Epicor® FAQ’s

Q: Can I charge a leasing company rather than the customer purchasing the parts?

A: Yes, you have the capability of changing the ‘Bill-To’ so the parts and the bill can go to different locations.

 

Q: Is there one area that allows you to view all information related to a certain part?

A: You can find good, part-specific information in a few different areas. Part Tracker would be a great place to start. This shows you the existing part record as well as on hand quantities, part allocations, etc.

There are a couple other areas in the system as well. One will ask and answer certain questions about the history of the part. Another will show you material requirements for any part over a span of time.

 

Q: Is there a way to make changes to PO’s that were created through the Generate Suggestions process?

A: Absolutely, the system offers a way for you to manage current PO’s in terms of Due Dates, Quantities, etc. This is helpful since it allows you to make changes to PO’s instead of having to make new ones after every change.

 

Q: Is there a way I can establish breaks for all of my shifts?

A: Yes,

You can set up shifts, lunch times, shift differentials and breaks within the system. Having these defined will allow the system to plan realistically.

 

Q: Is there a way to signal that all parts purchased from a certain supplier need to inspected upon receipt?

A: Yes, There is a setting that will require all parts from a chosen supplier be taken through Inspection Processing at arrival before they can be fully received into stock.

 

Q: Why is the system not generating a PO Suggestion for a non-stock purchased part needed on a job?

A: There are a few possibilities as to why this is occurring.

The user may not have the ability to see suggestions for that part. Also, the part could be missing key fields that tell the system to create suggestions for it.

 

Q: Why can’t I include some parts in a Physical Inventory?

A: There are multiple settings that can affect whether or not certain parts can be included in an inventory count.

These settings can be part-specific or defined by broader inventory settings

 

Q: Is there any indicator as to which Checklist Tasks I have appointed to me? Sort of a one-stop-shop area?

A: Not out-of-the-box, although, PracticalTek can develop a solution that allows for a user to filter by their Tasks and make status changes to the associated Tasks all from one central location.

Q: Does the system offer a way to view labor hours placed against a Rework job per employee?

A: Yes, the system provides you the ability to see this, contact PracticalTek for further assistance!

Q: In Job Status Maintenance, what if we have a Job suggestion we don’t want to ‘Firm’ at this time? It could be needed soon, but we have other important jobs to run first.

A: You have the ability to keep an ‘unfirm’ job suggestion without losing it. There may be difference in the job number, but the job will remain available to ‘Firm’.

Q: Can I set up direct deposit in Epicor?

A: Yes, you can.

The Payroll module has a few features that allow you to electronically deposit an employee’s pay right into a bank account.

In order to set it up, you have to utilize three main programs in the Finance Module.

 

Q: I added a Warehouse but now I don’t see it available as a drop-down menu item within Inventory Transfer?

A: There’s a step that must occur on the part record. If you do not perform this step, you will be unable to perform transfers to and from warehouses.

Q: To what extent can security restrictions and allowances for users be controlled?

A: User access can be limited to entire modules, programs, tabs and even fields.

Q: Can the system scheduler account for employees on various shifts?

A; Yes, the system can account for unique time restraints for resources.

Q: At what point can I assign a serial number to a part?

A: System assigned serial numbers occur at:

  • Time of receiving – this can be on or off
  • Time of work order/traveler creation – this can be on or off
  • If the job requires 5, then the system will auto generate 5 unique serial numbers
  • Shop users in MES will then put the product away after the operation/operations are completed
  • Then later the picker will pull the product from stock and see a screen that shows the 5 generated serial numbers and decide which ones they are pulling
  • Typically, the serial # would be labeled/tagged or perhaps stenciled on the part itself
  • So, the picker is confirming the physical serial # to the list of 5 serial number choices to designate which one or ones are being pulled
  • Both are driven based on if the part record checkbox for serialization is on or not
  • And the serial “mask” format is selected on the part record as well

Q: Can the system scheduler account for employees on various shifts?

A: Yes, the system can account for unique time restraints for resources.

Q: Can more than one Salesperson receive commission per sales order?

A: Yes, this is possible.

Q: Am I able to link Inspection Plans to Part Records?

A: Yes, please contact PracticalTek for assistance.

Q: How do you save purchase point contact information without including them on mailings?

A: Flag the ‘No Contact’ check box then unflag the ‘Inactive’ check box in Supplier Maintenance.

Q: What feeds into the ‘Estimated’ column values on the Project Cost Screen?

A: The Estimated column values come from the setup of associated jobs for this project. The Actual column values will come after the jobs that have been released have had time and material placed against them.

Q: Can I reverse a receipt?

A:  Yes, to a certain extent.

In Receipt entry, find the PO and pack slip previously received. Locate the received line you want to ‘unreceive’ and delete that line. If that line is the only line on the pack, you can delete the line and then delete the pack. If you’re going to receive the line again, you can keep the pack header and then make the receipt line again

If the receipt line has already been received and invoiced, you’ll have to request a debit memo from the supplier and apply it to that invoice. Then add a new pack line to receive that line again.

Q: Keeping an Unfirm Job

A: In Job Status Maintenance, what if we have a Job suggestion we don’t want to “Firm” at this given time? It may be needed soon, but we have other jobs to run first. What are our options?

You could simply ignore the job suggestion at this time. As long as the demand is still there the next time you run MRP, it’ll show up on your List sheet. Just be aware that the Job number could differ from that last entry. All you need to do is make sure that the part in focus is in the list to make a decision whether to make it “Firm”.

Q: Removing Debit Notes from the Aged Receivables Report

A: A customer posted debit notes during the cash receipts process by mistake. The clerk processed a cash receipts reversal and then did an adjustment for the short payments. Is there any way to get the debit notes removed from the ‘Aged Receivables Report’ – or are they on it indefinitely? It’s throwing their general ledger off balance for AR.

  • A debit note is just an open invoice with a balance. You should be able to call up that invoice in ‘Write and Adjustment’ entry and write the balance down to zero

Q: At what point can I assign a serial number to a part?

A: System assigned serial numbers occur at:

  • The time of receiving – this can be turned on or off.
  • The time of work order/traveler creation – this can be turned on or off.

 If the job requires five, then the system will auto-generate five unique serial numbers

Shop users in MES will then put the product away after the operation/operations are completed. Later, the picker will pull the product from stock and be presented a screen that shows the five generated serial numbers and decide on which ones they’re pulling

– Typically, the serial number would be labeled/tagged or, perhaps, stenciled on the part itself.

– So, the picker is comparing the physical serial numbers to the list of five serial number choices in order to decide which one(s) are being pulled.

Both are driven based on whether the part record serialization checkbox is flagged or not, or if the serial “mask” format is selected on the part record.

Q: Why should you upgrade now?

  • A: There are many business reasons:
    • Epicor ERP 10 has been out since April of 2014
    • Operations and growth have outpaced your ERP version

Certain versions of Microsoft server operating systems aren’t certified or compliant on older versions of Epicor

  • ERP version has reached or is approaching obsolescence
  • Maximized your current versions capabilities and now need more functionality
  • Need more functionality, but your current 10-15-year version of Epicor cannot keep up
  • There is a business risk of using an aged ERP system to run your business
  • Faster workflows, SOP’s, steps, and clicks increase productivity
  • Support becomes more difficult as your ERP version ages
  • For your business, it’s time to take a serious look at bringing your Epicor ERP system to the 21stcentury

What are the costs for upgrading?

  • The costs are always more than just the database conversion step. There’s consulting time that includes discussing your pain points, and that leads to one of our experts guiding you through the new version to ensure you and your company are fully taking advantage of each feature in E10.
  • Your current version of Epicor can impact the cost of upgrading as well.  Upgrading from Epicor 9 to the latest version (E10) takes less time than if you are coming from Vantage 8.03 or older.  The larger the version jump, the more project time needed.
  • The typical milestones are: (the budgetary estimates below are what we typically see; however please contact me directly for a more accurate picture)
    • (8-24 hrs.) Perhaps a BPR (Business Process Review)/Company ERP use of audit/Company & Plant configuration reviewing. Discussions about what’s troublesome or inefficient. Let’s identify together where we can uncover opportunities. Are you using side systems, external systems, Excel?
    • (80-120 hrs.) Database conversions, migrations, supplemental installations, configurations, setups, upgrades, workbench executions, sys admin steps, server sizing, hardware setup, SSRS & SQL configuring, database tuning, app server setups.  All of which are very important steps.
    • (8-80 hrs.) Technical uplifts. Progress ABL to C# converting/testing. NET& .NET to C# converting/testing. Crystal reports converted to SSRS. BPM’s, Dashboards, customizations that require attention to properly run for you in E10.
    • (24-80 hrs.) Training. Providing professional training classes that perhaps have never been done before. We also tailor our training courses to only go over the changes for your version to the latest version.  Knowing how to use E10 is key to the efficiency of your users and directly impacts their productivity.
    • (24-80 hrs.) CRP (Conference room pilot). This milestone is after all training has been completed and all technical uplifts have been concluded. This is the final step before GO LIVE.  With a group of PTS experts onsite leading the CRP, we can ensure full testing of all QTC steps linked to your typical business processing needs.
    • (24-80 hrs.) GO LIVE.
    • (8-40 hrs.) Post GO LIVE support.
    • (8 hrs.) First month end support.
  • With these milestones & development activities the projects costs can vary.
  • Call today to schedule a free consultation. Let’s work on plan based on your needs!

How long does an upgrade take?

  • The duration varies based on the size of your company, number of users, complexity of your needs, the volume of technical uplifts, how much training you’d like to include and so on. Typically, the actions are laid out in the free consultation meeting with Jim, and those activities are commonly performed over a 2-7-month span. Some companies complete all of the steps in 2 or 3 months; others need 7 to 9 months because of the disruption and internal demands on their company.

Why use PracticalTek?

  • Purely and simply – PracticalTek offers the most experience at the most competitive price in the market. We have the advantage of knowing your processes, product, and procedures by working with your business and servicing your needs.
  • We have performed 60+ upgrades & new installations. We’ve seen just about everything.

We have a full staff to cover all of your needs from A to Z – server sizing to security to SOX/GAAP to consultants to developers to CRP to GO LIVE and afterwards.  We have full knowledge & experience from end to end.

Q: Understanding the ERP Implementation Process? What is ERP Implementation?

A: Enterprise Resource Planning software is a comprehensive solution for integrating the various aspects of business operations in a single database. ERP is a business process management essential, ensuring that all operations can be monitored and analyzed to optimize contributions to the enterprise’s growth and profitability. Frequently used ERP software include Epicor® ERP, SYSPRO®, Odoo® and more.

The ERP implementation process is carefully planned to achieve the most benefit to your company. The process will involve data migration from previous systems, building dashboards and reporting, composing the software specifications and training employees how to use their new software system.

Implementing ERP software is a large undertaking that impacts employees and processes across the entire company. Typical ERP business process integrations include:

  • development
  • product planning
  • manufacturing
  • sales and marketing
  • accounting
  • HR

The evolution of different departments in a large enterprise is inevitable as the business experiences robust growth. Each department may have its own corresponding systems and ERP software provides the centralizing tool to avoid costly inter-departmental miscommunication. The monetary impact of miscommunication can be significant. According to a report from financesonline.com, large enterprises can lose as much as $62.4 million per year due to miscommunication, while small businesses can rack up $42,000 in annual losses due to internal miscommunication. These errors also decrease productivity when they cause employees to waste up to 40 productive minutes per day.

The ERP implementation process is critical to the success of your business.

A Successful ERP Implementation:

What ROI does ERP implementation bring to the table? According to the Aberdeen Group:

  • 33% improvement in inventory returns
  • 18% faster cycle times
  • 17% more compliance for internal schedules
  • Operational cost reductions up to 25% for Best-in-Class midmarket organizations

The ROI numbers are impressive enough that ERP has spread from its traditional usage at only the largest manufacturing organizations. Today, Aberdeen reports that 84% of organizations with 100-1000 employees have implemented ERP.

Q: How to Calculate Indirect Activity Using Conversions

A: Multiplied by 60 to get hours because the time displays in minutes by default.

This was used to fix the date calculation for when someone worked passed midnight. Originally Epicor® wouldn’t add a day to the ClockOutDate.

These next 2 fields are to make the option field that normally only shows the Date & Time, show just the Date instead. All that changes is the Data Type from (datetime) to date (compare to above screenshots) the “ClockInDate” & “ClockOutDate” will show the Date & Time.

Same calculations as before but different datatype

I used this Expression for the SSRS report: Got the GrandTotal time to calculate and display properly. There are 3600 seconds in 1 hour. TotalTime added the “Grand Total” of Seconds together. Then the Grand Total expression took that number and divided by 3600 to get the number of hours to display.

Q.How to create jobs from the Nonconformance Screen with a Button click

A. In the Nonconformance screen, we placed buttons in the Operation, PO Receipts, and RMA tabs. When clicked, these buttons would use the fields from each associated tab to auto-generate Jobs. Not only that, after creating the Jobs, the screen would automatically schedule and release them.

Q: How to extract a large amount of data using a command prompt and DMT (Requires Epicor® 10.1 or later)

A: Extracting data out can be a cumbersome task and very time consuming. Running a DMT extract via the command prompt is much easier and quicker. It utilizes a BAQ that pulls the data and then writes the data to an excel file. All this is done automatically by typing a few commands into the command prompt and then letting the program do the rest. This is a great feature that can save clicks, reduce time, and make data extracts less painful for DMT.

