Definitive guide to Cloud ERP

The Definitive Guide to Cloud ERP

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have been around for decades, but only in recent years have cloud ERP systems been in the spotlight. In the past, ERP software was most often deployed on-premise. However, nearly 60% of large enterprises with ERP solutions up for replacement are projected to switch from traditional on-premise to cloud ERP deployments by 2020.

What Is Cloud ERP?

A cloud ERP solution hosts software and data on a remote third-party server. Companies generally pay a subscription fee to access the software through the internet. Vendors are responsible for software maintenance and updates. The data service provider manages the hardware and ensures data security and backup.

Companies are adopting new technologies at a faster pace than ever. The market for cloud ERP solutions is rapidly growing and promises flexibility, scalability, and agility. But how do they deliver on these promises?

Whether you’re considering a cloud ERP solution or actively in the market for one, you’ll want to do your homework and research the different deployment options.

To help you with this process, we’ve put together this in-depth guide on the types of ERP deployment, the issues you should consider when deciding between cloud or on-premise ERP solutions, and profiles of the top cloud ERP vendors. We’ve also included insights from industry experts, as well as definitions for the many technical terms people use when talking about cloud ERP software.

Types of Deployment

The three main types of ERP deployment are cloud, on-premise, and hybrid.

1. Cloud ERP

Cloud ERP solutions are typically hosted in a multi-tenant public cloud. Let’s define each of these terms:

  • Public cloud: Data is stored in a remote third-party data center that’s responsible for the maintenance, backup, and security of the hardware and data.
  • Multi-tenant: The vendor offers a single version of the software to multiple companies simultaneously and is responsible for maintenance and updates.

In addition, cloud ERP software may be specifically designed for the cloud or migrated to it.

  • Cloud-native: Software is built and optimized for the cloud.
  • Cloud-based: Software is migrated from legacy on-premise software to the cloud. If you’re selecting an ERP system that’s cloud-based, make sure the software’s underlying architecture has been optimized for the cloud; otherwise, it may be slower and less responsive.

Lastly, a less common type of deployment is hosted ERP, which is similar to cloud ERP in that the vendor maintains and updates the software. The difference is that cloud ERP software is web-enabled and accessed via the internet, but a hosted ERP solution is accessed through a virtual private network (VPN) or a physical client workstation/terminal.

2. On-premise ERP

On-premise ERP software is installed and customized on the company’s own hardware and servers. The company typically pays a one-time license fee and is responsible for maintenance, security, and backup of the software and data.

An on-premise ERP solution may also be hosted on a single-tenant private cloud.

  • Private cloud: Data is stored on the company’s intranet or hosted behind a firewall by a data center. The company is responsible for the maintenance, backup, and security of the hardware and data. If the hardware fails, the company needs to pay for replacements.
  • Single-tenant: Companies have dedicated access to their data and software, which can be integrated with other applications or services on the same cloud provider.

3. Hybrid ERP

Hybrid ERP solutions combine cloud and on-premise solutions, often from multiple vendors. This is becoming more common as many companies integrate newer cloud ERP software into their legacy on-premise system.

77% of enterprises have at least one application or a portion of their enterprise computing infrastructure in the cloud.

On-Premise vs Cloud ERP

When it comes to choosing between on-premise and cloud ERP solutions, there are many issues to consider. In the following sections, we’ll compare:

Implementation

  • Costs
  • Usability
  • Security
  • Upgrades

Here’s a broad overview of the ideal customers and benefits for each type of deployment.

Definitive-Guide-to-Cloud-ERP-Data-V_Tech-Epicor_ERP

Cloud ERP Implementation

Implementing an on-premise system is an extensive process. It typically consists of seven stages:

  • Research
  • Installation
  • Migration
  • Testing
  • Training
  • Deployment
  • Support

Cloud implementation can save time, money, and stress compared to on-premise implementation because it:

  • Doesn’t require the purchase and installation of hardware, data servers, and software
  • Doesn’t require significant customization
  • Needs fewer internal IT, data security and implementation staff
  • Integrates more easily with existing ERP systems and other applications
  • Still, the most difficult aspect of implementation is managing change for employees within the company, which is an issue no matter which deployment you choose.

Cloud ERP Pricing

On-premise ERP solutions have large up-front costs, including:

  • Software license ownership
  • Implementation team
  • Software customization
  • Hardware and software installation
  • Data security, backup, and storage
  • Support staff

In total, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can expect to pay between $75,000 and $750,000 for an on-premise ERP solution. Costs for large businesses range from $1 million to $10 million.

