Yesterday word came down at my company that we were abandoning our Epicor Implementation after 18 months and an estimated $400k. It just became pretty clear that Epicor just wasn’t the way through.
A few months back, we hired outside people to come in and move the project along & we got as far as a very buggy demo until this decision came down.
We’ll be staying with JobScope & moving the Project Management end to Salesforce using a custom package called TaskRay.
I know it wasn’t a step taken capriciously – that sunk cost is no small chunk of change around here. If you are a consultant, what is important for the client to do or not do to make this implementation go smoothly? Has something changed with Epicor that doesn’t make this all that surprising? Have you ever worked on a project that had a similar outcome?
Obviously, there is a bit of a biased audience here & I understand that. I’ve been lurking on this board for months and found it to just be a fountain of knowledge & one of the more giving online communities I’ve experienced. I’m hoping you folks can offer enough knowledge & insight to offset the sunk cost.
That’s a pretty tough question to answer without being involved. It’s entirely possible that Epicor just isn’t the right fit, you didn’t have the right resources, or poor expectation setting up front. Maybe any combination of even. Personally I would find concern in that just yesterday they axed Epicor but already have new packages picked. I’d probably say there is a mix of total lack of process review bundled in this as well.
Is it a common occurrence? Probably at larger companies more than smaller companies but not really.
If you were trying to use the Kinetic UX during this last 18 month period, it’s possible that, that was a deterrent.
In the end walking away from 1/2MM is pretty impressive kudos for not falling to sunk cost fallacy I suppose! Good luck!
Our original go-live on Epicor (on premise 2011) took 18 months. It was about 6 months longer than originally estimated. Our difficulties had plenty to do with having to swallow new ways of doing things instead of thinking we were going to try and make Epicor do what our existing system did. Over 10 years later we still have a few folks talking about the old system being able to do this or that. Welp, the old system certainly didn’t do our months closing financially like Epicor so take that folks! We also didn’t run on MRP, which is truly a Godsend for us.
Epicor can be a struggle at times for sure, and I am glad we are not on Kinetic and I am glad we are on premise. Thank goodness for Epiusers.help aka therapy support group We are a make to order and make to stock manufacturer with repair work and aftermarket parts sales. I suspect Epicor may not be the best fit for project management. I think it can also be problematic with scheduling, requiring significant continued focused effort to make it work.
It is good to cut your losses and run if it’s never going to work out for your company IMO.
Thanks for the insight. It’s a profitable company, but we’ve grown pretty fast. We’re a Signage & Architectural Elements company tracking $200 million in sales for 2023 & I think the time it’s taken to get to a very buggy demo just made Upper Management queasy about making everyone learn a new system as there is a pretty significant outlay in doing that as well.
Most of us working & learning Epicor in the sandbox were on Kinetic. I had admin access and was taking quite a long self-guided tour & exploring the API. I liked it as much as I liked any of the software packages we use here that aren’t SalesForce - which I really enjoy because of UX & how they’ve gamified their learning center.
BTW – My best friend in kindergarten was named Josh Giese. You aren’t him, are you? Green Bay, WI - Jackson Elementary.
Nope I’m from about 30 min south of GB, Hilbert. Get that a lot though so I’m aware of this imposter LOL
Thank you. That’s good insight. I think people here thought that Epicor was going to come in and solve all the problems Jobscope presented without adding any new wrinkles to the process.
Still at a bit of a loss about what to make of things. I was hoping to discover that either we were completely at fault or somehow Epicor had really gone downhill over time. I wasn’t around when we decided to hitch our wagon to Epicor, so it’s entirely possible we were just expecting something that was not the strong suit for Epicor.
For my part, I liked what I saw from Epicor in terms of extensibility. Had some reservations about ongoing development. Probably was a little spoiled after spending 2 hours a day on the SalesForce Trailhead when it comes to educating myself about the platform. Hard to see anything less than the Trailhead as acceptable in this day & age, despite my full knowledge that the Trailhead is a cut or two above.
Ah just looked you’re from Jones Sign drive past it everyday. Knowing exactly what you guys do, yes Epicor might be a bit of a shoe-horn. It would for sure need a decent amount of customization to function well. That being said at least it’s very capable of that extensibility…
Without a doubt the implementation would have been long just in understanding the BOMs, MOMs, and BOOs structure that would work for you, but I think it could have been of great benefit in the end. Your largest struggle would have been costing on such custom work.
FWIW - I always ask consults, “Where does this not work very well?” And If I get an answer like, “It works great for every business type…”, I get a very uneasy feeling.
