Author - Thu Nguyen

Career in Data Analytics

Career in Data Analytics: 4 non-technical aspects people don’t think about

This article has some important tips for you if you want to build a career in data analytics.

Certain universal truths cannot be denied. The sun will always rise in the east and set in the west. The earth will continue to revolve around the sun for the next 5 billion years. Free from any impurities, water is always tasteless, colourless, and odourless. Here’s another fact that has recently made its way into this club of truisms: the world is, and will increasingly be, driven by data.

You probably didn’t see that coming, did you? I’ll posit that the only reason we don’t pay such close attention to data is because of the sheer quantum of it surrounding us today. In 2018, IBM estimated that more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data were generated across the globe every day.

The reason behind generating a huge amount of data

Because every action we take, every action we don’t take, every bit of content that we consume, share, or reject all of it adds to the massive and growing pile of information that is created every second of every day. Data is like air essential, yet invisible and we can’t seem to stop generating it.

And, with the growing integration of digital technologies and IoT devices in our lives, the speed of data creation is only set to accelerate in the future.

Naturally, with such a data inundation comes transformation. Enterprises are already tapping into the benefits that a data-centric approach can deliver for their business and are eagerly building their data capabilities to capture the opportunity that looms just over the horizon.

Marketing, strategic decision-making, sales, human resources, supply chain management each and every business function is actively being touched and redefined by data.

Data is changing the job landscape

It is also changing the jobs landscape. We now have specialised roles such as data specialists, data architects, and, for large enterprises, even Chief Data Officers (CDOs). For professionals, the field of data analytics and business intelligence is interesting and lucrative; data-related roles such as data scientists have been consistently highlighted amongst the most promising jobs of the future and currently offer the highest median salaries across the globe.

So, what do you need to benefit from the opportunity that this high-growth sector represents? There are a thousand and one informative blogs about the technical skills that you can acquire to become a data professional. This is why I will focus on the softer aspects, learnt from my personal experiences in this domain that will help you craft a career in the field of data analytics:

Tips to build a career in data analytics

One of the biggest learnings that I’ve had in my career is the need to question everything. It is the part and parcel of the job to identify how to take a process that is working perfectly fine and make it better. This is why a data professional can never, ever, ever be satisfied with the status quo nor should they be. Inculcate a habit of evaluating everything that you observe and use data to back up your observations. The analysis at all times starts with you.

The ability to constantly learn and augment one’s knowledge base is a skill that is of the utmost importance to a data professional. The field itself is dynamic, fast-evolving, ever-changing. To succeed, you will need to stay in step with or maybe even ahead of its evolutionary curve. And the only way to do that is to constantly learn, unlearn, and relearn.

As a data professional, you must remember that there is no fixed path to finding solutions to problems. 1+4’ is just as much a 5’ as 2+3’ is, which is just as much a 5’ as 1+1+2+1’. Even if the end-objective achieved is the same, sometimes one solution works better than the other one. This is why you need to have a flexible and agile mindset that can break down a large problem statement into multiple smaller parts and figure out the solution that delivers the best results. It is also essential to be ready to switch from an idea that initially worked but no longer does, or to try newer ideas that might work better. The question isn’t if’; it is how’.

You might be a wizard when it comes to analysing data, but it will amount to little if that analysis cannot be translated into simple, actionable insights that can be used by the end-user be it a client or an internal stakeholder. Look at how you can simplify and personalise your analytics reports as per the needs of your end-user. Do it constantly and it will become second nature. The objective is to help your end-user make the best decisions backed by data-driven insights that they can readily understand and implement.

Let’s end as we began: with another universal truth. Change or, better yet, entropy will always be the only constant. As a data professional, your entire job revolves around how to best navigate that change, make life simpler for everyone who depends on you, and add value to processes and functions.

Cultivating these soft skills can help you achieve these objectives and complement your technical skillsets to create a lucrative career trajectory in this specialised, high-growth field.

Source: Tom Ricks

 


 

Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

PLM, ERP, EAM, Digital Twin: What do they mean

PLM, ERP, EAM, Digital Twin: What Do They All Mean? – [PODCAST]

The power industry and technology worlds are filled with acronyms. It’s often hard to know what they all mean. Mark Reisig, director of Product Marketing at Aras, was a guest on The POWER Podcast. He explained how digital technology is being utilized to bring products to market and track assets throughout their lifecycle.

