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Is It Time To Upgrade Your Epicor ERP ? We can help. | EstesGroup Epicor Partner

Ben Nixon, Vice President of the Enterprise Technology with the EstesGroup.

Here is what you need to know before you upgrade your Epicor ERP database.

I’m going talk to you a few moments about upgrading your Epicor database. You know, everyone wants to upgrade. You’ve got many people coming to you, telling you they can help you upgrade. Give Estes a call. We can help you. You have many considerations. This is not as simple as, “Push a button, and you’re upgraded.” This is not as simple as, “Put it in. No testing, no training, and walk away.” Let Estes help make your move efficient and safe.

Give EstesGroup a call at1-888-300-2340 to help you implement a safe database Epicor ERP Upgrade.

We can help you. There are many things to consider before you upgrade. This is not as simple as, “Push a button, and you’re upgraded.” This is not as simple as, “Put it in. No testing, no training, and walk away.” Let EstesGroup help make your move efficient and safe.

Upgrades fail for a variety of reasons; Lack of planning, Lack of testing. Failure to recognize changes required, No verification of data. Too often I see a customer upgrade and then before frustrated for a variety of the previous reasons. What is the impact on your business if the Epicor system is not functional or performing as it should?

You are moving forward with technology, let Estes help you embrace it and before more efficient.

Don’t take your business down. We can help you consider: Now is the time to possibly reimplement. Is now the time to virtualize? Is your hardware out of date? You know, Microsoft Server 2000 went out of date in July of 2015. If you’re still running on that, you’re walking in a danger zone. Let us help you decide if an upgrade is right and how to do it.

We have many choices for you.

We can help you, guide you as far as any services you need for ERP software training and consulting. Give usa call for a free 30-minute consultation. Thank you.

Estesgroup is a 100% Certified Authorized Partner with Epicor ERP.

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!

Baseball America’s Pastime and the ERP Business

Baseball America’s Pastime and the ERP Business

The season is in full swing and I can’t help but compare the ERP business to America’s pastime.

Baseball isn’t always the most exciting thing to watch unless you’re a die-hard fan. Working on your ERP in many ways is the same … Unless you’re in it for your career it’s just not as alluring from the stands, but both are magical when everything is clicking.Baseball, while a team sport, always sets people apart in individual settings. It’s just the pitcher against the batter and when he makes contact the focus quickly shifts to the player that has to make the play. In ERP the same happens. The focus is intense on processes but can

very quickly shift in a moments notice. ERP teams have to work together to cover all of the holes and are always looking to minimize risk. Sometimes the pitcher just doesn’t have his best stuff and the manager has to get the crook out and yank him. Project team members can have the same struggles and quick moves can save the game and it doesn’t mean that they’re getting shipped back to the minors.
Implementing ERP is an intense job for all involved. A strong manager is required on both sides to make the game memorable. Who do you want running the show? What version of the game do you want to be a part of? Good balance and solid teamwork is infectious and makes everyone play to a higher level. Bring a sports mind into your next ERP meeting and see if you notice a difference.

Simplify Technology, Improve Operations, and Gain Efficiencies…

Download our “Get Ready For Your Epicor 10 Upgrade” Worksheet.

Vice President, Professional Services
[email protected]
Direct: 941.302.6510

Peak Methodology Cliff Notes | Estes Group | Matt Thompson

Hey, everybody, Matt Thompson here with the Estes Group and going to run you through just the Cliff Notes version of what peak methodology is, how we approach it and why it’s good for projects.

So what is our approach to Peak Methodology?

It’s made up of really a best practice model that consists of three different things, number one being our methodology itself which is a five-stage methodology made up of prepare, educate, architect, validate and stabilize. It’s a hybrid methodology that brings in some traditional waterfall, breaks into some agile methodologies where we sprint things out and then we go back into that traditional waterfall for the validate and stabilize.

We also incorporate that in with a lot of fact finding and understanding that rolls into your statement of work, and we couple all of that experience that comes at you from not only years of experiences of our own folks and our own team and Estes Group itself, but also thousands and thousands of projects that are backed by Epicore and our certification that we have with them.

So how do we break that down?

Prepare, we want to establish that project scope. We want to really get the understanding of our schedule and resources on both internal and external, and all of that comes out and culminates through the project plan development. We use an online project planning tool so that you have full visibility to that any time, real time, all the time.

All of that comes out through our best practice reviews. So what we do is we engage with you guys, we come out, we take a really good look at the business, we go through some in-depth workshops and we come out of that understanding what the scope of the project needs to be, what are the key processes, the Achilles’ heels that we are going to see for your business, for your project, because every single one is different, so we attack it in that way.

Then we go into education. Key thing here, core module education. We’re level setting vocabulary. Consultants tend to speak Klingon and clients tend to have their very own language that they’d developed over the years, so we need to level set that so that we can have good, beneficial, architectural conversations coming up.

So here’s where we then break in and we do the architecture prototyping of your project, and this is where we take that spin and we go into agile. So we break that down towards nice and neat monthly springs. So every month you go through the exact same processes as you did the month prior, so you know you’re going to be launching a spring. You’re going to be working through data migration for the activities within that sprint, and you’re going to be finalizing processes by the end of the month for that sprint, and anything else that shakes out of that is coming out into a development track on the side, might need customization, custom reports, dashboards, those kinds of things, right?

