Gunther Barajas
Latin America Regional Director
Epicor Software Corporation
View from the Top

Improving Manufacturing Quality with Better Software

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 16:54

Q: What have been Epicor’s most significant achievements and products since last year?

A: Epicor Mexico achieved 28% growth during 2014. Within the manufacturing industry, automotive was a key sector for us. All the investments that have recently been made in the country have had a really positive impact on the company. Many OEMs are requesting information from their suppliers about their efficiency and consumption levels, as well as the level of non-compliant parts produced per million. All of the finer details of this information can be tracked by our system and then analyzed by the companies. As an example, our new Epicor Mattec MES production control software connects production line machinery to our enterprise resource planning system, giving our customers the ability to report on the efficiency of their operations in real-time.

Q: How closely did Epicor work with OEMs and suppliers in order to develop the Epicor Mattec MES system?

A: Epicor develops software based on the needs of its customers, which means that Epicor Mattec was designed with the same approach. We have over 700 employees in Mexico, 90% of them focusing on customer service through either support or software development. The difference is that we have no third-party companies between us and the customer. This allows customers to contact us firsthand, even when suggesting new features or additions to the software.

Q: These kinds of contracts and changes can be appealing to larger corporations, but what kinds of affordable packages and services is Epicor offering SMEs?

A: Epicor is based on a web architecture that allows us to change the logic of the information that the application processes. Furthermore, our use of the Microsoft .NET platform gives us the flexibility to make changes quickly and at low cost. This is one of the reasons why we have been growing in Mexico in the mid to small market, where budgets are limited, resources are few, and time is tight. So far, our indicators show that we are 95% on budget and 90% on time.

Q: How are your Cloud and hosting services integrated into the packages you offer?

A: Our software can be accessed according to user needs, whether they are at their workstation or out on the road. Similarly, the system can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud or hosted. For smaller customers, we can deliver the same application on a monthly hosting service platform. This offers the same functionality as with bigger companies by employing their own mainframes and servers. Epicor’s open technology also allows large, global companies to collaborate and communicate. Manufacturing can be programmed and centralized, so every plant has the operational specifics they need in one robust platform. We have some new customers in the Bajio region that use different platforms on a global scale. While they have larger operations on their home turf, their Mexican representations are much smaller. These customers were looking for software that could offer the same functionality without the large infrastructure and human capital investments. As a solution, we are able to outsource servers, software, and application maintenance.

Q: During the implementation process, how closely do you work with clients in terms of training?

A: We have a standardized signature implementation methodology that starts and ends with training. This gives us a chance to show customers how to use the software, as well as its capabilities, features, and functions based on the best practices in the market. A standard solution may not fit 100%, so we have to use web services to adapt the application. At the end of that process, we provide more training for the customer based on the final solution that has been configured for them. Once they have been trained, our support services continue as a safety net for day-to-day operations.

Q: What are your main objectives and ambitions for Epicor in the short-term?

A: For 2015, we want to achieve a higher level of customer satisfaction, with a platform that helps them grow. In Latin America, Epicor wants to grow another 30%, which is an ambitious objective, but we feel that our success will carry us toward that goal. Mexico has gained a high level of importance for Epicor over the last few years. Seven years ago, we were just another branch, but now we are the fourth largest revenue-generating country for the company.