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3 Key Takeaways from IMTS 2022

The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) made its comeback after a four-year hiatus with high attendance and renewed energy to connect across the industry.

October 17, 2022

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The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) made its comeback after a four-year hiatus with high attendance and renewed energy to connect across the industry. The Epicor team was there in full force, connecting with manufacturers of all sizes to discuss current needs and what’s in store for the future of the Smart Factory. A few key trends and themes rose to the top from many of our interactions:

People-Centric Automation Drives a Long-Term Advantage 

It’s not news that supply chain challenges have intensified over the past couple of years, and many of those issues persist. While many manufacturers have explored automation “quick fixes” to address specific issues tied to labor shortages, inventory management, logistics, routing, and other needs, automation technologies that will help manufacturers create long-term, durable competitive advantage will be those that put people at the center. It’s about giving workers on the shop floor the connected, automated capabilities they need to gain insight, drive productivity, and enable safer environments.

An example is Epicor’s recent acquisition of eFlex Systems, a provider of cloud-based Manufacturing Execution System (MES) technologies that helps manufacturers connect people with devices, sensors, and machines to help operators build the right part, with the right tool, at the right setting in a safe and repeatable way. As manufacturers contend with labor shortages, MES can help by simplifying the tasks at hand and extending workers with connected devices to improve productivity.

Low-Code/No-Code Solutions Create Simple and Connected Experiences

Building on the people-centric theme, delivering a superior ERP user experience and giving users the tools to create connected workstreams across a manufacturer’s process flows are top priorities. Both needs go hand-in-hand, with many manufacturers looking at low-code/no-code software to reduce the need for complex, custom software code, as well as easy-to-use integration tools that give users the power to connect applications and build their own workflows across the organization.

Epicor is committed to delivering people-centric technologies. Earlier this year, we introduced Automation Studio, a low-code integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) solution that empowers citizen integrators to effortlessly connect data and automate workflows both within their Epicor solutions as well as with more than 1,000 applications and databases. The tool makes it easy for Epicor users to connect their data across applications and permit automated workflows in collaboration with IT governance.

Industry Knowledge Helps Develop Stronger Partnerships

Like no other time, manufacturers want to know that the technology partners they choose are committed to their needs and ongoing support in helping them navigate their digital transformation journeys. With the vastly transformed business landscape now fully in focus, it’s clear that switching to cloud-based ERP helped thousands of manufacturers face challenges and come out stronger.

So, now’s the perfect time to take stock of the ERP journey while looking towards the future. In our annual Industry Insights Report, we asked 1,350 technology decision makers how they feel about their ERP transition to cloud technology, what’s important to them, and how their partners can accelerate value at every stage. What we heard was the pre-purchase stage of the buyer journey is a positive experience for most businesses, but more crucially, customers said they’re looking for more support and better partnership with providers, especially during the latter stages of the journey.

We also found a wide range of areas that customers want to address before purchase, and many of them relate to industry knowledge capabilities. Whether looking for reassurance about interoperability, or features relevant to their specific industry and business, customers need an ERP partner who knows their industry inside out—and makes the effort to truly understand their business.