Change the number of returned records in any Epicor® search window.

Ever tried viewing a large portion of your parts in a search window inside of Epicor®? Epicor® by default sets a small number of records to return every time you run a search. Some customers require a larger return of records for parts, sales orders, jobs, etc. This default setting can be changed to show more records in any Epicor® search window and can be changed on a per client basis because not every person who runs Epicor® needs to see a large number of returns and not to mention having the ability to set this on a per client basis keeps performance impact at a minimum.

Q: Why you should move from Crystal Reports to SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services)

A: If you are looking for a more customizable, reliable, and secure reporting for your company, Practical Technology Solutions can help you! PTS is your one stop Independent company for all of your Epicor® service needs. We provide many services including: Implementations, Upgrades, Development, Consulting, New Installs, Training, System Admin. and Help Desk across multiple versions of Epicor®.

Some Epicor® users may wonder what the benefits of moving from Crystal to SSRS are and there are several. Here are a few reasons you should consider moving from Crystal to SSRS:

Crystal is being phased out of the Epicor® landscape moving forward. Even though all the current reports will work with Crystal, all new report functionality, bug fixes, and enhancements will happen on the SSRS platform. This is because Epicor® has moved to SSRS being their default reporting service.

Financially SSRS is a win as well; this is because SSRS comes with your Microsoft SQL installation. This gets rid of the need to buy and install Crystal Developer or run times on each client, saving your company money and adding better and more reliable functionality.

Interactivity with your report is much more prevalent with SSRS developed reports. The ability to drill down, sort, or interact with matrices gives viewing data a personalized touch, allowing the user to view the data how they want. The SQL platform itself allows for a powerful set of query tools built into your reports. From the simple to complex SQL facilitates queries that present the data that is important to you.

Security inside the world of SSRS is more granular than Crystal as well, allowing for a range of securities to be applied to each folder. Overall SSRS is simpler, more powerful, and better secured!

Q: It is time to retire Epicor® Vantage, Vista, and Enterprise

A: Is your system starting to have performance issues? We receive many emails and calls at PTS with clients reporting their system is running slow or having trouble completing simple tasks. If you are experiencing similar issues it may be time for an upgrade to Epicor® ERP 10 or 10.2. There are multiple versions of Epicor® ERP out there, including Vista, Vantage, and Enterprise, that have been great for many years. With the rapid growth of technology in the past 20 years a lot of them are starting to become very dated. Customers are expecting new features day to day and Distributors and Manufactures have trouble keeping up with an older system bogging them down.

New Features in Epicor® ERP 10, Epicor® ERP 10.1, and Epicor® ERP 10.2

When upgrading to Epicor® ERP 10 or 10.2 you can expect an increase in efficiency and speed of your system. In the new version of Epicor® ERP, Epicor® has revamped its developing process to prioritize simplicity and performance to get you up and running as easy and as fast as possible.

In Epicor® ERP version 10, Epicor® has simplified the structure of its software to improve the performance and responsiveness of it. This will also bring about less errors with use. The most recent update to 10.2 brings all of this to the table along with improved stability and 1500+ new features and capabilities, along with more than 15 new modules if you are upgrading from Epicor® Vista or Epicor® Vantage. These new features can be customized and improve the efficiency of your company.

Q: How to Set Epicor ® BAQ Drop-Down Parameters

A: Creating Drop-Down Parameters in an Epicor® BAQ

  • The first step is to create your main query BAQ. In this example, we will create a Part BAQ. We will save this as a Shared BAQ so other users can access this it and fill out the description field.
  • Next, add the Table(s) you want to see in. This BAQ is a simple Part search, so add the Part table in the Phrase Build tab. Additionally, add the company, part, description and class ID fields and test the BAQ. After running the BAQ, we see many different Class ID values appear. However, we want to filter the BAQ to only show one of these Class IDs at a time.
  • At this point save the Part BAQ.
  • Then, navigate to the ‘Actions’ menu and select the Define Parameters options. You can now create a new parameter for you query. It is important that you select a data type that matches the field’s data type that you are filtering on.
  • At this point, we have created a new parameter, but it is just a blank text box with no values populating it. We can change this by selecting a different Editor Type. We could, at this time, make a static list of values for our drop-down. However, it would need manual updating if new Class IDs were created. We do this using the Values Editor section at the bottom of the screen.
  • We could also make this a drop-down populated by a BAQ that would update in real time with the database. For more details on how to complete this step, please contact PracticalTek.
  • Next, set the newly made parameter as a table criteria were the field you are filtering by equals your parameter. Clicking on the blue ‘specified’ key word brings up the ‘Select Parameter’ dialog box. Here we can select the parameter we created in the earlier step. Now the criteria we’ve created says the ClassID equals the parameter we’ve created. The criteria have the name of the parameter showing in the filter value column.
  • To test our new parameter, navigate to the ‘Analyze’ tab and click the ‘Test…’ button. When we do this, the Parameter pops up. Then, when we click the drop-down, we see the descriptions in the drop-down from our other PartClass BAQ. Select Aluminum and click ‘OK’ as a test.
  • Now all the parts that appear in our search have a ClassID of ALUM which is the code associated with the description of Aluminum.

If you are struggling with Epicor® customization or how to set Epicor® BAQ parameters, contact the expert consultants at PracticalTek for support services.

Q: How Does Epicor Work?

A: How Does Epicor ERP Work?

Epicor® is the most popular enterprise resource planning software available, available in 30 languages and used in more than 150 countries across the world. The system is available in several versions, each consisting of several modules from which companies can choose. The result is a customizable, yet easy-to-use interface that is effective for any company in any industry. So how exactly does this modular system work?

Get Epicor® Development Help

How Does Epicor ERP Work?

The Epicor® ERP software is modular in nature, meaning that each group of functions is separated into a different piece of the software. These modules include everything a business might need, from customer relationship and sales management to supply chain and manufacturing operations management. The most important factor to consider with these modules is that the user doesn’t need to use all of them if they don’t need them. The user just chooses the best combination of highly developed modules to suit their business’ needs, then customizes each module’s functions to suit the company’s purposes further.

The result of this modular ERP system is a highly flexible and scalable program that grows with your company. Since each of the Epicor® modular components is designed to work as a cohesive whole with any other module in any combination, you can add and remove modules as needed. For example, if your company adds a new department to your operations, you can add a new module to your ERP package to support the new operations segment.

Each of these modules provides a full suite of functions to support your business needs. To help you decide which modules will best suit your business purposes, we’ve outlined and described each of the Epicor® modules and what they can do for your organization.

Supply Chain Management

The primary purpose for the existence of any supply chain is to satisfy customer needs and business profits. Supply chain activities help you satisfy your customers’ needs, beginning with a customer order and ending with a product purchase. Everything involved in that process is supply chain management. The goal of supply chain management is to add value to the inputs of the supply chain process, but due to inefficient systems, not all supply chain activities accomplish this. This is where the impact of ERP on supply chain management is important.

So what is ERP in supply chain management? In the Epicor® software, this is the Supply Chain Management (SCM) software module. This software helps identify steps in the supply chain process that may not add value to the end product through a variety of supply chain management solutions. These solutions include enterprise capabilities like customer relationship management (CRM), supplier relationship management (SRM), supply chain execution (SCE), distribution management and production management functions. The Epicor® SCM is designed to handle all these functions as a cohesive whole, so you can simultaneously manage and analyze your supply chain without sacrificing time. Even better, the Epicor® SCM is completely scalable, so whether you need to simply track a few transactions or manage an entire warehouse or system of warehouses across the country, Epicor® SCM can help.

The benefits of using ERP in supply chain management are incredible. By using SCM functions in the Epicor® system, businesses can trim down non-value-added functions and activities, saving themselves time and money. Additionally, improved customer and supplier relationship management mean improved customer and supplier satisfaction, higher product quality and competitive advantages in the market. Delivery management functions included in the software can also help streamline processes by enhancing routing and route scheduling. The overall result for your company is a faster supply chain, producing lower-cost, higher-quality products that place your business at a competitive advantage over less efficient competitors.

Production Management

The Epicor® production management software is another module designed to make processes easier for manufacturing companies by producing any combination of make-to-order, configure-to-order, engineer-to-order and make-to-stock products. Regardless of what your company produces, this manufacturing management software features the tools you need to maintain product quality within a single platform. These include a full range of supply chain management, supply chain execution and distribution functions, such as work order management material requirements planning, lean manufacturing, manufacturing execution system and master data management programs.

The Epicor® production manager further aids your company’s production systems with product quality management, product lifecycle management and business intelligence solutions. These help organizations comply with international quality standards while reducing quality issues and managing product lifecycle considerations. Using intelligence and communications solutions within the software, businesses can also benefit from improved connectivity and collaboration throughout their organization and supply chain.

This highly configurable and flexible solution allows your company to do everything necessary to manage and analyze your production process, all within a single platform. Not only does this help your business improve product quality, but it also saves you time and money. Epicor’s cloud-based ERP helps you analyze your production processes to find new solutions or potential areas of improvement so you can streamline your business. This means faster delivery times, lower costs and improved quality, all with a single ERP module.

Planning and Scheduling

No matter what your business involves, whether it provides services, products or a combination of these, you need to be able to plan and schedule your business operations. A planning and scheduling software can accomplish just that. Epicor® uniquely understands the planning and scheduling needs of both small and large businesses, and provides planning and scheduling software to help.

With the Epicor® advanced planning and scheduling software, you can forecast your production needs for both long and short terms. This is even further improved with material requirements planning software, which monitors supply and demand in real time using customer orders and forecasts your future needs so you can implement changes appropriately. Combined with project management and production planning software, the Epicor® ERP scheduling software allows corporations to optimize their resources.

When it comes to ordering materials and forecasting your needs, the Epicor® planning and scheduling system is the best choice to help your manufacturing company.

Project Management

Insuring the success of a project is critical to your profitability, but doing so is still difficult. Many businesses struggle with their project budgets, which is why comprehensive project management is so important. The Epicor® project management software is one of the most important modules of Epicor® ERP, embedded with all the capabilities needed to plan, manage and bill your projects so you can easily keep an eye on everything and maximize project success.

The Epicor® ERP Project Management module uses detailed logistics to manage projects from the ground up. Using Epicor’s detailed estimation, planning, scheduling, costing and supply chain logistics, the system helps project managers analyze and take control of their project. Project management from Epicor includes project planning, resource management and billing and revenue management systems to help follow contract and accounting requirements.

Epicor’s goal is to make your project management process easier and more accurate, resulting in lower costs and shorter project completion times. This makes your company more attractive to potential clients and gives you a serious edge up on the competition.

Product Data Management

Product data management, also known as PDM software, is functionally a repository for information about a product and its history. Everything about a product, from its lifecycle and configuration to its costs and engineering concerns, is all tracked and saved within this Epicor® ERP module. The main purpose of this software is to promote integration within a company, allowing business users at all levels to communicate about and interact with their products, understanding them from the ground up.

The product management software solutions provided by Epicor® help to manage product data in a more accessible way. Data usually contained in engineering documents, plant floor routings, sales orders, bills of materials (BOMs) and quality documentation is broken down and distributed for easy access at all pertinent levels of your business, with automatic communication options to alert personnel of pertinent changes. The system even includes user-friendly engineering workflow and product lifecycle management systems, as well as simple configuration options to help customize the module for your organization.

Service Management

Improved field service management helps you get control of your contractual obligations, agreements and warranties, benefiting businesses of all types. Service management software is one of the best ways to get on top of your business’ field service management, helping you coordinate all your service center processes and securing your resources.

Field services, contracts, and maintenance services each have a place in the Epicor® ERP software, making for a fully functional field service management software. The Epicor® service management software helps support and visualize your organization through preventive maintenance scheduling and case management, on top of communications tools to keep your field service workers connected to your home base. You can more easily spot and visualize risks and inefficiencies in your processes so you can change them. With Epicor®, you can work toward developing a more lean and efficient business, managing your people and resources more effectively through a single module.

Human Capital Management

As resource competition in the modern world gets more intense, companies expect more from their HR department, especially when it comes to human resource management. The Epicor® Human Capital Management system provides help with this and more, enabling you to manage your workforce and human resource processes more easily.

Epicor HCM automates all your HR processes, managing the entire employee lifecycle from application to retirement. The HCM from Epicor® offers recruitment, benefits and absence management tools, giving you more ability to track, manage and analyze your employee data. It also provides a great way to manage the training of new employees and assess the performance of existing ones.

These paperless workflows help improve efficiency for both employees and managers, regulating operations and helping the company focus more on business objectives than on staffing concerns. This, in turn, enhances employee satisfaction, improving employee retention while also improving overall business efficiency and cost savings.

Sales Management

The primary goal of a business is to grow profitability through sales. Strong sales management is the best way to do this, and with sales force automation, you can more easily convert your prospects to customers. Epicor® sales management software is the best way to improve your sales team’s efficiency and effectiveness by managing opportunities and automating certain administrative tasks so your team can focus more on selling.

Epicor® ERP’s sales management software manages everything from quotes to orders and sales, enabling your sales team to more easily coordinate with your warehouses, shipping and accounting teams. The system facilitates more efficient account management, as well as management of shipping, invoicing and commission. This streamlining of the sales process helps orders be processed more efficiently. Combined with sophisticated supply chain management software and warehouse management systems, Epicor’s sales management module can improve efficiency even more from the ground up.

