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Bold Designs

Nearly ten years old, New Hudson Facades (NHF) has already completed jaw-dropping projects for three of the five buildings at the ambitious Hudson Yards in New York City, as well as for Children’s Hospital Philadelphia, Washington DC’s One Hill South residences, and a 770-foot office tower wedged between a river, a bridge and a busy four-lane road in Chicago. Additionally, the company designs, engineers, manufactures, and installs one million square feet of custom curtain wall systems every year.

NHF’s multi-disciplinary, passionate team is proud of its insatiable desire to grow, improve, and learn, combined with an impressive track record of making even previously unimaginable ideas look easy. That commitment to innovation is also evident in the company’s approach to leveraging technology.

Eric Soring, IT Project Manager, Business Systems & Information Architecture at New Hudson Facades, recalled, “When we started to look at how we integrate with our supply base and manage the procurement process, it was based on email, PDF files, and Excel spreadsheets. We approached our leadership team with a proposal to adopt a more sophisticated platform for collaborating with our supply chain. That’s where Epicor came in.”

Ambitious Aspirations

NHF already had Epicor Kinetic deployed in the cloud to manage its manufacturing operations. As an early adopter of the Epicor Supplier Portal, NHF worked with the Epicor EDI team to define an improved integration with the portal. With specific requirements in hand, Soring and New Hudson Facade Business Analyst Mark Sokalski charged ahead.

Sokalski explained, “As we investigated supply chain integration within Epicor Kinetic, we discovered that our demands exceeded the existing capabilities of Epicor. We worked closely with the Epicor EDI team in an intense development effort to design and build several customizations.”

Ultimately, NHF’s feedback shaped the Epicor EDI development team’s vision and created what would become a blueprint for the next release in Epicor Kinetic. This includes enhancements to both Epicor ERP and Epicor EDI.

Designed for Speed and Accuracy

Prior to launching the Epicor Supplier Portal, NHF’s supplier management was a manual, paper-based operation, so improved security, efficiency, and productivity were the primary drivers.

With the new Supplier Portal, instead of sending a PO via email, it is released immediately. Within minutes, NHF receives confirmation that it was delivered, and then the supplier responds with acceptance or rejection of the purchase order. “Everything is date- and time-stamped, and everyone—buyer, procurement agent, supplier—is on the same page,” Soring shared. The portal also prevents suppliers from initiating transactions until the purchase order is accepted. And, when the supplier is ready to invoice, instead of NHF receiving a variety of formats—including PDF, Word documents, and even pictures—an automated function sends the invoice, allowing NHF to anticipate and pay it quickly.

“We've added new fields to our databases and new processes to manage that data,” Sokalski imparted. “This has provided us with very clear, highly visible information on the overall process, even giving us earlier and much more accurate shipment information.”

Epicor has really cleaned up the receiving and invoicing processes and made them very efficient.

Previously, shipping data was rife with errors because suppliers would fulfill orders based on packing sheets and not on the content of the PO. With Epicor, shipping specifics are populated directly from the PO, and NHF receives the information once the material ships. “Another modification was to support data coming in as a pre-receipt so we can stage for arrival. When the parts hit our dock, all we do is scan the barcode and verify,” Soring elaborated. The upshot is that receiving issues have been practically abolished, and if there is a discrepancy, an alert enables the team to rectify it immediately.

Sokalski acknowledged, “Although we only have six suppliers onboarded, we've seen a drastic improvement in the quality of information coming from the suppliers, and the receiving process has become very, very simple. We’ve eliminated data entry, which means we have eradicated data-entry mistakes.” He adjoined, “Epicor has really cleaned up the receiving and invoicing processes and made them very efficient.”

NHF tracks invoices and has achieved a 95% reduction in issues by improving the data quality with Epicor. Soring divulged, “We could be sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars in material due to receiving or invoice issues. That has been virtually eliminated.”

Supplier Wins

Change is hard for most, and suppliers are no different. “Some suppliers are resistant to the idea of using another tool, but once they use the portal, and especially when they realize that they will get paid faster because the data is correct, they come around really quickly,” Sokalski shared. “Onboarding has been smooth, and the response has been very positive.”

He continued, “We've demonstrated that when suppliers receive the PO from the portal, they can export that to CSV or Excel, which allows them to automate some of their own data entry, enhancing efficiencies on their side, too.”

NHF made a business decision to cover the cost that suppliers will incur for using the portal as a value-add. Soring emphasized, “We recognize that by leveraging technology to advance our business, we will benefit, and our suppliers will benefit, too.”

Data to Build On

NHF harnessed the quality data they are now capturing and created dashboards to derive value from that data.

For example, when NHF releases a PO, they expect supplier acknowledgment within three business days. Procurement agents use a dashboard to identify POs that haven’t been acknowledged and another dashboard for undelivered PO alerts.

Sokalski stated, “Receiving information is used for several purposes: to prepare for a part to arrive and identify pending receipts. All this data enhances our analytical capability to plan better and prevent mishaps.”

Outcomes That Matter

The portal has dramatically enhanced productivity. Previously, packaging up an email to send a PO took a fair bit of time. When NHF releases a PO, it’s sent immediately, creating a time savings of 15 to 20 minutes per PO.

“There's also a huge savings from a business case standpoint on receiving and invoice processing because we are no longer typing data. We scan a barcode, and all the receipt details are right there,” Soring said. “There is no data entry at all for invoicing, and obviously, that saves time.” He added, “But when you look at the quality of information, there's substantial, tangible savings by running your supply chain in this way.”

When we bid on a job, highlighting that we have an integrated supply chain solution is an important selling point. Ultimately, we are in a stronger position when we can demonstrate that we are using technology to advance the business.

In the material handling area, NHF has reallocated resources from data entry to tasks such as cycle counting, ensuring that parts are in the right places, and shifting resources to other areas.

There are also intangible benefits. Soring noted, “When we bid on a job, highlighting that we have an integrated supply chain solution is an important selling point. Ultimately, we are in a stronger position when we can demonstrate that we are using technology to advance the business.”

A Methodical Approach

NHF has big plans going forward. Soring and Sokalski plan to collaborate further with Epicor, deploying the technology to eliminate as much data entry as possible. Targets include automating the debit/credit memo process, incorporating engineering specifications into the PO delivery process, adding RFID capability to scan delivery trucks, and automating and streamlining the AP function.

Soring articulated, “When we made our original business case, it was very strong, as expected with this type of solution. Now, the data is proving it out and creating the impetus to proceed.”

Company Facts


  • Inefficient, error-prone paper-based systems
  • Lack of visibility, access to business data
  • Insufficient security protocols


  • Automated solutions eliminated errors while accelerating processes
  • 95% reduction in invoice issues
  • Enhanced security of business data
  • Real-time data informs business analytics and decision-making
  • Strengthened company brand and reputation
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