Review: "Epicor ERP 10 Considerations for Mid-Market Manufacturers considering the next ERP Solution"
- Epicor's user interface is easily customizable so that users can focus their main access screen to support just those functions that are relevant to their work day; helping to avoid menu clutter and confusion.
- Epicor advanced scheduling provides true drag and drop customizable dashboard with real-time updates to allow users to easily track jobs on the shop floor in an easy to understand Gantt-style (MS Project style) graphical interface.
- Epicor's customizable dashboards are also updateable, adding the ability for real-time collaboration and updates. From nearly every key field in Epicor, even on dashboards, the ability to drill down to source data is one "right click" away.
- Epicor reporting uses standard Microsoft SQL SSRS instead of 3rd party add-ins such as Crystal Reports. This improves speed significantly during report generation, and ensures a common platform for upgrades without concerns about rewriting reports to incompatible versions.
- Epicor has a "Google-like" search feature (Enterprise Search) that is top notch. It literally allows you to search on any key word in your data set and brings back relevant results in various groupings to make it simple to quickly get to the data you need. This is the favorite feature of new users.
- Epicor's costing features could use improvement. Although excellent in either a make to order or make to stock environment, Epicor has trade-offs when used in a mixed-mode environment. Of particular concern is when partial shipments are made during a production run without the job quantity being changed when closed short and a new job issued. Unless this is done, Epicor may under or over-cost early shipments and then "reconcile" this at job closing, resulting in erratic financial results on 2 shipments from the same job.
- Epicor's gross margin report stops updating with actual costs as soon as a "ship" transaction is created. For most companies this will not be an issue, however, in an environment where shipments may take place before all costs are in, this skews the margin reports greatly, resulting in much higher margins from the manufacturing reports than what can be expected on the financials. Fortunately, the production detail report will always be correct; however, there is no reason why the gross margin report can't be modified to include "ADJ-CST" transactions which would correct for this, however, by default, Epicor's standard margin report does not use this functionality.
- Epicor has great flexibility in screen customization, however, it isn't intuitive in making these changes, therefore, this feature set, which could significantly reduce data input times, goes mostly unused.
- Epicor has a built-in ability to generate quick queries, however, fails to take advantage of recent innovations in query development that would make it easier for novice users to generate their own results without IT help. With the advent of AI, this is a future improvement opportunity.
It is however, not for everyone. Competition in this sector is very good, with several mid-level systems being available at a similar price point. If you are considering adopting a new ERP system and are in the plastics space, you also owe it to yourself and your team to consider IQMS, which is becoming a de-facto standard in this segment. Also, for specific medical sectors, you will find that Epicor software validation for CFR Part 11 compliance can be quite costly-- although the software is capable of supporting this with modification.
Overall, Epicor is a solid choice. Ultimately, it will be up to your team to determine what works best for your needs. You won't be disappointed with Epicor if you do the due diligence and take the time needed to properly review and demo the product. Remember though, demos are typically "best case" staged, so be sure to throw several curveballs at your vendor and bring out the unique requirements of your business.
- Epicor has the best product configurator that I have seen on the market. This was one of the main reasons we went with Epicor, and have not been disappointed at all.
- Epicor is also one of the easiest ERP system to learn, and has many ways for users to get training. Epicor University, on-line courses, or class room settings, also user conference every year, and user support groups.
- The Enterprise search ability in Epicor is great, can find parts, customers, suppliers, etc. so easily. And if you can't remember where a report or task that you want to do is on the menu, you can search for that also.
- It is hard for me to think of something I don't like. However, the physical inventory process could be done better. It doesn't work for us as we use what are called phantom assemblies, and I have not found any ERP system that handles that out of the box correctly.
