"Prior to Epicor ERP becoming available in Australia in the SaaS deployment model, there had been nothing in the midmarket that could do what we wanted it to do at an affordable cost," says EL ES DE Engineering general manager, Rob McMahon.
EL ES DE Engineering provides specialist mechanical engineering, fabrication and inspection services to the oil and gas, mining and resources sectors in Perth, Western Australia. The company's design and manufacturing facilities are situated in Welshpool, Perth's central industrial hub.
EL ES DE Engineering offers a diverse range of solutions including one-off manufacture, qualified engineering design and even complete turn-key projects from concept to completion.
Prior to implementing the next-generation Epicor enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution in the software as a service (SaaS) deployment model, EL ES DE Engineering did not possess an integrated system with one source of information. The company lacked a system that would provide increased visibility over the company's inventory and assist management with a greater understanding of time spent on jobs.
The company also required greater clarity on purchase order status. EL ES DE Engineering required the acquisition of an advanced ERP system.
"We had been using MYOB, spreadsheets and various other methods to support the business," explains McMahon.
"We had been looking to find an advanced system that could meet the needs of our production, accounting and project management teams. Prior to Epicor ERP becoming available in Australia in the SaaS deployment model, there had been nothing in the midmarket that could do what we wanted it to do at an affordable cost.
"We chose the SaaS deployment model because we wanted to get an advanced system like Epicor at a reasonable entry fee. I looked at the SaaS offering from Epicor a couple of years ago, but it wasn't available in Australia at the time. When the SaaS delivery model became available [in 2012] we thought 'this is going to be a good thing for the company'," continued McMahon.
EL ES DE Engineering selected Epicor ERP Express Edition (Epicor Express), the cloud-based version of the award winning nextgeneration Epicor ERP solution. Delivered in a SaaS model, Epicor Express provides broad functionality to small and mid-size businesses.
EL ES DE Engineering has enjoyed numerous benefits since implementing Epicor. Some of the key benefits include:
- Increased productivity and visibility of their client's jobs
- The ability to provide their clients with better service through accurate estimations of schedules
- Better management of materials and subcontractors
- Six weeks from start of implementation to initial go-live
- Increased flexibility on client billing options
"The main benefit is that Epicor is giving us more clarity on process. We can see if we have shipped items to the customer and now we can invoice for the shipment, which is something we really couldn't do properly previously. We are just starting to implement the inventory management module, doing cycle counts and min-max order levels," said McMahon.
Following the Epicor system's initial go-live, EL ES DE Engineering is looking to rollout additional modules in separate phases.
"It took about six weeks from the start of implementation to the point where we turned the system on," said McMahon.
"For us it was good just to dive straight in. We are the busiest we have ever been at the moment but I'm glad we just got into it. With SaaS we didn't need to go through a long implementation plan before turning it on. We could just get into it and do it and I think that was the way to go."
The Epicor system will also help EL ES DE Engineering to manage their materials and sub-contractors. McMahon explains: "We started the Epicor rollout by implementing core functionality for managing our financials and manufacturing. Production management was also important because we needed to be able to get all our jobs into the system.
"We are using the CRM to track our customer's information, order management to generate quotes, and project management for project billing. It is largely a project-based industry over here in Perth and Epicor Project Management is key because it gives us flexible options on billing, whether we bill up front, at the end or during a project."
Epicor Dashboards and Crystal Reports have also provided EL ES DE Engineering with increased visibility over materials and inventory.
"We are producing Crystal Reports at the moment which enables us to customise our reporting and get better information out of the system and match what we need to see," says McMahon.
"We have also been using the PO status dashboard. We are getting a lot of clarity on purchase order status, which is something we didn't have before. We can see if materials are physically here or if they are still with the supplier. Now we have a better handle on our inventory and where we spend our time on jobs because we have the full method of manufacture planned out so we can see where everything is and what the next step is."