Recently, we’ve been receiving many questions on Epicor’s Lifecycle Policy. This blog will outline the currently supported versions of the Epicor ERP system, the difference between Active and Sustaining support, and the upgrade options available.

Release Lifecycle

Like other software packages, Epicor Kinetic requires frequent patching. These can be for cosmetic (Updates), functional enhancements (Releases), or wholesale architecture changes (Version). Regular patching is necessary to keep the software running smoothly or plug security holes to keep you and your data safe. Epicor’s cadence is defined and outlined in the graphic below of how often you can expect updates, releases, and versions from Epicor. 

Support Lifecycle

Support is an essential part of any software package, and when things are running smoothly, you seldom need it. However, when issues arise and you need support, having an active support contract is the difference between being down for a short period versus an extended outage. The chart below shows what you can expect from a support contract. 

Active support gives you full access to Epicor phone support, security updates, and new issue investigation, to name a few. Sustaining support gives limited phone support, access to the latest release, and an online knowledge base. While you will no longer be able to purchase new modules under Sustaining support, you can purchase additional users for your version.

Review the comprehensive FAQs for Epicor’s support lifecycle. You will need a valid Epicor EpicWeb ID to review the guide. 

Product Lifecycle

All good things must come to an end. Or so the saying goes, right? The good news is Epicor software supports versions back to Version 8.03.400 and earlier under their Sustaining support model. Below is a chart outlining the transition date for each version of Epicor Kinetic ERP. If you are on the Epicor Public Cloud model, you never have to worry about being out of Active support – more on this option below.

What are the Options?

Your options are straightforward. On-premise customers have two options:

  1. On-premise upgrade: As long as you have an active maintenance contract with Epicor, you are entitled to the latest version of the Epicor Kinetic versions. This version can be installed in your server farm, a hosted server farm, or your cloud subscription (i.e. Azure, AWS, Google, etc.)
  2. Migration to Epicor SAAS Cloud: You can migrate your on-premise database up to the Epicor public cloud. Doing so provides a future of hassle-free upgrades and allows you to get back to running your business.

No matter which option you choose you will need to do something if you are on Epicor ERP 10.2 or earlier. To have a conversation about upgrading your Epicor software, email info@encompass-inc.com.


As workers increasingly take stock of their careers and their lives, the manufacturing industry is experiencing challenges attracting and retaining skilled labor. From March-April 2020, there was an 11% lag in employment for manufacturing. Some industry segments rebounded well by the end of 2020, but two years on there are still nearly 500,000 open manufacturing jobs.

Technology solutions, like manufacturing execution systems (MES), can help manufacturers address the labor shortage intelligently with faster, easier ways to onboard new workers, collect and share data, and monitor processes and performance to make critical adjustments that improve operations and productivity. Technology is also attractive to a new generation of workers who are already digitally fluent and expect to use digital tools on the job. Given a choice between multiple job offers, 91% of Gen Z candidates say the technology offered by an employer would be a factor in their decision.

Here’s a closer look at three areas where MES can help your business operate more smoothly with the resources you have and the new workers you bring on board.

1. Speed up Employee Onboarding

Turnover is common in manufacturing as seasonal work and other demands keep workers coming and going. But to meet production demands, manufacturers need staff levels to remain as stable as possible, which means every new worker has to get up to speed fast.

MES can operate as a virtual onboarding tool for new workers, providing training documentation and videos, work instructions and drawings, process steps, and on-demand assistance through an easy-to-use touch-screen interface. As workers advance through onboarding and training, MES can also manage their skills and capabilities to let businesses know when workers are ready to run a machine or can be scheduled on specific work cells.

MES makes hiring and training easier by helping workers ramp up quickly so manufacturers can operate as expected, no matter the circumstances.

2. Efficiently Collect and Share Data

Manufacturing workers deal with data all the time, but much of it is handled through manual methods like tracking down part numbers, images, and drawings, making calculations, or writing information down on paper by hand. These manual methods create undue complexity for new workers and increase the risk of errors and delays—all of which impact productivity.

MES streamlines data collection, sharing, and reporting by automating changeovers, part counts, and parts fulfillment that can reduce human error and time wasted hunting for information. Automated, accurate, real-time data collection also gives manufacturers much-needed visibility into inventory, part availability, and machine performance to better understand what’s happening on the shop floor.

