By now, you may know that VBC is in the process of implementing an ERP system.  Implementing an ERP system is the norm for large and growing businesses and Epicor has been selected as the ERP system that will transform the VBC company. 

Epicor was purchased towards the end of 2019.  By the beginning of February 2020, the implementation began in earnest with Manufacturing in Hamlet being the initial starting point.  Within the last month, other segments of the VBC business have been engaged including Sales, Design, Construction and Finance.  By the end of September 2020, a large portion of Epicor will be ready for go live.

The Epicor ERP system, that is Enterprise Resource Planning, will integrate the operations and management of VBC business processes such as Sales, Manufacturing, Construction and Finance.  Simply put, most, if not all, of VBC’s business critical data will be captured in Epicor.  This data capture will be transformed into information to properly manage VBC’s business. 

Note the difference between Data and Information:   ‘Data’ is a collection of facts, random and not well organized.  When organized, it is then transformed into something more useful, that is ‘information’.

For Manufacturing, this transformation from data to information includes material and labor requirements; and material and labor costs.  This will be captured in Epicor to facilitate the timing necessary to acquire the correct materials at the right time; calculate labor requirements; calculate overall costs; and provide current and projected information so that manufacturing can run as efficiently as possible.

For Sales, Epicor will capture revenue and provide the basis for invoicing VBC customers while providing manufacturing with ‘what to build and when’.

For Construction, Epicor will assist in acquiring contract labor; tracking costs including re-work and both  expected and unexpected purchases; and scheduling information.

For Finance, Epicor tracks each and every transaction that affects the monetary aspects of VBC.  This includes paying for purchased material; tracking revenue; and providing the information needed to create the financial reports necessary to run VBC properly and efficiently.

Epicor should be considered as the tool that will transform data into information.  The use of Epicor will closely integrate VBC’s business processes and this integration is what connects, or synchronizes, VBC as a business entity.  Epicor will provide information on individual segments of VBC.  More importantly though, it will provide overall information on how VBC operates providing valuable insight on what is working, what is not working, what can be improved and how to prioritize improvement initiatives.

This synchronization then, creates a foundation for improving business processes and it is important to note that Epicor is not a computer system but a business process system and a business process system is a people based system.

Currently, VBC has selected a variety of subject matter experts to formulate best practices using Epicor and while we are currently concentrating on manufacturing in Hamlet, NC, the team is moving forward with Finance, Sales, Construction and Design as well. The next article will breakdown what is being done in each of these segments along with those that are working diligently to make this project a success.