- Location: Sanford, ME
- Industry: Medical device-laboratory equipment
- Web site: www.bakerco.com
"We're able to process quotes faster, configure units faster, get orders into the system quicker, and with better visibility on the shop floor with MES."
Kevin Parks, materials manager | The Baker Company
For more than 60 years, The Baker Company, Inc., has helped advance science, discovery and clinical care by pioneering innovative solutions for air containment, contamination control and controlled environments. Baker manufactures biological safety cabinets, clean benches, fume hoods, and pharmacy isolators providing unparalleled user and product protection for a variety of applications, ranging from pipetting to drug manufacturing to the handling of dangerous pathogens such as Anthrax.
Baker had used the Epicor DataFlo™ ERP solution to support its high volume maketo- order production environment. But after 15 years, the company aspired to migrate to an ERP solution with an architecture designed for ease of integration with today's new technologies and systems. "We were really intrigued by the vision of Epicor ERP," said Kevin Parks, materials manager at The Baker Company.
As one might envision, moving to a new ERP solution from an existing solution 15 years in use, can be a bit daunting. However, with assistance from EpiCenter, an Epicor services partner and member of the Epicor Inspired Partner Network, Baker was able to streamline its deployment and usher in a whole new world of capabilities to help the company gain new efficiencies and be poised for future growth.
Following its migration to Epicor ERP, virtually all departments are using the system-from customer service for order entry to sales and marketing to IT, finance, purchasing, production floor personnel and engineering; even senior executives find value in the system's dashboard reporting capabilities.
Leveraging a broad range of functionality
Epicor modules used most regularly include MRP for planning, and Quality and Engineering. And since Baker offers its customers the choice of more than a dozen different product families and multiple variations of those products, the company relies heavily on the Epicor product configurator-key for make-to-order businesses.
Baker is also using the RoHS compliance module, which offers support with international trade standards around the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS). With the module, manufacturers can configure the Epicor ERP substance restrictions and run a RoHS Part Compliance process to ensure all changes to engineered and purchased products are validated compliant with the directive.
MES functionality and barcode scanning integration are used for warehouse and shop floor operations. As well, Baker has gained additional value through solutions such as Epicor InsiteShip shipping software and doclink™ by Altec for document management.
Immediate benefits experienced
Baker realized immediate benefits after implementation, including overall improved ease-of-use and productivity. "We're able to process quotes faster, configure units faster, get orders into the system quicker, and with better visibility on the shop floor with MES-this is all of benefit to the business," said Parks.
"We've seen a marked improvement in our ability to respond to customer inquiries faster-that's a huge benefit. The 'right click open with' feature was a quantum leap of efficiency as far as running the business is concerned," he said, referring to users' ability to access other related forms and drill down to find necessary information from any dashboard. "Having accurate information at hand via reports and dashboards there when you need them has really helped us answer important day-to-day operational questions and have our finger on the pulse of the business."
As well, the Epicor ERP solution's enforcement of role-based security access has been extremely valuable to Baker to establish defined user tables and control user input of data. "Now, system alerts are generated and distributed whenever changes are made, ensuring system integrity and validation," said Parks.
But from his perspective, the ultimate form of return on investment is that the company is now able to grow and accomplish more without the need for additional staffing.
Quantifying value to the organization
When asked about the value of Epicor ERP, Parks said, "The system is a very good value for the dollar, for a midmarket system. I've used Oracle, SAP, and other larger ERP solutions-and my view is you will never use everything you're paying for. With Epicor ERP, the system can be as sophisticated or as simplistic as you need it to be, and with third party modules, the system is really extensible. The system is capable of doing much more than we know, which is why we find tremendous value in the Epicor Insights annual user conference, where we can learn how other manufacturers are using the system."
The value Baker has gained from its Epicor ERP deployment can be credited in part to its strong working relationship with consulting firm and systems integrator EpiCenter. The firm has an unrivaled ERP implementation track record, forged through its exceptional customer relationships.
"EpiCenter has been very good to us and was instrumental in getting us up and running," Parks said. "Our project manager, Jeff Glaze, (who was formerly at an Epicor customer site and president of the Epicor user group) really understood the product, with strong technical and hands-on working knowledge of the solution and close ties with Epicor."
"It's always a scary proposition when migrating to a new ERP system, but it's important to do so to give your people the right tools to continue to improve your operations. We knew we were on the right track when 6 months to a year down the road everyone said, 'I like the new system better'-that's what we were looking for."
Kevin Parks, materials manager
"We continue to consult with them regularly for ongoing training," said Parks. "They have expert resources in all aspects of the system-finance, materials management, etc. Most recently, they helped us with setting up subcontracting operations on a job. They helped us understand how to capture all the costs, etc., and walked us through the process. They have always met our expectations and are extremely responsive to our needs."
"We try to ensure our customer's success by doing 'whatever it takes,'" said Jeff Glaze, president, EpiCenter. "In the case of Baker, we had one of our staff serve as the company's temporary IT manager, and assisted the company in recruiting and training a new IT resource -all during the month of go live."
On working with Epicor, Glaze commented, "Epicor ERP has mature modules that work together seamlessly, allowing support for manufacturing of standard subassemblies, as well as custom final assembly operations, as is needed with a mixed mode manufacturer such as Baker. One of the significant business outcomes of the implementation was a streamlining of production and reduction of delivery time from 8 weeks to only 2 weeks. In addition to reducing delivery times, we were also able to reduce Baker's inventory levels."
"The Epicor Service Oriented Architecture allows us to seamlessly configure the logic of the system without touching source code. This has enabled Baker to upgrade to the latest versions of Epicor ERP without any impact to some special routines we customized to meet their specific business needs," he said.
"It's always a scary proposition when migrating to a new ERP system, but it's important to do so to give your people the right tools to continue to improve your operations," said Parks. "We knew we were on the right track when 6 months to a year down the road everyone said, 'I like the new system better'-that's what we were looking for."
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.