SMD in a nutshell
Before their Epicor upgrade, SMD Group where a long term Epicor user and CBO partner. They have designed and manufactured interior textiles for over 30 years. In particular, they focus on providing customers with a range of bespoke fabric choices.
Now SMD are one of the leading interior textile manufacturers in the UK. Their products have been sold in over 40 countries across the world, with manufacturing taking place in Europe and the Far East as well as the UK.
To keep ahead of the competition, SMD are consistently looking to the future. For this, Epicor ERP has been a key component of their manufacturing strategy. Their recent Epicor 10 upgrade was rigorously planned, matching up with their business processes to meet the challenges of modern manufacturing in their area.
Desired outcomes and reasons to upgrade
The original implementation was carried out alongside the creation of a new trade website. This was intended to future proof the business and increase efficiency.
The aim back then was to move from industry-specialised software to something with wider functionality and greater efficiency capabilities. There was also the problem of competitors using the shared-technology platform. This allowed rivals to adopt any innovations made by SMD after the fact. This meant any move by SMD to stay ahead of the competition was quickly adopted by other companies.
Implementing Epicor ERP allowed SMD to leave the competition behind. They were also able to align their make-to-order production to a new website.
While the arrival of Epicor 10.1.400 had a number of positive effects, SMD chose to avoid complacency by upgrading to Epicor 10.2.400. This was done to make use of additional features associated with the new software.
In particular, they were looking at ways that an updated version of Epicor ERP could deal with the demands of new Make Tax Digital legislation. They also wanted to make use of improved personalised dashboard features that would benefit their specific business needs by increasing efficiency and functionality.
A top priority was to make website transactions more efficient by using Epicor 10.2.400 EWC to improve web configuration. This was particularly important since SMD relied so heavily on make-to-order web purchases.
Credit card processing and social enterprise were other Epicor 10.2.400 features that provided compelling reasons for upgrading.
Test period and Epicor Upgrade
The original implementation was unusually complicated. This was due to the first part of the process being carried out by another supplier. This time, however, the upgrade went ahead comparatively smoothly.
One of the biggest challenges was getting SMD’s heavily customised dashboards up and running. Thankfully, this was offset by careful and rigorous pre-planning on both sides.
CBO consultant Luke McAvoy worked closely with SMD staff. His aim to improve business processes and integrate any positive changes into the upgraded system.
A potentially challenging Epicor upgrade with a range of bespoke dashboards unfolded with relative ease.
The CBO consultant team was praised for the speed with which they adapted to SMD business process. The ease with which the new web configurator functionality was implemented was also impressive to SMD managerial staff.
SMD are now benefiting from economy of scale associated with the upgraded Epicor system. In addition, their processes are able to grow alongside their ERP software.