Overall Satisfaction with Epicor ERP
Epicor ERP (9.05 & 10.0) has been used by my current employer across the organization since 2013. My previous employer used Epicor Vantage 8.03 and now Epicor ERP 9.05, starting in 2008. Epicor ERP serves as the primary software package used to run and manage the organization, Quote to Cash. Epicor ERP is modularized software solution available on premise or hosted, which uses MS SQL, IIS and C#. Modules I have used include, Quote Mgmt, Sales Mgmt, Case Mgmt, Field Service, Product Configurator, Equip Maintenance, Production Mgmt, Job Mgmt, Advanced Scheduling, ECO/Engineering Mgmt, MRP, Data Collection (MES/Handheld), Quality Assurance, Project Mgmt, Asset Mgmt, Inventory Mgmt, Shipping/Receiving, Purchase Mgmt, Financial Mgmt, Multi Site, Multi Company, Multi Currency, etc.
- 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.
- Pro - Per Module Pricing and Support/Maintenance costs can help keep upfront and ongoing costs low, however sometimes you don't know what you are missing.
- Con - Per User Count for Support Maintenance Costs can make the annual cost of operating expensive compared to no user limit systems.
- Epicor allows for each user to have as many 'sessions' open as they want, but the user count cannot be exceeded.
- If the strong features are leveraged properly there can be a significant ROI, however a commitment to the software is required.
- BPICS, Fishbowl Warehouse (FBW) and QuickBooks Premier
While these systems are not probably equivalent to Epicor, I found that all of them seemed to fail in the same area, many business processes were not supported in the software and users had to resort to manual processes or unintegrated databases. I think Epicor does a very good job of capturing and integrating the business process from Quote to Cash.
In my experience, I have found that Epicor ERP has been well suited for almost every business scenario I have encountered. However, if speed is what you want, Epicor (nor most modern ERPs) is not for you. In most cases the challenge is understanding exactly what the business needs, and often what the business needs and thinks it needs are not the same. I would encourage businesses to give the software design a real try before trying to modify it. Just because you can modify with BPMs and customization, doesn't mean you should. In many cases business users were surprised by the improvements when they let go of 'way we've always done it' and really gave it a try.