The sales management software provides product configuration tools that make it possible for you to produce more accurate estimates, streamline your sales cycles, calculate more accurate estimates and improve overall customer service. Improved efficiency also makes it more possible for your business to take advantage of more opportunities, improving sales productivity and accuracy. In total, the Epicor sales management solution can help you perfect the sales process and improve your and your customers’ experiences.

Customer Relationship Management

Proper customer relationship management is more important to modern businesses than ever. That’s where the Epicor® customer relationship management module comes into play. With the Epicor CRM module, you can track your leads and contacts more easily than ever, so you never have to worry about losing a hot lead ever again.

Epicor® CRM software solutions help businesses stay ahead of the sales curve, managing customers throughout the lifecycle from prospect to client. The system provides a complete view of your business relationships, including those with customers, suppliers and business partners, maximizing your customer information and broadening the scope of your information. This complete management module helps improve your business’ effectiveness and efficiency, improving overall growth.

The Epicor ERP solution allows businesses to more easily support a mobile sales force, automating many basic marketing and messaging activities and allowing sales members access to customer information in the field. This way, your sales team is more readily equipped to handle customer interactions, improving responsiveness and customer retention.

Financial Management

Between global competition and regulatory compliance concerns, proper financial management can be one of the most important aspects for a business’ profitability. With Epicor® accounting and financial management software, your business can achieve sounder financial management, using the system’s general ledger, fiscal reporting and performance management capabilities.

The Epicor® accounting and financial management module brings a new level of automation to your business, streamlining your financial processes with tools that can handle even complex financial requirements. Just a few of the software’s capabilities include collections management, electronic funds transfers, automated order matching, general ledger management and bank reconciliation. The financial module can even handle payroll and tax management.

It’s not just your daily tasks that can benefit from financial management from Epicor® — your business, in the long run, can benefit from centralized financial accounting. Many audit firms today advocate for centralized financial data, as businesses using more disparate financial information tend to lose sight of their business’ financial health. This is particularly the case for large, multi-location enterprises. With Epicor® ERP accounting software, you retain data visibility and benefit from incredible analytical and automated tools that save you time and effort.

Security Compliance

On top of its large selection of modules, Epicor® ERP offers sophisticated security, handling both in-application and external security processes to keep your data safe. The system accomplishes this level of security through a variety of means, including role-based security profiles, data restriction options, strong password policies and a protected user interface. On top of these basic measures, the Epicor® system ensures all cloud communication is heavily encrypted and monitored for suspicious patterns. These security measures and more operate simultaneously to keep your data secure so you can worry less about your data and more about your daily business operations.

Enterprise Performance

Ensuring continuous performance is about more than monitoring — it’s about managing. Performance management is made easier than ever with Epicor® Enterprise Performance Management, embedded within the Epicor ERP software.

The Epicor EPM software is a complete set of analytical tools that allow businesses to plan and execute business activities to meet their long-term goals. Business intelligence is a huge component of this system, enabling more effective decision-making. This includes budgeting, planning and forecasting abilities, analytical applications, data warehousing, business activity queries and reporting capabilities. This means your business gets the intelligence it needs when you need it.

In total, the Epicor® Enterprise Performance Management system cultivates a culture of high performance by allowing businesses to see what works and what doesn’t. It also encourages everyone involved in the business by informing them how and where their work fits in.

Start With Epicor

Epicor® software can be difficult to understand, and no matter how long you’ve worked with the software, problems and mistakes happen. That’s why you need an independent consultant to help.

As an independent service provider, Practical Technology Solutions, LLC knows what it takes to implement Epicor® in a way that works best for your business. Since 1997, our business has worked in the IT industry, learning systems like Epicor® from the ground up. Our expertise is the best in the industry, as is our high-quality customer service, but we still promise low-cost, competitive services for our clients.

Between our quality service and expertise, we’ve gained the trust of several clients across the United States. That’s because we focus on our customers, providing them with the best we have to offer. That includes our highly certified technicians. In short, when you choose Practical Technology Solutions, you choose Epicor® specialists who can offer you a functional system with the best support.

Q: Why Should I Switch to Epicor?

A: Enterprise resource planning software is a powerful tool for businesses. Providing comprehensive, customizable business management on a single platform. The applications you need to run your business —  everything from sales and marketing to human resources — can run through the ERP.

Putting an ERP in place eliminates inefficiencies like duplicate data entry and increases productivity. Instead of grappling with the inefficiencies of a homegrown system, Epicor®, one of the leading software platforms, helps businesses focus on growth instead of worrying about IT infrastructure.

Epicor® is designed specifically to fit the size of your business. Without adding an enormous IT budget burden, offering industry customization, melding to the specific needs of your company. If you want to increase productivity and scalability through an ERP system, find the right partner to help you with a system audit and a custom plan of action for implementation. Practical Technology Solutions has worked with companies like 3M Corp., Ashcroft, PosiTronic, and Shearers Foods to implement Epicor®.

One client, Unique Sports Products, Inc., offers insight into Practical Technology Solutions’ Epicor expertise:

 “I definitely recommend PTS as a partner for Epicor technical services and continue to use them. I only wish I had found them sooner. I will continue to go to them for enhancements, training and consulting as there is no doubt they will help us maximize our investment and minimize our time spent implementing various Epicor solutions.” 

Analyzing Your Current System 

A survey of software buyers found that approximately 66 percent of buyers do not use an ERP system, according to Software Advice. A significant number of these buyers (44 percent) use a mishmash of different systems to achieve the same functions of an ERP. This type of system is often considered homegrown. In this case, a business’s IT staff will build parts of a system or a whole system to carry out the various functions. While building your own system in-house does save money in the short-term, business leaders will have to think ahead. What will happen once your original IT staffers leave? Will the new IT department leader know how to efficiently use and maintain a system built by someone else? Will everyone else in the company have a simple, efficient user experience with the system? Homegrown systems are often dependent on the original programmers who made it. These systems also often lack the sophistication of an ERP. For example, a homegrown system may not have customer-specific pricing.

Your business may have a homegrown ERP, but as the scale of your business increases, so does the likelihood you will outgrow the software. Of software buyers at a company not using an ERP, 27 percent report wanting to change to an ERP specifically because of company growth. Look at your business’s needs and growth trajectory needs as you analyze your current system. Does it make sense to leave behind the homegrown model?

 

Finding The Right Solution

An ERP application can be customized to fit a variety of different industries, businesses and business sizes. ERPs allow data sharing across any aspect of your business. Different modules within the system handle various aspects of day to day business. Four core areas include:

  • Accounting and finance
  • Human resources
  • Sales and marketing
  • Supply chain management

Bringing all of these different areas of your business onto one scalable, customizable platform that conforms precisely to your company’s needs can drastically improve company efficiency.

What are the advantages of enterprise resource planning? Many modules have automated functions, decreasing the amount of time your company has to spend on that particular function. Automation increases productivity. A LinkedIn post based on statistics from the Aberdeen Group found:

  • ERPs can cut operating costs by 23 percent.
  • Better productivity stemming from an ERP system can increase a company’s on-time deliveries by 24 percent.

Companies that do not use Epicor® often run into significant limits on productivity and face challenges when it comes to scalability.

Which Version of Epicor® Is Right for You?

Users can choose from a number of different versions. Here is a quick look at the different interactions to help you decide which one best fits your business needs:

  • Why should I switch to Epicor® 9?

Epicor® 9, built with the ICE 2.0 business architecture, helps businesses support their financial, supply chain and sales operations. The ERP’s financial tools are designed to help businesses improve their bottom line, while the supply chain tools help businesses gain visibility and control throughout the entire supply chain process. Lastly, the sales and operations tools help improve quote accuracy, meet customers’ needs and make the entire order process more streamlined.

  • Why should I switch to Epicor® 10?

Epicor® 10 incorporates all of the tools offered with the previous version, but it has improved speed. Businesses with more users and increased need for an ERP will likely appreciate the speed of this version. It also comes with a significantly lower hardware cost to implement.

  • Why should I switch to Epicor® Vantage?

Epicor® Vantage is an ERP is a software system designed for the manufacturing industry. This system includes modules for:

  • Financial management
  • Supply chain management
  • Production management
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Project management
  • Product data management
  • Service management
  • Human capital management
  • Sales management
  • Customer relationship management

The system is built on a service-oriented architecture. Epicor® also offers solutions for other industries based on the Vantage® manufacturing ERP.

 

Pitfalls of Homegrown Systems

A homegrown ERP can seem like a great way for a business to start managing its operations. Building a system in-house requires much less of an investment, and the system can be built specifically to meet your business’s needs at that time. Users will feel comfortable with a homegrown system, and this type of system will work wonderfully for maintaining the status quo. But, one of the biggest pitfalls is the lack of scalability. If your business changes or increases, you will inevitably outgrow the software’s limits.

For example, your business might have only had a small amount of inventory to manage. As your client base and the scope of your business grows, so will the amount of inventory. Your homegrown system will not have the electronic data interchange and reporting tools necessary to easily manage a growing business.

While you may not have invested much in the homegrown system at the outset, it will rapidly become expensive to maintain and update. You will spend internal resources scrambling to keep every part of the homegrown software relevant and capable of supporting your business. As your industry changes and your business works to adapt, a homegrown system will struggle to keep up. Your business will spend increasing amounts of time and money to support a system that is struggling to provide the functionality you need.

Epicor® will have the comprehensive business intelligence to provide advanced functionality, which will translate into both time and cost savings.

What Happens When Your Employee(s) Leave?

Homegrown systems are built in-house, meaning they are the work of one person or a small group of people. Your talented IT director and programmers who create that system are in charge of maintenance and system training. They know everything about the system and how to teach others how to use it.

Internal support seems like a valuable asset, but employees are not guaranteed to stay with your company indefinitely. If your IT director and programmers leave for another job or retire, they take all of their expertise and knowledge of the system with them. They may have time to help train their replacement, but it is unlikely they will be able to share all of their knowledge before their departure.

Once they leave, you will either be faced with a significant loss of time, money and productivity as your current staff struggles to learn how to maintain the system. If the system goes down, your business will struggle even more.

Instead of waiting for the day when your company ultimately outgrows its homegrown system and loses the people who built it, you can transition to Epicor®.

Epicor® provides your business with the customization that made a custom solution so attractive. It also eliminates the inevitability of outgrowing the software. Epicor® is designed for scalability — the system will grow as your company grows. Additionally, you will not have to rely on the expertise of people who will not always be with your company.

Q: How Can Epicor® Help My Business Grow?

A: A reliable ERP system is practically a must for any business today. Learn how Epicor® helps your business grow using:

Team Collaboration

One of the major benefits is how it can help your team and your clients work more effectively together using collaborative tools. Features include social capabilities, as well as data mining and sharing capabilities, allowing users to delve deep into your business’ data, resolving problems and identifying opportunities.

Client collaboration is an undeniable benefit of Epicor®, which harnesses the power of tested social networking tools and techniques to make sharing and absorbing information easy for customers. Easier and faster data mining and information sharing means employees can react faster to new situations, allowing a greater opportunity to take advantage of opportunities and resolve issues quickly.

Epicor® breaks down barriers between departments so all employees can communicate easily, even between ERP users and Non-ERP users.

Software Responsiveness

Fast and easy to use, providing the fastest experience available with quick response times and an easy learning curve. Streamline upgrades, eliminate waiting time and see your business grow. The quick responsiveness that brought to your operation means closer contact with customers, business partners, and vendors. If there’s a problem, a question or a change in the relationship, you can respond to it fast to make sure it goes your way.

ERP Simplicity

Among other extremely useful benefits is the fact that Epicor® is completely Microsoft-based, making upgrades extremely easy and customizations a breeze. Even better, our easy-to-understand, touchscreen-enabled interface means your team will be up to speed on the software in no time.

Software Mobility

Free yourself from the confines of your desk with Epicor® ERP’s mobile capabilities. Whether on your smartphone, tablet, or personal computer, accessing and responding to contacts immediately is easier than ever.

Advantages of using Epicor®

Some of the main advantages people find with the software are that it’s flexible and customizable, with a service-oriented architecture that makes it compatible with many existing systems.

We Can Help You Maximize Your Software

Practical Technology Solutions provides independent services and support to help you get the most out of your software. Still not sure if Epicor® is right for you? Contact us online or give us a call at 419-557-2225 and we’d be happy to help.

Q: How to Change System Wide Sort Settings in Epicor® 10

A: Did you know you can change the sort settings in Epicor® 10 for any of the search boxes?

E10 has two different sorting options you can use system wide. These options are String Sort and Word Sort.

  • String Sortis the Epicor® default, and for this sort, all characters are given an equal “weight” for positioning.
  • Word Sortis the Microsoft® default and for this sort, specialty characters are given almost no “weight” in sort positioning. The Hyphen (-) is the most visible of these specialty characters.

Changing this setting can be done in the Configuration Files for whichever environment you wish to change the sort settings for. You can also use them both at the same time!

Let’s say you wish to leave the String Sort as the default but want other records sorted by the Word Sort; all of this can be done with the Configuration File. If you wish to learn more about changing your sort settings, contact us and we will be more than happy to help you out.