- Out of the box functionality -- one program with everything you need to run the business
- Ability to build BPMs rather than full-scale customizations
- Knowledgeable implementation team
- More robust in-program training features
- Better coordination between operational and financial implementation consultants
- More robust purchasing/materials procurement module with an out-of-the-box capability to manage purchases by PPV
- Ability to create custom reports
- Ability to tailor the software to current business practices
- User friendly
- Planning module is not intuitive
- Engineering workbench is cumbersome when doing repetitive entries. Should have ability to copy and paste entries on a mass scale.
- Whenever there is an upgrade there should be more detail on the changes.
- Ease of use
- Information availability
- The different modules available for our business
- Some of the logic on how things are calculated or updated
- The SSRS reporting system
- How each program or file interfaces within the system
- The accounting, manufacturing, quoting, scheduling, quality, and sales [options] are suited for us.
- The service option is not suited for us.
- Most important---Epicor ERP keeps technology up to date with meaningful updates and revisions so that we will never have another legacy system again!
- Epicor ERP gives you the opportunity to have access to your data and just about do anything with it so that you can see and format how you need it.
- Access other areas needed without having to find and open more menu options. Just right click and open with.
- Being able to see and have excel manipulation and capability within Financial reporting instead of having to use Excel Connect.
- Having to close the entire program to see new Menu items or data pool refresh.
- Some windows need to be saved after each box within the window before you can continue-instead of one save per window when complete or auto save.
- Querying data is very easy with the built in business activity query builder. Deploying the data in useful dashboards is easy and highly valuable
- It provides all the core functionality we need to run our engineer to order business
- Recent addition of the rest API allows integrations and querying of cloud data with 3rd party BI tools
- The shop floor data collection screens are not very intuitive and the gui is quite dated
- Report building in the SaaS environment is very clunky - it is hard to test as you develop reports
- It is still not fully mobile/web compliant - it is improving, but key functions like the manufacturing data collection still needs Windows based devices to work.
- Giving the users the ability to customize. This helps because everyone likes to see different things.
- The scheduling Modules. The ability to global schedule gives the shop a better look at real time information.
- The ability to create custom dashboards and reports. It lets a company look at information that means more to them. The standard reports don't always give the best information or the detail that is needed.
- Lack of detail in reports. Some reports don't show all the detail that is needed.
- The time it takes to get support. They take a couple of days to respond to issues the are a high priority
- List views having too useless information in the default view. Some of the list views in some modules have a lot of useless information, but don't include some of the more useful information. This is just for our company though could be different for others.
- Epicor has a pretty good project management module. We are able to set up projects with multiple phases as needed and track costs at both a phase level and top project level. You can use the system to assign tasks to employees working on the project and track assignments that way. Under each phase we create an Epicor "job" that can store all the parts that we need to purchase or fabricate for a project. Then we can track what parts have been purchased, received, and shipped for the project.
- Epicor is set up to have a lot of features that most users probably aren't going to use, but it is convenient to have most of what you need available. Then, you can hide parts of the program you won't need.
- Possibly the best thing about Epicor is that it has a lot of customization tools, and the system allows you to customize it in a lot of ways so you can make it look and behave how your organization needs. One very strong area of the customization is the ability to create information dashboards where you can show any type of data that you like to see. A great example of this is a Project Management Dashboard we built that allows all our employees to see how the projects are doing and what their assigned tasks are.
- Expandability. This is another great way that Epicor is customizable. As an ERP system Epicor is primarily a bunch of tables. And thankfully, Epicor allows you to add new fields to the tables, so when we want to show what kind of paint goes on our parts, or if a part is purchased or fabricated, we can add fields for those items to the part table, and use it as if those were built in fields. You can add new tables, so we have a place to store lists of all the paint choices (or anything else you want to keep track up).
- Maybe this was really smooth, but it seemed like implementation was a lot of work. As part of a 4 person implementation team, it took us a month or so of going through tutorials, the help files, and meeting with Epicor consultants to learn how we wanted to use Epicor (that month was pretty light, maybe 5-6 hours per week for each of us). Then it took about 3 months setting up Epicor to meet our needs. (The 4 of us each worked 25-30 hours a week during those 3 months on the implementation since we still had production work to do)
- Epicor can be overwhelming for new users. Our normal users have a hard time at first getting used to it because there is so much to see, learn and do in it, epecially for people with less technical expertise.
