I would love to hear about innovative examples you are creating / applying in your businesses to give you an edge. It may be automating processes, interfacing with machines, ECommerce, robotics, explorations of AI it may be approaches to getting people back to work safely.
As a consultant, I can only offer what I’ve done for customers that has been the most useful. The biggest “wow, that will save us hours every day” comments are from Process Automation - Removing the number of steps taken in Epicor to complete a variety of tasks.
Working on retrofitting old 40s-present paper equipment with PLCs. We developed the whole system from the ground up using Horner PLCs, Ignition Automation software, REST, and Epicor to get them to talk to Epicor. Integrated Socked messages with Epicor dashboard to show PLC status and run information directly to the operators.
Also integrated overhead paging with Epicor Functions so if someone needs a supervisor override, we hit the paging function and call over our PA via a broadcast for a supervisor to that resource that triggered the BPM
Wordpress plugin developed to extend and maintain integrations between our site and Epicor as well. Integrations are for an order tracker and invoice/aging inquiry.
I think that’s about the extent of the really neat stuff we did in the last year.
Oh yeah and @josecgomez helped. He wanted me to make sure I mentioned that. Good thing you taught that java class so we could extend Ignition!
We are using async c# methods in BPMS to fire events (using REST services) with relevant order/shipment data to an AWS Kinesis stream, which is used to then deliver real time order status to consumers on our web site!
Great Jason please provide some examples what specifically did/do you automate I agree process automation is a huge time saver
That’s awesome may reach out for more details
Screens shots please that’s neat though
For our business (well any business) cashflow is king. When COVID started we had to move all our staff offsite which meant a lot of uncashed checks.
We decided to integrate with the Bank via LockBox process which meant that our customers could all send the checks directly to the bank for processing.
That alleviated the cash flow issue but it added a huge amount of work in the Epicor side of things, we had 6 employees full time processing these lockbox checks manually one at a time to be able to reconcile the incoming checks with the corresponding invoices in ERP.
We ended up integrating with the bank via hourly SFTP transfers and using Epicor Rest to automate the process. Now a job which took 6 people all week, takes 2 people a couple of hours and that has been a huge win ensuring we can continue to operate and work safe from home while keeping the cashflow going.
Epicor does provide a lockbox integration that can be purchased but we needed a lot more than what was offered we wanted the checks visible within epicor be able to automatically match for customer and invoice number handle discounts, handle variances and be able to handle correspondence (sometimes customers just mail us “other crap” that the bank receives)
They can view the check and the check detail directly in Epicor
The bank sends us files every hour or so and we import them into Epicor using REST then match and process each record to find matching customer, invoice, account number etc.
Everything is validated and valid records are automatically entered as cash receipt, any records which don’t automatically validate can be manually verified and then the corresponding cash receipt is generated.
Oh and copies of the checks are attached to each check head record for reference
Excellent example Re cash flow and a nice solution I like the fact you can view the checks to validate. Did you collect via a scheduled function or use something else to initiate the process? Keeping things simple with SFTP based transports keeps systems decoupled, auditable, restartable and easily testable. I assume you already have payment ETF direct to your banks? How about Statement reconciliations do you have that interfaces also?
@Edge dude isn’t it like 12am over there LOL!?
Has anyone done or thinking about anything with PowerApps, PowerBI, none ECC stores (shopify), external Configurators, transport route planning, Uber shipping, pick to light, andon, voice based picking / hands free operations, wearables, back to work safety, mes based contact tracing, qr code automations, RPA, kiosks, tool management, energy monitoring?
Anyone shipping or planning to produce connected products, or new novel business models to serve remote?
Anyone doing light assembly from home? split shifts, robot cleaners ?
Yeah it’s 1am I guess I enjoy seeing what you all create
Yes we have bank rec integration too that’s via a standard BAI2 file also pushed by the bank via SFTP
For lockbox process is triggered via a scheduled process which looks for new files in the sftp output directory
Certainly nothing as earth shattering as some, but we’ve benefited from our custom storefront we built using the Epicor REST API. This integration allows customers to enter, track, and change status of orders as needed (i.e. put an order on hold, etc.). I am currently in the process of a total re-write on the backend to take advantage of the Epicor Functions features.
Secondly, I leveraged the REST API to serve as the data service layer for an iOS application we implemented for use by our suppliers. We are in the business of matching donated human cartilage and tendons to patients awaiting specific surgeries. The app consumes demand data via the BAQSvc and displays it for the technicians producing the tissues. The app allows the users to take photos of the tissues and those get uploaded to AWS S3 storage, then submits a record back to Epicor via the BAQSvc with details about which S3 object keys were created. Below is an example of the data that is pulled into the app.
We also leverage the UserProcessScheduler (perhaps to be replaced by a scheduled Epicor Function) to then scan the table the app calls and then go out to S3, download the objects by key, and create specific directory and file names associated with the photos. We then consume those photos in an SSRS report to present the tissue along with the associated qualities of the specific tissue to the surgeon, who then makes a decision if the graft will work for their patient.
Yes all the time, but missing some of the knowledge (and time) to get around this.
Some of the things I really want to delv into are:
- Part creation with Power Automate (we have a pretty long approval and sign off process that is just ripe to get correct and automated)
- We have a custom transport module, that would benefit from integration with GPS tracking and route planning (along with integration with EMWW sign on glass)
- Monitoring of volumes levels of treatment fluid storage.
- Integration with inputs and outputs to our CNC cutting systems.
- Load Planning software integration is another point of interest.
We have made some small timber specific Android modules, but nothing earth shattering. Probably the most useful has been the offline pack counting for stocktake, which still needs refinement since our first stocktake.
Sadly at this stage we just need to walk before we can run, we have to get the basics right first.
Amazing! I’m looking forward to functions as well! The BAQ services are so meaningful, both for gathering & updating data, Epicor please do not ever let this go. Just refine and add features plz!
Wow that’s a use case I did not think Epcior was helping with! Looks a solid end to end process thanks for sharing
BAQ’s are not going anywhere just getting faster along with Rest
Interested also has anyone done nesting / material optimization and or PLM integrations that it saving Time / resources
Nice use of cloud Aaron!
Any thoughts of getting away from scheduled tasks and move towards event-based actions using AWS Lambda?