- Location: Renton, WA
- Industry: Aerospace
- Number of Locations: 3
- Web site: www.aim-aerospace.com
"When employees from sites yet to go live tour postimplementation sites, even the biggest detractors become the biggest supporters. Change is hard, but proven success makes change easier for other locations."
Sharon Woodall, ERP Systems Program Manager | AIM Aerospace
AIM Aerospace Leverages Best-in-Class Training Approach for Improved ERP ROI
With over 30 years' experience, AIM Aerospace is recognized as a leader in supplying quality products to airlines and OEMs worldwide. AIM operates three separate manufacturing facilities comprising over 400,000 square feet in the greater Puget Sound region.
AIM Aerospace designs and manufactures lavatories, closets, crew rests, seat shells and furniture, overhead stow compartments, class dividers, sidewalls, doghouses, ceiling panels, composite ECS ducting, and autoclave cured structural composites. The company is known for its manufacturing excellence in aerospace structural composites, ducting, interiors, and composites. Offering an extensive selection of tooling and technical services, AIM Aerospace also operates an FAA certified flammability test lab and an FAA approved repair station. The company prides itself on working with customers from concept to certification and delivering quality products on schedule.
Over the years, AIM has invested in ERP to gain new capabilities to support its highvolume make-to-order manufacturing operation. The company went live on the Epicor Vantage solution back in 2009 across its Auburn, Washington manufacturing location. They converted to Epicor ERP version 9 in early 2011, then went live in the Renton location. The Sumner, Washington, location is implementing right now and will be live by May 2015.
One of the biggest secrets to its string of successful implementations has been the company's investment in training. Poor or insufficient training is a major reason why large-scale ERP implementations can fail. Organizations can spend millions of dollars on ERP software and professional services, only to find their ERP system "isn't working" to support its key business goals, because employees either aren't using it or don't understand how to use the system. To ensure training wasn't the weak link when it comes to realizing the full potential of its Epicor ERP implementation, AIM invested in a number of Epicor University offerings for both new and "refresher" training to make sure it's workforce could get up to speed on the system quickly.
AIM selected the Epicor Knowledge Mentor and Epicor Embedded Education offerings to support effective role-based and interactive employee training. Epicor Knowledge Mentor enabled AIM to easily create, deploy, and manage custom training content and documentation unique to its Epicor implementation. Much like Navy F-18 pilots who log thousands of hours behind sophisticated F-18 trainers that replicate the actual flying experience, Epicor Knowledge Mentor training content showed AIM employees how to use the system exactly as it is configured in their own work environment.
Additional self-paced education for AIM employees was facilitated through Epicor ERP Embedded Courses. With Epicor ERP Embedded Courses, AIM employees have access to over 100 courses right from the Epicor ERP software, and can easily navigate between courses and the related application, including real-life business data through an Epicor education database.
The training has helped with morale and user adoption, says Sharon Woodall, ERP Systems Program Manager, for AIM Aerospace. "It's greatly assisted in getting employee buy-in," she said. "Well trained employees are empowered to use the system to do their jobs more effectively, and this becomes a testament to its ease of use and effectiveness. When employees from sites yet to go live tour postimplementation sites, even the biggest detractors become the biggest supporters. Change is hard, but proven success makes change easier for other locations."
Woodall says that in addition to shop-floor employees and managers, AIM's IT department also has found the training helpful to support the creation of dashboards for improved visibility and reporting.
AIM's investment in training puts it in the category of Best-in-Class organizations, according to industry analyst firm Aberdeen Group. An April 2014 report from Aberdeen on "The Value of ERP Training" cites the value that organizations gain by committing to training their employees on ERP software.
"ERP is the essential tool that organizations need to run effectively and efficiently from end to end. The solution can lead to great benefits in performance metrics such as profit margins, inventory accuracy, complete and on-time delivery, and many others. But just implementing an ERP solution does not ensure that these benefits will be received. Instead, organizations must actively strive for ERP success by committing to employee training," says Aberdeen analyst Nick Castellina.
The report sought to compare the commitment to training of Best-in- Class organizations in comparison to All Others, and found the Bestin- Class organizations are 82% more likely than All Others to properly train new employees after the initial stages of implementation. Further, the Best-in-Class are 80% more likely than All Others to have a formal onboarding process to train all new users.
Today, AIM's investment in training enables all 120 users to leverage almost every facet of Epicor functionality-from sales orders to engineering, part master, advanced scheduling, and MRP-helping AIM reap the full benefits of its ERP investment.
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.