The process often starts in a product lifecycle management (PLM) system. Reisig said when a product is created for the first time, things like the engineering bill of materials (BOM) and computer-aided design (CAD) drawings can be linked to the component in a PLM system. In all, he said there are about 20 key attributes documented in the system. They typically revolve around the form, fit, and function of the product, including its description, revision, unit of measure, part number, and more.

The PLM information feeds into an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. ERP is a transactional system. It coordinates how everything is put together. It tracks what is made and what is bought—including financial data—and allows the product to be manufactured and assembled. ERP systems often include 150 to 175 different attributes. When complete, the ERP provides an as-shipped BOM.

At that point, an enterprise asset management (EAM) system becomes important. It is used to track and manage the physical asset through its lifecycle. This basically covers construction, commissioning, operations, and maintenance, all the way to decommissioning and replacement. As an enterprise tool, it goes beyond a single plant to include all the assets an owner manages. The idea is to track all the changes to all the physical assets, which is what Reisig called an “as-maintained” or “as-running” BOM. The EAM system also facilitates planning and execution of the work required to keep everything running.

“The real value of the three systems that I just mentioned is that you can connect across them in a digital thread,” Reisig said. “The person looking into the enterprise asset management, when they click on a digital twin, if they want to go back and see what the actual requirement was, they can actually do so. So, the real value is when you can cut across all of these pillar systems—EAM, ERP, and PLM.”

What is a digital twin? Reisig said most vendors position digital twins as models. The models are typically created during the engineering phase, which means they are a representation of what was designed. However, they don’t always reflect what was actually made during the manufacturing or construction process.

“Right there, you’ve got a problem, and that’s because many things happen to products when they go through production,” Reisig said. “We believe the digital twin is first available after it’s been manufactured, and even after it’s shipped, during the as-built stage.”

By creating the digital twin in the as-built phase, much more detailed and accurate information can be captured. In this way, physical part BOMs and related simulation data can be linked to the digital twin. Things like CAD drawings, service bulletins, work order history, electronics wiring schematics, and more, can be connected using a digital thread back to where that information is stored.

“Our definition is: the digital twin is the individual configuration of that physical product or a system of assets, and that creates the context you need to create value across the lifecycle,” Reisig said.

Listen to the entire interview with Reisig on The POWER Podcast.

Source: Powermag.com

 


 

Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Pharma Pharmaceuticals deploys Epicor ERP

Pharma Pharmaceuticals deploys Epicor ERP

Epicor Software Corporation, a global provider of industry-specific enterprise software, has announced that Pharma Pharmaceutical Industries (Pharma)—a leader in the kingdom’s pharmaceutical services industry—has implemented Epicor ERP to enhance data capture and archiving capabilities, optimise operational efficiencies, and guarantee on-time delivery to customers.
Pharma brings together business leaders and healthcare veterans to offer services to the Saudi pharmaceutical industry that include branding, marketing and sales, warehousing and logistics, facilities management, and regulatory compliance consultancy.
The company’s international reach demanded a new approach to technology to ensure it remained a leader in the new global digital economy. It embarked upon a bold digital transformation journey, with a robust ERP platform as the planned keystone.
“We didn’t have an ERP platform in place and relied on a paper system to manage each department’s activity,” said Tariq Kayyali, quality unit director and ERP project manager, Pharma Pharmaceuticals Industries, whose team of stakeholders focused on linking and integrating department transactions to reduce the time taken to locate vital archived data.
Errors in starting materials and the resulting mix-ups and delays in order deliveries became significant business risks to the company, pre-digitization. The risk of using incorrect or expired material in the manufacturing process was compounded by the company’s inability to accurately control all its assets and due to its tendency to produce inaccurate reports due to manual compilation.
With the support of trusted Epicor partner, Full Insight Technology Solutions (FITS), Pharma deployed a platform that was easy to install, user-intuitive, and provided tight-fit functionality with its needs. Over a period of 10 months, the system was rolled out to 15 users, who all reported ease of use and unprecedented accuracy.
Switching to Epicor ERP has allowed Pharma to smoothly link and integrate transactions across all departments and enhance accuracy in operations and inventory control. Strict audit trails now allow every critical transaction to be traced—to the user, date, and time of action—allowing Pharma to closely monitor related business impacts. Labelling problems have also been overcome, by enabling greater control over purchased and manufactured parts.
“We ended up saving about 30 percent of unnecessary warehouse-team transactions and managed to reduce the time taken to find or track historical data records or transactions, from hours or days to seconds or minutes,” said Kayyali. “We also reduced the risk of mix-up and eliminated the possibility Pharma Pharmaceuticals deploys Epicor ERP to streamline processes and optimise service delivery of using an invalid or expired part as a starting material—which is critical in the pharma industry.”
Having a validated ERP system helps us meet the expectations and compliance requirements of medicinal product agencies, both in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and around the world.”
“Remaining relevant in the digital economy is no minor feat,” added Amel Gardner, regional vice president, Middle East, Africa and India (MEAI), Epicor.
“Competitors—especially new market entrants—will not be using manual processes for critical functions. It is therefore vital that all firms digitise as much as possible. Epicor ERP will give Pharma a strong platform for growth and enable it to easily comply with granular industry requirements. The platform is designed to fit every business like a glove, delivering automation and operational enhancements that pave the way to true digital transformation.” — Tradearabia News Service

