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Howe Corporation

Company Facts


  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Industry: Refrigeration Equipment
  • Number of Employees: 50
  • Web  site: www.howecorp.com

"We chose Epicor because we  needed a software system that would scale with the growth of our company."
Andrew Ortman, Sales and IT Manager | Howe Corporation

Howe Corporation selects Epicor to streamline business efficiencies through real-time business insight

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Howe Corporation is the leading manufacturer for refrigeration and ice machine equipment. Founded in 1912, Howe is a family- owned company that has a reputation for innovative design and quality service. From the company's first patent for an industry-changing "safety head" discharge valve, to a pioneering design in force-feed lubrication, and a landmark multi- cylinder compressor configuration, Howe has always been committed to improving the status quo in its industry. Howe firmly believes that in order to succeed as an independent company and remain one of the leading manufacturers of refrigeration and ice machine equipment worldwide it takes experience, dedication to quality and a renewed commitment to superior customer service.

To support Howe's unmatched commitment to quality and service, the company needed a collaborative business architecture and modern manufacturing platform to streamline business processes and better serve customer needs while also staying competitive in its industry. For more than 20 years, Howe has managed business operations with enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions from Epicor Software Corporation-Manage 2000 and later Epicor Vantage.

Modern ERP Initiative

Eager to ride the wave of the future in ERP, Howe made the decision to move to Epicor's next-generation solution-built on a second-generation service-oriented architecture (SOA) and designed for growing companies in domestic and global markets. Howe went live with Epicor 9 in August 2009 and is utilizing the full suite of Epicor's enterprise-class solution, dispelling the myth that Epicor's next- generation ERP solution is too big for small businesses.

"We chose Epicor because we needed a software system that would scale with the growth of our company," said Andrew Ortman, sales and IT manager for Howe Corporation. "After realizing that there had been a significant lapse in time since our last upgrade with our legacy system, we decided the company needed a fresh start. The choice was easy because of Epicor's superior business management architecture."

Howe decided to make the migration to Epicor in order to stay current with newer technology. In particular, they were impressed with Epicor's True SOATM functionality. With Epicor, Howe can enhance its bottom line profitability by reducing waste in internal processes. Additionally, Howe is seeing a cost savings with Epicor's embedded Windows platform as compared to its heritage days with UNIX.

Migrating to Epicor's Next-Generation ERP

Since the move, Howe has experienced first-hand the benefits of Epicor's end-to-end real-time visibility, allowing the company to become more efficient across all its departments. With Epicor, Howe has seen significant improvements in its shop floor operations.

Epicor offers a comprehensive solution for forecasting, material requirements planning (MRP), scheduling, and advanced planning and scheduling (APS) for unparalleled operational visibility.

"We now have better control of our inventory so we know what's needed and what's currently available," explained Ortman. "Epicor moved us away from constrained scheduling methods and towards a robust forecasting and scheduling process that suite both day-to- day and long-range business needs."

Implementing collaboration throughout business processes has been a huge advantage for Howe. For example, Epicor's automated routing feature improved Howe's shop floor transparency. "Now we have total visibility of our products and operations," said Ortman. Before, Howe employees had to log-in and log-out of projects manually using punch cards. Epicor's product data management (PDM) component provides a complete end-to-end solution to manage all aspects of a product's lifecycle.

Epicor also allows Howe to respond faster to customer queries. In the past, Howe had to print a pricing quote, then scan it, and finally e-mail or fax the quote to the customer. Now with Epicor, the company can send estimates directly from the screen in which it was generated. "It saves time and is more efficient," said Ortman.

Howe's 50 employees are trained and successfully using Epicor. After converting to Epicor, Howe achieved its business goals of staying current with newer technology and increasing cost savings. Howe is the proven best choice for refrigeration needs because of its long-standing commitment to customer satisfaction and state- of-the-art equipment. The company anticipates Epicor to be yet another reason for why Howe is kept in the front lines.

About Epicor

Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and services industries. With 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.

Success Highlights:


  • Deploying a modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to improve business processes and operations
  • Streamlining data flow from the shop floor throughout the organization 


  • Epicor 9 ERP


  • Scalability
  • Better  control over inventory
  • Streamlined shop  floor  operations
  • Automated routing capabilities
  • Improved data management
  • Improved product costing