On the other hand, cloud ERP solutions don’t involve owning and installing hardware and software. Instead, they generally use a software-as-a-service (SaaS) licensing and delivery model, in which:

  • The company pays a subscription fee that includes software access and updates, as well as data security, backup, and storage
  • The subscription fee is paid monthly or annually based on the number of users and level of features
  • The company only pays for what it needs and can scale usage easily if required
  • The vendor maintains and updates a standardized version of the ERP software, which usually doesn’t offer much customization

Overall, you’ll pay approximately $4,000 per month for a cloud ERP solution with 20 users.

Cloud ERP systems can cost 50% less than on-premise ERP systems for a 100-employee company over a four-year period.

Critics often note that while cloud deployments are cheaper at first, the monthly payments add up to a higher total cost of ownership in the long run. This is only true, however, if companies don’t need to upgrade their software.

We’ll discuss upgrades later in more detail, but be aware that as new technologies are incorporated into ERP systems, companies will need to upgrade more often to remain competitive.

Cloud software can be updated and integrated more easily than on-premise software, which may require expensive reimplementation or customization.

Another cost-friendly alternative is open-source ERP software, which is publicly available and free to install and customize. It’s commonly implemented on-premise, however, and many vendors only provide cloud deployments with a SaaS subscription.

Cloud ERP Usability

Most cloud solutions are designed with the user in mind, so they typically have intuitive interfaces and are accessible from mobile devices.

” A great capability of the cloud is its ability to deliver real-time data to users across multiple locations. Now people in disparate locations will communicate and collaborate using real-time data, and remote workers or employees in the field can stay connected to the most up-to-date insights.

Companies using mobile cloud ERP software also report improvements in data accuracy, and modern technology can minimize or eliminate mistakes by reducing the need for redundant data entry.”

Ray Rebello, Director of Product Marketing, Acumatica.

Many on-premise solutions were designed years ago, so interfaces may not feel as user-friendly. One benefit, however, is that on-premise deployments can be accessed even without an internet connection.

 

Cloud ERP Security

Some companies worry about security with a public cloud, but most cloud ERP vendors rely on reputable data service providers, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM.

These providers offer 24/7 monitoring, and security breaches are rare. For companies with little to no IT or data security staff, using a public cloud may be safer and less stressful.

In addition, companies with their own data servers are increasingly concerned about ransomware attacks, which use malicious software to block companies from accessing their data. The attackers demand a ransom to restore access, and even if the company pays, the data may still remain blocked.

Public clouds offer data backup, so ransomware attacks become less catastrophic.

49% of organizations are planning to migrate disaster recovery to the cloud in the next one to three years.

A private, single-tenant cloud offers even more privacy, control, and customization than a public cloud. Although it’s not offered by many vendors, for companies that face strict data security regulations — in the health care and financial industries, for example — it may be the only option.

Cloud ERP Upgrades

One of the biggest mistakes companies make during implementation is not planning for future growth and scale.

On-premise ERP solutions typically have numerous customizations that make upgrading not only time-consuming and costly but also may require the company to shut down its ERP system and reimplement the entire solution. It’s unsurprising that many companies with on-premise ERP systems never upgrade.

On the other hand, because cloud ERP solutions are typically standardized, upgrades can be delivered seamlessly, automatically, and routinely.

” The last few years have seen more advances in technology than the previous two decades combined.

Incumbents must evolve. New entrants must rapidly scale. And all need to become intelligent enterprises that connect business processes with advanced technologies and software solutions for incredible customer outcomes.”

Richard Strattner Jr., Global Head of Product Marketing, S/4HANA, SAP

Cloud ERP solutions are also well-positioned to take advantage of and integrate new technology and services. In particular, vendors are turning toward artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to deliver next-generation insights.

AI can be used to analyze shop floor data and guide warehouse selection, as well as configure-to-order and engineer-to-order processes. Wearables and data collection devices that communicate using IoT can transmit data that are used to improve overall equipment effectiveness, reduce equipment breakdown, and increase asset utilization.

How to Choose an ERP Deployment

Now that we’ve covered the implementation, costs, usability, security, and upgrades of cloud and on-premise ERP solutions, we’d like to highlight specific situations in which you might choose one over the other. There are benefits to both deployments, and your final decision will depend on the unique needs of your company.