 

Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Learn about Epicor ERP in the wake of COVID-19 and get ready for the future.

Epicor ERP in Covid-19

Epicor launches partner support program in wake of COVID-19

Epicor has launched its ‘Fit for the Future’ program, designed to aid the company’s partners to build business resilience in response to COVID-19 and succeed in the current landscape.

According to Epicor, it is crucial to support partners as these businesses are a ‘vital’ component of Epicor’s go-to-market model. As such, the company is focused on providing competency, capability, and capacity within the market so partners can better serve and deliver value to its customers, Epicor states.

Partners include resellers, system integrators, and service partners, which can implement, design, and develop transformational IT strategies using the Epicor product portfolio and tools.

The program supports ongoing remote working situations and focuses on three core pillars, collaboration, skills and communication.

Togetherness: One Team focuses on staying connected to partners providing help in navigating changes and supporting connectivity and agility, the company states.

Epicor is actively encouraging partners to share their experiences and learnings in order to drive business improvements needed to fuel continued growth and shore up business resilience.

Partners will be able to access recordings, PowerPoint presentations, demo scripts, and other supporting documents from a partner hub to boost sales and scalability, Epicor states.

Developing Skills and Value brings an enablement plan to help partners continue develop a range of skills that can help them to remain competitive and agile in coming months.

Training is being delivered through a range of virtual sessions focused on sales skills, where attendees gain understanding in customer pain points and how to articulate increased value to customers; operational efficiencies and how to improve the customer experience; capability in accessing valuable collateral and managing pipeline; and business planning and driving SMART objectives.

To support partner development, Epicor is also publishing a series of weekly webinars and has been offering free-of-charge certifications over the last month.

Communication focuses on Epicor’s commitment to sharing information that ensures partners have useful data to help customers through a variety of new market challenges.

By keeping the lines of communication open, Epicor states it hopes to continue to grow alongside its partners, whilst supporting the wellbeing of each business and its employees.

Epicor Software vice president channel sales Paul Flannery says, “By investing in our partner community and supporting them through challenging times such as these, we are making sure businesses are resilient, by equipping them with the resources, tools, and knowledge needed to emerge stronger than ever before.

“We are dedicated to help our partners by helping them to thrive and adapt to the current environment in a way that’s rapid, streamlined, and scalable.”

For partners who have participated in the ‘Fit for the Future’ program, Epicor will be recognising these efforts through a scheme called the ‘Partner Olympics’.

Points will be awarded for attending webinars, downloading information from the partner hub, and achieving certifications. By putting this scheme in place, Epicor aims to drive continued engagement, whilst helping partners to adapt to a rapidly changing global climate.

Source: Chanellife


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Learn about Epicor ERP in the wake of COVID-19 and get ready for the future.

Bridging the gap in data analytics by machine learning and AI

Bridging the gap in data analytics

Machine Learning and AI are two exciting application areas that enable programs to automatically learn and improve from experience

Location data has become by default for businesses as well as private consumers. Although, consumers are experiencing exponential digital developments through major technology giants, the digital transformation for governments and industries is slowing down.

A major survey by McKinsey shows that less than 1% of all data collected is analyzed. Data grows quickly, and all data has a location factor. However, only a fraction of this data is analyzed for smart decision making. We translate data from the dynamically changing environment to make data-driven decisions. This is done by converting real-time data into usable information; while self-learning algorithms embedded in our solutions help continually improve predictions.

