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The decision to choose one ERP system over another is a difficult one for manufacturers to make. The evaluation process is extensive and requires juggling a business’ unique requirements, a product’s specialized offerings, the partner relationship, and so much more. Here’s how one of our customers weighed the pros and cons of Epicor versus IQMS to make their final selection in favor of the former.

Epicor Versus IQMS

We asked Metaphase Technologies’ President Kevin High three questions regarding how Metaphase reached their ultimate decision to implement Epicor ERP with Encompass Solutions as their manufacturing technology partner. Three questions of Epicor versus IQMS made it clear which of the two was a better fit for their organization.

an image of epicor versus IQMS as chosen by metaphase technologies

What were the perceived shortcomings of IQMS?

IQMS is great for manufacturers who are in the business of running high volume products. It is not flexible for companies who, like ourselves, have a high number of skews and produce low volume. Because of the nature of IQMS, we were not able to fully implement and utilize it for the reasons we liked it. Our employees also did not find it so user-friendly. It was rather ugly out-of-the-box and required a lot of customization that was beyond our scope. We simply did not have the funds at the time to throw into customizing it.

What criteria informed your decision to select Epicor as a replacement?

We were attracted to Epicor because of the simplicity of it for our users. There are a lot of drop-down options for our users to select from when they’re on a screen which simplifies a lot of the job on the floor. Things flow nicely from sales order to shipping. A couple of our top reasons for choosing Epicor was the integrated shipping module (Manifest – which integrates UPS, FEDEX, and DHL into Epicor) and also the integration to our Engineering programs (CadLink).

Are you satisfied with the implementation and functionality of Epicor?

Implementation is a long process. We used a third party (Encompass) to help us integrate which definitely helped me, as PM of the implementation. Epicor is so simple for the users since the data is selectable but that also means A LOT of data needs to be loaded and it requires quite a bit of set up before users can use it smoothly. Once that data is in there, the functionality of Epicor is great when everything in the process is perfect for that order.

Depending on the business, Epicor requires a lot of custom reporting.  If you have an internal resource who is able to do report writing for you then that would be helpful.

Lastly, I have no IT background but I have been able to learn how to customize screens and create queries in Epicor to pull specific data our company is looking for. Which means almost anybody else should be able to learn too. This is a huge plus!

Overall, I’m happy we went with Epicor but we just need to finish getting all of our ducks in a row before we get the rest of operations fully integrated into the software. I’m happy with the functionality of it since it is extremely customizable.

The One downfall: they don’t have a robust CRM for Sales.

About Metaphase Technologies

For more than two decades, Metaphase Technologies has been developing products that advance “The Quality of Light” through the engineering and manufacture of uniform diffuse high brightness and ultra brightness LED illuminators. Metaphase’s illuminators are specially designed for applications in machine vision, military, and specialty lighting. Metaphase boasts expertise in engineering flexible lighting solutions for ease of integration into vision systems design. The company’s LED illuminators are currently utilized in thousands of applications throughout the world, including vision-guided robotics, automation systems, line scan inspection units, and many others across the machine vision industry.

Metaphase Technologies Selects Encompass Solutions For Epicor ERP Implementation

As the first to standardize built-in constant current drivers, Metaphase continues to synergize cutting-edge machine vision LED lighting & control technologies in an effort to simplify innovation and increase customer return on investment.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider, Suite Success Partner, and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.

 


Database Health Check: Epicor Data Scrubber Utility

It’s good practice to check that your database health is at an appropriate level on a periodic basis. Over time, it’s possible to build up orphaned records, detail records that contain values that do not total to summary records, and other things that can cause performance and data integrity issues.

As long as you are current on maintenance, Epicor supply a tool that lets you check that your database is in tip-top condition, and will provide programs to resolve any issues that are uncovered. This is recommended not only before an upgrade to ensure things go smoothly but on a periodic basis for optimal database health.

The data scrubber utility is a collection of commonly applied data fixes, which the support technical team has gathered together into a package to do a “health check” of a customer’s system. They are continuously adding to it as they find additional opportunities.

The process:

  • The customer would log an issue requesting from support, we can do this under our customer’s site ID
    or Run the program against the database of choice
  • Each sub-routine will stop when it finds an invalid record and create an entry in a log file, then move on to the next routine (no tracking of the specific errors at this point)
  • Generates a log file which gets sent back to support.  Support will then send the relevant fix programs back to the customer
  • The customer runs each fix program, which will show all the relevant records and provide a chance to fix all, some or none of the records. This gives the customer enough information to troubleshoot the cause of the data problem and to fix it at source

This collection of assessment algorithms is new in the last few months, but the ‘fix it’ programs have been available individually for some time now.

An assessment should be considered as a maintenance routine and should be run for database health for all customers periodically, anyone going through a Business Process Review and anyone considering an Upgrade.

We will consider using this utility to get ahead of any E10 upgrades for database health and troubleshooting. We want to ensure that our customers upgrade with ‘good’ data. For larger databases, it may take a good couple of days, but it is really worth it!

The utility was discussed in several sessions at Epicor’s Insights 2015, so many of our customers will have heard about it and maybe asking themselves questions.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.