Plastics & Rubber Industry ERP Features

Rubber and Plastics executives are cautiously optimistic about growth. We’re just optimistic.

It’s a new era for rubber and plastics businesses. Years of cost-cutting and a wary posture have given way to competitive maneuvering. Efficiency is still a top priority, especially given the global nature of market opportunities, customer price sensitivity, and ever-shrinking new product introduction timelines.

Most businesses in the rubber and plastics industry–finished goods producers and parts makers alike–are working hard to outperform the competition. If you’re serious about tightening up business and operations efficiencies, now is the time to take a look at processes from the plant floor all the way up to the top floor, and across your slice of the supply chain.

Epicor understands your business–from the nuts and bolts of tool and die management and high run production, to the mechanics of customer service and quality, and right on up to the nuances of strategy and planning. We can help you make the most of what you already have, get you ready for the opportunities you face right now, and help you stay ahead of the curve as you change and grow along with your market and customers.

Epicor for Rubber and Plastics is a global enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution designed for make-to-stock and make-to-order businesses that focus on injection molding, thermal forming, extrusion, and similar complex manufacturing capabilities. Do your customers have stringent requirements? It doesn’t matter if you’re supplying to industrial machinery, automotive, aerospace and defense, electronics and electrical, medical device, or the energy industry. If you have high expectations for your business partner and need a solution to help you manage the stringent requirements of your customers, then look to Epicor to support simple-to-complex build plans, make-to-order, make-to-stock, or mixed-mode environments with a single, comprehensive system.

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 Rubber and Plastics is a completely integrated solution for managing your business. From marketing and sales through production and planning, sourcing, procurement, customer service and finance, Epicor for Rubber and Plastics offers flexibility in deployment. Your system grows and changes when and how you want it to, meeting your business needs now and as you grow into the future. With the flexible modular design, get started and focus on the things that matter most to you right now, and then purchase and “turn on” other modules only when you’re ready for them.

Make Your Customer the Focus of Your Business

Many manufacturers find that partnering with a select group of customers is more profitable. To maintain highly developed relationships, you need strong communication coupled with agility and flexibility – Epicor helps you respond quickly to changes in customer demand, and supply value-added services.

Epicor for Rubber and Plastics offers a suite of functionality designed to assist your organization in putting the demands of your customer first. With 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 sign off 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.

Managing Increasingly Complex Product Builds

Products have increasingly become more complex. In part, due to 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.

Ensuring Mold Profitability

Project Management is easily deployed to manage the design, prototype, and manufacture of new mold projects. Complete project analysis, including revenue recognition, give long running projects such as molds new visibility. Furthermore, bidirectional integration with Microsoft® Office® Project gives project managers an additional tool to use to easily manipulate the schedule and simplify the planning of any mold. Project milestones offer easy status visibility.

Once in production, Epicor offers maintenance capabilities that help manage the operational performance of molds to ensure optimal utilization.

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 Rubber and Plastics includes inventory control alongside material requirements planning (MRP) and purchase suggestions capabilities to provide time phased material control and material delivery just-in-time. 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.

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 provides a robust offering that tracks materials as well as tooling, 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.

For manufacturers responding to the question, “When can you deliver?” during the sales cycle, Epicor offers true capable-topromise capability that absorbs the requirements for the sales order into the scheduling 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.

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 techniques further JIT material and component efficiencies. Epicor 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.

Maximize Equipment Effectiveness

Epicor Mattec® Manufacturing Execution System (MES) empowers plastics and rubber parts and goods manufacturers with real-time performance data and the ability to eliminate inaccurate and time-consuming manual data collection. Producers who extend their Epicor system with automatic production monitoring and process monitoring enable operators to focus on making quality product–they anticipate and avoid problems, eliminate downtime, and maximize throughput–all from the front lines, and long before issues can affect performance or quality.

Epicor Mattec MES delivers complex capabilities specifically for plastic and rubber products operations, such as active cavity tracking and family molding, to help you run your unique business more efficiently. Real-time production and process data provides instant, accurate insight on equipment status, tool effectiveness, and conditions, so you can achieve informed lights out manufacturing.

The “production pulse” paves the way for accurate, consistent performance metrics so the entire team can focus on getting better–Overall Equipment Effectiveness, run rates, scrap, yield, and much more. It’s all delivered in a way that makes sense for each individual – from the shop floor to the top floor – with operator depth and dimension to help you pinpoint and tackle chronic loss. Better performance with Epicor Mattec MES helps you boost quality, customer service, and competitiveness. Epicor Mattec MES supports digital and analog machine signals directly from machines or sensors, or via PLC or OPC-compliant PLC.

Regulatory Compliance

On top of the other challenges facing manufacturers of rubber and plastics 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 Epicor robust 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 looking up and down their supply chains to eliminate waste and improve bottom line results.

Epicor for Rubber and Plastics 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 Rubber and Plastics 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 intracompany 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 Rubber and Plastics 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 Rubber and Plastics?

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 a service-oriented architecture (SOA) keeps the door open for rubber and plastics 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 Rubber and Plastics into a successful business solution is our Signature Implementation Methodology. Epicor delivers among 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 Rubber and Plastics in day-to-day operations saving you time and money by providing broad functionality at a lower total cost of ownership.

1Magic Quadrant for Single-Instance ERP for Product-Centric Companies, Gartner Inc., September 11, 2013Explore the Solution Center and Demo Here.