Machine Learning and AI are two exciting application areas that enable programs to automatically learn and improve from experience. Our customers have greatly benefited from Machine Learning to create sustainable and light solutions.

Towards Sustainability 

In the Netherlands, the government has an initiative called ‘common ground’ that strives to create a future-proof municipal IT infrastructure. IMAGEM contributes to this initiative for all government customers through the VALLEY – a concept of reusing applications and pay per use models. Our model supports the development of society in collaboration with government, industry and citizens.

Source: Wouter Brokx


 

Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

how ERP simplifies management

How ERP systems simplify management of day-to-day operations

ERP solutions are the go-to option for the efficient running of any industry, including simplified management. Irrespective of the span of any business, ERP, or enterprise resource planning systems are increasingly becoming an indispensable part of the retail industry.

 

Trustworthy business details 

One of the foremost steps to maintain a smooth business is to keep the business details precise, accurate, and up-to-date. ERP aids in quicker functioning and informed decision making of the organization by integrating an all-round, easily accessible database.

This not only improves the company’s stand in competition but also prepares a pitch for sudden market upgrades or disruptions.

 

Assimilation of multiple channels

In the retail market, there are numerous channels that need to work in coordination. This is important to make sure that everything functions in a smooth and organized manner.

This application helps all the channels to distribute all the information with each other in real-time. Hence, ERP helps the business with better communication among its different departments.

 

Improved management of inventory

Inventory is one of the most critical aspects of the retail industry. Its management is necessary to ensure how much storage is required and how much is to be foreseen. Here ERP helps the business with an extensive solution.

This is done by acquiring in-depth information about every product and to predict upcoming demands. This helps in re-stocking and preparing for the purchase trends of the customers.

 

Develops operational efficiency

ERP is helping companies manage and cut on operational costs. Some prosaic operations and monotonous tasks become banal in the business. With the help of ERP software, these can be decreased. The application collects, stocks, and maintains the data with the help of its automated system.

It can organize the gathered material, which, in turn, reduces the time and effort taken to complete the work. Hence, with the help of this software, businesses can make operational tasks more efficient.

 

Automation of sale and payment records

This resource planning software comes with an in-built POS system. The feature entails the ability to record details of all payments. It can help to increase the speed of the transaction process and eliminate the possibility of human faults.

ERP uses the POS system in order to decrease the waiting time for purchase billing. Another reason behind the popularity of this system is its ability to provide real-time data, which can be overseen and managed for various shops at once.

 

Building a strong customer base

Customers, being the end-users of the retail cycle, play an elemental role in its running. An ERP system customized with the customer management tool can help in the augmentation of the customer base of a company.

The ERP system makes a record of purchase history, inventory, and other such details that aid in building customer relations and retaining customers.

To keep themselves updated with the latest customer demands and to manage everyday operations smoothly, organizations resort to ERP.

 

Source: Best Techie


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many businesses in Vietnam and China, and many are big retailers. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

should business fear cloud

It’s 2020 – Should Business Owners Fear The Cloud?

The cloud. It’s a small word that packs a big punch. Defining what cloud is can cause confusion for some, while implementing it raises concerns for others. We should consider three key factors as we continue into a new decade and business owners ask if they should fear the cloud: privacy, interoperability and cost.

But first, what is the cloud, and why are businesses migrating to this solution?

Essentially, the cloud is a delivery method for your software. It’s a network of servers that are linked together and operate as a single system. The cloud can perform a variety of functions (e.g., storing data, running applications, delivering content, etc.), and you can access it online. There are both public and private cloud options. The biggest difference with the cloud is what it doesn’t require. You don’t need any hardware or networking gear on-site – all you need is a tablet or a phone to run the software.

One of the major reasons I believe cloud adoption continues to grow is the flexibility and productivity enhancements it offers. As the CEO of a company that offers cloud platforms, I’ve found that these features are particularly attractive as business owners look to build resiliency in the face of unpredictable trade wars and other geopolitical changes. Business owners often look to business management software to provide stability. According to Goldman Sach’s 2020 review (via CNBC), 23% of IT workloads are now in public clouds.

So, should business owners fear the cloud when it comes to privacy, interoperability and cost?

Should I fear privacy in the cloud?

There is no denying privacy is a major concern when it comes to data. Data breaches continue to increase, as does the projected production of data. To keep pace, both software solutions and IT departments will have to up their game.

