To support manufacturers on their digital transformation quest to become more competitive in today’s Industry 4.0 world, Epicor Software Corporation, a global provider of industry-specific enterprise software to promote business growth, yesterday showcased its vision for the ‘Connected Enterprise’ of the future.
In front of an audience of 3,500 attendees at its annual Insights customer conference, Epicor revealed how the latest version of its global enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, Epicor ERP 10.2.400, enables operational environments where factories, warehouses, and machines are all connected to improve productivity and competitiveness.
Harnessing artificial intelligence, automation, and analytic capabilities to drive efficiencies across all operational assets, the connected enterprise makes it possible for manufacturers to initiate knowledge-enabled systems that can enhance processes and optimally utilise people and machines. Capable of improving the flexibility and overall effectiveness of a company’s factory and distribution network, the latest version of Epicor ERP will provide a powerful platform for manufacturers as they embrace digital transformation.
Industry analyst IDC predicts “that over 40 percent of manufacturers will have enterprise-wide digital transformation initiatives in place by 2021, and 2024, more than 60 percent of G2000 manufacturing organisations will rely on AI platforms to drive digital transformation across the supply chain, leading to productivity gains of more than 20 percent.”
A truly connected enterprise links production assets and enterprise IT to deliver contextualised information and operational intelligence that improves productivity and performance across the entire value chain, from suppliers to customers. By bringing together data, analytics and automated control across the factory and the warehouse, and intelligently converging these insights with customers’ and suppliers’ requirements, companies can respond to changes and challenges faster. This allows companies to reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, increase revenue, and gain market share.
Terri Hiskey, vice president, product marketing, manufacturing, at Epicor said: “With the increasing availability and affordability of IoT connected solutions, and technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, companies now have the opportunity to enable dynamic coordination and automation between systems. We believe that manufacturers are on the brink of creating intelligent production environments within connected digital ecosystems, where systems like ERP act as a digital core around which the entire factory functions as a computer.”
For example, Epicor IoT connects into the Microsoft Azure IoT hub, allowing companies to capture the vast amounts of data from IoT sensors and analyse that data to gain insights that support smarter decision-making. With the latest version of its ERP solution, Epicor is putting technology in place that allows companies to not only connect their operations, but also analyse data that is collected across the enterprise.
The latest version of Epicor ERP includes top enhancements such as:
· Epicor Virtual Agent (EVA)—New enterprise-wide digital agent using artificial intelligence to help users work smarter and make better, faster decisions. More details on this release can be found here.
· Epicor IoT—Connects machines to the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub for Epicor ERP. Data is acquired directly from IoT sensors and visualised on the ERP home page and ERP MES shop floor interface, allowing manufacturers to monitor real-time production data and optimise their business operations.
· MES Expansion—Frequently used ERP MES screens have been modernised and refreshed, using the Epicor Kinetic Design framework, and a common shop floor interface to Epicor Mattec Advanced MES customers is being provided via the Human Machine Interface (HMI).
· User Interface (UI) Transformation— Utilising the Kinetic Design System to improve ERP ease-of-use and customer experience, Epicor will be introducing new modern looks for many popular screens and applications. These enhancements include a new mobile time and expense application, a refreshed Gantt-based graphical project management board, and a job scheduling board.
· Automated Order Entry—Utilising a combination of Epicor ERP and Epicor DocStar, common fields in forms are automatically completed. The resulting reduction in time, effort and number of touchpoints will enable accelerated sales and fulfilment velocity.
· Supplier Portal—Enables manufacturers to better manage their supplier relationships, enter purchase transactions, and process RFQs, using the Epicor Commerce Connect eCommerce solution.
“Connected solutions make it possible for companies to enable smarter decision-making and improve productivity at a faster pace than ever before. At Epicor, we believe in designing solutions for the connected enterprise that support not only the way people work today—but how they will work in the future. Thanks to decades of industry expertise, we understand that manufacturers need a solid foundation that helps them take advantage of technology innovations such as IoT, big data, and advanced analytics, as and when they need to gain a competitive advantage. The latest version of Epicor ERP provides that critical foundation,” commented Hiskey.