Go Remote with your System Administrator

Practical Technology Systems provides its clients with a dedicated Epicor® system admin. This administrator is an invaluable resource who helps you maintain your system without adding to your overhead or taking up your staff’s time. Additionally, you do not need to worry about staff turnover with an outside system admin. Other benefits of an outside system admin include:

  • Experience in multiple different versions
  • Expertise in data training and best practices
  • Ability to help with server diagnostics

Businesses can save money with the reduced overhead and save time without the constant need to train backup system admins. Instead, a dedicated system admin is always available.

Practical Technology Solution’s client Kadant Black Clawson has greatly benefited from the company’s support:

“Their technical quality has been excellent and their cost reasonable. PTS has always been able to address our requirements even in emergency situations. I would recommend PTS as a partner for Epicor® technical services and continue to use them.”

Duplicate Data Entry

Homegrown systems lead to increasing inefficiencies as the needs of your company grow beyond the system’s capabilities. One of the greatest inefficiencies of a homegrown system is its lack of integration. If your company operates in multiple different locations, or even in one location with multiple different users, data often settles into isolated silos. This makes it harder to find and use important information.

When a system is poorly integrated, users waste time searching for data. Often, duplicate data entry occurs in an effort to avoid data silos. Duplicate software data entry not only wastes your employees’ time, but it can also be inaccurate and incomplete — which is wasteful and has the potential to actively harm your business’ day to day.

While you are sifting through duplicate data, your system is likely only showing you historical data. On the other hand, modern ERPs provide real-time data access. It is important to have access to the most up-to-date information when making any sort of decision that could affect your business or your customers. 

Homegrown systems can cost you both time and production in the long run. Trying to navigate data silos, wasting time on duplicate manufacturing data entry and basing decisions on historical data can negatively affect your business. A well-implemented Epicor® system can help you reduce the amount of time you spend on data entry, increase the accuracy and timeliness of your data and overall streamline your system’s processes.

 Unique Sports Products, Inc. commented on how Practical Technology Solutions and Epicor® helped automate and streamline data entry processes and reports.

“So far Jim and a group from PTS have come in to do a CRP/training session for two days that was extremely helpful. They have also developed and installed a customized program to assist in automated order entry and processing, shipment entry and processing and have developed customized SSRS reports. They have always addressed our concerns in a timely manner, and are very conscientious about costs, and very detailed in their work.”

Finding the Right Partner

The switch from a homegrown system to an ERP like Epicor® can be intimidating. After all, a homegrown system is familiar, and an ERP is a significant investment. Instead of clinging to what is comfortable, perform an objective analysis of your current system. Questions to ask yourself include:

  • Can the system easily adapt to the growing needs of the business?
  • How streamlined are the processes managed by your homegrown system?
  • How disruptive would it be if the IT director or a programmer left?
  • Does the system fall prey to duplicate data entry?
  • Do you notice inaccurate or incomplete data?
  • Have users raised questions about productivity related to the system?

If the answers to these questions make you stop and think about the sustainability of your current setup, it is time to think about switching to a Epicor®. It has the scalability to grow with your company, the customization to meet your company’s needs and the integration to avoid duplicate and inaccurate data entry. This increased functionality has the power to save your business time and money, while dramatically increasing productivity.

However, you do not have to make the transition alone. Practical Technology Solutions is an independent professional services company that can help your business with every aspect of implementation to ongoing maintenance. The company offers services including:

  • New installs
  • Upgrades
  • Development
  • Consulting
  • Training
  • System admin support
  • And more

Q: How to use the DateAdd() Function to Get the First of the Year

A: The DateAdd() function shows up in some Epicor® reporting tools but in this blog post I’ll be focusing on using it in a BAQ’s (Business Activity Query) criteria. This function is useful any time you are trying to calculate a date based on another date. Which helpful for us because we are trying to find the first of the year based on today’s date. Today being the day the report/dashboard is ran. This can be useful when calculating anything you want for the current year or really any timeframe.

Get Epicor® Development Help

In this example, I’m using the InvcHead table which has the Invoice Date field in it. In the end, I’ll be able to see all of the invoices that occur in the current year only. You can see in the screen shot below the Invoice Date was selected in the Table Criteria tab with a greater than or equal to comparator selected. Specified expression is selected in the Filter Value drop down because we need to write and expression using the DateAdd() function to get the first of the year value.

To accomplish getting the first of the year we need to build a nested AddDate() function. This means we need to do a AddDate() inside of an AddDate() expression. We do this because the first AddDate () function gets you the first month of the year, then the second AddDate() gets the first day of the month. With those combined, we get the first day of the first month of the year. First, let us look at what each section of the nested AddDate() is doing.

Example 1 the first month of the year:

DateAdd(“M”,- (Month(Constants.Today) -1), Constants.Today)

Breaking the expression down we see an “M” in the first argument slot, this lets DateAdd() know we are using the unit of Months in our calculation. Next is the argument that tells it how many months to subtract. The dash at the beginning of argument two indicates this is a subtraction calculation; omit this if you are adding a value. In the second argument we are saying give us the Month of the current date minus one. The third and final argument is telling DateAdd what to subtract from. In this case it is the constant for Today.

Example 2 the first day of the month:

DateAdd(“d”,- (Day(Constants.Today) -1), Constants.Today)

In Example 2 we are getting the first day of the month, the premise is the same as the above only we are now looking at Days. The first argument in the DateAdd function has a “d” which indicates we are dealing with days. The second argument is subtracting because of the dash at the beginning of the argument. The Day() function gets the day of the month, which is then subtracted by one. The third argument is what is being subtracted from, this is example it is the constant for today.

Nesting the DateAdd() Functions

Now that we have an understanding of what we are accomplishing using each DateAdd() function it is time to nest them together.

Example 3 nesting DateAdd() functions to get first of the year:

DateAdd(“M”,- (Month(Constants.Today) -1),DateAdd(“d”,- (Day(Constants.Today) -1), Constants.Today) )

The basic idea here is to substitute the ‘being subtracted from’ value with a DateAdd() expression. So if Example one gets the first month of the year and Example two gets the first day of the month; combing those will get the first day of the first month.

Here we can see the output for each Example if it was ran on 11/29/2016.

Epicor® SSRS, Epicor® Development, Epicor® 10, Epicor® 9, Epicor® System administration, Epicor® Dashboards

Q: How to Use Epicor® to Create Custom BPMs?

A: With any business software, there is a bit of an adjustment period. Familiarizing yourself with all the functions and keys can be complicated, and when you are running an organization, learning all the capabilities of your software is paramount. However, what happens when your prepackaged software solution is missing something? What happens when you need an extra bit of customization?

A business process management function, also known as a BPM, is a section of code within the Epicor® platform that alters the way the software is used. BPMs can change the way the software works, customizing and streamlining your business’s workflow. They can do this by monitoring for errors or anomalies, improving alerting functions and maximizing reporting capabilities, among other things.

BPMs can be extremely useful for your business processes, as long as they are well designed and optimized to improve employee productivity and accountability. Not only does this require you to understand how to create a BPM, but it also requires you to understand the needs of your employees. A BPM is designed to make your employees’ work easier, so you need to understand the nuances of their daily workflow and what small steps and processes could help streamline their processes.

To understand a bit more about business process management functions, we’ve detailed the basics of a BPM system and how to implement one in your Epicor® software. We’ve also provided a few BPM types, functional examples and what they can do for your business’s workflow. If you have questions about any of our BPM examples, contact PracticalTek.

How a BPM Works

A business process management function essentially boils down to the following process: The function looks for events meeting certain conditions, then performs a preprogrammed action in response. To understand this process a little better, let’s break down this function into its three basic elements:

  • Events: Events are any occurrences within the system, such as the opening of a new dialogue box or an attempt to save newly input data. BPMs are designed to monitor these events, or subsets of these events, for certain criteria or conditions.
  • Conditions: BPMs monitor all events to look for those meeting certain conditions. These conditions may concern the value or quantity of data put in, the presence or absence of values from dialog boxes or any number of other conditions.
  • Actions: An action is the BPM’s response to an event meeting certain conditions. This can be anything from opening a dialog box to preventing a subsequent event.

As an example of this process, let’s consider a sales order entry in which BPM is designed to monitor discounts. This example BPM could be designed to monitor the discount box in a sales order and require sales personnel to input a reason for a large discount. In this case, the event the BPM is monitoring is the input of a discount, and the condition the BPM is looking for is the input of a discount of more than 15 percent. If the event meets this condition, the BPM can then prompt an action, such as the opening of a dialog box requiring an explanation for the large discount. This cause-and-effect approach to BPM design is important to understand when creating a BPM, as it is the basis for the BPM workflow designer.

How to Create a BPM in Epicor 10®

Epicor 10® has an incredible, built-in BPM workflow designer, which allows you to create a custom BPM using a visually appealing and easy-to-use drag-and-drop system. Every new action or condition you add will appear visually on your diagram, allowing you to see your work as you go and create as complex a BPM as you need.

The process of creating a BPM within the Epicor ERP 10® software is relatively simple, involving the following steps:

  • Analyze Your Toolbox: All tools needed to create your BPM can be found along the left-hand side of the workflow designer window. These are organized according to their type and function. To use them, simply click on an icon and drag it into the BPM workflow designer workstation, which is the large, gray part of the window.
  • Set a Condition: To get started creating a BPM, first click on the condition icon underneath the tab labeled Flow Chart in the toolbox, drag it into the workstation and release. With the condition still highlighted, set the specifications of your condition using the dropdown menu at the bottom of the window. This allows you to choose and modify your condition to identify a specific event and insert any values you wish. If you want to specify more than one condition, or create a flow chart of actions to occur given certain sets of conditions, you can create additional condition boxes by repeating this step.
  • Create an Action: A BPM is nothing if it doesn’t take action. This can mean the BPM does anything from sending an email to highlighting a box. These actions will be under the tabs labelled Labels and Other. Simply click the icon of the action you wish to take and drag it onto the workstation. You will then be able to customize the action using the dropdown menu at the bottom of the window. You should have an action paired with each final condition within your BPM’s flow chart.
  • Connect the Dots: After you create your conditions and actions, you need to make sense of them and give the BPM clear instructions on how they work. To do this, you need to connect the conditions and actions in a cohesive flow chart. If your chart splits into branches, each branch should end in an action.

To connect the boxes you have created, hover your mouse over a condition or action box. You should see arrows appear along the edges of the box. Click on one, then drag your mouse toward the box you wish to connect to. This will prompt arrows to appear along the edges of this box as well. Release the mouse for the two boxes to attach – this will appear as a line segment between the two boxes. Do this for all events in the BPM series. Once you are done, all boxes within the series should be connected in a coherent flow chart.

Using these steps, you can create a BPM as simple or as complex as you wish it to be. Most of the options available in the BPM workflow designer window will suit the majority of your needs.

However, you may find this simple workstation isn’t quite enough, and that you need something more customizable. This may be especially true if you are a developer and you want to have a little more freedom to customize your interface. In this case, you may need a more advanced option. To accommodate more advanced needs, Epicor 10® was designed for easy access to BPM custom code directives. In addition to being easily accessible, these code directives are now written in C# instead of ABL.

Epicor 10® makes this possible by including a built-in C# code editor in its BPM workflow designer. Additionally, developers writing larger directives can now write code within exterior development environments, such as Microsoft Visual Studio, to be called from a custom code snippet. This allows developers the most freedom possible within their company’s ERP software.

What’s more, if you are an experienced developer who has already programmed plenty of BPMs for Epicor9®, it’s easier than ever to make the switch to Epicor ERP 10®. Despite the change in language, custom code directives from Epicor 9® can be used in Epicor ERP 10® by simply using a migration tool to change the language from ABL to C#. Epicor® offers this in the form of the Epicor® ICE Online Conversion tool, which allows eligible customers to upload their ABL codes for conversion to the equivalent C# codes. Though you should check the results before Epicor® implementation, this software helps save you time and effort writing new code yourself.

Now that you know the basics of setting up an Epicor 10® BPM, you should be aware of the different kinds of Epicor® BPMs you can create and what they can do to improve your employees’ productivity and workflow. We’ve provided a few Epicor® BPM examples, many of which you can implement today to help your organization’s workflow immediately. 

Purchase Order Entry BPM

Some fields, such as due dates or customer information, are critical to ensuring an order is filled in a complete and timely manner. Without this information, a placed order may get lost or be filed incorrectly. Not only can this cause serious delays that can reduce customer satisfaction, but it can also cost your company dearly in time and money as associates work to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

A properly designed purchase order entry BPM can help you avoid this by ensuring all information in the system is accurate and accessible. These types of BPMs guarantee purchase orders are completed accurately every time by requiring an employee to input due dates, customer names or other pieces of critical information before saving. The BPM does this by automatically checking all required fields when the user attempts to save the order. If the required information isn’t present, the BPM prevents the user from saving the order and either highlights the missing fields or opens a pop-up notification indicating the missing fields.

Not only does this type of BPM help avoid costly delays or order losses, but it also makes orders easier to file. Incomplete order information can make finding and organizing orders a much more time-consuming process come audit time. However, with a BPM that requires all information every time, purchase orders can be found and filed correctly for easy access whenever your company needs them.

Sales Order Entry BPMs

The sales process can be particularly difficult and trying on sales personnel. Not only does a sales representative have to push sales to clients, but they also have to keep track of orders, discounts and other information with a high level of accuracy. Not only that, but keeping in line with company pricing standards when working with a flexible pricing schedule for a product can pose issues as well – it can be far too easy for a sales representative to offer a particularly heavy discount to a reluctant potential buyer without running it past management first. With all these variables, double-checking orders is imperative.