- As the person on the implementation team in charge of customizations, my biggest complaint is the lack of documentation on programming in Epicor. While they do have great documentation on how to use many of their built in customization tools, they give you the ability to write code in C# that should allow you to do anything. But, there is very little to no documentation on the API (Application Programming Interface). Most other programs will have a large help file where users can see the thousands of functions available to program within the system with info on what the functions do, how they are accessed and what inputs they need and sample code for each function. With Epicor.. nope, nothing. Maybe if you buy their SDK for another $24,000 they will have a help file included with that. I don't know.
- Provides mostly error-free key functionality.
- Provides tool kit to enable us to develop our own queries and reports.
- Consultancy - we are still suffering from the poor advice by Epicor consultants we were given during our implementation.
- Consultancy - it is near impossible to get prompt consultancy support from Epicor.
- Account Management - I don't feel like a valued customer of Epicor and my requests are not dealt with promptly.
- Epiccare - some tickets are handled promptly and well, but sometimes the responses feel like delaying tactics e.g. we report a problem that has caused a data anomaly that we say we cannot replicate and the reply comes back to ask us to replicate it!
- Cloud storage
- Frequent updates and fixes
- Configurator for production is a plus.
- VIN generation
- Closing of orders to invoices at month end would be better than daily
- Smoother updates for custom modules
- Cloud is a little slower than the server-based system was
- Inside out architecture provides consistent and required function integration (ie. no bolt on's) while providing integration with most popular software where required.
- Fairly robust and flexible material (MRP) and job scheduling functionality. Provides flexibility to use many key scheduling criteria to fine tune capabilities to match business/site requirements.
- Flexibility to enforce same or modified business rules, security model, reporting, etc for each business/location.
- Job costing and analysis is flexible and easy to set up and maintain.
- Standard implementation methodology needs to be modified to better address use of company data for robust testing and improved data migration.
- Consulting bench (a number of highly experienced and available consultants) not large enough. Some third-party implementation partners need better and more up to date training.
- Data collection very tailored to discrete manufacturing; need more flexibility to meet specific requirements/processes for business with other manufacturing and/or services models.
Less suited for: Engineered to order, straight services model (no inventory & different costing)
Epicor streamlines all activity and helps communicate between departments. Obviously, we couldn't run our company without Epicor.
- Handling all types of orders - jobs, purchases, and customer orders.
- MRP scheduling is very good and easily modified by part or group.
- Easily getting other info about a key field by right-clicking and traveling to a new form.
- RMA and DMR. Although it can handle these, the function seems like an afterthought. It isn't as smooth as the rest of Epicor.
- Reporting is ok but it runs slowly. We are still using Crystal.
- Barcoding in general but mostly the warehouse management part.
Also, a new product configurator is under development and scheduled for release by Q4-2018.
- Our version evolved from Vantage, and to be honest, I'm not really impressed yet. I've seen good examples so am aware it's due to implementation errors, rather than Epicor shortcomings.
- Unfortunately, our version of the product configurator is very slow.
- The need for well educated/trained consultants to get a proper implementation should be addressed well by Epicor, as this also determines user experience to a great extent. There is no true fall-back for improper implementation.
- Consultants should be very well trained to make sure program integrity is maintained during challenging implementations.
- There should be an improvement on answering questions raised, especially upon migration issues.
- When is Epicor aware of improper/incorrect implementation they might proactively offer improvement support?
Understanding the question very well and think to know Epicor pretty well too, this highly depends on whom is asking.
When a medium to large size OEM company would be asking, I'd probably agree (with the right consultant!).
I believe the package offers too many options (too complex) for small project-oriented companies though. At least in Holland, there are better alternatives readily available.
