Australia's #1 industrial directory for equipment & suppliers

Using dashboards to automate tasks in Epicor ERP

Supplier: Epicor Software (Aust)
26 November, 2014

Established in 1984, Air-Met Scientific is a market leader in the supply and service of cost-effective solutions dedicated to the protection of personnel in the workplace.

Air-Met Scientific sells, services, and rents out occupational health and safety and environmental monitoring equipment.

Based in Melbourne and operating across seven Australian locations, the company imports and distributes its products, predominantly catering to the resources sector including mining, mineral and petroleum, as well as telecommunications, environmental consultants, and occupational hygienists.

The benefits of operating on one platform with Epicor ERP

Air-Met Scientific is a complex, medium-size business located in seven sites around Australia and working across four different departments from every location.

"We have quite a complex business in that we sell equipment, we service equipment, we rent equipment and we also manufacture our own systems for commercial construction applications," said Simon Meers, Managing Director at Air-Met Scientific.

Meers explains, "Implementing Epicor ERP has been about getting us onto one platform. We now have one customer database instead of three and they are feeding into our financials. The big plus for us was to get onto the one system and tidy up the database so we can do active e-Marketing campaigns and have visibility across all departments in the business."

Systemising business processes with the power of dashboards

Built directly into Epicor applications, dashboards permit the combination of multiple capabilities such as enquiries, ad hoc reports, graphical analyses, tactical business intelligence, alerts, and business monitoring.

Air-Met Scientific has found the introduction of dashboards to be a useful operating tool across multiple departments.

"The dashboards we have created have added a lot of efficiency to the business," says Meers.

"The dashboards have systemised our processes and systemised the business. We had some help from the Epicor consultants setting up the dashboards early on but after some training we are now able to build our own."

Dashboards can be used to streamline the process for cash flow analysis for AR balance and AP amounts owed by providing a display of outstanding receivables and credit obligations.

Meers continues: "We use dashboards for our accounts payable. We can see our invoices by value and by longest date, and the system works out our priorities before our team starts calling based on value and time.

"In that sense, the system is telling people what they should be doing each day."

Using dashboards to automate tasks in Epicor

Dashboards can also be used to provide real-time business activity indicators where Epicor customers are able to drill down to parts of the system to see more information and help drive the daily activities of staff. For Air-Met's customer service team, dashboards have become an integral part of their daily routine.

Meers explains: "If our customer service is putting a quote on a dashboard, we have set up a task to call the customer within 48 hours and ask them if they received the quote and if it was everything they were expecting.

"Five days after that there is a task to follow-up and then every seven days after that until 30 days when we need to issue a requote.

"The task set that we have created in the dashboard is colour coded. If a quote hasn't had a call placed against it, or a tick to move the task on, the record turns blue and they know they have to follow up.

"They are the type of things where we are getting the efficiencies out of the system; it's in our processes with the dashboards."

Leveraging new systemisations to expand operations overseas

One of the biggest benefits Air-Met has experienced has been the ability to set up staff anywhere in the world using the new systemisations set in place since the use of Epicor.

"Epicor has allowed us to expand, to set up an office in the Philippines with 11 staff," says Meers.

"Because we were able to systemise processes, we started to think 'we could do this from anywhere in the world and in that case, where should we do it from?'

"It allowed us to create an internal sales team based overseas and to do service coordination. There is no way we could have achieved this without Epicor."

"We are also able to report on how the team is going. We look at pie charts within the dashboards and they tell us what stages the team is at with their work.

"From a management reporting perspective we can quickly glance at it and know when we need to put some extra resources into different areas and that is where we are starting to leverage the power of the system."