A properly designed BPM can do all this automatically, both by automatically filling in information and by monitoring inputs for particular values. For example, a BPM can be designed to fill in an order with default information, such as a default product type, so sales representatives don’t need to fill it in every time. A BPM can also check purchase orders for abnormal values, such as discounts of more than 20 percent. If detected, the BPM can be designed to warn the salesperson of the large discount and either prevent them from completing the order or put the order on hold as an email is sent to management.

This type of BPM not only streamlines processes for sales personnel, but it also keeps representatives accountable and accurate. By providing default information, a BPM helps reduce the average amount of time spent on any one purchase order. Monitoring for unusual values also helps keep sales representatives accountable, and involves management more closely in the sales process.

Quote Entry BPM 

During the sales process, sales representatives already have so much to keep track of. Between the customer’s buying signals, the order itself and all the factors surrounding the sale, tracking prices and inventory can be the last things on a representative’s mind. This can cause serious problems for the representative. Pricing items too low can cost the company money and confuse clients on the price of your product or service, while failing to keep updated on inventory shortages and surpluses can result in an inaccurate price quote or delivery date.

Inventory shortages can cause unexpected delays, while surpluses can mean extra discounts and deals from which the customer could benefit. Either way, if the sales representative discovers a surplus or shortage after the order call has concluded, they may need to make a second call to notify the customer. At best, this is an inconvenience to the customer. The worst possibility, however, is the customer’s perception of the sales representative as unprofessional, reducing the overall satisfaction of the customer as well as their perception of your company.

Quote entry BPMs can help avoid these awkward situations. For example, a BPM can be created to check if the sales associate inputted unit prices within proper margins, alerting the sales associate when a unit price is too low. Additionally, a BPM can be used to automatically bring up information about the company’s inventory when a sales associate looks up a part. This occurs in the Epicor® interface as a pop-up showing the current quantity on hand (QoH) of the item.

These types of BPMs can help your company’s sales team provide more accurate and consistent service. Sales associates can have the resources necessary to provide accurate pricing and notify customers of delays or sales as soon as possible.

Customer Shipment Entry BPM

Customers want to know when to expect their order. Whether the recipient is an individual or a business, the customer may need to make special preparations to receive the package. Unfortunately, this also means they’ll want updates on the status of their order. Often, this means frequent calls from customers asking about order updates, shipping dates and expected arrival times. This can put a great deal of unnecessary stress on your company’s call center or sales team.

A specially designed shipment entry BPM can help alleviate some of this workload by automatically notifying a customer when their order has been shipped. The BPM does this by automatically sending out a text or email to the customer when the sales associate checks the shipped checkbox within the software. These text or email notifications can include the shipping number, order details, due date and other useful information for the customer to access and use.

This BPM function helps keep the customer in the loop throughout the shipping process. This can immensely improve customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing the number of incoming calls requesting shipment information.

Case Entry BPM

Opening, editing and closing cases involves a great deal of data entry, and without a system in place for double-checking entries, important information can fall through the cracks. Cases may be updated incorrectly, or cases that are supposed to be closed can be marked as open due to an error, resulting in incorrect reports.

A BPM can help avoid this issue by automatically filling in and saving values within a database when a certain process is started. In the case of closing an account, multiple fields need to be updated in order for a case to be marked as closed. A BPM specifically designed for closing accounts can check these fields and mark the case as closed, saving sales representatives the time and effort it takes to double-check these accounts.

This type of process can help immensely with your company’s reporting, helping to ensure accounts are properly closed. It also reduces time and money spent double-checking closed accounts for proper field inputs.

Attachment BPM

Massive changes to a company’s data can be extremely time-consuming, especially if an associate needs to go in item by item or attachment by attachment. For example, if your company needs to change the name of a server for an update, you’ll also need to update any attachments associated with the server. If you don’t, these attachments will no longer work properly. However, the greater number of associated attachments, the more time is needed to update the attachments manually.

Attachment BPMs can expedite this process immensely. A specially designed BPM can do all the work for you by searching through each item and changing appropriate fields, saving time and labor. This also guarantees every attachment was changed appropriately, unlike manual processes, where human error can let a few slip through the cracks.

Learn More About Epicor® BPMs

If you have questions about how to use Epicor® or how to set up custom BPMs within the Epicor® software, PracticalTek can help!

PracticalTek is an independent provider of several professional services for companies using the Epicor® ERP software. We recognize that every business is different, and needs different things in enterprise resource planning software. For this reason, we specialize in providing flexible support for the most customizable ERP software available.

Our independent IT consulting firm has worked with Epicor 9® and Epicor 10® platforms since their releases, making us experts in Epicor® software. Not only do we provide expertise on Epicor® software at an affordable price, but we also provide one-on-one Epicor® support and training, helping your business work better with the Epicor® software. We want to help you implement your Epicor® software in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Q: What are Epicor® Quick Searches?

A: A quick search is a BAQ that the user can manipulate by entering in parameters.  It works similarly to a BAQ Report or a Crystal Report, but is used EXCLUSIVELY as a search tool.

When to develop an Epicor® Quick Search:

It is best to develop a Quick Search when the user wants a BAQ to display data after entering in parameters.

Get Help with Quick Searches

How to Create an Epicor® Quick Search:

Wherever there is a ‘searchable button’ you can create an Epicor® Quick Search.  For example, on the Customer Maintenance Screen there is a button labeled “Customer.”  After pressing it a “Customer Search” window will open up.  There, you will see several tabs, one of which is “Quick Search.” When finished, this is where the Quick Search will appear.

Before starting your Quick Search (QS), you must ask the user WHERE they want the quick search to operate, the application name, AND the field/button where they want the QS to appear.  For this example, the user would want a “Customer Search” in the Customer Maintenance screen.

To start creating a QS, open the application where the user wants the QS to appear.  Then click on Help à field help, make sure that “Technical Details” is highlighted, and click on the field next to the search button.  This should be the field that the search button ‘feeds’ (more on ‘should’ later).  In field help, you will see the table.field that is associated to this box. Make a note of the table.field because you will use this later (exa Customer.CustID).  This is the ‘Key’ your QS will use.

Now you are ready to build the Epicor® Quick Search.

There are two applications involved in creating a quick search:  the BAQ Designer and Quick Search Maintenance.

BAQ Designer for Quick Searches

Once you have the user’s goals, and know what table.field the search button is tied to, start creating the BAQ that the QS will use.  For the example, the user wants to search Customers by their BillTo Information.  Since you know that the ‘Key’ (exa Customer.CustID) is in the Customer table, and the BillTo records are also in the Customer table, it appears the only table needed is the Customer Table.

After adding the table, navigate to Display à column Select.  Here you will select the fields that this BAQ will show.  Be sure to include the table.fields that the user wishes to see as well as the table.fields the user wishes to query by.  Also, ENSURE THAT THE ‘KEY’ IS ALSO IN THIS LIST (exa Customer.CustID).  If the KEY is not in the list the QS won’t work.

Save your BAQ and exit.

Quick Search Maintenance

Go back to the application that the user wants this QS to appear (exa Customer Maintenance).  RIGHT-click in the field next to the searchbutton that you got the table.field from earlier, then select Quick Search Entry.

Fill in the fields on the Detail tab.  Make sure the BAQ is ‘pointing’ to the BAQ you created earlier.  Now, the “Return Column” is the ‘Key’ that we talked about earlier.  Make sure that this table.field matches the “Context Key” that comes from the field you right-clicked on (NOTE: this does not have to be a 100% match.  But the table.fields MUST be atleast ‘like’ eachother.  For example, we have created a QS where the Return Column = CustCnt.CustID and the Context Key was Customer.CustID).

 The “Context Key” is AUTOMATICALLY filled in based off the field that you launched Quick Search Maintenance from, which can cause issues.  As mentioned earlier, “This should be the field that the search button ‘feeds’.”  If you find that your QS is not appearing in the QS tab, it likely means the Search button is querying a different ‘Key’ than what is in the box next to it.  Investigate the button to figure this out.  Go to other applications that use the same button and use them to figure out what the button is querying.

The checkboxes to the right: Shared, All Occurrences, Context Default, Base Default, Suppress Base, Validation only do different things.  Basically, if the user wants the QS to appear in only the specific application, don’t check any of these boxes.  If the user wants this QS to appear for ANY search (this is the likely scenario) that returns the same ‘Key’, check Shared and All Occurrences.  In the example, since the return column is Customer.CustID, this QS will appear in all QS tabs that query the CustID.

Save your QS.

Next, navigate to the ‘Criteria tab, click on the new button and select, “New Quick Search Criteria.”  This is how you add your parameters.  YOU MUST CREATE AT LEAST ONE CRITERIA FOR THE QS, IN ORDER FOR THE QS TO APPEAR IN THE TAB!  Add each parameter that your user wants to search by through this process.

When adding a Parameter (Criteria) choose the table.field that the parameter will query against, and the caption of the parameter.  Next is the condition. Choose appropriately here, but a good rule of thumb is to always go with ‘BEGINS’ because it gives the user flexibility in their search.  The only likely reason we would NOT using BEGINS is if the parameter is a true/false.

Save your QS after entering in all of your Criteria then log off of and back onto Epicor®.

Now, when you go to the application you created your quick search in, click on the search button and then the Quick Search tab. You will see your created QS.  Select it, and click ‘Search’

Then the QS will appear.  You’re done!

Q: Why Should You Move from Crystal to SSRS?

A: Some Epicor® users may wonder what the benefits of moving from Crystal Reports to SSRS are and there are several. Here are a few reasons you should consider moving from Crystal to SSRS:

  • Crystal is being phased out of the Epicor® landscape moving forward. Even though all the current reports will work with Crystal all new report functionality, bug fixes, and enhancements will happen on the SSRS platform. This is because Epicor® has moved to SSRS being their default reporting service.
  • Financially SSRS is a win as well; this is because SSRS comes with your Microsoft SQL installation. This gets rid of the need to buy and install Crystal Developer or run times on each client.
  • Interactivity with the report is much more prevalent with SSRS developed reports. The ability to drill down, sort, or interact with matrices gives viewing data a personalized touch, allowing the user to view the data how they want.
  • The SQL platform itself allows for a powerful set of query tools built into your reports. From the simple to complex SQL facilitates queries that present the data that is important to you.

Security inside the world of SSRS is more granular than Crystal as well, allowing for a range of securities to be applied to each folder.

Q: What is the difference between product groups and part classes?

A; A product group classifies groups of your finished goods inventory parts. Part classes are used to classify any inventory materials for reporting purposes.

Q: Does PracticalTek provide Training?

A:PracticalTek offers beginner and advanced training topics to help get your employees up-to-speed as efficiently as possible without using a one-size-fits-all approach.

Tailor your training to be onsite or online, any way that helps you reach your goals. PracticalTek can use your data to train your users on your time so that training scenarios will have a real-life application for the trainee. These sessions can be chosen by you to allow your employees to learn while not impeding your business.

Q: I need help in a specific area, does PracticalTek have experience with it?

A: Yes, we have expertise with the following areas and many more!

  • Scheduling
  • MRP
  • XL Connect
  • Multi-Company
  • Global
  • Advanced Quality
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Insite Manifest
  • C#, SSRS, Service Connect, Product Configurator development skills
  • Project Management
  • Handhelds
  • Consolidated Balance Sheet & Income Statement
  • Payroll
  • 1099 processing, Report Designer & Bank Reconciliation
  • Tips & Techniques
  • Buyer Workbench (RFQ’s, PO Suggestions)
  • Purchasing Requisitions
  • Return-to-Vendor
  • Company Configuration Reviews
  • Business Audits / Process Mapping
  • Part Record Audits (MRP Factors)

Production Management: Create, Change and Schedule Jobs in order to meet demand. Shop floor tools and Quality Assurance features along with much more.

Financial Management: Manage numerous aspects of your company’s finances including AP, AR, GL and much more.

Service Management: Manage customer related items like Offsite Repairs, Return Material features and more.

Human Capital Management: Quickly and efficiently manage Payroll, Employee Training and many other HR related issues.

This is not a comprehensive list, just a few highlights that may correlate to your unique business needs.

Epicor® also offers modules with many capabilities relating to Sales, Projects and more.

 

Q: How can I enhance my business?

A: Epicor® provides a suite of programs designed to serve your particular business. Below is a list of just a few tools included that may be able to make your business operate more efficiently with a short description of some of the features within.

Q: Does PracticalTek support new implantations of Epicor?

A; You’ve purchased the software, now what? Choose the business partner that will best assist you in making Epicor® work for your specific needs.

If you’re looking for a process driven company that will take the initiative to learn your unique business procedures and help by asking informed questions that drive important conversations which could define crucial aspects of your implementation and future business procedures. PracticalTek specializes in tailoring the software to your needs and has the experience to guide you around pitfalls less experienced implementers may not foresee.

Q: Can you automate the Approval Process Revision for specifications

A: In the Specification Maintenance screen, we added an Inspection Attributes tab that utilized custom tables to store additional attributes for each specification. Additionally, we automated the approval process entirely, as well as, auto-generated revisions and defaults. This simplified the revision and approval process while allowing them to create more detailed Specifications.

Q: Is it possible to implement Recursive Linking for Dynamic Query Extraction?

