I am going to put this question out to all of you. I asked our Sales rep, but didn’t get a helpful reply.
Recently I have been tasked with scheduling in Epicor. I am clearly in way over my head here. What are my options when it comes to scheduling support? You all have patiently provided a lot of answers for me, but I may need more focused support for our specific company use cases.
Can Epicor provide a support person to help guide us through scheduling? Is this a service you charge for? If so, what it the fee structure? I really need help, but I doubt they will hire a professional Epicor scheduler. I don’t mind doing all the work to get this going. I just want to make sure I do it right.
My sales rep sent me to Wayfinder, where I submitted a Professional Service Request. Has anyone else used Epicor Professional services? Are they worth it? Would you use them again? Would you use them for help setting up scheduling?
Epicor replied and quoted me nearly $5000 just to talk about scheduling. This is just outrageous! I hope someone here can tell me that they are really worth it.
Epicor Technical Support is a group to help with one-off answers and problem solving. but it does not exist to be a team of consultants. We have our Professional Services group for that purpose. Until last year, I was part of that professional services group. We have a worldwide team of consultants that are certified in their specialty that can help, but this help is provided as part of a “Work Authorization”. The steps to get the word done is as follows:
you log a request via Wayfinder
you should receive a call back to discover the needs, how many hours, etc… then you will get an estimate of how many hours that will take.
you will be given a Work Authorization to sign and return back to Epicor.
once we have the WA, a consultant will be assigned and scheduled for your needs.
The above can take place rather quickly, so it is not a long-drawn-out process.
The quote you received may initially sound large. The challenge with the topic of Scheduling is that it is a big one. There are many facets involved with scheduling, and depending on your needs, there may be lots to set up with Resources, Resource Groups, Constrained Materials, Calendars, and all the backup data for those items. Depending on how much education your team needs, this does extend into a multi-day engagement.
Is it worth it? Well… many customers believe so since we have a team of consultants that are nearly fully engaged. I personally spent 16+ years consulting for our customers and only had a couple of instances where the customer didn’t feel like they got what they wanted.
Totally agree… If you come in to talk about Scheduling, you also need to have a very strong (correct) opinion and stick to it, or everyone else’s opinions will win.
I have very strong FACT BASED OPINION on allowing historical date scheduling. If you disagree with me, you are wrong.
I appreciate this Tim. My biggest fear is that they get us on the hook for $5k, then waste our time getting things setup properly. Only to tell us that we set everything up wrong in the beginning and now we need $20k worth of new modules and licenses. Can you tell I don’t have the most optimistic outlook when dealing with anyone at Epicor?
I will continue my personal research, and brute force trial and error approach in the pilot DB. I can do a lot of trial and error for less than 5 grand! I guess that is where we are going for now.
Piloting scheduling is hard. It’s just not an easy thing to simulate the amount of variability you can have. If you aren’t currently using the schedule in Epicor my recommendation do it live fire. If you are using Epicor already… well you know it’s wrong so what’s the harm in live fire.
Usually companies will say they are “using scheduling” and really what that means is allowing MRP to create suggestions and then doing the rest in Excel. Be damned with Global Scheduling!
To get a good solid head start you need 4 things.
In and Out Deltas set to keep suggestion noise down
Days of supply set to lump stock together
Min Max Safety set (this is it’s own separate project that will yield a many battles)
Infinite scheduling to start (much much easier to see overload when you start scheduling this way)
What’s a good in and out delta you ask? Who knows Epicor won’t know but they might have a recommendation on where to start. For us we started with how early or later are we willing to be on a job before anyone has to know about it.
What’s a good days of supply? Again no one but you folks will know that. For us we started with how many days do we want to go before we get back setup on a part for another run (realistically in our case bag size but that’s very specific to us)
Min Max Safety, a good place to start for Min is how much will any one customer order that you want to make sure you can supply. Safety is 50% min and Max is 2x Min or min plus safety. Now a lot of organizations will have this figured out more specifically by part or based on ABCs but if you are cold turkey it’s a starting point.
@Nates, several years ago I was working with one customer who had a very solid setup on their system, but they had some very complicated constraints that they were trying to resolve. We ended up setting up a work authorization to go over their setup, then we made recommendations. Then they had a bunch of homework to do that took them several weeks to do, fixing a bunch of data, and populating things to resolve some scheduling issues. Then we came back for another day of consulting to review the progress, do additional tweaks and more homework. The process went over several months, but at the end of the day, they had exactly what they wanted…
Many times this is more art than science. Yes, there is math involved, yes there are scheduling theories, but these all have to be balanced with the realities that things get late, machines break, scrap is created, employees are sick, customers/supplier reschedule, overtime is scheduled, and BOMs are incorrect… each thing has to be balanced and corrected along the way. Scheduling is a learning adventure!
And as for Historical Scheduling? No… you may not receive the PO last month, nor can you finish this job yesterday. Yesterday is gone, and only the future is available for doing anything.
Thought this was going to be another consultant-bashing thread, but I appreciate the philosophical turn it took!
Just wanted to add a quick comment on your options regarding consultants. Tim gave you the Epicor Professional Services option, but there are also the Epicor Partner consulting firms, the Recruiting agencies (they do contract based work too, not just employee placement), or the dozens (maybe hundreds) of independents / freelancers out there. Each option has its pros and cons, but I am biased so won’t share any personal opinions.
You can seek out a company that you want to work with, and then they will determine/supply the individual consultant. Or, you can seek out the individual you want to work with, and then make an arrangement with their employer (if they have one) to book the individual consultant. Again, I’m just laying out options and won’t give any personal opinions here on what you should do. But I will say that EpiUsers is a GREAT place for finding individuals who really know their stuff about whatever topic is at hand.
I have implemented and supported Epicor at 2 manufacturing companies over the past 10 years.
Epicor Professional Services was used at both companies with very good results, ok results, and poor results.
The key is to find an experienced consultant that is a subject matter expert for the module you are implementing.
Prior to signing a work authorization, I suggest you get references and talk to other customers who have utilized the consultant you are considering. It is better to wait for the right consultant vs. proceeding with an inexperienced resource.
I’ve asked my CAM about different rates for varying experience levels. The response was that is not available for Epicor Professional Services.
I’d be glad to jump on a call with you to discuss this in greater detail.