First, I’ll share the bad news. According to Hiscox’s 2019 Cyber Readiness Report, most businesses are unprepared for cyberthreats. In fact, in the U.S., 73% of businesses are “novices” at cyber readiness.

The good news, however, is that the public cloud has proven safer than on-premise data center environments. Specifically, Gartner found that “to date, there have been very few security breaches in the public cloud” and that “through 2020, public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) workloads will suffer at least 60% fewer security incidents than those in traditional data centers.”

If you decide to move to the cloud due to these safety findings, you should still be mindful of cloud vulnerabilities. Take stock of what kinds of sensitive information you are putting in the cloud, and ensure you understand how the cloud provider will protect that data. The time needed to safely migrate systems and data can be lengthy, but it shouldn’t be rushed at the expense of security infrastructure. Select a provider who prioritizes security during the migration process and who has a solid reputation for getting the configuration right, and communicate with your team so that they understand the migration timeline and can manage their expectations.

Regardless of your software solution, privacy issues will continue to be a concern. One of the most important things business leaders can do is ensure they have a crisis management protocol in place if and when a breach should occur.

Should I fear cloud interoperability challenges?

I have great news on this front. There have been major strides toward interoperability. In fact, multiple systems can exchange and use information easier than ever before. This is due to a variety of reasons: Many application programming interfaces (APIs) continue to get better, and standards continue to improve, and, notably, I see tech giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft Azure frequently expand the universe of applications that can easily be put in their clouds. I believe their efforts have significantly moved the needle.

While interoperability isn’t perfect, there’s a lot of upward momentum. I expect that to progress.

Should I fear the cost of the cloud?

If you’re a business owner and you aren’t sure cloud makes sense for you from a cost perspective, ask yourself if you have a good grip on how much it costs to have your own data center in your business. Do you already have the IT skills in-house to run your own system? If so, the cloud may not make sense.

However, many business owners are surprised to find that their IT operations cost them a lot more than they think and that implementing cloud solutions can save them both time and money when it comes to issues such as automatic upgrades (which keep your company current and competitive), labor and maintenance costs, or increases in workforce productivity, to name a few.

Just remember that the decision between on-premise and cloud will be unique for each business. When you’re evaluating your IT operations cost, ask yourself how scalable you need your solution to be in the future. How adept is your IT department at staying up to date with evolving technology? Will you need additional data storage, and do you have the physical space to accommodate an expansion of your on-premise data center? Do you need access to data on the go? If a natural disaster hits your business, how will you back up your data?

What it comes down to is the total current cost of your on-premise data center versus a cloud solution. For business leaders who are still on the fence about expense, make sure you evaluate your options regularly. Cloud providers will have to continue to be cost-competitive, which could work in your favor.

Bottom line: Don’t fear the cloud. It could be a safer option than on-premise data. Its interoperability continues to improve. It can be highly effective at increasing productivity. It can save you money long-term. And the cloud will likely continue to improve over time. The year 2020 may be the one for you to move forward with implementation.


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Cloud ERP for many businesses in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Anchor Fabrication with Epicor

Anchor Fabrication Improves Productivity by 200% with Epicor

Epicor Software Corporation, a global provider of industry-specific enterprise software to promote business growth, today announced Anchor Fabrication, a Texas-based one-stop metal fabrication shop, has improved its productivity by up to 200% through the help of the Epicor ERP solution. Epicor ERP empowers a frictionless inventory and order management solution offering the flexibility to deliver world-class customer service while taking on a higher volume of daily transactions.

Anchor Fabrication caters to a wide variety of customers with a range of product needs – from plasma- and laser-cutting to machining, welding, and assembly work. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Anchor Fabrication has more than 1,000,000 square feet of manufacturing space across six facilities.

“We’ve built a reputation within the metal fabrication industry based on our efficiency and ability to quickly execute on a variety of services,” said Hector Robles, VP of manufacturing at Anchor Fabrication. “During site visits, customers often tell us they appreciate our ability to quickly lookup almost any particular part’s manufacturing history along with the number of times we’ve built those specific parts.”

 

Drastically reduced-order planning costs

Epicor ERP allows Anchor Fabrication to combine all work order data into a single job without the need for manual human entry – ultimately reducing order planning costs by over $100,000 each year.

