Epicor Implementation

Epicor Consulting – Tips for Successful Implementation Strategies for Epicor 9

implementation

1. Epicor Implementation Team

Think about who you want on the implementation team. The quality of your team members is important to the success of the implementation. Each team member needs to have detailed knowledge of the current procedures. The Implementation team needs to understand and incorporate upper management’s vision of the future into the implementation.

2. Epicor Consulting

If there is nobody on the Implementation team that has experience with Epicor Software and/or a project manager, it is important to find an Epicor consultant to fill in the voids. The Epicor consultant can be from Epicor or one of the Epicor partners. Make sure they are experienced with Epicor implementations (not Oracle or SAP). Epicor also has a Consultant Certification program in which the consultants take dozens of tests to prove the consultants understanding of the Epicor Software product. Selecting an Epicor Certified Consultant can help ensure a successful implementation.  Many find partners to be advantageous over Epicor directly due to the close lines of communication to people who have a real stakeholder interest in your outcome.

3. Epicor Hardware Requirements

Understand the recommended Epicor “Hardware Requirements” to properly run the Epicor system. This includes servers and the client computers. Too many companies believe they can reduce cost on the recommended hardware. Epicor has a Hardware Requirement Sizing worksheet. This is the minimum recommendations. Any extra money spent on Hardware will be money well spent.

4. Get a head start on the Epicor Implementation

  • Getting a head start can help keep the implementation on-time and can help you keep your sanity. It can be tough at times to complete your tasks for the Epicor Implementation and get your normal job duties completed. It is much easier and faster to perform the following tasks as you are performing your standard routine than it is to set down and document over a couple days from memory. Meet with key personnel and have them start collecting the following information:
  • Collect sample documents given to you that you use to make decisions? Just a page or two highlight important fields and make a note of how the data is used. This includes legacy reports, Access databases, Excel Spreadsheets, Word Documents, anything else not listed.
    • Daily reports
    • Weekly reports
    • Monthly reports
    • Yearly reports
    • Other on-demand reports
    • Phone Calls
    • Emails
    • Faxes
    • Handwritten notes, Post-its, Napkins……
  • Collect sample documents that you create so you and others can make decisions? Just a page or two highlight important fields and make a note of how the data is used. This includes legacy reports, Access databases, Excel Spreadsheets, Word Documents, anything else not listed.
    • Daily reports
    • Weekly reports
    • Monthly reports
    • Yearly reports
    • Other on-demand reports
    • Phone Calls
    • Emails
    • Faxes
    • Handwritten notes, Post-its, Napkins……
  • Document reports that you get and have no value.
  • What information is missing that you need to make better decisions?
  • Approximately how much time each week are you spending doing certain functions?
  • Track it several weeks daily to get real numbers. Be brutally honest.
    • 10% Planning
    • 20 % Paperwork
    • 10 % Deleting SPAM emails
    • 60 % Firefighting
  • What Software Products do you currently use?
    • Spreadsheets Microsoft Excel Other ______________
    • Word Processor Microsoft Word Other _____________
    • Email Microsoft Outlook Other ______________
    • Contact Management Microsoft Outlook Other ______________
    • Project Management Microsoft Project Other ______________
    • Database Software Microsoft Access Other ______________
    • Flowcharting Microsoft Visio Other ______________
    • CAD Software Name : ________________
    • ERP Software Name : ________________
    • Other software not mentioned : ________________________________
  • What items are on your wish list or goals for the Epicor implementation? List them and rank them by priority.
  • Document your process flow. For example:
    • Receive email from customer with PO info.
    • Email Sales Manager to get approval of pricing
    • Email Finance Credit Manager to get Credit approval
    • After everything is approved Enter Sales Order into current software
    • Print Sales Order (4 copies)
      • Copy 1 – Email to Customer
      • Copy 2 – Take to Purchasing
      • Copy 3 – Take to Manufacturing
      • Copy 4 – Take to Finance
  • What are the challenges and problems that keep repeating?  List them and rank them by priority.
  • Begin clearing your plate of any ‘procrastinated’ projects so that when the ERP implementation begins you have as free a schedule as possible.
  • If an option, ask key implementation team members to take vacations before the project starts to minimize project delays.

Performing the above steps over a several months will give you a head start on the implementation. This is more important if you have certain monthly/quarterly/yearly documents that you may not remember.

5. Epicor 9 Software Installation Checklist

One of the most important steps of the Epicor Signature Implementation Project plan is to get the Epicor software installed and tested. The install process is complex and needs to be verified before the Epicor installation consultant leaves. Once the Epicor install consultant leaves it could be weeks before rescheduling.