Choose a cloud ERP system if you…

  • Can’t afford a huge initial investment
  • Need to deploy quickly
  • Don’t require much customization
  • Have little to no IT staff
  • Want to integrate the ERP solution with other services or software now or in the future
  • Have multiple locations that need to use the system simultaneously
  • Are comfortable outsourcing data security, backup, and storage
  • Prefer a web-based interface and better mobile access

” You often hear about the financial and IT advantages of cloud versus on-premise based ERP, but the real, big advantages of cloud ERP are business benefits.

Companies with true cloud ERP are able to innovate more rapidly, out-service the competition, and connect easily with customers, suppliers, and employees. The business and strategic benefits dwarf the others.”

Tom Brennan, Chief Marketing Officer, Rootstock

Choose an on-premise ERP system if you…

  • Maintain a large data center and IT staff
  • Require extensive customization
  • Have business processes, such as incumbent manufacturing execution systems and advanced planning and scheduling, that require a lot of bandwidth
  • Need access even during internet downtime
  • Want to retain control over the software and data
  • Are prohibited from storing data in a public cloud by industry regulations

Choose a hybrid ERP system if you…

  • Have an on-premise solution but want best-of-breed cloud solutions
  • Need to access data from your on-premise solution through a mobile or web-based cloud platform
  • Want to transition from an on-premise solution to a cloud solution more easily at a later date

Top Cloud ERP Vendors

The following vendors offer popular cloud ERP solutions.

Acumatica

Acumatica serves customers in the manufacturing, accounting, distribution, retail, and commerce industries.

Its Distribution Management module helps companies track inventory, improve customer service, manage quotes and orders, and more. Its Project Accounting module offers built-in accounting tools that manage timesheets, budgets, and project inventory. Both functions integrate with various modules, including customer relationship management (CRM), manufacturing, and financials, for visibility across an organization.

Acumatica has multiple deployment methods, including public cloud SaaS, private cloud hosting, and on-premise.

Epicor

Epicor - all about cloud ERPEpicor is built for organizations of all sizes – although it mainly targets mid-sized companies – involved in manufacturing.

The software offers features and functionality to handle accounting and finance, project management, CRM, inventory, pre-production materials planning, manufacturing execution, human capital, supply chain management, global business management, and more.

Customers can purchase modules individually or the entire suite. The software can be installed on-premise or in the cloud.

Infor ERP

Infor is designed to help distribution and manufacturing companies run core business operations. Its solution is primarily intended for SMBs but can scale to cater to the needs of larger organizations.

Modules include accounting, human resources, sourcing, project management, CRM, and supply chain. The Workforce Planning feature helps manufacturers and distributors optimize their headcount to meet scheduling criteria. The Advanced Planning & Scheduling features allow users to immediately determine if they have the workforce, machines, tools, and materials needed to manufacture a product.

The solution supports on-premise, cloud, and hybrid deployments.

IQMS

IQMS helps large discrete and batch-process manufacturers monitor and track manufacturing and business data and activities throughout the supply chain.

Modules include business intelligence (BI), product planning and scheduling, supply chain management, warehouse and shipping management, and CRM. Its Inventory module allows users to facilitate lean manufacturing processes by creating individual inventory master records for different locations.

IQMS offers flexible licensing models and can be deployed in private or public clouds, as well as on-premise.

Microsoft Dynamics AX

Microsoft Dynamics AX helps SMBs and large enterprises streamline the administrative and manufacturing processes of their business.

It supports build-to-forecast, made-to-order, and engineer-to-order supply chain models across both batch and discrete-process manufacturing processes. Its capabilities also include warehouse management, production management, product lifecycle management, materials requirement planning, business intelligence, and asset management.

The software can be installed on-premise or hosted in the cloud.

Oracle Netsuite

Oracle NetSuite is a cloud-based, integrated suite of applications from which a company manages financials, orders, production, warehouse, fulfillment, procurement, and human capital. The seven integrated modules aim to streamline business processes while contributing scalable functionality as a company grows.

Drawing from a common database, the ERP modules integrate with NetSuite’s other applications, like CRM, inventory, order management, and e-commerce to accelerate closings, ensure compliance, and provide real-time analysis.

Oracle NetSuite can be deployed in the cloud and integrated with legacy systems using a two-tier ERP system.

QAD

QAD Enterprise Applications supports global manufacturers in the automotive, consumer products, food and beverage, high-technology, industrial and life-sciences sectors.

Its modules include manufacturing, financials, customer management, demand and supply chain management, and analytics. The solution is FDA “qualified” and auditable for life-sciences customers and offers a suite of process maps that helps automotive customers meet critical industry standards, such as the Materials Management Operational Guideline/Logistics Evaluation.

The software can be deployed on-premise, through the cloud, or with a hybrid implementation.

