While not predicted up front, here are some examples from our experience where companies saved significant amounts that they did not anticipate:
- Significant reduction in engineering costs
- Growing a business without adding overhead
We had a manufacturer of medical enclosures that had five product lines. When customers ordered, the service staff would take down the requirements and send it over to engineering. The engineers used CAD software to copy from a standard configuration and develop the ‘one off’. We implemented the Epicor configurator and built the five product line models with all of the possibilities for features and dependencies and the rules for making the products and calculating the materials lists.
One of their engineers worked on this model for about nine months as we prepared the rest of the organization to go live. Once they went live, the customer service staff filled in the data, selected pull-downs, and the configurator actually selected photos of their various systems to show the person what the product would look like so they could verify that the features were coming out correctly. On top of that, we output these photos onto the job travelers so the production staff could see photos of what they were building.
The savings from this were 5 engineers, who could then be repurposed to develop entirely new product lines. Instead of engineers processing custom orders, the existing customer service team was empowered to do it themselves. This customer has gone on to do several other projects with us to maximize the software, and recently purchased another company, and consolidated their system into ours.
Once implemented, there are not only built-in-efficiencies, but an ERP system like Epicor allows automation of processes. For instance, in Epicor, daily invoicing from the days’ shipments is a simple ‘get shipments’ function that produces proposed invoices that can be distributed to each customer by their preferred method (mail, email, electronic funds request etc). In addition, the job closing routine can be automated to close all jobs within a certain % of std vs actual cost. Only jobs that need attention would be kept back for review. We worked with a nameplate company that doubled their business without adding any overhead staff using these methods.