A: In this Task, I was able to successfully implement Recursive linking into a Query. The Queries objective was to grab all parts that had been sold in the last two years. But also needed to include the Components that went into that part as well as the sequential BOM Levels (0,1,2,3). Then final combine that with a list of Part Numbers that had an OnHandQty of Zero.

Q: Can I access two datasets in one Tablix?

A: Yes, in this example, we were uplifting a BAQ Crystal Report to SSRS. We had a need where we needed to use a parameter from the BAQReportParameter Dataset when our main Tablix was using the BAQReportResult Dataset. Why did we need the parameter? There was a complex expression that HAD to be created in a textbox expression field. Due to this, we had no other option than to bring the Number01 Field.

we were able to use a subquery in the Select statement to reference the BAQReportParameter Table with the same GUID. This data didn’t need to be linked on anything specific because the Parameters table applies to all fields.

Q: How to extract a large amount of data using a command prompt and DMT (Requires Epicor ® 10.1 or later)

A: Extracting data out can be a cumbersome task and very time consuming. Running a DMT extract via the command prompt is much easier and quicker. It utilizes a BAQ that pulls the data and then writes the data to an excel file. All this is done automatically by typing a few commands into the command prompt and then letting the program do the rest. This is a great feature that can save clicks, reduce time, and make data extracts less painful for DMT.

Change the number of returned records in any Epicor® search window.

Ever tried viewing a large portion of your parts in a search window inside of Epicor®? Epicor® by default sets a small number of records to return every time you run a search. Some customers require a larger return of records for parts, sales orders, jobs, etc. This default setting can be changed to show more records in any Epicor® search window and can be changed on a per client basis because not every person who runs Epicor® needs to see a large number of returns and not to mention having the ability to set this on a per client basis keeps performance impact at a minimum.

Q: How to set up drop down BAQ Parameters

A: Creating Drop-Down Parameters in an Epicor® BAQ

  • The first step is to create your main query BAQ. In this example, we will create a Part BAQ. We will save this as a Shared BAQ so other users can access this it and fill out the description field.
  • Next, add the Table(s) you want to see in. This BAQ is a simple Part search, so add the Part table in the Phrase Build tab. Additionally, add the company, part, description and class ID fields and test the BAQ. After running the BAQ, we see many different Class ID values appear. However, we want to filter the BAQ to only show one of these Class IDs at a time.
  • At this point save the Part BAQ.
  • Then, navigate to the ‘Actions’ menu and select the Define Parameters options. You can now create a new parameter for you query. It is important that you select a data type that matches the field’s data type that you are filtering on.
  • At this point, we have created a new parameter, but it is just a blank text box with no values populating it. We can change this by selecting a different Editor Type. We could, at this time, make a static list of values for our drop-down. However, it would need manual updating if new Class IDs were created. We do this using the Values Editor section at the bottom of the screen.
  • We could also make this a drop-down populated by a BAQ that would update in real time with the database. For more details on how to complete this step, please contact PracticalTek.
  • Next, set the newly made parameter as a table criteria were the field you are filtering by equals your parameter. Clicking on the blue ‘specified’ key word brings up the ‘Select Parameter’ dialog box. Here we can select the parameter we created in the earlier step. Now the criteria we’ve created says the ClassID equals the parameter we’ve created. The criteria have the name of the parameter showing in the filter value column.
  • To test our new parameter, navigate to the ‘Analyze’ tab and click the ‘Test…’ button. When we do this, the Parameter pops up. Then, when we click the drop-down, we see the descriptions in the drop-down from our other PartClass BAQ. Select Aluminum and click ‘OK’ as a test.
  • Now all the parts that appear in our search have a ClassID of ALUM which is the code associated with the description of Aluminum.

Q: How to enhance the Master Pack

Practical Technology Solutions, LLC created a customization inside Epicor®10 in the Master Pack application that allows for the processing of shipments in a semi-automatic and batch process. The enhancement allows for the closing, staging, and shipping of a master pack from three checkboxes added to the top right of the screen.

First, I added three checkboxes which are not bound to any fields. This is because the changing of the status is not tied to Booleans, but instead a single ‘Status’ field that changes based on Actions that are performed.

This document does not cover the importing of adapters or the use of ‘using’ statements please make sure you have an understanding of these concepts before continuing.

The first checkbox is the Closed checkbox. This checkbox is actually mimicking functionality found in the Actions menu of the Master Pack Shipment screen.

Here we can see the Open and Close actions inside the Actions menu, these Actions are related to F3 and F4 keystrokes. So for this checkbox I am mimicking the keystroke of those keys.

Our solution for this checkbox incorporates the event these are in via a CheckedChanged event. This will trigger every time the checkbox changes from checked to unchecked and vice versa. The ‘SendKeys.Send()’ is used for the actual ‘pressing’ of the F key, then updating of the checkbox and the EpiShape which is the red closed rectangle next to the checkbox. It is hidden until the checkbox is true. As you can see in the below code, if the status is ‘Closed’ when the closed checkbox is checked then it will ‘Open’ the master pack. All the checkboxes work in the way, both closing and opening, bother staging and unstaging and both ship and unship. What is interesting is that the close and open are done with just fake keystrokes, while the other two checkboxes (stage and Shipped) use a combination of fake keystrokes and adapters to mimic actions done outside the master pack screen.

Next is the Stage checkbox. Checking and unchecking this box will toggle the status from Staged to Closed (closed is the status after it is ‘unstaged’).

The Stage action is available in the Actions menu inside the Master pack screen so this again was accomplished by a fake keystroke

A partial screen shot of the code shows a keystroke of F7 Stages the master pack.

However, for the Unstaging of a master packing you will need to go to the Stage Ship Confirm screen to accomplish that. This would require a right click on the Staging area drop down.

Then once in the Stage Ship Confirm Screen you can select a row and use its Actions menu to ‘Unstage’

This was accomplished inside the Master Pack Screen by using adapter to mimic this process. By using a Trace I was able to find out what the adapters needed passed to them to accomplish the desired actions.

Then finally the shipping checkbox, which only uses the adapter method as both shipping and unshipping a master pack happens form the Stage Ship Confirm screen.

This was the most complicated action done through the adapter method. This declares a BO then steps through several methods inside that business object.

We found what needed passed to the methods by using the Trace feature and the Object Explorer inside the customization screen. Trace below was used to find the ship confirm values that needed passed.

This uses three checkboxes and three epishapes to updating/hiding/checking is all done with EpiViewNotifications and a switch statement. This allows the ship checkbox to only be available once a master pack is staged. As well as manage the color-coded shapes that appear next to the checkboxes.

Q: How to change the Default sort Order?

A: Have you ever wondered why when you do a search in Part Maintenance that you get results which precede the desired search criteria? For example, we have Parts which start with “RM”. We use the Starting At: filter and look for Parts that Start with RMA

This will return parts which precede A We have parts which being with RM- These parts are returned in the resultant search.

Shouldn’t we just see Parts that begin with RMA? PTS can help with this problem.

BACKGROUND:

This is a well-known pattern – String sort vs. Word sort and SQL collation (SQL collation will be discussed later in this article – it has the largest impact on the results). With String Sort all characters in the string have an equal weight for sort positioning – this is the Epicor Default as shipped. With Word Sort some characters, like a hyphen, have a reduced weight so that the order of the other characters is more important in the sort positioning – this is the Microsoft default. Multiple things are taken into consideration when sorting/comparing data in SQL Server (and many other platforms) including the collation setting, code page, binary/non-binary, unicode vs. ascii data, and client-side sortSetting.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT EPICOR CLIENT-SIDE SORTSETTING(EXAMPLE):

Below you can see the difference in sort positioning using the same set of values (everything else being equal):

String Sort:

1-1-A

1-2-B

1-3-B

10-C

11-A

12-A

13A

Word Sort:

10-C

1-1-A

11-A

12-A

1-2-B

13-A

1-3-B

Q: Does Epicor® have SSO (Single Sign on)?

A: A great feature that was built into Epicor® version 10.1 is the ability to use Automatic Sign On. Automatic sign on is similar to Single Sign on which uses your windows domain accounts to login to Epicor®, but with Epicor® Automatic Sign On, it uses your Epicor® ID and password. Epicor® Auto Sign On behaves just like SSO, once enabled you can click on your Epicor®desktop icon and when the application launches, it automatically signs you in using your Epicor® ID and never prompts for a username and password. This is a great feature and requires no appserver changes or task agent changes like SSO does.

Q: What is Enterprise Search?

A: Epicor® Enterprise Search for Epicor®10 and Epicor® 9 is a search tool very similar to web search engines like Google. Since most of us have used internet search engines in the past, looking up data in your ERP system will be second nature with Enterprise Search. Enterprise Search indexes your Epicor® database and returns data based on what you’re searching by. The results page shows tags based on the search returns and it also shows the results in a basic form. Enterprise Search makes it easy to find relevant business data. Practical Technology Solutions, LLC can help you setup and configure Epicor® Enterprise Search for Epicor® 10 and Epicor® 9, and we also offer an Enterprise Search training course.  It is a very useful tool that is surprising under-utilized and sometimes we’ve found it’s not even setup.

Q: How to create Customer Shipments with just a few clicks

A: Epicor® gives you the tools to really build anything you want. We were able to build a screen in Epicor® that allows users to search and select Sales Orders, and create Packs from them. All they would have to do is select the Orders they wished to create Packs for, and click a button.  This was done via Epicor® Development tools.

This screen operated similar to an Epicor® Dashboard in that the user could search/select open sales orders in the Epicor® system.  The screen gave users the ability to filter by Customer ID or PO Number, but these filters weren’t required.  After loading their open sales orders, by clicking the “Retrieve” button, the user would simply select the Sales Orders they wished to create packs for by checking the select box next to each order number.  Once the users were happy with their selections, they would simply click the “Process” button to generate the packs.

After the user clicked the Process button, the screen would create a pack for each order selected.  For each of those packs, the screen would use the sales order’s lines to generate the pack lines for the Customer Shipment.

This eliminated the need for the shipping department to create the packs.  All they had to do was finalize them and flag them as shipped when appropriate.  We eliminated many steps for this customer by dramatically reducing data entry.  They were able to generate countless customer Shipments with just a few clicks of a mouse.  The bonus to all of this: each pack created, still followed all of Epicor’s® business logic.  We’re proud of this solution as it saved our customer a great amount of time.

Epicor 9, Epicor 10, Epicor ERP, Epicor Development, Epicor C#

Q: Why You Should Choose Epicor® Over Other Software

A Epicor® enterprise resource planning tools offer a variety of on-premise and on-demand packages that can help your business run with your existing infrastructure, allowing you to spend on software and not hardware. We believe it is a top ERP software platform for small and midsized businesses that spend most of their time with operational improvements and less time focusing on IT infrastructure management.

Epicor® might be the best ERP system for your business if you need a full-featured platform that’s tailored to your size needs, especially if you’re not looking to invest heavily on in-house IT growth. It blends function and cost to create a compelling experience for businesses of any size, making it a top ERP software package we recommend.

Industry Reasons to Buy Epicor®

In today’s ERP world, it is important to look for software packages and companies that are relevant for your industry. Epicor® touches on a variety of industries with specific applications and adjustments that can answer your most common or difficult enterprise resource needs.

Specific industries that Epicor® covers include:

  • Aftermarket automotive
  • Building and lumber
  • Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Service-oriented businesses

Even if you aren’t using the packages specific to your industry, knowledge about your business is one of the biggest reasons to buy Epicor®. Their platforms will be able to adapt to your needs, and PTS can provide you with the additional help you need to solve problems and achieve goals.

Configuration Benefits of Epicor® ERP

Epicor® ERP systems provide a variety of options for configuration and customization so it can be best-fit to your industry. You can create your own profile or turn to us at PTS for expertise in adapting the package to specifically meet your biggest challenges.

We understand a local distributor will have a very different set of business challenges than a national chain or an international manufacturer. We’ve built it all before and can help you unlock the potential of Epicor® so it is right-sized for you and makes running your operations that much easier.

Epicor® also comes with a variety of forecasting configurations that allow you to understand inventory needs now and in the future, based on a series of variables from historical data and current trends to seasonal shifts and the obsolescence of equipment lines.

 

Top ERP Software Implementation

Epicor® offers a Signature Methodology that’s designed to help you have full ownership of your software and build out your ERP deployment to match your business. The framework the company provides helps the vast majority of Epicor® customers implement their ERP projects on time and on-budget or below budget.

The software can use its methodology to deliver consistent, reliable implementation no matter where you are based or where your operations grow.

It’s that methodology that allows PTS customers to create a strong baseline, and then turn to us for true optimization to make the most of their investment. We can ensure you experience all of the reasons to buy Epicor®, from running a leaner operation to improving compliance and building in automatic reports for better customer service.

As an independent provider of professional services, PTS can help you determine if Epicor® is the best ERP system for your business and customize it to give you the most bang for your buck.

Q: How do you turn on remote Errors for Epicor®?

A: For anyone who has developed Epicor® SSRS reports, you know the standard errors displayed in System Monitor are too vague. To get a more detailed error description, turn on Remote Errors. Once Remote Errors are enabled the error messages that once read “Error: failure to compile dataset ARForm” will now hold more detail: “Error: failure to compile dataset ARForm, invalid column name ‘CreditMemo’”. This gives a much clearer picture to what the issue is. Now, with Remote Errors enabled, the system monitor brings much more value to the table when troubleshooting Epicor® SSRS reports.

