Supporting Key Initiatives for the Fabricated Metals Industry
Fabricated Metals manufacturers facing increased global pressure are stressed to find new efficiencies. Price sensitivity, volatile raw material cost, shorter product lifecycles, and adoption of quality and value-added services continue to erode already thin margins. In response, many manufacturers are expanding their traditional business and looking for new opportunities—some in new and unknown markets and others centered in business performance. Lean initiatives are driving many manufacturers to reengineer business processes from the plant floor to the top floor to the extended supply chain. These same businesses are enjoying business-wide costs savings, reduction in raw material and work in process, improved throughput, better utilization of existing resources, and improved customer satisfaction. Epicor understands the demands placed on manufacturers today.
Epicor for Fabricated Metals is a global enterprise resource planning software solution designed for organizations that manufacture and distribute fabricated metal products to a variety of industries including; industrial machinery, automotive, aerospace and defense, electronics and electrical, medical device, energy, and more. Epicor is uniquely positioned to manage the requirements of these industries supporting simple-to-complex build plans, make-to-order, make-to-stock, or mixed-mode environments with a single, comprehensive solution.
Improve Operational Visibility
Taking stock of core business operations in an integrated fashion is, for many manufacturers, the initial step in improving bottom line revenues through greater visibility of office and plant floor operations. Through integrated ERP technology, your business removes redundant processes and improves accuracy of information to provide better customer service and centralized operational management.
Epicor for Fabricated Metals is a completely integrated solution for managing your business. From marketing and sales through production and planning, sourcing, procurement, customer service, and finance; modular in its design Epicor for Fabricated Metals offers flexibility in deployment as modules can be purchased and “turned on” during appropriate phases of implementation.
Make Your Customer the Focus of Your Business
Many manufacturers find that focusing the business on meeting customer demands and on fostering a closer relationship results in more profitable jobs. Maintaining these highly developed relationships requires strong communication coupled with agility and flexibility to quickly respond to these customers change in demand while being able to quickly respond and supply value-added services.
Epicor for Fabricated Metals offers a suite of functionality designed to assist your organization in putting the demands of your customer first. Through embedded customer relationship management (CRM) functionality, we ensure that all customer communication is fluid throughout the organization, providing complete workflow for each cost-based estimate with customer signoff as a stage of the initial design or estimate—closing the loop with customer service which logs each customer inquiry and provides comprehensive escalation workflow when needed.
Reduce Cost Without Compromising Quality
Many manufacturers are getting back to basics and looking to reduce waste with stronger cost control and management of key cost elements. Through efficient management of the buying process, today’s businesses are using just-in-time (JIT) techniques for procurement of material. Additionally, buyers are looking for new ways to drive down margins with suppliers. Good forecasting and demand requirements provide better buying power. Epicor for Fabricated Metals includes inventory control alongside material requirements planning (MRP) and purchase suggestions capabilities to provide time phased material control to reduce carrying inventory.
Critical to the process are strong indicators of cost and post production cost analysis. Each production run is analyzed to determine total cost broken out by material cost, material burden cost, labor cost, subcontract cost and burden cost. Based on profitability and run analysis, production management can then determine if production planning estimates need adjustment for quoting and rerun the next time.
Produce Timely and Accurate Quotes
Quote accuracy is important to profitability for the business. A single underperforming bid can not only result in a financial loss, it can sour a customer relationship. Consider improving quote confidence and accuracy with Epicor ERP. Epicor offers online cost-based estimating that considers elements such as labor, burden, materials, outside services, and engineering when building an estimate. Factors such as scrap rates and lot sizes are accounted for to ensure accuracy in the quoting process. The benefit of estimating within ERP is that estimators can reference historical job profitability and past win pricing.
