Beverston Engineering Limited has been manufacturing high precision, safety critical components for the aerospace, pharmaceutical and oil & gas industries since 1974.
With the industries and type of manufacturing involved, ensuring accuracy and tracking every phase of the engineering process is of paramount importance to ensure all work meets the highest industry standards.
We sat down with Oliver Miller, Project Manager at Beverston, to discuss the recent upgrade to Epicor Kinetic’s Cloud SaaS environment carried out by CBO, reasons for the project and benefits of an updated, cloud-based system.
Reasons for upgrading – moving to the cloud
For Beverston, the need to move to a new version of Epicor became more pressing when the ability to maintain and develop the old system was no longer possible in-house.
Oliver Miller said, “we lost some internal skills in maintenance and basic development. Therefore, as the system was getting more outdated the prospect of carrying out an upgrade without the in-house skills was looking increasingly ominous.”
“For this reason, cloud appeared to be the best solution, as it would require us to go through the pain of upgrading only once, with the end goal of small, incremental changes to the system going forward.”
In addition to cloud updates filling the gaps in expertise, moving away from internal servers was necessary due to the growing demand for storage on-site.
Oliver added “one goal was to reduce our on-site infrastructure. As we began to build additional systems outward, our hardware on-site was beginning to expand significantly.”
“We had a lot of static storage and computer power that was no longer economical and certainly not sustainable as the business grows.”
“Moving to the cloud means we can scale storage and performance at the same time.”
With reduced system experience internally, CBO was called upon to provide additional expertise and guide the process towards a successful conclusion with minimal disruption.
On the decision-making process, Oliver said: “we were looking for a consulting partner that could fill in the skills needed to get us through the upgrade process.”
“We already had a relationship with some members of the CBO team from previous projects and so choosing CBO was relatively straightforward.”
“After speaking in-depth with the CBO stakeholders, we were even more reassured that you had the technical expertise and experience to handle the job.”
“You understand the industry and you understand manufacturing. CBO staff have experience not just from the software side but also of how a business operates in the real world. Therefore, you could anticipate a lot of the problems and challenges we would have.”
In addition to the knowledge and experience that CBO were able to call upon, geography played a significant part in choosing an upgrade partner.
“It cannot be stressed enough how useful it is that CBO is based in the UK. Having a consulting partner that is based locally and can carry out work in person if needed is invaluable.”
“Even something as small as being in the same time zone makes communication so much easier”.
“If problems arose, we were able to communicate quickly have things fixed within an hour in most cases”.
“Our requirements were fairly simple. The system had to work when we went live!”
“One of the things I liked most about the project was the multiple stages of go-live incorporated into the process. It was this that gave us confidence that things were working properly in time for the go-live final date.”
“This was probably the most impressive part of the project, and how seamless the overall experience was in terms of the final result was a real credit to the CBO process and the technical team behind it.”
“Another challenge specific to our organisation was that although we had been a long term Epicor user, we had never leveraged the finance elements of Epicor until this point.”
“One challenge therefore was discontinuing the use of Sage and introducing Epicor Finance.”
“With finance such an integral part of any business, we stressed that this had to be a seamless transfer – at no point could we have downtime between Sage and Epicor.”
“Switching from a hybrid process of Epicor and Sage based data was always going to be a challenge but this was handled with minimal disruption.”
“One great feature of working with CBO was the network of expertise that they were able to call upon.”
“If a challenge arose, someone within the organisation was happy to share knowledge and expertise even if they were outside of the upgrade project itself.”
“It wasn’t unusual to have a friendly, approachable and knowledgeable consultant within CBO be available within 5 minutes to join a Teams call and share expertise, even if they weren’t part of the project team! This network approach was particularly refreshing.”
Now that the project has been completed, Beverston are beginning to benefit from improved processes and capabilities within the new system.
Oliver said “One change has been in reporting. Moving from Crystal Reports to SSRS has improved our financial reporting capabilities.”
“Another major benefit has been in cyber security. Being able to implement a secure sign-in process within the cloud-Kinetic environment was particularly important for security going forward.”
“That said, we are not looking to reinvent the wheel and the biggest thing that I can say is that the system we currently have is close to perfect as it could reasonably be. We now have it to a place where it works well for our business and our main concern was to not disrupt that.”
“I was seriously impressed by how smoothly you were able to carry out the upgrade. It is a credit to the team that CBO was able to pull off a project of this size without any major pitfalls.”
“The most impressive thing about working with CBO was a combination of expertise within the business and the effectiveness of the process that CBO employs. “
“The support given was exemplary and we could not ask for any more.”