ERP optimization project activities can be completed through remote consulting.

 

Looking for ways to use remote work time to improve your existing Epicor ERP implementation?  In addition to Managed IT, Epicor ERP, Prophet 21 and CyberSecurity services, EstesGroup also specializes in providing remote consulting assistance.  We’ve been working remotely with customers for years, providing the necessary assistance to knock off optimization tasks that help companies make better use of their Epicor application.

 

 

 

Learn a few more ways to use remote consulting to boost your team’s performance by checking out our blog on COVID-19 Remote Consulting Strategies in Epicor ERP.

COVID-19 Remote Work Support: Message from CEO Bruce Grant

COVID-19 Remote Work Support: Message from CEO Bruce Grant

COVID-19 Remote Work Support: Message From EstesGroup

Dear Clients, Partners & Friends– 

I wanted to share an update on what EstesGroup is doing today to keep our community safe and our delivery services moving forward, as well as specific steps we are taking to continue to deliver the solutions your business relies on.  I encourage you to regularly check our website, which contains the latest operational updates and links to additional information on specific events.  We will also be reaching out individually to clients and partners over the next several days.

 

EstesGroup Continuity and Wellness Activities Update

 

Remote Work Tests
As part of our ongoing preparedness with respect to the COVID-19 spread, we are activating business continuity plans to continually test various teams’ remote work capabilities. This is done to ensure we maintain service levels and resolution times, regardless of where our teams are physically located.  We were founded as a remote-work company, and we have refined our tools and procedures over the past 16 years of operations.  As such, we feel confident that we can continue to deliver the exceptional remote service you have come to depend on from EstesGroup.

 

Limited Travel
In line with CDC recommendations, we have decided to limit much of our team’s travel schedules. Our teams are ready and able to conduct most of our delivery work virtually, as they have for many years. While we’ll miss our face time, we feel this is the right choice to support the health of everyone.

 

Remote Delivery Enablement
Some of our clients have asked for assistance in preparing their teams for better remote and home-based work, including security, access, backup, and remote connectivity.  We welcome any questions you may have or assistance you may require in helping to make your remote working environments as efficient and effective as possible.

 

Health and Safety
Finally, the health and safety of our colleagues, their families, and our communities are the highest priority. We continue to encourage everyone to follow the preventive measures recommended by the CDC to stay healthy and slow the spread of the virus, including:

  • Clean your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home if you feel ill

EstesGroup is well-positioned and prepared to work through this pandemic. Although we feel our plan is good for our partners, our colleagues, and our community, confusion may arise as we move through this situation. We ask for your patience as the situation progresses.  Please feel free to reach out at any time with questions or concerns.

 

As always, stay safe and healthy, 

Bruce Grant / CEO
970.372.4526 office
703.624.2759 mobile
[email protected]   
www.estesgrp.com

Manufacturers are in Love with Epicor ERP

Manufacturers are in Love with Epicor ERP

ERP!  ERP!  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!

 

I’ve often remarked that the best way to get a company to fall in love with their legacy ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system is to implement a new one.  When I was a customer, we moved from one of Baan’s flagship products to Epicor’s Vantage 803.  ERP implementation is an exercise in nostalgia…  With uh or ah or awe, does anyone out there remember Baan, or Vantage, for that matter?

 

I do remember the end user community at cutover:  “Well, back in the Baan days we could do this, and we could that, and oh, I miss the Baan days…”— Folks who had never had a good thing to say about their enterprise system were suddenly swooning over it, now that it was on the outs.

 

Having heard nothing but complaints about our legacy ERP up until cutover, I didn’t know what to tell them.  At a loss for words, I found myself quoting Lord Alfred Tennyson: “’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

 

I soon discovered that most end users in your average manufacturing company are not especially fond of nineteenth century British Romanticism, especially at cutover weekend.

 

Most companies don’t exactly love their ERP systems, even in a friendlies sort of way.  I knew one fellow who had the source code of his ERP heavily modified to suit his exact needs.  Of course, he loved his ERP—every time he used it, he was looking in a mirror.

 

For the rest of us, ERP is more like finding a roommate rather than a soulmate.

 

Even still, there are a lot of things about Epicor ERP’s Epicor 10 platform that can spur admiration—even affection.  Last year, I wrote an article about Epicor’s E10 platform, looking to answer the question: “what’s it good for anyway?” It turns out that E10 is good for a lot of things:

 

In this series, we will further expound on the core capabilities mentioned above, and work to explain how these capabilities distinguish Epicor E10 from its competitors.

 

What’s it good for anyway?

 

Companies in the midst of a software selection cycle are looking for things to love about a given system—things that will differentiate an ERP system from its competitors and that will ultimately help raise the business to greater levels of performance.  With the New Year moving right along and Valentine’s Day on the horizon, are you ready to love your ERP in 2020 style?   Whether you’re looking for some new Epicor E10 roomies or looking for someone to draw hearts around a new flame of a system, the EstesGroup team is ready to help you love the ERP you’re with.

Interested in learning more about Epicor ERP 10 and how it improves manufacturing companies?