I no longer work for the company that I implemented Epicor at. And my current company was purchased and forced to go from our rinky-dink Foxpro, file system based, ERP - that met our needs - to their system of at least 5 or 6 different systems (Infor LX, Salesforce, and external MRP engine, Big Machines Configurator, and several home brewed apps that interface with the main DB). It’s been a nightmare for our people to adjust.
The data conversion went fairly smooth. But the training was abysmal. Not the training on how to enter orders, PO’s, create parts, etc… But on all the business processes that drive who does what, how to do the odd exceptions (Drop Ship PO’s, partial receipts, generating serial numbers, etc…) We had the advantage that the parent company has been using these systems for years, so we know “it worked.”
But there was so much that wasn’t explained. When we’d ask things like, “Where do you get the Project number that is required when buying parts for engineering?” And the answer would be, “There’s someone who assigns them.” or “There’s a policy document that explains it.” Okay … who is that person, or where are those policy documents?
In a nutshell, its important to come to terms with the fact that nobody loves their ERP system. In fact, the vast majority of users will actually hate it and long for the good-old-days of the old system.
I’m the guy who builds the motion graphics on our sign! Forgive me if they seem repetitive – I’ve been working in After Effects for half a decade & never gotten comfortable. I doubt anyone notices that except for me, but boy do I ever notice.
Thank you for the benefit of your insight, Calvin. We bought a project management company in Philadelphia some years back that ran their whole system on a Mac Mini with a cobbled together FileMaker pro setup & they still yearn for it.
It really does come down to the training & we have so much custom work that needs to be estimated & drawn up that it seems overwhelming. Edge cases on top of Edge cases. We do have a pretty cracker-jack IT team here that seamlessly moved us off of the Google Suite to Microsoft 365 platform recently & I think they’d have made it work eventually - but I can definitely recognize that reluctance to switch over.
This is probably too little too late, but the company I used to work for is an engineer to order company, and we utilized CadLink, and it worked great for us. Everything was modeled in solidworks, and CadLink was able to bring in the BOM into epicor without a lot of customization (we did ask them to add a couple of custom fields in for us, but it was quick and easy for them to do the work).
Not knowing where your problems where, this might have been an add on that could have helped a lot with the engineering work, which is usually pretty tedious.
Often times when they yearn for the old system the reason ends up being the new ERP enforces more standards. When a previous company of mine went to Epicor we had similar backlash because now the Quote-to-Cash flow didn’t go between three separate software package integrated via CSV files – which failed often. So users were used to just “shoving” in whatever they needed to move the process along which caused issues to later teams of course. Where Epicor is unified system so users couldn’t play as fast & loose.
Quote-to-Cash flow didn’t go between three separate software package integrated via CSV files – which failed often.
I’m of two minds about this. It frightens me instinctually, but I bet whoever put that solution together initially was a goddamn genius. MacGuyver level.
He was long gone by the time I showed up. I was hired in to do the Crystal Reports and BAQ/Dashboards for the Epicor implementation. I spent many a night rebuilding the Btrieve database one of the systems ran on because someone “shoved” in data to pass the buck.
It was quite akin to Service Connect.
I know the attitude all too well:
“You’ll have to pry my Microsoft Access and FileMake Pro databases from my dead cold hands.”
The Project Management module is not Kinetic’s strength. It was built up from several customer needs and have outsourced other features. There are some features sorely lacking - shipping inventory against a project for example. And the pricing model doesn’t match with other packages. Most packages have simple project (no WBS) cost tracking at the base level, but it’s an add-on here.
JobScope was one of the packages that (then) Vantage 8 beat out at my first company that choose Epicor. They weren’t on .NET yet and we didn’t want to live through that conversion. Checking out one of their job postings, I see they are all ASP.Net now and have their own SaaS product too. Like Epicor, they’ve come a long way from their AS/400, DEC VAX, and HP3000 minicomputer days.
TaskRay looks very sweet tbh. The battle of multiple systems of course, is integration. Everyone claims “seamless”, but nothing ever is.
And that’s the challenge for ERP admins. A single-purpose/single-person application will always kick the snot out of a single application trying to be all things to all people. But the single purpose/person apps don’t integrate well, and you’re back to using more expensive versions of FileMaker Pro and Microsoft Access.
I can say with confidence that this will be a good test to see if the only problem was with Kinetic.
I agree with Josh that you started at a bad time for the new interface, and I can see that leaving a bad taste. There are other signage companies using Kinetic, but they may have been a different segment in the industry.
Best of luck to you!!! Now we have to see who the Packers will draft to fix this year’s bad implementation…
I think this is how I would like to be remembered.
I was about to say, I can’t believe this connection that is about to be made…