Managing Increasing Complex Product Builds
Increasingly products have become more complex. In part, due to the variety of options that consumers are looking for in the marketplace. In addition, a new level of innovation is being leveraged to engineer modern products. Epicor ERP offers capabilities for managing complex products. In particular, within a single engineered product, users can not only retain the bill of material (BOM) and bill of operation (BOO), there are also capabilities to manage multiple levels of assemblies. Doing this within a single engineering structure allows engineers to visually confirm all components, both manufactured and purchased. It also allows for accurately scheduling and costing multilevel assemblies.
Additional features simplify engineering processes. In particular, product configuration offers rules-based configurations where non engineers such as sales people can estimate a complex product based on predefined rules. Once the estimate is accepted, a complete BOM and BOO flow to production to build the product. In addition to product configuration, Epicor offers CAD integration with major CAD systems and for businesses in need of stronger engineering workflow processes, Epicor PLM can be deployed.
Cradle-to-Grave Product Traceability
While strict requirements for product and material traceability are more prevalent in highly regulated industries such as aerospace and defense and medical device, many industries today are requiring strong process control with lot and serial controlled inventories throughout. Epicor offers a robust solution that tracks materials as well as finished and semi-finished products cradle to grave.
Maintain Supplier Status Through Delivery Performance
Long-term customer relationships are the bread and butter for this industry. Maintaining supplier status is based on measurements of not only cost and quality, but delivery performance is also critical. For many manufacturers, production visibility, in particular the schedule of the plant, has outgrown the traditional whiteboard. It now encompasses more expansive requirements such as “what-if” scenarios, multi-resource constraints, and in some cases as a result of workforce diversification, capability-based scheduling (whether employee skill set or machine capability). With visual scheduling boards and multi-resource scheduling boards that offer color-coded load, drag-and-drop load capabilities, and drill-down functionality, master schedulers as well as production managers can accurately manage change and respond to overload constraints proactively.
Nesting software integrations enable manufacturers to optimize material utilization and reduce scrap. Epicor Service Connect is designed to optimize use of your nesting solution. For manufacturers responding to the question, “When can you deliver?” during the sales cycle, Epicor offers true capable-to-promise capability that absorbs the requirements for the sales order into the schedule using appropriate finite capacity and MRP rules to offer an accurate delivery date. Simple acceptance of the sales order moves the requirement into production and procurement.
Maximize Equipment Effectiveness
Listening to the pulse of manufacturing to maximize throughput enables manufacturers to respond proactively to problems and reduce downtime in the plant. These pulses when derived directly from production equipment can communicate not only equipment status, but also track tool effectiveness and respond to Statistical Process Control (SPC) quality failures.
Epicor Mattec Manufacturing Execution System (MES) extends your Epicor system to provide automatic production monitoring, empowering fabricated metals manufacturers with production data and the ability to eliminate inaccurate and time-consuming manual data collection; so operators can stop measuring and monitoring, and focus on making quality products. You can achieve informed lights out manufacturing, and get the powerful metrics you need to improve performance—Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), run rates, scrap, yield, energy consumption, material consumption, and much more.
Accurate machine-related data, along with operator depth and dimension helps you pinpoint critical issues, reduce waste, and improve quality and customer service. Mattec MES supports digital and analog machine signals directly from sensors or PLCs, or via OPC-compliant PLCs.
Use Lean Methodology and Demand Pull Systems to Improve Lead Times and Reduce Waste
Innovative manufacturers who deploy lean methodologies business wide reap huge benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and overall business performance. For manufacturers looking to reduce wasted processes from the office to plant floor, integrated systems streamline business processes.
Additionally, support for cell-based strategies to support key customer requirements as well as on the plant floor, deploying demand pull systems that are based on replenishment principals further JIT material and component efficiencies. Epicor for Fabricated Metals contains embedded lean activity metrics and Kanban functionality (i.e., signal to manufacture or move product) that offers the functionality required to manage several types of electronic signals for Kanban control.