Before the Epicor consultant is scheduled to arrive and install the software verify the following:

  • Verify Epicor has sent registration key codes to all Epicor modules purchased. If you are missing registration key codes, contact your Epicor Salesman immediately to get all of the codes. When you receive the fixed registration key codes, verify them again.
  • Verify Epicor has sent the correct DVD’s to all Epicor modules purchased. . If you are missing DVD’s, contact your Epicor Salesman immediately to get all of the DVD’s. When you receive the replacement DVD’s, verify them again.
  • Once you have all of the hardware, software and registration codes have arrived you can schedule the Epicor Install consultant.
  • Before the Epicor software installation is checked off as complete. Be sure to verify the following:
  • Verify database software is installed and tested. Download and install any outstanding patches.
  • Verify Epicor modules purchased are installed on server. Third party modules will probably be installed later. Download and install any outstanding patches.
  • Verify Epicor help is installed and working.
  • If embedded education was purchased, make sure the icon exists and verify education is installed and working.
  • Verify the client software is installed on several client computers and is working.
  • Verify someone at your site is trained on installing the Epicor client software.
  • Verify Crystal Reports developer is installed and document which computer it is installed on.
  • Perform prints and print previews on Crystal Reports and Progress reports from a client.
  • Verify Backups routines are created, tested and scheduled to run nightly.
  • Reboot the Epicor servers and make sure Epicor restarts automatically.
  • Get all Epicor Software media together and store somewhere safe and where it can be found.

You do not want to get everyone excited about Epicor and they can not log in to do the training because an installation step was missed.

6. Training. Training, Training

Training is one of the most important processes in the correct Implementation of Epicor 9. Over time, people come and go and are moved to new responsibilities. Training needs to be performed for each event. Not just the software training but the business processes that lead and follow that persons responsible process. It is important that the person understands the data being supplied to them and the data they are supplying to the next person. Epicor “Embedded Education” is extremely important to the success of the implementation. This is not the spot to save on the costs.

  1. Implementation Team needs this education to best merge current business processes with Epicor functionality. Do not force current business processes into Epicor. Business processes after Epicor should be much simpler.
  2. Users will then need the “embedded education” to use Epicor to the fullest extent. Education courses should be reviewed after the implementation to pick up features that overlooked during implementation.
  3. Future New/transferred employees are often just thrown into the position with no or little training. Have them go thru the “Embedded Education” for their position.

Go to the Clients First Epicor 9 Product Demos and training Video site

http://www.erp-demos.net/

Sign up and watch all of the videos that pertain to your position.

7. Data Conversion

Be realistic about converting legacy data. You should not convert the entire legacy database.

  • Convert only the Master Tables. Beyond that consider converting master records used recently. For example, only suppliers used in the last two years or parts used in the five years.
  • Transactional data (Purchase Orders, Sales Orders, Inventory Transactions, etc.) should not be converted. This data can be exported to excel spreadsheets or printed to PDF for easy inquiry.
  • Be sure to understand the Epicor fields when mapping the legacy fields to the Epicor fields. For example, is the legacy field a character fields and the Epicor field is a number only or is the legacy fields 50 characters long and the Epicor fields is 30 characters.
  • Clean up the legacy data during the conversion. Most conversions use CSV formatted files. Export the CSV file, then load it into excel. It is normally easier to clean up the data in excel. Some examples of data that need converted are:
  • Fix part descriptions that are spelled wrong, incorrect abbreviations, or formatted incorrectly.
  • Delete duplicate parts or suppliers
  • Add columns for fields that Epicor needs and your legacy system does not have.
  • Enter the needed data in the new column.

 

8. Testing, Testing, Testing

During implementation be sure to test.

  • Each ERP system will have several different ways to do something. Test each one to see which one is correct for you company. Document your findings from the tests. I have seen on several occasions the same testing performed two or more times because the people forgot the findings.
  • Test each product line from Quote to Cash until needed
  • Test any unique internal company requirements. First decide if this is truly an unique internal requirement? After discussions you may find that it is the way it has always been done and nobody knows why. If this is the case get rid of the requirement. Document the findings and how it was handled.
  • Test any unique Customer or Supplier Requirements. Make sure it is still a requirement. Document the findings and how it was handled.
  • Test Security settings. Document the findings. Fix the finding and test again.

9. Change Management

Implementing Epicor will change the entire company. Procedures will change, peoples work and responsibilities will change. The sooner everyone understands this, the quicker people quit fighting the implementation. On the rare occasion it is required to remove a implementation saboteur.

  • Determine how Epicor will affect current procedures and job positions
  • Document and communicate what changes are taking place.
  • Someone in each organization needs to take ownership of each Epicor module
  • Document and communicate the change management heroes.

If everyone is expecting everything will be handle the same then the company is wasting time and money.

–“A successful implementation should convert the company from a reactive to a proactive organization.”

10. Implementation Scope

Plan the implementation in phases. If your company is using a smaller ERP package, don’t purchase and plan to implement all of the extra packages during phase one. For example, you eventually want to use EDI but there is not an immediate need. Purchase EDI late and implement during phase 2. Doing too much during implementation can overwhelm the implementation team and the company.

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2013-02-16T14:17:00+00:00 February 16th, 2013|Epicor|1 Comment