“Anchor likes to inform employees with the most concise data and the best information possible for every job that goes to the floor. Epicor really helps to keep all that information together in one spot,” said Jason Davis, VP of sales at Anchor Fabrication.

Anchor Fabrication’s rapid delivery of manufacturing orders is due in part to their ability to perform dynamic nesting, made possible by the Epicor ERP platform, which allows the metal shop team to take work orders and perform them concurrently through integration with Service Connect. The software system examines all orders that are assigned to a certain machine and notifies the Anchor Fabrication team if any orders are a fit for simultaneous execution.

“Many metal fabricators only perform a single service – welding, cutting, coating – but Anchor Fabrication saw an opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition. They’ve strategically positioned themselves as an all-in-one metal fabrication service provider, and as a provider that can complete customer orders faster than single-service competitors,” said Terri Hiskey, VP of global product marketing at Epicor. “We’re very happy to see that our vertical industry specialization and product knowledge and capabilities have enabled Anchor Fabrication to work smarter, not harder – making a marked difference in the company’s business, productivity, and revenue.”

An effortless, adjustable fit

Anchor Fabrication began using Epicor ERP solutions in 2007 after determining that their previous software solution could not provide the required flexibility when it came to scheduling orders and making needed changes to orders in process.

“Epicor can tailor software solutions to fit the needs of the customer, whereas most ERP solution providers force customers to adapt to their software capabilities,” said Steven Pybus, VP of engineering at Anchor Fabrication. “They have a support team that really knows the product and solution.”

Source: Financial Buzz


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many businesses, including those in metal fabrication, in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

how to manage ERP customizations

How to Manage ERP Customization

Following up Elizabeth Quirk’s comments on how to manage ERP customization (see below), Data V Tech would like to add some information to complete the picture of this issue.

  • It is true that some ERP software requires knowledge of coding in order to customize the system. Some others, however, have been well-prepared with the drag-drop options. Epicor ERP is one explicit example as it allows end-users to easily learn and customize the system on their own.
  • How to manage ERP customization is usually the question of ERP vendors. That means your contract with the ERP providers should include this service. As a result, you do not need to worry about all technical problems or unforeseeable extra costs.

Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP) customizations have a much broader purview, and typically involve extensive software coding modifications to better fit the needs of the business. They’re far more labor-intensive, and the margin for error is virtually nonexistent. Once you start making changes to the system, it’s a slippery slope towards more. However, when managed and done correctly, customized ERP systems can benefit the organization as a whole. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of customizing an ERP solution, and how to manage one.

How to Manage ERP Customization

A study by Panorama Consulting showed that 90% of ERP systems have at least minor customizations, while 36% have customizations that involve modifying over 50% of the code. Only 2% are completely customized or homegrown. However, the landscape is clearly changing at an accelerated pace.

Consider the Pros and Cons

As you continue to make changes to the ERP system, it becomes much more complex and costly. Plus, upgrades can become the worst nightmare for businesses that have customized ERP. Since the code needs to be rewritten to support any modifications, upgrades become more and more difficult.

Panorama Consulting found that over-customization a key reason why so many organizations decide to replace their existing ERP systems – not because there is something wrong with the system really, but because it has been customized beyond the point of recognition. Customization requires design, development, deployment, and testing work, which is all very time consuming and sometimes very risky. Over-customization is one of the leading attributes to ERP failures, so it’s only fair that businesses would lean towards out-of-the-box ERP systems to avoid such risks.

However, the bright side of all this is that you will have an entire ERP system designed specifically to meet the needs of your business. Customizing allows you to modify and add your organization’s areas of competitive advantage. While most business leaders want to manage their implementations by simply using basic configuration, setup and personalization of the ERP software, a majority end up making fundamental changes to the source code.

Document and Identify Best Practices

It’s a good practice to document any existing and current industry best practices you cannot give up or change. Make sure that the ERP software vendors you are interested in providing explanations of how their specific solutions would address each business requirement.

Identifying the customizations that address business needs and provide demonstrated value is also important. Once an ERP customization is complete, ongoing source code management and documentation of customization-related activities are necessary to preserve the integrity of your ERP system.