MES not only unburdens workers from manual, error-prone data processes that hurt job satisfaction, it also helps manufacturers make better business decisions to improve operations and reduce overhead and labor.

3. Improve Processes and Performance

Collecting data on processes helps manufacturers understand the production environment so they can monitor the issues and variables that impact the rest of the production line or even the end customer. The problem is that relying on physical inspections and quality checks for process monitoring is time-consuming and inefficient.

MES automates process monitoring through statistical process and quality control methodologies and part quantification. The software can be programmed to stop a machine or turn on an alarm when necessary. Data is collected from each operator to understand their efficiency and experience levels, identify where more training may be necessary, and reward top-performing workers. Automated process monitoring and performance analytics also allow manufacturers to understand the number of workers and shifts that are needed to meet production demand.

MES allows machine operators to focus their time on production and performing a job well, instead of cumbersome quality checks, while giving you valuable insight into your labor and hiring needs.

MES is Today’s Answer to Manufacturing Labor Challenges

The volatility of the manufacturing labor market may not let up anytime soon, but it doesn’t have to derail your business. MES technology provides a path forward, giving you the digital tools and information you need to swiftly and successfully bring on new workers and make more efficient and productive use of your current workforce. Better data around processes and performance improves day-to-day operations on the shop floor and uncovers specific labor needs. MES can even help you reduce your labor footprint by turning over the most repetitive and inefficient tasks to automated technology solutions.

The transition to Industry 4.0 and smart factory technology is already underway. MES can help you get there with less disruption and more confidence.

-Epicor


Experience the look and feel of SecturaSOFT’s quoting and estimating solution for metal manufacturers: SecturaFAB. The tool allows manufacturers to optimize and automate their estimating and quoting activities. SecturaFAB uses graphical representation & nesting logic to optimize the quote generation process for manufacturers primarily in the fabricated metals, metal services, and industrial machinery industries. Below are two short videos that provide an overview of the tool, as well as a spotlight on the configurator tool for OEMs.

 

MFG-SecturaFAB-VI-Asset-Card-ENS (1)

 

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. 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, or 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 the Industry.


Experience the look and feel of SecturaSOFT’s quoting and estimating solution for packaging customers: SecturaPAQ. The tool allows manufacturers to optimize and automate their packaging, printing, and container cutting activities. SecturaPAQ uses graphical representation & nesting logic to optimize the quote generation process for manufacturers primarily in the folded carton and print & pack industries. Below is a video that provides a high-level overview of the tool.

 

MFG-SecturaPAQ-VI-Asset-Card-ENS (1)

 

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. 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, or 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 the Industry.


Frequently asked questions about leveraging SecturaSOFT as part of the Epicor Kinetic ERP solution.

 

MFG-SecturaSOFT-FAQ-ENS

 

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. 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, or 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 the Industry.


Kinetic, the new name of Epicor ERP, is the cloud ERP solution built with manufacturers, for manufacturers. Accelerate your growth and gain momentum to maximize profitability and position your business for the future of manufacturing.

Capture the true value of cloud ERP with Kinetic. An intuitive, configurable, and guided user experience with embedded learning helps you maximize your profitability with real-time business intelligence and built-in collaboration tools. Kinetic has the functionality you need to run a modern, future-ready business poised to capitalize on data, transform digitally, and innovate without limits.

Upgrading To Kinetic

  • If you are currently running on a previous version of Epicor ERP listed below on-premises, and you upgrade to Kinetic on-premises, there will be no license change as it’s just considered an upgrade within the same deployment
  • If you choose to move to the cloud from an on-premises, there will be a license change to transition to the SaaS deployment

This table provides a quick overview of how your licensing is impacted when you upgrade to Kinetic

Upgrading to Kinetic table

Upgrade Services Program

You can do your upgrade to the latest Kinetic release on-premises or cloud with the help of the Encompass consulting and Managed Services teams. We offer the services and tools to help contribute to your successful upgrade.

The Epicor Signature Methodology is leveraged in every Epicor Professional Services engagement to implement and upgrade your ERP software. Decades of successful software implementations and upgrades have refined the program, resulting in minimized risk, cost, and business disruption. The process of upgrading has driven the need for a specific upgrade methodology to move to the latest Kinetic release. The upgrade program incorporates the elements needed from the upgrade Signature Methodology with the additional assistance your business may need—including technical consulting, customization services, reporting services, configurator services, EDI services, and onsite business consulting

Cloud Upgrade Services

Moving to the cloud has never been easier. Epicor has invested in secure, cloud-enabled tooling and services that provide a system analysis before the upgrade, as well as an environment for packing and delivering business-specific upgrade elements such as data conversion and customizations.