Ramco

Ramco targets over 40 industry verticals such as manufacturing, energy, government, and real estate. Its solution may be too robust for small businesses.

It has modules in finance and accounting, supply chain management, production, quality assurance, project management, and human resources. The supply chain management module includes a supplier portal so a company’s vendors can access and act on up-to-date information. The production module is tailored to both discrete and process manufacturing.

Ramco can be deployed in public and private clouds, as well as on-premise.

SAP

Business One is SAP’s ERP software for SMBs in the consumer products, industrial machinery and components, professional services, retail information, and wholesale distribution sectors.

Its modules include financials, purchasing, inventory, sales, project management, operations, and CRM. The purchasing and inventory control module manages the complete order-to-pay cycle, including receipts, invoices, returns, and payments to optimize purchasing practices and control costs.

The solution can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. Pricing is based on the number of users.

Source: Andrew Ly

Highlights of what's new in Epicor ERP Cloud 10.2.700

Epicor ERP Cloud: Upgrade to 10.2.700 this September

Your Epicor ERP Cloud pilot instance will upgrade to the newest release 10.2.700 this September, so let’s check out some highlights of this version in this article.

 

What’s New In Epicor ERP 10.2.700

More details will be released as we near September 2020, but a few highlights of this Epicor ERP 10.2.700 include:

  • Cloud Read-only Data Access—Safely and securely view your data in a read-only environment. Epicor ERP Cloud Data Access is a new offering that allows for read-only access to your Epicor ERP instance. This new offering gives freedom of access while also safeguarding data security and system integrity. Access to the database will be on a read-only basis, but also near real-time (within seconds) to provide high value, whether leveraged by you directly or by ISV partners via APIs.

  • Epicor Advanced Unit of Measure—Seamlessly conduct business in a different unit of measure. A new capability, primarily aimed at the metals industry and adjacent industries, provides the ability to buy and value material in one unit of measure and transact in a different unit of measure.

  • Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) Financial Reporting—Budgeting, forecasting, and planning simplified. EDA Budgeting and Planning will provide an easy-to-use solution for budgeting, forecasting, and planning. With EDA Budgeting and Planning, you will be able to create financial budgets from scratch or prior year actuals and generate a budgeting workflow process, eliminating the need for Excel spreadsheets.

  • Epicor Kinetic—Continuing the journey to provide a modern and intuitive user experience with Epicor Kinetic. With this release, Epicor Kinetic is focused on the transformation of maintenance screens and quote to cash process forms targeting high-impact maintenance and entry screens. New enhancements will be made to Epicor Application Studio, which allows you to tailor Kinetic forms with low/without code that won’t break during an upgrade.

 

Source: Epicor Software Corporation.


Data V Tech is the authorized partner of Epicor Software Corporation in Vietnam. For further information about the upgrade of Epicor as well as other services, 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 for Small Medium Manufacturers

Epicor Strategy Empowers Digitalization for Small & Medium Manufacturers

Epicor has created an architecture for companies, particularly small and medium manufacturers (those with employee numbers ranging from 20 to more than 1,000), to help them find a way to improve manufacturing competitiveness, profits, flexibility, and quality. Using Industry 4.0, and Internet of Things concepts, they introduced Cloud ERP. The software was positioned as “Visionary” in the Gartner 2018 Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERP in the product-centric midsize enterprise. Gartner noted that Epicor ERP has a reputation for being a flexible and highly capable product for small and midsize manufacturing companies.

Many small and medium manufacturers have asked me if digitalization though the implementation of Industry 4.0 and IoT concepts is practical for them. Thus, I took a deeper look at these developments.

I had the opportunity to discuss Epicor’s developments and directions with Terri Hiskey, Epicor’s Vice President of Global Product Marketing, Manufacturing and Andrew Robling, a Principal Product Manager  Robling mentioned that there is a growing interest in manufacturing modernization, with many companies designating a Digital Transformation Officer to facilitate the process, and Hiskey agreed.

In order to compete in today’s fast-paced environment, manufacturers must have a strategy for digitization in place. Modern manufacturers want to be able to streamline operations to gain greater transparency and visibility across their business, and they want to move from being reactive to proactive with their business strategies and operations. So investment in intelligent solutions that can automate processes, provide a single source of visibility across the factory floor and can help identify emerging trends so they can make more informed decisions is key to their success.” – Terri Hiskey, Epicor.

epicor mes

The Epicor architecture supports integration from the sensor to the enterprise to create efficient and responsive manufacturing.  The plant-level interfaces include OPC and connections with Epicor’s Machine Interface Unit (MIU).