So the idea here is though is it creates consistency, repeatability and a really clear understanding of exactly how you’re going to take all of those bites out of that whale of an ERP project. We document all of those results through workflow in the EUPs, so if you use Exall  and EKM, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about there for those tools. Otherwise, we have some other tools available through different Excel templates called biostream scripts  and those kinds of things and those kinds of things and then EUP templates to make sure you’re documenting every last procedure. Click here, save here, do what you need to do there and then go. Key is you’re go live ready at the end of this stage.

So then we break that down and we go into validate. We want to make sure that you’re doing a full dress rehearsal here. That includes a cutover process. That’s different than a lot of other folks in how they approach it out there, so make sure you understand how you’re going to prove that you are ready for go live and proving it is the most important step, because if you don’t and you try to just go live, never seen one of those be successful, right? So make sure you go through… you do the dress rehearsal, you know what’s going to happen and then odds are for go live day, you’re going to be really prepared for what might happen.

So when you do all that it just goes right into stabilizing. So it should be a very natural cutover and transition at that stage of the game. You have final training that needs to be caught up. You go live. You stabilize the system where we’re monitoring, we’re helping, any of the little things that pop up here and there, we’re helping troubleshoot and triage, but very typically at this stage of the game it gets to be pretty light.

So Estes Group is tailing off drastically at this stage of the game. You guys are ramping up, and you’re starting to see that ROI because money is not going out the door; you’re using the system now for good information on what you’re doing.

So with that, start a conversation with us. Love to hear from you. Love to hear what your thoughts are on the methodology and what you just saw here today. There is a longer version of this out there so if you want to hear in more detail and more of what my thoughts are on the project methodology, by all means take a look at that video, go on to our YouTube channel and you’ll be able to find that.

You’ll also find it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and start conversations with us. You can hit us up on any of those three at any point in time. I pretty well monitor them real time and as well hit us on our website. Ask an expert comes directly into my inbox. I’ll be glad to talk you with you about any of your questions you may have and then as well [email protected] is monitored by several of us here, and any one of us will be happy to get back to you as quick as we can. Thank you guys very much. Looking forward to the next one.

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The Devil is in the Details

The Devil is in the Details

Manufacturing excellence is achieved by paying attention to the smallest detail.

When I was working in the shop we had an owner with a manufacturing management strategy that was obsessed with understanding and tracking each detail of the manufacturing process as well as making sure his employees were equally passionate about providing the detail needed for manufacturing excellence.
the devil is in the details estesgroup manufacturing blogThis started with the part quoting process that our shop received from our customers and prospects.  He insisted that his engineers/estimators provide all the detail related to what they would estimate it would take to manufacturer the part (i.e. each operation set-up/run time; w/work center, special comments, subassemblies with every nut/bolt/raw material, any outside processes; including the intended vendor that they were going to use for the OSV process, etc., etc.).  Of course the push back from the engineers/estimators on this manufacturing management strategy was this would take too much time; based on the number of quotes they were asked to get out as well as the percentage of quotes they received actual orders for. The owners response was always the same, do the detailed work now when you’re quoting the part, so when we get the order (which might be in 2 to 6 months after the quote was completed) no one would have to guess what their thought process was to arrive at the price they gave the customer/prospect.  The added bonus of breaking down the manufacturing process in detail during the quote process was you could then take an “Order Entry” person (using the Epicor Vantage, 9 or 10 system for ERP manufacturing solutions) have them create the order, link it to the quote and pull the manufacturing detail from the quote into the job so production could review it, change it if necessary, schedule it and create the shop paperwork. This was a highly efficient ERP manufacturing solution process to get work out to the shop in a timely manner.

With all the detail instructions now in the shop (via a Shop Traveler) for the production worker to understand specifically what they needed to manufacture (Vs having to review/interpret a part blue-print), they knew:

  1. The Date on when they need to start the part/job to get it out on time to meet the customer’s requested delivery date(s).
  2. What Material(s) (raw, finished, etc.) they need to pull from stock to make the part.
  3. What Operations they need to report their time against to make the part; as well as the machine/work area with estimated set-up/run times for each operation.
  4. The specific Quantity they had to make.

Any Outside Subcontract work necessary and where in the manufacturing process it needed to done.

Mistakes in manufacturing, as most business, is due to a lack of communication on the details of what’s needed to be done to deliver the product and or service.  In manufacturing the true value of providing the detail from the start of the quoting process through the reporting of actual time, materials, costs against the manufacturing process of the part is that it provides management the ultimate reason for why they purchased the Epicor 9 or 10 ERP system.  That is knowing what parts, type of work and customers they’re most profitable working on.  As soon as you know that information as a manufacturer you can guide your business to getting more of that work as well as get rid of the unprofitable customers/no margin work.

The manufacturing shop I worked at knew this information from their analysis of the Completed Job Report and Part History Report (which are standard reports in ERP manufacturing solutions provided in the Epicor Vantage, 9 and 10 systems). They used this information to implement a successful manufacturing management strategy and grow their business 10 fold in 5 years.

If your company would like to better understand the importance of the information (or lack of accurate information) on the Completed Job Report and/or Part History Report, let EstesGroup’s ERP manufacturing solutions share with you our experience in manufacturing management strategy and how to interpret this information to ensure the future success of your business in good/bad times.

Hint, the “Devil is in the Detail”.

Simplify Technology, Improve Operations, and Gain Efficiencies with Epicor ERP for Manufacturing.

Download our “Get Ready For Your Epicor 10 Upgrade” Worksheet.