Epicor offers rapid data conversion services that include data cleansing and post-upgrade reconciliation analysis. To reduce the upgrade timeline, we deploy Cloud View where users can use a secure cloud environment to learn and test their release and self-upgrade customizations and reports. To assist with more complex customizations,  à la carte conversion services are also available. Finally, as employee adoption is critical to the success of the release, Epicor Learning offers education via the cloud-based Epicor Learning Center (ELC).

Upgrading to Kinetic infographic

 

Adopting the New User Experience

The new browser-based user experience is one of the biggest benefits you get when upgrading to Kinetic. You can adopt the new UX at your own pace to minimize business disruption with our phased approach. We recommend you start getting familiar by using the Kinetic Home Page. It’s the easiest way to introduce the new user experience and get access to great onboarding features like the Help and Support Panel where you can access contextual and guided training. For more information, please refer to the Getting Started with the Kinetic User Experience Guide, which is located on the EpicWeb Kinetic UX Resources Site, the one-stop shop for everything related to new user experience adoption.

After you upgrade, to assist with the change management process, you can continue using the classic user interface (UI) but there are important lifecycle details you need to consider:

With Kinetic 2021.1, Epicor will no longer continue enhancing the classic UI. Critical and compliance updates will be available for 2 years, but new functionality will only be added to the new browser-based Kinetic UI going forward. After 2 years, the classic UI and the classic and modern shells will be available in the software but not updated After 3 years from the release of Kinetic 2021.1, the classic UI, and classic and modern shells will be removed from the Kinetic application.

What happens to my existing customizations?

Your existing classic customizations are not going away when you upgrade to Kinetic 2021.1. They will continue to work in the Classic user interface alongside the Kinetic UX forms you have enabled, so you can adopt the new user experience at your own pace without business disruption. If you have customization attached to a form that has been converted to Kinetic, by default the application opens it in the classic UI.

From Customization to Low/No Code Configuration

There is a program in place to uplift your existing classic customizations to the new user experience. We’ll guide you during the transition with resources and programs to facilitate the upgrade and end-user adoption process. You can run it during the upgrade to Kinetic or any time after. The Professional Services team can help you get started. For more information regarding the new Kinetic user experience, you can access the EpicWeb Kinetic UX Resources site which contains helpful resources and it’s constantly updated.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. 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, or 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 the Industry.


Don’t miss these upcoming Epicor ERP webinars covering new features, software, and support for Kinetic users.

EpicCare Support and Best Practices (Global Time Zones)

Join the Epicor Customer Success team for this practical session, where you will learn how to get the best from Epicor Support. This webcast will include live demos of the new updates to the EpicCare portal, searching tips for the knowledge base, and a review of the best practices for support.​​

Multiple sessions are offered to reach as many users of Kinetic ​products across all the various regions that Epicor supports. Please find the Americas time zones offered below and reach out to your Customer Account Manager ​or info@encompass-inc.com with any questions. 

Webcast Details:

Date Time Registration Link
​November 10, 2021 ​10:00 am – 11:00 am CST Register Now
​December 1, 2021 ​​11:00 am – 12:00 pm CST Register Now
​December 15, 2021 ​10:00 am – 11:00 am CST Register Now​
​December 29, 2021 ​​11:00 am – 12:00 pm CST Register Now​​
​January 12, 2022 ​10:00 am – 11:00 am CST Register Now

 

SecturaSOFT — the Fastest Quoting Platform for Metal Fabricators

Join this session to discover: SecturaSOFT, a multi-discipline estimating and quoting tool that helps metal fabricators automate and optimize activities around the quoting process while using less shop floor labor.

SecturaSOFT uses advanced nesting logic and data visualization tools to significantly speed up the quote generation process, as well as optimize runtimes, welding costs, complex cutting operations, and more. SecturaSOFT is integrated directly into Kinetic, allowing for a two-way flow of relevant data.