- Epicor has a great dashboard and reports capabilities.
- Easily accessible from one module to the next, very user-friendly interface.
- Ability to setup MRP and extremely user Data Management Tool to import mass amounts of changes or updates to parts and BOM.
- Personalizations and customizations getting lost after updates.
- Webex's should be recommended more often for users having issues
- More tools for users to fix own issues
- Allowing access to the back-end data through BAQs and MSSQL is very important for pulling reports and making sense of data
- Epicor DMT Tool for importing data is very important because manual entry is time-consuming
- Make customizing screens easier. Epicor places importance on the fact that Epicor is very customizable, however, it is very hard for the average user to customize anything. You need a programmer/admin and it's very costly to hire someone to do it. Needs to be easier.
- The whole Epicor experience is not very user-friendly. i.e. why is there a customer entry and customer tracker screen? That's 1980's thinking. It should be one screen with permissions based fields.
- Epicor's search feature is not very good. They call it the "Google" search for Epicor. It's nothing like Google. It doesn't provide suggestions, you have to select menu search or enterprise search. It only updates once a day. It's not even accessible from the home screen!
- The menu is a waste of time. Like I said before, who uses a menu these days? Since when did you go on Amazon.com and drill down to the products from the menu? Google killed menus years ago.
- The SSRS reports are garbage. Ugly and unusable out of the box, and very hard to customize.
- Customization - extremely flexible ways to make the system fit any environment. In particular forms and user interface optimization.
- Query and reporting tools (like dashboards) for getting information (and knowledge) out of the system that is needed for real-time operations decision making.
- New with Epicor ERP 10 the "all Microsoft stack" of ICE 3.0 tools and MS SQL Server are very fast and a much more standard development platform. Epicor has gone to great lengths to streamline and simplify the underlying architecture. Moving to SQL server has yielded 4X performance.
- Epicor has a long history of supporting manufacturing and has evolved the ERP system from its job shop roots to accommodate many different manufacturing modes.
- The switching from Crystal Reports to SSRS reporting was a real setback. SSRS has its place but in some cases Crystal is clearly superior. It CAN work with ERP 10 but takes more effort and has loss of access control if using ODBC.
- Support has limited to no access to developers (the "wall" as they call it) so for new and very technical issues Supports response is limited. Escalation can be difficult for highly technical problems that don't fit their knowledgebase.
- Search function in EpicWeb (customer portal) is limited and often produces wildly off-target results.
- Job BoM/MoM structures that are very complex (thousands of assemblies and levels) can get corrupted using tools built in to the system (like drag & drop) and whole sections can become unlinked and disappear. More typical assemblies of a few dozen components are fine but very complex jobs push the limits.
- Allows us to create purchase orders and track them for each job so we can see our costs as we go.
- We can create "dashboards" that can pull out specific details we want to see such as: due dates, current cost to profit, employee hours, etc.
- We can track how our suppliers are doing and see if we need to find new ones or focus on those that do perform the best.
- Epicor can fulfil your accounting needs.
- Scheduling is very complicated. There are so many things that have to be just right in order for it to work.
- Receiving invoices works most of the time but can be very tricky.
- Some actions are permanent like closing job so when accidents happen it can complicate processes.
- Accounting reporting and AP/AR/GL entry are easy and accurate.
- Planning Workbench for job creation is a useful tool as it automatically alerts a planner of new orders and change orders.
- Purchasing Suggestions based on time phased demand and user-defined minimums, planning fences, and lead times make sure buyers are placing orders on time for the right quantity.
- Would like to see better "shortage reporting" for jobs that the kitting process has been started. No easy way to view this or when the "short" parts are coming in on one report. Have to lookup each job and part not issued.
- Make it easier to customize your own reports instead of using Crystal reports.
- Capacity Planning is a little cumbersome and difficult to setup properly across multiple resources.
