Epicor ERP Configurator Questions…We Have Answers
Epicor’s Product Configurator is among its most enigmatic and elusive modules. Configurator has been diversely characterized and mischaracterized, as everything from the cure to all that ails you to the straw that broke the company’s back. This presents a daunting task for Epicor customers operating in engineer-to-order and configure-to-order environments, for there are a lot of answers and partial-answers out there, and getting to an answer specific to a given business is more easily said than done. Different companies, in different markets, have specific questions, and Epicor’s introductory materials tend to serve a general audience. Moreover, the experiences of customers from different industries and earlier versions of configurator may or may not apply to a company looking to implement or upgrade to the current Epicor release. The place of the customer within the Epicor implementation lifecycle also greatly affects their needs. For companies implementing Epicor for the first time in version 10.1, the questions may relate to the applicability of Epicor’s Product Configurator module to the company’s product offerings, or to the ease with which Product Configurator instances can be constructed and maintained. For companies moving from Vantage 8.03 or Epicor 9.05 versions, the questions may relate to the ease with which they can convert their configurators from Epicor’s older architecture to its new platform, and how to get their staff ready to maintain them, moving forward. Customers already in the heart of an implementation effort may just need someone to look over their shoulder and ensure that best practices are being followed, or even help expedite the configurator design and development.
For these reasons, The Estes Group tailors its Epicor ERP implementation services to meet the specific needs and circumstances of the client in question:
Configurator Upgrade Assessment: For existing Epicor customers considering the move from Vantage 803 or Epicor 905, but are concerned about the ramifications to their existing configurators, an assessment of their current use of Epicor’s Product Configurator module is often of great value. Estes’s consultants have configurator experience going back to Vantage 803 and moving forward into its current 10.1.600 release. Moreover, Estes’ consultants have experience uplifting and rebuilding configurators from earlier versions to Epicor’s current architecture, capturing the business requirements from the original versions, while leveraging Epicor’s new features, such as the expanded user interface, the elaborated method rule architecture its user-defined method capabilities and its highly-flexible configurator lookup table competencies. Such an assessment is most often a combination of remote and onsite effort, analyzing the existing solution and mapping its requirements to the Epicor 10 configurator.
New or existing customers often benefit from the traditional business process review (BPR) format, tailored to the areas affecting or affected by Epicor’s Configurator (quoting, order entry, planning, manufacturing). The goal of a Configurator BPR is to help the client understand whether Epicor’s Product Configurator module will address their business needs. It is common to incorporate a Business Process Review at the onset of an upgrade assessment when working with existing Epicor customers. These events normally extend from a few days to a week in duration, depending primarily on the size and complexity of the business and follow a detailed agenda, designed to explore the customer’s products and processes from multiple angles.
Epicor ERP Configurator Proof-Of-Concept:
For new customers in greater need of verification, or for customers looking to get a jump-start to their implementation, a Proof-Of-Concept activity (POC) is often the appropriate direction. Normally performed on the heels of a BPR, POC events involve a configurator and a production consultant working with the client team to develop a working prototype that can be processed through the quote-to-ship cycle, for purposes of business process prototyping and configurator verification. For companies in need of a definitive answer to specific questions, a Proof-Of-Concept activity is the most concrete way in which to provide them. And for companies struggling to gain project momentum, these events can be highly beneficial in gaining much-needed project traction.
Configurator Development Support: For customers in the midst of an Epicor implementation, but in need of some “extra muscle” in the area of Product Configurator, Estes offers trained consultants who can step in, roll up their sleeves, and immediately assist with design review, configurator development, and related system consulting. These activities can be performed remotely or onsite, based on customer need, and can vary in scope from a few remote hours a week, to an onsite intensive session, to ongoing engagement.