Join the webinar to learn how your metal fabrication business can:

  • ​Increase shop throughput and speed to quote with the ability to import PDF, 3D & 2D CAD files
  • Build quotes in seconds rather than days
  • Decrease training time by as much as 80%
  • Increase win rate by up to 40%
  • Improve accuracy of machinery runtimes
  • Create consistency

​Event Details

Live Date: Thursday, November 18, 2021
Live Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am  CST

​​​Featured Speakers

Daniel Chavez
Product Marketing Manager
Epicor Software

Brad Stropes
Chief Executive Officer
SecturaSOFT

Mike Dolphin
Manager. Solutions Engineers
Epicor Software
Click on the Register Now button below to save your spot to learn more about SecturaSOFT.

Sage Clarity: ABLE

Join this session to discover ABLE.

ABLE is a cloud-based, Internet of Things (IoT) solution that provides real-time root cause analysis for manufacturing operations and extends the capabilities offered by Epicor’s Advanced MES system.

Epicor Advanced MES Ecosystem apps powered by Sage Clarity provide customers with new Industry 4.0 tools. The MES Eco system app suite provides Industry 4.0 modules, integrations, and plug-in apps for Epicor’s Advanced MES system. The Ecosystem apps can be installed on either new or existing machines.

With ABLE Apps, your business can thrive with:

  • Better root cause analysis for complex production lines
  • No PLC Programming is required, eliminating the need for a concentrator PLC
  • The ability to create digital twins from real-time manufacturing data
  • Cloud-based configuration for enterprise management
  • Live plant view and visualizations

Click on the Register Now button below to save your spot to learn more about Sage Clarity ABLE.

Event Details

Live Date: Thursday, November 18, 2021
Live Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am  CST

Featured Speakers

Andrew Robling
Principal Product Marketing Manager
Epicor Software

John Oskin
Chief Executive Officer
Sage Clarity

5 Ways EDA can help with Supply Chain Disruptions

Operation and Supply Chain professionals are regularly tasked with supplying evidence of the value and impact of operational performance. Production and delivery time, rebate miscalculations, and order fulfillment issues have a substantial impact on profitability and growth. It’s time to move from reactive to proactive.

Epicor Data Analytics allows you to visually identify critical trends and get everyone — down to the shop floor — on the same page using trusted validated data. EDA has helped other manufacturers uncover and rein in problems such as:

  • ​Production scrap represents up to 7.5% of their holding costs
  • Miscalculations of rebates by up to 20%
  • Long lead times lead to cancelled orders and lost business

Want to see what statistics EDA could uncover about your business?

Join us to learn how you can begin to make better data-driven decisions that both your employees and your customers will enjoy.

Click on the Register Now button below to save your spot to learn more about EDA.

​​​​

​Event Details

Live Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021
Live Time: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CST

​​​Featured Speakers

Elizabeth Cain
Principal Product Marketing Manager
Epicor Software

Chris Hodges
Partner Alliance Manager
Phocas Software

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. 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, or 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 the Industry.


Review the latest additions and amendments to the Epicor Kinetic ERP solution in this Epicor Kinetic ERP 2021.2 User Guide.

 

MFG-Kinetic-2021.2-Release-Guide-ENS

 

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. 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, or 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 the Industry.


Capture the true value of cloud ERP with Epicor Kinetic ERP 2021.2. An intuitive, configurable, and guided user experience with embedded learning helps you maximize your profitability with real-time business intelligence and built-in collaboration tools. Kinetic has the functionality you need to run a modern, future-ready business poised to capitalize on data, transform digitally, and innovate without limits.

This document contains the steps necessary to get your business current with the latest ERP solution built for manufacturers of every size.

 

MFG-Upgrading-to-Kinetic-FAQ-ENS

 

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. 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, or 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 the Industry.


For more than 20 years, Encompass has worked hand-in-hand with customers to get to know their business almost as well as they do — creating industry-specific software solutions and services that help them do business better. That’s working with you, for you.

Our customers are the companies who make, deliver, and sell the things we all need. They trust Encompass and Epicor software to help them do business better. By working hand-in-hand with our customers, we get to know their business almost as well as they do. Our innovative solution sets are carefully curated to fit their needs and built to respond flexibly to their fast-changing reality. We accelerate every customer’s ambitions whether to grow and transform or simply become more productive and effective. That’s what makes us the essential partners for the world’s most essential businesses.

 

MFG-Kinetic-2021.2-Enterprise-Resource-Planning-Catalog-BR-ENS

 

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. 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, or 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 the Industry.

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