- Business Process Management - Every company needs to customize their ERP software, but that comes with many risks, including getting 'version locked' and not being able to take advantage of newer versions. Epicor BPMs make changing how the system behaves easy for admins while removing this risk. BPMs provide Pre and Post Directives around most Methods in most Objects. There are also Data directives that trigger on data updates.
- BAQ Query Builder - With Epicor there is no need to manually write queries, BAQs make this easy, leveraging most of the MS SQL/T-SQL features and function (including sub queries). The Query Builder interface makes building complex queries quite easy. While a novice at SQL query writing, I have been able to build many complex BAQs with the Query Builder, many times not knowing where to start. The BAQs can then be used in many different ways in the software, including Dashboards, Searches, etc.
- Dashboards - With BAQs in hand the data can be published to dashboards you build to display the data in many different ways in grids or graphs. The dashboards can even be configured in a drill down fashion by using the row selection in one grid to filter the data in another grid. Field criteria input fields can also be set up to filter the data. Dashboards can even be set up to be updatable so data can be updated directly.
- Third Party integrations - Since Epicor is built on IIS as a service architecture, it can be called and used by other APIs and third party software. The list is long but some of my favorites include, Service Connect, DMT (Data Management Tool), Magneto, etc.
- Bugs - Epicor has a history of releasing versions with more bugs than most are used to. Since I first started working with Epicor software this has improved dramatically and now Epicor releases patches every two weeks or so, much like Windows updates, which usually can be applied with minimal impact. This new model has really helped to address bugs much quicker.
- Performance - While old AS400 systems set the bar for performance, nothing else can really compete, and that goes the same for Epicor. Depending on how your environment is set up and configured performance results can vary dramatically. With Epicor ERP 10, most of the business logic layer bottlenecks have been eliminated and most performance issues seem to come down to the SQL server performance (more RAM the better) and poor query design.
- Complexity vs. Function - I would say that Epicor does a good job of adjusting the product to customer requests, however having a broad functionality tends to introduce complexities that can be mind melting to configure properly to match business needs. Though most of the time it can be done, just takes careful critical thought and problem solving.
- Custom engineering and manufacturing are supported extremely well because of the engineered to order system coupled with the "part on the fly" capability.
- The data can be easily exported to an Excel spreadsheet, if necessary, and manipulated there for analysis. Updatable dashboards allow data to be viewed/changed/entered using a grid type of layout so multiple records can all be seen at one time.
- Toolsets that allow us to customize the software as little or as much as we like to meet our business needs.
- Maintenance costs are higher than they should be.
- The switch to SSRS reporting was difficult to say the least. Abandoning Crystal reporting after 10 years is hard to get over.
- Support is a hit or miss. Financial support is good while technical support some times (not always) can take days or longer to resolve an issue.
Before a company begins the selection process for ANY new ERP system, they need to look at each business process they have currently and document each one (what are the steps necessary to get the process completed) - i.e., how do they do a quote, how do the do an order, etc. Make sure every step is documented, especially the unique steps for your company.
During the selection process, ask the people from Epicor to show you how this could be accomplished in Epicor, knowing that there may be more than one way. If there are any processes that are unique to your business, explain them and ask the sales rep to demonstrate how those processes could be done using the Epicor software. An Epicor consultant that sits in on your discovery sessions can help point you to the correct areas of the software for better success.
- SSRS to generate reports, and the ability to add fields on the fly, makes presenting data a lot easier.
- User interface with immediate access to information with ability to export to Excel.
- Master scheduling capabilities within the system let us process more orders using the same amount of resources.
- In most screens, the delete button is right next to the save button.
- The software doesn't handle different manufacture types per part very well.
- Receiving a part requires several additional steps that don't make sense for our company.
Epicor ERP Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
About Epicor ERP
Epicor ERP software offers a modular approach with robust capabilities focused on reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving customer responsiveness across the enterprise. Given its modularity and customizability, pricing will vary very widely, and depend on business needs.
Epicor ERP Competitors
Epicor ERP Technical Details