A master’s thesis in enhancing ERP or solving ERP issues

Hello everyone,
I work as an Epicor ERP functional consultant for almost 2 years now.
And I would really appreciate it if anyone can help!
I’m preparing for my masters degree and I’m planning to use my 2 years of ERP knowledge in choosing the topic.
It would really be helpful if someone has opened up an idea to my mind of adding a new feature or solving an existing erp issue.
The main idea of my masters is - to have a business problem in the market and to propose a solution whic will enhance or affect it positively.
Note: I have been working on an idea of how to use Low Code Application Platforms to solve erp issues specifically complex customizations and non-user friendly screens, but I was not able to add something new to the idea.

Welcome Mariam,

I agree with your assessment. Low-code platforms solved a business problem for software companies, not for software customers. The problem is that software at the enterprise level isn’t useful unless it’s highly matched to the customer needs, but customers don’t have the skills to do the matching and software companies don’t want to for anything like a reasonable cost.

So I’d suggest firstly, make sure you’re looking for a problem that’s actually holding back customers, and for that you will need to understand what customers are trying to achieve.

In many cases that’s simply “more sales” or “more profit” but it could also be “more credibility” or “a better brand”, for example.

In those two cases, and many others, software customers are trying to use their digital tools to overcome obstacles or accelerate their customer relationships.

A masters student at my company focused on creating an algorithm to optimize the time it took on average to complete a pick list, which could be implemented in Epicor to reorder the items on that list, and thereby save 15% of direct picking labour. Not something an ERP csn do out of the box, but we couldn’t implement it without an ERP. I’m sure your studies included Goldratt’s “Necessary but not Sufficient”.

I’d be happy to chat with you sometime and share some of our experiences. We’re already a customer of your company.

Best, Steve Fossey


How about something related to using AI to explain system functionality in plain english. For example, there is a question posted on this board pretty much every day, why am I getting this PO suggestion, why is MRP telling me this, etc. And then all the helpful users give different suggestions of log files to look at, parameters to check all over the place, and so on. Usually after hours of research, a reasonable answer can be found, but I can’t imagine the millions of hours spent every year by ERP users trying to figure out these answers. What if there was an AI that could look at all your planning parameters, ingest the log files, and then answer your questions?


Steve, I truly appreciate your thorough explanation , it’s been immensely helpful!
Low Code seems like an innovative solution to address certain ERP challenges we encounter.
Your expertise is highly regarded, and I find myself eager to engage in a more in-depth discussion with you. It would mean a great deal to me if you could allocate some of your valuable time for this purpose. Exploring the finer details of the other master’s thesis, particularly the algorithm designed to enhance the efficiency of completing a pick list, is a prospect that
excites me.
I must convey that having you as a customer is not only a professional privilege but also a source of personal pleasure. Your input and collaboration are sincerely cherished. I look forward to the opportunity to delve deeper into these matters.
Best, Mariam

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Alisa, thank you so much. Your insights are truly inspiring. I wanted to let you know that I’ve been contemplating the use of AI tools to address everyday challenges and enhance system functionalities, and it’s amazing that you share the same perspective.

Recently, I suggested to my professor the idea of focusing my master’s thesis on how RPA can significantly save time and effort in processing invoices for AP/AR accountants on a daily basis. However, he mentioned that this concept is already implemented in other ERP products on the market, making it less likely to be accepted due to lack of novelty.

Your suggestion, on the other hand, feels different and unique. I believe it’s worth exploring further, and I plan to conduct a thorough investigation to delve deeper into the potential of this idea. Thanks a lot for introducing me to this exciting possibility.

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@aosemwengie1 that’s a very good idea, and very unique. After 5 years I’m just starting to understand (for example) the MRP parameters and just starting to know my way around Epicor’s extensive docs. Without me, though, we don’t have a resource who can help process owners to know what to look for or change. I’ve often wondered if you could train a large language model on this forum and the docs to answer specific questions about configuration or troubleshooting.

@mariam_salama1 if you DM me your email I’ll send you a link to my calendar.

Hi Steve ,
I’m not able to DM you , Please contact me at my email mariam@indexinfotech.com
Best, Mariam

Congratulations on your goal for a master’s degree. I’m the only one in the house that doesn’t have an advanced degree (Wife: Master’s + Ph.D. Daughter: 2 Master’s; Son: Master’s + Ph.D. Candidate). Even the dog graduated from obedience school - which I haven’t mastered yet. :person_shrugging:

I love Alisa’s idea.

One thing I would love to see is a business process rule engine. As companies implement an ERP system, it would be helpful to document the rules that they choose to implement, naming conventions (part number, G/L formats, etc.), security boundaries (who can’t do two roles for example), mandatory fields, etc. then implement the rules automatically for the users. This is a good place to document why a particular rule was created. One could use a simple markdown language like the Architectural Decision Records standard to record them.

The business rule engine would update extended properties, build directives to enforce the rules, and generate a monitoring system to ensure the rules are followed. If a business rule changes, then the underlying code would change too. For upgrades, the Business Rules might be reimplemented using newer features that come with that upgrade. This would reduce the time to do upgrades and help companies maintain current best practices. This takes lowcode to a higher level.