To turn on Remote Errors, first you will need access to SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and the name of your report server.

After opening SSMS you will need to select the Server type of ‘Reporting Services’ and select/enter the name of the report server in the ‘Server Name’ text box.

Then go to the Properties of your report server using a right-click on the server name in the tree view.

Inside the Advanced section, there is an option under ‘Security’ to EnableReportErrors. Change this value to True to enable the remote errors. Click ‘OK’ and exit SSMS

Now, when viewing the Detail tab inside System Monitor, we get an error with more information for a report that did not complete.

Using the wingding font in Epicor® SSRS reports

PTS has vast experience building Epicor® SSRS reports.  Did you know the wingding font can be used in a very useful and creative way? Whether you’re using Epicor® SSRS or Epicor® Crystal Reports, wingding fonts can be used as a better alternative to importing images into your reports.  In our example below, you’ll see a custom Inspection Report.  This report needed to be customized to display unchecked and checked checkboxes – not images. Originally, we tried images but because of the volume of data, the application had difficulty processing multiple images.  On top of that, the customer found the images to be too distracting to the user.  To solve this in the most practical way, we used the windings font.

Automating data entry in Epicor®

Automating data entry in Epicor® can be tricky, but if done right it can save you and your company countless hours.  Any steps you execute in Epicor® can be done automatically with some BPM and/or C# and/or Epicor® Service Connect code and utilization of Epicor’s® tools.  For instance, a BPM can facilitate auto-data-entry.  Need certain fields to be defaulted after adding a record?  An Epicor® BPM can handle that, but they can do so much more.  The same is true for Epicor’s® customizations, and certainly for Service Connect.

Anything can be automated within Epicor®.  All it takes is identification, careful planning, and expertise with Epicor’s® tools.  Just recently, one of our customers wanted to completely skip the step of using the Stage Ship Confirm Entry screen in Epicor®.  Their shipping department noticed they were entering the same data over and over again.  Our customer reached out and described this bottleneck to PTS and after some careful planning, we created a button in the Master Pack screen that completely replaced their Stage Ship Confirm Entry step.  An entire data entry screen reduced to a simple button click, now that saves time!  We would love to talk with you about your data automation needs.  Contact PTS Today!

About Practical Technology Solutions

Practical Technology Solutions, your Independent ERP solutions provider for Epicor® and your certified partner for SYSPRO® and Macola®.  In business since 1997, PTS has accumulated a total of 196 years of ERP manufacturing experience.  We’ve had the pleasure of working for 411 customers.  We’ve provided over 4000 application solutions, countless consultations, and training sessions.  Performed installations, implementations, and over 57 upgrades!  PTS has grown to a staff of 14 professionals over the years providing world class ERP services.  No matter the complexity of your need, we have the experience to get the job done for you.  Our razor sharp skills, combined with our experience, makes us your ideal solutions provider at a competitive rate.  We pride ourselves on being responsive to your needs.  We take the time to lift the hood and understand your requirements before proceeding with development, training or consulting.  Why not work with a business that has real-world, hands-on, lessons-learned experience?  The PTS staff has undergone extensive internal training.  This was in an effort to rid the idea that our developers are simply developers.  Our business name is also our motto: practical technology solutions, and ensuring our employees have a good grasp on the ERP system is integral to their ability to not only find your solution on a development level, but at a consulting level as well.  Our clients have ranged from $1mil annually to $3bn annually giving us incredible exposure to all components of the manufacturing environment.  From cross docking, to multi-company, multi-currency, advanced module requirements, as well as, handhelds, complex BOMs… we’ve got it all covered.  We’ve had the privilege of working with a wide range of companies across the US and internationally.  We’ve been fortunate to learn their product, processes, and procedures and the lessons we’ve learned from this exposure allows us to better serve our new customers and their ERP needs.  We are in the business of saving you time, improving your data, and increasing your sales.

Q: Does PracticalTek have DMT Expertise?

A: Yes, if you need to import data into Epicor®, but aren’t sure how, PTS can help. DMT is an abbreviation for Data Migration Tool and is used to import data into your Epicor® environment. PTS has worked with DMT templates, data mapping, and sequencing of data loading across Vantage® 8, Epicor® 9 & Epicor® 10. If you are moving from a traditional or non-traditional legacy system to Epicor® and need to migrate your data, PTS can make this task easy and pain free through our DMT expertise.  Data integrity is crucial, and this tedious step needs to be done carefully. DMT is a powerful tool that can read excel spreadsheets and import your data via Add, Update, or Delete. The DMT program follows Epicor® business logic as it imports data which helps protect data and ensures it is being imported properly. The DMT program also provides errors to show what wasn’t imported and why.  Using DMT combined with the experts at PTS will make your data migration smooth, fast, quick and easy.

Q: How do you approach Customer Service?

A: PracticalTek always treats the needs of our customers with utmost urgency and responsiveness. That has always been our mantra, but we are now taking it one step further. In order to keep our customers aware of the current status of any task, we developed an in-house task system that has many features. Among them, an email system that will notify you regarding status changes.  When a task has been started, you will be notified automatically from the developer or consultant who is assigned the task.  Not only will you know when we have begun working your need, but you will also know which PTS resource has been assigned your task.  Finally, upon task completion, we send you an email to ensure you are fully satisfied with the resolution of the task.  Optimal communication regarding our customer’s tasks is an imperative part of our business.

Q: What is the difference between Single Sign On and Automatic Sign on?

A: A great feature that was built into Epicor® version 10.1 is the ability to use Automatic Sign On. Automatic sign on is similar to Single Sign on which uses your windows domain accounts to login to Epicor®, but with Epicor® Automatic Sign On, it uses your Epicor® ID and password. Epicor® Auto Sign On behaves just like SSO, once enabled you can click on your epicor desktop icon and when the application launches, it automatically signs you in using your epicor ID and never prompts for a username and password. This is a great feature and requires no appserver changes or task agent changes like SSO does. Epicor® Auto Sign On can also be turned on and off with relative ease by an Epicor® professional at Practical Technology Solutions. It’s the small things like Epicor® Auto Sign On that are so simple yet make such a big difference. This is one of the numerous features Practical Technology Solutions can enable for your business. We are Epicor® System Administration experts.

Q: What can you do with Custom BPM’s

A: Now in Epicor® 10 developing custom BPMs that send an email are more versatile than ever. With Epicor’s move from ABL to C# for BPM custom code this opens the door to being able to gather, calculate, and send information more effectively. Whether it’s notifying key personnel about an important order information, sharing project milestones with team members, or sending an update to a customer on the progress of their order; Email notifications bring people information to the person through a platform they are already using. Email is an almost universal way of communication in today’s world; why not add functionality that fits the needs of your business. www.practicaltek.com

Possible BPM Examples:

  • Order is over a certain dollar value
  • Order is marked using a UD field as a ‘rush’ order
  • Project milestone is achieved
  • A new part is entered into the system
  • A high value quote is made
  • Notify customer their shipment has been marked as ‘Shipped’
  • Received Qty is not equal to the ordered Qty
  • High value job is completed
  • A part is checked out for revision
  • An order is canceled

Q: How do I track dead stock?

A: Using the Dead Stock / Obsolete Stock Dashboard. The Manufacturing Industry is always changing, and so is your product. After a business moves forward onto green pastures, some Parts can get left back in the dirt and forgotten about. If you take a look at all of the parts in your Epicor® database you’ll have more than a few Parts that should be marked as Inactive or obsolete. That’s where an Epicor® Dead Stock/Obsolete Dashboard provided by PTS can really shine. The ability to see all the parts within you Epicor® System that haven’t had transactions for an extended period of time. This solution can make the job of cleaning up your part records MUCH easier! Reach out to PTS for this valuable Epicor® Dashboard

Q: Can you display CAD Drawings in Epicor®?

A: With the power of Epicor’s® dashboards, it’s possible to display advanced CAD drawings right in the dashboard itself. Not only that, but since Epicor® lets you put dashboards inside their screens, you can essentially display an attachment (like a CAD drawing) in any Epicor® screen! Remember, any dashboard can be placed in any screen.  So instead of opening up a dashboard to see what you need, the dashboard can be placed right in the screen you

Q: How do I get the First/Last record in a BAQ?

A: Epicor®10 has brought about countless improvements. Along with those improvements came some changes to BAQs. One of which is how BAQs get the LAST record in a table or the FIRST record in a table (i.e. FIND-FIRST, FIND-LAST).  Previously (on Epicor® 8 and 9), it was a toggle selection on a table, but now there is much more involved, and for good reason.  Through Epicor’s® powerful SubQueries, you can get the first record or last record in a table.  If you’re having difficulty with your BAQs

Q: Getting a notification when a Purchase Order is approved or denied?

A: Ever ran into a situation where you were left in the dark regarding an Epicor® Purchase Order that needs to be escalated for approval? Currently, Epicor® doesn’t provide the out of the box functionality to notify users when their purchase order has been approved or denied. Practical Technology Solutions, LLC has enhanced this process with a solution to notify users, via email, when their superior has reached a decision regarding the Purchase Order. No more back and forth emails or phone calls just to get an answer on that decision. You can know for certain, in real time, the status of your purchase order without having to pick up the phone. Reach out to Practical Technology Solutions for this time saving solution.

Q: What is Epicor® Social Enterprise?

A: Epicor® Social for Epicor® 10 is a network that was created to exchange critical information and increase communication from a central location. In the past, you would need to enforce Epicor® BPM’s to receive notifications when certain conditions exist or events occur within the database. With Epicor® Social, you can define certain rules to receive notifications on any desired situation within the database without the use of a BPM. The system is very similar to Twitter. The news feed displays on your main menu. It enables you to share company information, events and updates to all of your followers instead of sending out mass emails. You can also follow a “Hot” order to view in real time status updates based on the path of the order. As well as you can track many other transactions that you are interested in. Epicor® Social can be configured to get alerts for any type of record. Whether it be a customer, supplier, purchase orders, etc. You can receive alerts on your timeline when such situations/events occur within the system.

Q: What is Drill Down?

A; When PTS reports are developed for our customer in Epicor® SSRS and viewed through a web browser the user gets the ability to employ drill down sections in the report. Drill down sections are sections in the report that are initially hidden, however when the user clicks on a ‘+’ symbol a previously suppressed section then becomes visible. I’ve found this most useful during our Epicor® Development when trying to review large sets of data that impact situational decision making. For example if a material is shared throughout multiple production parts and stock for that material is needed for multiple open jobs; a report might have a summary of that material’s on hand quantities compared to the demand on the production floor. If a user reviews the report and sees the demand is greater than the on hand a quantity the ability to drill down to a more granular view that shows details related to the individual jobs could help with scheduling, purchasing, or job priority decisions to keep important customers happy. Readability is truly the key to what makes drill down sections helpful. This allows report pages to not be cluttered with un-needed information that can make the overall picture harder to see. The ability to analyze data is a powerful tool in today’s manufacturing landscape and drill downs are one way our Epicor® SSRS solutions is bringing that power to our customers.

Q; What are the advantages of moving to SQL and Epicor® 10?

A; If you are still using Epicor® 9 or Vantage and are debating on whether or not to upgrade to SQL and Epicor® 10 PTS can tell you from first-hand experience it’s a great choice to upgrade. SQL can seem to be intimidating at first but once you learn some basic requirements and use it the quicker you will realize just how powerful it can be and also how useful it is when applying it to your Epicor® database. Upgrading not only is moving away from the older and slower Progress database but upgrading to Epicor® 10 also will dramatically help with speed and performance.

Q: What industries has PracticalTek provided services for?

A: Practical Technology Solutions, LLC provides professional services for Epicor®, SYSPRO® and Macola® ERP systems within the following industries:

Manufacturing

  • Repetitive, Discrete, MRP, JIT, MTO, ETO, BTO, Job shops, Cell, Lean
  • Aerospace
  • Metals – Sheet – Raw
  • Metal & Plastic Fabrication
  • Construction – Light & Heavy
  • Electronics
  • Machining
  • Foundry
  • Automotive
  • Furniture
  • Government
  • Independents & Partners
  • Steel
  • Industrial Equipment Supplier
  • Distribution/Warehousing
  • Railroad
  • Engineering & Design
  • Tooling
  • Business Management
  • Software Businesses
  • Chemical
  • Oil & Gas
  • Hydraulics
  • Packaging
  • Paper
  • Welding

And many more!

Q; How do I interface Epicor with UPS and FedEx?

A: Looking for an option to Insite Manifest? How about a bare bones option that we’ve installed numerous times. We have a custom interface that sits between Epicor versions 8 or 9 or 10 and UPS Worldship as well as FedEx Ship Manager. Upon the completion of a shipment in UPS or FedEx the carrier, weight, freight costs, date, time, tracking pro numbers and multiple other fields get written back to Epicor. Save time, money, emails and phone calls to/from shipping and to/from your customers by automatically writing this information back to Epicor. Conversely this process also pulls information from Epicor while in UPS or FedEx. Immediately populate your shipping systems screens with sales order and manifest information from Epicor! This solution is a rock solid process that costs nothing to purchase, has no service fees or warranty costs. Contact PTS today (info@practicaltek.com) and the only costs are for our time to install, setup, configure, test and train your staff on the use of this time saving process. This typically takes 20-24 hours.

Q: Can I have customized Dashboards created?

