Skip to main content

The Long-Overdue Transformation of ERP is Happening—and You’ve Got a Front-Row Seat

Better integration, simplified supply chains, and greater efficiency await those who make, move, and sell.

May 31, 2024

Chief Product & Technology Officer Vaibhav Vohra speaking at the Insights 2024 user conference

Industrial technology is undergoing its biggest change in years, as Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) forces companies to rethink old processes and ways of doing business. These are still early days, but it’s clear that the impact of this innovation will be as far-reaching—if not more so—than the earlier transformations ushered in by mobility and personal computing.

Indeed, in the US, 117 million people are expected to use GenAI within the next three years—a rate of adoption that would surpass the growth in tablet and smartphone usage. But these big numbers don’t tell the whole story. Every technology disruption presents its own unique business challenges, particularly for supply chain industries. While the concept of leveraging data to increase performance and make better decisions sounds great on paper, businesses will need the necessary infrastructure to put these processes into practice.

Today, we are beginning to realize that promise. At our Insights 2024 user conference, my Epicor colleagues and I  mapped out how our developmental work in AI is helping partners with everything from right-sizing their inventory, to increasing revenue through intelligent product suggestions, to optimizing their supply chain by planning the most efficient routes.   

We’ve worked hard at streamlining the ERP experience, making it easier for users to interact with data to surface more useful insights and ideas. This involves far more than simply adding yet another tool into the tech stack—instead,  it's part of a bigger approach that we call Cognitive ERP. When GenAI and customers can communicate easily with each other, it removes the complexity and friction that has historically burdened those who tried to extract intelligence from their enterprise technologies.

Our goal has always been to alleviate those pain points and help our partners register major improvements in everything from decision-making and forecasting to customer service and overall operational efficiency—drilling down to the day-to-day nuts and bolts of every successful business.

A New Paradigm

When reviewing the history of ERP, it’s no secret that complexity has long been a problem. Although ERP sits on treasure troves of information, the technology hasn’t always made it easy for users to access these vital systems of record.

By infusing ERP systems with AI, Epicor not only helps customers automate tasks but also enables these ERP systems to think, learn, and make decisions in ways that were previously the sole domain of human intelligence. This is a democratizing moment in the history of ERP—something our CEO Steve Murphy refers to as “ending the priesthood.” In other words, we’re making sure that the technology adapts to the worker in their real-time environment or daily workflow, and not the other way around. 

We’ve incorporated those principles into our new Epicor Grow portfolio, which debuted at Insights. Taking aim at the current complexity of the marketplace, Grow is an integrated suite of AI and business intelligence capabilities delivering adaptive industry use cases tailored for the make, move, and sell industries.

At its essence, the portfolio allows us to fundamentally change the calculus of how ERP software delivers value, by turning it into a more dynamic tool. 

The journey of Grow AI reflects our determination to evolve traditional ERP in ways that make it more useful for you, our valued customers. Unlike the prototypical "one size fits all" ERP approaches one encounters elsewhere, our AI-driven solution will enable you to surface more valuable insights you can use immediately to make better decisions, faster. Specifically, AI will help you with everything from right-sizing inventory, to increasing revenue through intelligent product suggestions, to optimizing your supply chain by planning the most efficient routes. 

Why We Developed Grow AI

This isn’t exactly terra incognita for us. Epicor has been delivering a variety of AI and machine learning capabilities for many years—things like accounts payable automation machine learning built into our financial, planning & analysis solution, and the intelligent capabilities that drive our CPQ technology. 

Our work developing the Grow portfolio has been guided by our vision to transform traditional ERP into cognitive ERP, moving from a system of record to a system of action. But taking a step back, it’s important to understand why ERP—relative to other parts of a company’s tech stack—is so uniquely positioned to leverage the power and value of AI. By design, ERP technology sits at the core of an organization, coordinating and managing mission-critical processes across business functions.

This presents supply chain industries like yours with an incredible opportunity to tap into the vast ERP data sets at the hearts of your business. You’ll learn to leverage AI beyond the simple automation of tasks—instead, you can enable your systems to think and learn, while empowering your workers with the right intelligence to make decisions in previously unimaginable ways.

Reshaping the Future

All this points to a different future for make, move, and sell—one in which ERP systems understand what workers need to know and how to adapt that knowledge directly to employee workflows. As a result, users will get the immediate insights they need to do their jobs better. In making this transformation, we’ve flipped the script, putting workers at the center of the intelligence ecosystem—we’ve enabled the machines to work with you, not against you.

The mutually beneficial relationship of AI and ERP will do more than just improve existing processes. It will create a new vision of industrial operations at the forefront of this dynamic frontier.


Vaibhav Vohra talks about Epicor's product vision, thriving in disruption, and excitement for the future.