Starting the Digitalization Journey

Epicor recommends manufacturers, including those small and medium, begin the digitalization journey by taking three basic steps to start:

  • 1st step: Identity what it should monitor and track via a sensor. In particular, whether that is temperature, vibration, the number of products, etc.
  • 2nd step: Apply a sensor to that machine and set the ‘normal’ threshold.
  • 3rd step: Link that sensor to an ERP/MES system to visualize and act upon data.

Through these steps, the sensors collect data that the machine in the system generates. The system then transforms the data into understandable and actionable information in order to achieve more responsive manufacturing. Personnel throughout manufacturers can get immediate access to data and warnings when real operations are outside of defined tolerances and thresholds, alerting workers to adjustments required to proactively ensure efficient operations. The greater visibility and accurate information about manufacturing operations help empower workers to add more value.

Integrating a Manufacturing Execution System (MES)

While MES is not a new technology, the Epicor Mattec MES is tightly integrated with the Epicor ERP system and collects data directly from equipment and operators on the shop floor in real-time, using OPC and the Machine Interface Unit (MIU). The purpose is to help gain real-time insight to pinpoint critical issues and reduce waste while improving quality and customer service. Everyone in the plant and throughout the organization can then take action to improve manufacturing performance.  The Epicor Mattec MES can also be used independently with other ERP systems.

epicor mattec mes

The Epicor Building Blocks

To help manufacturers, particularly those small and medium, continue the digitalization journey, the Epicor architecture creates the following building blocks:

Machine Interface Unit – MIU

The function of the MIU is to capture real-time data using digital and analog sensors including temperature pressure and vibration. The unit also can connect to PLC and controllers to access data.  The latest MIU version is based on a Raspberry Pi processor. It can be a blind node or have an optional touchscreen display for operator interaction. The unit also features a large memory cache in order to ensure information is available in the event of network interruptions and outages.

Shop Floor HMI

The Mattec Shop Floor HMI enables real-time shop floor monitoring of production activities, operator production data entry and job changes. Further, it helps to review current and upcoming job data, quality activities, and to perform maintenance. The Epicor Mattec MES Shop Floor HMI software runs on any device with an HTML 5 compatible browser, facilitating BYOD (bring your own device) strategies. The interface is configurable to conform to the operators’ and users’ manufacturing environment. Operators use the HMI to execute jobs and manage equipment, log and track time spent on machine & tool maintenance, track downtime events, and reasons, initiate and acknowledge calls for machine assistance.

Mattec Shop Floor HMI that supports Embedded context-based videos and PDF Files providing information to increase productivity and quality.

CAD Data Integration

Epicor QBiuld’s CADLink software facilitates direct creation of Epicor Item Master and Bill Of Materials (BOM) records identical to engineering CAD data, working to ensure reliability and quality of work order documentation.

Epicor Virtual Agent (EVA)

The company recently introduced the Epicor Virtual Agent (EVA). This feature provides a natural language interface to interact with the Epicor system using text and voice. Beyond the request/response conversational experience, EVA also uses artificial intelligent (AI) capabilities to proactively deliver alerts and carry out targeted actions based on combinations of events, market statistics, and historical data. EVA was developed using AI services from Microsoft Azure and can be added to all sizes and types of Epicor ERP implementations.

Epicor Data Analytics

Phocas software enables Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) to visualize and analyze data from production to sales. EDA is a cloud service with tools built for non-technical users. Furthermore, you can access EDA from any device to track business-critical KPIs on visual, customizable dashboards.

Cloud Strategy

Epicor offers ERP software-as-a-service (SaaS) in the cloud. The design is to remove the burden of maintaining secure backup servers and ongoing lifecycle maintenance. As a result, it is beneficial for many organizations. The MES Mattec server resides at the manufacturing facility to ensure ongoing operations and responsiveness.

Making the Most of the Digitalization Proposition

Andrew Robling, Principal Product Manager summed up the discussion with an exciting look into the future. “At Epicor, we believe that companies that adopt digitization strategies will not only continue to compete in today’s global marketplace but will take market share away from their competitors by reducing costs, boosting customer satisfaction and ultimately increasing profits,” Robling opined.

This view is shared by more than just Epicor. Throughout the industry, it is important for small and medium manufacturers to invest in technology that is appropriate for them. As a result, they can leverage Industry 4.0 and digitalization concepts and methods to remain viable and competitive. Epicor is one option to help manufacturers, especially those small and medium, along the way.