Epicor Software Corporation provider of business software solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organisations - has announced that KMF, a sub-contractor of complete manufacturing solutions in the UK, has selected the Epicor next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to replace all existing company systems, and improve information visibility across the business.
Now in its 40th year, KMF has grown into a 24/7, 26m (GBP) business with 315 full-time staff at its North Staffordshire site. The company offers advanced sheet metal manufacturing for over 230 customers, as well as value-add services, such as an integration department to load manufactured metalwork with electro-mechanical hardware.
"Across our history, we have developed many discrete systems for managing the business and providing information, but have no reliable way of linking those systems together to increase the value of their output," said Keith Nicholl, business improvement manager at KMF. "Those systems are creaking under the weight of data we need a solution that will get the right information to the right person, at the right time, with the minimum of effort."
Epicor will replace all systems currently employed by KMF, allowing information to seamlessly flow between business units, enabling better decision making, and allowing KMF to further increase its competitive advantage. As a make-to-order business one of the biggest challenges it faces is a lack of order pipeline visibility; unless an order had been loaded into the manufacturing system it is invisible. Using Epicor will give function owners much earlier visibility of customer requirements, creating opportunities for greater efficiency in the supply chain and helping to alleviate manufacturing constraints.
"As a make-to-order business, we are in a very dynamic environment where it is difficult to predict what is happening tomorrow, never mind in two weeks time," added Nicholl. "Epicor is an excellent fit for us in terms of its make-to-order capabilities, something many others systems we reviewed fell short on. We are also very impressed with the power and flexibility of the estimating features."
With 31% growth in 2010/11 and ambitious growth plans for the next three years in new sectors such as medical instrumentation and aerospace, KMF opted for Epicor as the ERP system it believes will future-proof it well into the next decade. Five solutions were reviewed in detail before Epicor was selected, and KMF believes features such as the ability to manage very large product sets, as well as component-level, product traceability will play a key role in achieving those aims.
"Visibility across the business is a challenge presented to us by many new customers,"said Craig Stephens, director of product marketing at Epicor. "Customers know they should have the information available, but are fighting tooth and nail with systems to get at it. One of the guiding principles at Epicor, which is enabled through our True SOA architecture, is to ensure information is available in real time, and can be pulled from across the business into dashboards and reports, to inform tactical or strategic company decisions."