Remove Unnecessary Customizations

The more your business grows, so does its needs and objectives. What was once a necessary business process may no longer be relevant to where you’re at now. Apply this to your ERP system. If an existing ERP customization no longer increases value, what’s the point of keeping it? According to Zach Hale, Marketing Copywriter for Gartner, after identifying dispensable customization, you can retire it in one of three ways:

  • Removing it entirely. The more isolated a customization, the less likely its removal will adversely impact the rest of the system. Only remove customization if you’re certain the rest of the ERP can subsist without it.
  • Disabling and hiding the functionality in the system. When customization is distributed among multiple system components, its removal will likely affect everything it touches (and not in a good way). In such a scenario, it’s better to simply disable or hide the customization and leave the underlying code as intact as possible.
  • Deciding not to upgrade your system or rebuild the customization in the new version. This should be your last resort, a scenario to be considered only when disabling or removing a customization would effectively kill your system. You’ll miss out on security updates and functionality enhancements, but hey, at least you’ll still have an ERP.

Source: Elizabeth Quirk


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP and support its customization for many businesses in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Epicor for care industry

Epicor targets Australia’s aged care industry with new solution

Epicor has launched a new Community Care solution with the primary aim of aiding in-home services for aged care providers. The new solution is part of the company’s Epicor Senior Living Solution (SLS) platform which is targeted towards providers and clients in the aged care industry.

According to the company, Epicor Community Care extends the vision of providing a fully-integrated and holistic software system for this growing industry.

The Epicor Community Carepart of Epicor SLSis delivered through the cloud and hosted in Australia, as such it meets privacy and legislative requirements.

According to Epicor, the solution provides a mobile-ready way for organizations to manage field staff and for the field staff to manage on the ground operations.

From identification to closure, the solution covers all areas of in-home or community care and can be used on any compatible device.

A crucial use of the solution is rostering, according to Epicor. Epicor Community Care lets aged care providers generate visits and services based on client preferences, in a client-centric approach, the company states.

It helps staff use resources according to their availability and expertise and enables organizations to schedule the right resources based on location, skills, availability and client need.

Epicor regional vice president ANZ Greg OLoan says, “The interaction between care worker and the client is instrumental in providing good outcomes. Making sure clients get the services they need, when they need them, from their preferred supplier can make a huge difference to the quality of care experienced by the client.

“This solution gives aged care providers additional control to allow for better outcomes. For example, if clients are more receptive to a particular care provider, then it makes sense to schedule that provider to attend to that client as much as possible. This means the client will have a better experience and be more likely to take their medications as directed.

“Or, if a client suffers from diabetes, then the aged care provider can roster workers who are highly experienced in caring for older people with diabetes, helping them to better manage their condition.”

When it comes to individual providers, Epicor Community Care gives them a clear view of their jobs for the day, and allows them to accept, progress, enter case notes, and complete jobs on a compatible mobile device anywhere and at any time.

In addition, they can use the in-built maps to get directions to the client address and stay in touch with the office at all times. This functionality is provided through the Epicor partner, JCurve Solutions, and its Riyo solution.

Epicor SLS is tight integration with Riyo and as such enables organizations to scale their business to meet demand through more efficient resource management, Epicor states.

OLoan says, “This solution not only supports aged care providers in adding in-home or community care services to their portfolio, but it also helps them move to the cloud.

“Cloud-based solutions hosted in Australia can add agility and efficiency to organizations. Importantly, the integrated Epicor SLS solution provides consolidated reporting and a single source of truth, which can help organizations make better decisions and be more efficient and competitive.”

“With an integrated customer relationship management component and deep business intelligence capabilities, Epicor SLS provides a C-level perspective on business performance.

“It can also facilitate daily operations at a faster pace, more seamlessly and reliably than bespoke solutions or point products that aren’t integrated. As the aged care market continues to evolve, providers will need to have the most modern solutions in place so they can continue to compete effectively,” he says.

When it comes to the increasing demand for such a solution, OLoan says, “Due to changing market requirements, there is a growing demand from aged care providers for a solution that simplifies the work of managing field staff and providing the best available care to the elderly, in the comfort of their own home.

“Aged care providers need powerful technology that lets them deliver high-quality care to their clients, through better workforce management, resource allocation, and talent acquisition and retention.”

Epicor states that Australian Government funding for home care has increased and in tandem with this more citizens are wanting to remain in their home as they age. In turn, this is increasing the need for in-home services delivered by aged care providers.

It is anticipated that by 2040 more in-home services will be provided in homes and independent living facilities than traditional nursing homes, and policy changes will also reflect the growing demand and shift in mentality.

Source: IT brief

 


 

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