Download our Epicor ERP Manufacturer’s Packet.

Epicor ERP Multi-Level Pegging & Supply Chain Management

Epicor ERP Multi-Level Pegging & Supply Chain Management

Blessings and Curses of Supply Chain Inventory

 

Inventory. That word can hold a lot of different meanings for manufacturing companies. Production Personnel see it as the ingredients for making their products. Supply Chain Professionals base much of their career on it. Accountants see it a major corporate cost. Executives see it as both an expense and potential sales.

 

All of these views are correct and each hold merit. Without inventory, parts can’t be built. Without parts to sell, companies can’t grow. As Inventory can represent a significant expense, managing these costs efficiently can increase the bottom line and offer significant competitive advantages.

 

The key to an optimized inventory is only buying what you need, when you need it. While simple in concept, the execution can be very, very difficult. For those manufacturing companies that manufacture products with a deep Bill of Material, managing the what and when of raw materials can become a monumental undertaking.

 

It is that very example that Epicor can provide a powerful tool with their Multi-Level Pegging Process. Going beyond just looking at the material demands of the top-level assembly, the multi-level pegging process will calculate the material needs of all of the indented bill-of-materials on a job. Have a part that takes a manufactured sub-assembly, and that sub-assembly takes another sub-assembly to make it? The Multi-level pegging process will capture all of those materials demands. And Epicor displays all the pertinent information regarding those materials on their built-in Multi-level Pegging Dashboard.

 

Strategic information such as the quantities needed, and material status is provided in an easy to read format. Additional details such as is the material currently available, is it on order, or has a  been generated are also displayed.

For those companies wishing to optimize their inventory, having the materials at the right quantities at the right time, the Epicor Multi-Level Pegging process provides a powerful tool for manufacturing and material professionals to achieve that lofty goal.

 

This functionality is only part of what the Multi-Level Pegging process can do for your company.

 

Do you have questions about Multi-Level Pegging and Supply Chain Management? Let us know, Contact Us Today.

Epicor ERP is a complex software and at the heart of the application is Part Setup.

Is your Epicor ERP designed with Part Setup Methods and Manufacturing Best Practices in mind?

Find out by downloading the Parts Setup Best Practices PDF today.

In-House Hosting vs. Cloud Based Hosting

In-House Hosting vs. Cloud Based Hosting

If you’ve recently decided to implement an ERP system like Epicor ERP at your company, you have a couple of options for where to deploy the system. You can either have it hosted on your in-house server or it can be hosted on a cloud server. Here is a look at each of these options.

 

In-House Servers

In-house servers are a more traditional route to providing the software your team needs to get its job done. The server is physically located at your place of business. Some of the reasons why this is still the best answer for many companies include:

  • You maintain complete control of the server. You are not reliant on the cloud for your security, but rather are able to find a custom solution to handle your security needs on your own
  • You can upgrade your system any time you’d like without paying additional hosting fees
  • All of your critical data remains in-house, with no access by third-parties

Unfortunately, there are some downsides to in-house hosting as well, including:

  • A large upfront investment in hardware and infrastructure
  • Space for your server room is required, as well as IT support
  • You have no guarantees regarding uptime or the time it takes to recover your data
  • You are responsible for backing up your data and you may be more likely to suffer data loss if there is a disaster in your area

 

Hosted Cloud Servers

Hosted cloud services allow you the opportunity to have access to the same software you would use with an in-house server, yet the software is accessible in the cloud. The benefits of host-based cloud services include:

  • The ability for your staff to access files even when they’re out of the office. Cloud-based services are available anywhere where there is an internet connection
  • You avoid the stress and expense of maintaining an in-house server, including the expense of having IT staff
  • Your host provides security, a disaster recovery plan, and an uptime guarantee
  • Hosted cloud services are scalable, meaning you pay for the services you need, when you need them, rather than shelling out money for services you don’t need simply because they were available in your big-box solution
  • You can initiate backup and restore processes from anywhere. Data on the cloud can be backed up in intervals as short as every fifteen minutes, which minimizes the potential for data loss
  • Your host will provide upgrades when they become available, ensuring that you’re using the newest technology available

The downside to hosted cloud servers includes:

  • The inability to access your files if your internet is down
  • You must pay a monthly hosting fee for the service
  • You may be limited on the amount of data and files you can store due to storage availability and cost

 

Which is Better?

Which solution is best for you depends greatly on the size of your business, the potential for growth, and the industry you’re in. If you have limited funds for investing in IT staff or infrastructure, or you don’t want the stress of maintaining your own server, a hosted cloud server may be the ideal solution for you. However, if you wish to be in control of your server, or if you deal with a lot of sensitive information — such as customer health records or financial data — and don’t feel comfortable with allowing a third-party to access that information, you may fare better with hosted services in-house.

 

Conclusion

EstesGroup is pleased to provide expert assistance in determining whether your business is best served by hosted cloud services or hosted services on your in-house server. Contact us today so we can begin exploring your options with you.

 

Download our Epicor ERP On-Premise (In-House) vs Cloud Hosted Calculator by filling out the form.