On top of the other challenges facing manufacturers of fabricated products, a new set of governmental and industry mandated regulatory requirements that demand tight control of manufacturing process and traceability along with strict business practices are further stressing organizations.
From Sarbanes-Oxley to ISO/AS/TS/QS standards, today’s manufacturer is faced with challenges that eat at the bottom line of their profits. The robust Epicor infrastructure, coupled with its comprehensive quality suite, offers a comprehensive approach to automating the compliance process.
Reduce Waste in the Supply Chain
More than ever, manufacturers are reaching down into their supply chains to eliminate waste and improve bottom line results. As global competition continues to drive cost down, supply chain partners are playing a larger role than ever before and proximity to suppliers can be a benefit. Many businesses are looking for ways to more seamlessly collaborate with suppliers for optimum results.
Epicor for Fabricated Metals promotes tighter collaboration throughout the supply chain while analyzing the same metrics that you are measured on, such as supplier shipping performance or quality ratings.
Looking for new efficiencies and measurements of supplier performance, look to automated processes for requesting RFQs or for sending change orders through electronic queues on supplier portals or more directly through EDI.
Support Extended and Global Operations
With competitive pressures driving many manufacturers to expand globally where labor is considerably less expensive and the recent trend in plant consolidations, many manufacturers today both large and small find themselves suddenly managing multiple sites disparately.
Epicor for Fabricated Metals has comprehensive multisite capabilities coupled with global presence to meet your company’s requirements for local support. Competing globally and domestically—bridging geographic and strategic diversity and eliminating supply chain inefficiencies—can be accomplished with the technologies to streamline intra- and inter-company processes and communicate quickly and accurately. Synchronization of complex relationships which determine supply, demand, and fulfillment is the means to reaching new, industry-leading levels of business performance. Epicor for Fabricated Metals can help you achieve maximum efficiencies across your globally extended enterprise.
Robust Technology Framework
Epicor is uniquely positioned with a complete suite of applications based on 100% services architecture, protecting your investment in software and services well into the future. Why are web services so important to businesses, particularly in Fabrication? Outside of all the reasons organizations look to web services for deployment; speed, stability, reusability, and more; for midsize manufacturers, the incentive is imminent to drive electronic collaboration more firmly into their supply chain. Web services connection is fast becoming a necessity to doing business. Supporting your business strategies with applications built on service-oriented architecture (SOA) keeps the door open for fabrication businesses by meeting both the immediate requirement for scalability while supporting an open philosophy in the event your business strategy changes. SOA simplifies the coming together of established infrastructures to make acquisition and merger less painful—attractive to companies looking to acquire.
Flexible Deployment Options
As your business grows and changes, you need a solution that can grow and change with you. As a single solution able to be deployed on premise, hosted, or in the cloud, Epicor Manufacturing provides unprecedented deployment flexibility. For example, if your business has limited IT resources you may opt to initially deploy the solution in a hosted model or in the cloud. As your business changes you may subsequently opt to redeploy Epicor ERP on premise.
Epicor is one of the few vendors to have architected a full multitenant software as a service (SaaS) and on-premise version out of a single product and is the only vendor who has deployed it to customers.1
Industry Leading Service and Support
Epicor has over 40 years of experience delivering industry focused, world-class solutions, and ongoing customer care and service to over 20,000 customer installations. It is a true global solutions partner with support offices all over the world. The key vehicle that transforms Epicor for Fabricated Metals into a successful business solution is our Signature Implementation Methodology. Epicor delivers one of the most cost effective and efficient techniques to plan, design, validate, and deploy your Epicor solution. Staffed with direct employees around the globe who are properly trained and equipped with world-class implementation tools, Epicor follows our proven 5-stage Signature Methodology designed specifically around Epicor software and our customers. The end result is an on-time, on-budget implementation of your Epicor solution that allows your company to quickly begin using Epicor for Fabricated Metals in day-to-day operations saving you time and money by providing broad functionality at a lower total cost of ownership.