Implementing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) product can be a costly and time consuming exercise. Having worked for two different companies as an internal ERP solution manager tasked with implementing and then maintaining an ERP in a number of different companies, geographies and business units, I have first-hand experience with the associated challenges. I was very proud to see a news release we published about how an Epicor customer managed to implement a fully functional version of Epicor iScala within 3 weeks. How is this possible you ask? What tools exist within Epicor iScala to support fast implementations and ensure that change control is maintained even when the implementation project is complete?
Epicor has developed a number of tools to help speed up the implementation process and ensure consistency within the project and maintain the integrity of the solution going forward.
The Epicor Signature Methodology of implementation goes a long way to guaranteeing the success of the project by ensuring buy-in and approval during all phases of the project by all the members of the project team. This combined with tools like XSOL InOrder to document Epicor Best Practices allows Epicor to support the implementation process from start to finish. Other tools like Epicor Knowledge Mentor (EKM) allow for the creation of reusable documentation and training material to support on-boarding of existing or new employees with measurable results.
With the implementation process and documentation secured, how do we handle best practices and templated implementations? Having come from a consulting background I realized that we needed to introduce something into iScala to allow us to support templated implementations. One of the first things we added to the development plans for iScala was the iScala Template Tool. This tool provides Epicor, our consulting partners and even our customers with the ability to define, maintain, distribute and control different iScala configuration templates.
The Template Tool is easy to use. Templates can be created for specific organizations, regions, industries or even business processes using a collection of preconfigured system parameters, code files and even master data.
So how does it work? Administrators can select an existing iScala implementation, take a snap-shot of this importing any master data (customers, suppliers, stock items), code files and parameters into a new template. The template can be adjusted adding in customer parameters to further control what is included in the scope of the template.
Once the template is created this can be used to either validate compliance with a predefined (one or more templates) configuration using the compare mode or to ensure compliance with a predefined configuration using the enforce mode. The Compare mode allows system administrators/owners to monitor the system configuration ensuring change management is maintained even once the implementation project is finished.
The enforce modes is a great way to implement the application quickly by using one or more templates to prepopulate the iScala application with all the correct system values for the organization, region, etc.
The combination of the compare and enforce modes is a great way to ensure change control. Any unauthorized/undocumented changes to the system configuration are detected using the compare mode and then incorrect values/settings can be reset to comply with the template. All of this can be from a central location meaning that if you have several iScala companies there is less administration involved.
As a former consultant this is really exciting. Likewise, as a former system administrator the iScala Template Tool offers a number of benefits: change control and compliance management; easier support and troubleshooting; and, quick starts for new sites or organizations.
So you see, a successful ERP implementation really could be just 3 weeks away.
View the announcement of Albatros Aluminium Implements Epicor in Less Than Three Weeks.
Posted by the Epicor Social Media Team