A: You deserve an ERP system the works best for you, and that’s what PracticalTek offers: complete customization and training options for Epicor® business management software like its ERP line, as well as project management software designed to keep your business running smoothly.

Dashboards are designed to be some of its most useful and powerful tools to deliver real-time information and insight. The built-in command center can operate as a central hub for your operational understanding, but it often becomes bogged down with filters, grids, selections, business activity queries (BAQs), automatic and manual controls and much more.

Don’t waste your team’s time with digging through all of those dashboard options and risk turning off a filter or communication option that delivers the mission-critical view you need.

Work with PracticalTek to build a robust and specialized look into your real-time operations with our Epicor® dashboard customization services.

Custom Epicor® Dashboard Development

Business systems from Epicor® offer a significant level of customization for your dashboards with specific goals that arise out of a BAQ, build charts or subscriptions, filter views and provide visibility across your entire network. The possibilities are limitless, and they usually don’t require much, if any, outside software or add-ons to get exactly what you need.

PracticalTek provides independent consulting for companies who run the Epicor® and want to use it the fullest with custom, integrated dashboard development. We’ll work with your stakeholders to develop the appropriate list of KPIs and dashboard goals, then create a unique look into your operations that will quickly build the reports you need for stronger daily operations and more accurate growth predictions.

Beyond BPM

Epicor® includes a variety of options for custom business process management functions designed to improve and streamline workflows. Coding that environment can become increasingly complex when it’s incorporated into new dashboards that look deeper into your operations.

BPMs require an additional layer of information to allow your customizations to operate properly, and that means they must be error-free. PracticalTek specializes in consulting and creating bug-less BPM development with a specific goal of generating data and reporting usable in both standard and custom Epicor® dashboard development.

With Epicor® 10, the BPM has become the best tool to make mass data changes, but that can come with significant risks if done improperly. PracticalTek will monitor all mass changes, ensure linking and functionality remains stable and provide you with a reporting tool that increases the effectiveness of your BPMs and your Epicor® dashboards.

PracticalTek Epicor® Dashboard Customization Options

Our support covers older Epicor® Vantage versions as well as standard Epicor® 9 options or a recent upgrade to Epicor® 10. Trust PracticalTek engineers to find the right solution and create a dashboard that’s easy for your time to view, operate and understand.

Epicor® Consulting, programming, integration, support and training are just a click away. It’s time to see what the best independent Epicor® dashboard customization team from PracticalTek can do for you.

Q. How do “Rework” jobs have an impact on returns?
A: Well, it’s actually how do customer returns have an impact on the Rework Jobs. Direct impact is that as a result of the customer return, your customer service representative would relay the return information to your shop floor supervisor that a rework job must be created to fill the void leftover by the quantity the customer has returned.

Q: Can I set it to where any items purchased from a certain supplier have to be inspected upon receipt?
A: Yes, you can this in the Supplier Maintenance application.
It’s a checkbox on the Supplier>Detail screen. Once selected, any materials from this specific supplier must be inspected upon arrival.

Q: When can the user who created the RMA know when it has been closed?
A: PracticalTek can create a BPM to alert that user or a group of users when this condition exists.

Q: What if the Data Relationships Tracker doesn’t show any results for the two tables I want to Join?

A: The tracker helps a lot of the time, but there are also times where it does not. Either the fields it shows you to join are incorrect, or there aren’t any results in the tracker when you type in two tables. If this is the case, then I recommend experimentation. Try some joins and test them in the BAQ Designer to see if the data you need is displayed.

Final Notes: It’s important to stress experimentation. BAQs can’t change data in the database (as long as they’re not updatable BAQs) so nothing you do with a BAQ will impact your data. With that, you are free to as you want to get the results you are looking for.

Q: What is the most critical information coming from my demand that will feed into the MRP calculation?

A: The Ship By date on the Sales Order will be used in the MRP calculation to figure out due dates for the Jobs/Operations it needs to complete. The Need By date is purely informational at this point. Sales Order Releases can hold individual ship dates.

Q: Is there another way to view job status other than the Multi-Resource Scheduling Board?

A: Yes, there are multiple places you can view Job Status. One alternative is the Job Status Report. This will allow you to filter by multiple options to see jobs based on things like date, if jobs are overdue, and more.

Q: What is the difference between a personalization and a customization?

A: A personalization is an alteration in appearance to a program screen. Although similar to personalizations, customizations are a change to logic and ability in a program.

Q: Our company has decided to phase out a certain part but we still have some in inventory, what can we do?

A: The system provides a setting that allows you to use up all available inventory of a chosen part without the need for it to be replenished.

Q: What if we have a customer order for 10 units of a particular part but we usually run jobs of 50 units? Could we set it to run 50 units instead of the 10 for costing reasons?

A: Yes, the system offers many fields that allow you to define how to handle these situations. Defining this value will allow you to yield the most cost-effective production value in order for the job setup to become justified.

Q: Is there a way for my company to see the Labor and Material costs associated to a particular rework job?

A: Absolutely, the system provides a convenient way to view all costs associated to a rework job.

Q:  Is it possible to set limits for our buyers?

A: Yes, you can set limits for employees and that will allow qualifying PO’s to be reviewed by someone with the authority to approve them.

Q: Is there a way the user that created an RMA can be alerted when it has been closed?

A: This is not possible out of the box. Although, PracticalTek can create a BPM to alert that user or a group of users when this condition exists.

Q: Can the scheduling engine account for employees on different shifts?

A: Yes, the system can account for unique time constraints for resources.

Q: Does the system offer an easy way to rename a column header in a grid?

A: Yes, you can easily change the name of a column row to one of your choosing.

Q: Does the system offer a way for you to allocate material for picking?

A: Yes, but this feature is only available with the purchase of an advanced module.

Q: We would like to stop lot-tracking certain parts but the checkbox cannot be disabled, is this possible?

A: Yes, it’s possible to remove lot-tracking from parts. Although, there are certain criteria that must be met before the system will allow you to clear the checkbox.

Q: Is there any way to combine multiple Sales Order Shipments into a single invoice?

A: Yes, a little bit of setup is involved but you can combine multiple Sales Order Shipments into one invoice for a customer.

Q: We have a unique job numbering/naming convention, can we change the prefix somewhere for Firm and Unfirm Jobs?

A: Yes, this can be changed out of the box. There are a couple of ways to approach this. One is a job by job, manual approach, the other is an automatic, default approach. Granted, the area you will use to default the prefixes will probably only be available to access for a select few employees.

Q: If I have a job with an operation tied to a constrained material and there is a planned receipt for that material in 3-days, will the schedule take this availability into consideration?

A: Yes, if material constraints are considered in the scheduling process. There are some settings that you need to correctly define in order for the system to take the correct considerations.

Q: Is it possible to buy a Part that doesn’t exist in the system yet?

A: Yes, the Purchase Order entry program allows this to occur with some easy steps.

Q: Can you prevent the system from overriding price changes made to a line when someone manipulates a field?

A: Yes, you have the ability to ‘Lock’ a price in. This prevents overriding the originally defined unit price.

Q: We would like to schedule based on capability. Can you add multiple additional capabilities to a resource?

A: Yes, you can add multiple additional capabilities to a resource.

Q: Are you required to assign Part Classes to Part records in the system?

A: While Part Classes are not mandatory, it’s highly recommended that you assign Parts to Part Classes for numerous reasons, including defining key settings on the Part Class that can affect the way the system behaves in important situations.

Q: Can you combine multiple Packing Slips for a single customer in order to bill everything on one invoice?

A: Yes, you can select multiple Packing Slips for a single customer to be billed on one invoice.

Q: Is there a way to update stock movements that aren’t job-related?

A: Yes, the system offers ways to update inventory for materials that are not job related.

Q: Is it possible to collect time against an operation (rework) but no costs or quantities?

A: Yes, there’s a way to record time against a particular operation without also having to report quantities.

Q: I need to create a PO that’s very similar to one I’ve created previously. Is there a way to make a copy without having to build it all over again?

A: Yes, the system offers a way to duplicate a PO in order to help save on repetitive manual entry.

Q: Is there an advantage to providing the RMA number to the Customer?

A: Yes, this allows the customer to tag the material with this number, so when the product is shipped back, you can match it up and eliminate any possible confusion or mistakes. PracticalTek can help with any tagging needs.

Q: Will not setting a Finite Horizon have any negative impacts?

A: Potentially, this could cause the system to overload a resource. PracticalTek can assist with any scheduling needs.

Q: Is it possible to compare data on two instances of a single program?

A: Yes, it’s possible to open more than one of the same session at once. PracticalTek can help with any navigation and capability needs.

Q: Is there a way to define that a bin’s parts shouldn’t be counted in on-hand quantities?

A: Yes, there is a way to prevent the bin’s quantities from being counted in on-hand quantities. Contact PracticalTek for guidance when setting these up.

Q: Does the system allow you break up buying responsibilities between users?

A: Yes, there is a way to define who can buy certain parts. PracticalTek can help with any questions.

Q: There doesn’t seem to be a way to inactivate a customer, is it possible?

A: Unfortunately, there is no way to inactivate a customer. Although, PracticalTek can provide best practices for a workaround.

Q: What happens when a non-conformance request is entered for a job material?

A: The selected material is sent for processing by Quality. PracticalTek can assist with training/best practices for this process.

Q: I have a part that has several revisions. How do I know that I’m using the most current revision when I add that part as a line item on a Sales Order?

A: There’s a specific field the system uses to determine which active, approved revision to use. PracticalTek can help with any questions.

Q: Can you view all warehouse quantities, specific job requirements and status of fulfillment?

A: Yes, the system offers a way to view all of those aspects. Contact PracticalTek for assistance.

Q: Is there a way to allow an employee to clock-in after their scheduled start time without being considered ‘late’?

A: Yes, there’s a way to define allowances for employees that attempt to clock-in outside their scheduled start time.

Q: My part record appears to qualify for it to generate suggestions, yet I don’t see it in Buyer Workbench. What is the issue?

A: Only certain part types show a suggestion. There are multiple settings that can affect the generation of suggestions, contact PracticalTek for guidance.

Q: Is there a point in which you can no longer delete a Sales Order?

A: Yes, there’s a point after which the SO is linked to other actions in the system that causes the SO to not be available for deletion. Contact PracticalTek for assistance and best practices.

Q: How will the system schedule multiple resources that have the same capabilities and resource priorities?

A: The system utilizes a tie-breaker in this scenario based on other criteria.  Contact PracticalTek for assistance and guidance.

Q: I use only a handful of programs on a daily basis but they take a long time to launch. Is there a way to increase the speed for the programs I use?

A: This is achievable and PracticalTek can help. Contact PracticalTek for useful tips including an option for the situation above.

Q: We recently purchased AMM and now many of our parts have ‘Request Move’ listed in the ‘End Activity Step’. How do we avoid this?

A: PracticalTek has experience with this issue, contact us for assistance.

Q:  I’m not an engineer but I need to be able to tell which ECO group a part revision is checked out with?

A:  It’s within an easily accessible program, contact PracticalTek for guidance.

Q: Is it possible to send an order to a location that is not the default customer location?

A: Yes, the system allows for this to occur. Contact PracticalTek for expert guidance.

Q: We may have situations in which we need to get certain parts very quickly and our regular supplier may not be able to accommodate our time constraints. Is there a way we can assign a supplier to certain parts that we know can get us our parts quicker?

A: Yes, the system allows you to link suppliers based on the urgency. Contact PracticalTek for assistance.

Time to Upgrade Your Epicor® ERP?

Change is inevitable and should be welcomed. No ERP is designed to last throughout the entirety of your business. Innovation and advancement are at the front of the minds of manufacturers and industry innovators.

Upgrading your ERP to Epicor® 10 is great first step in your company’s path to efficiency.

Issues with having a dated ERP:

  • Large amount of resources spent to maintain integrity
  • Trouble finding reputable companies to service your issues
  • Exhausting the warranty of service from the manufacturer
  • Maintaining multiple outdated infrastructures
  • Other performance issues related to age

Why Work with PracticalTek?

By working with PracticalTek, you will share the burden of migrating your company’s data with an experienced, professional group that maintains best practices, and always has your processes in mind.

Why Epicor® 10?

  • More Accessible for Development
  • Faster Processes
  • Continued Support from the Manufacturer
  • New Active Homepage feature that can be personalized to show you the KPI’s you care about most
  • More modules that can assist your business

Maintaining internal innovation and willingness to change can open valuable doors for your company by providing a potentially never before seen look into the vitals of your business. Increased visibility into your company’s efficiencies can help keep you moving forward.

Q: There are situations where we would like to be able to work with our Epicor® data in Excel®. Is this possible?

A: Yes, there is a clear indicator as to which information in the system is available to copy to Excel®. That data can also be moved back into Epicor® as long as it’s formatted correctly. Contact PracticalTek for assistance.

Q: Is Inspection Processing my last chance to Pass/Fail a part?

A: No, there is an additional step that will allow you make the final decision. Contact PracticalTek for guidance.

Q: Is there a way for our company to verify time before it’s submitted?

A: Yes, the system allows time records to be submitted for approval by a designated approval person/supervisor. Contact PracticalTek for guidance.

Q: Once an operation has started, we no longer want the system to move it. Is there a way to tell the scheduling engine to leave started operations alone?

A: Yes, there’s a setting that will prevent the system from moving any started operations. PracticalTek is experienced with scheduling and can provide assistance.