This software allows a quoter to include every facet of a project before it gets a customer PO. From that quote, every detail is able to be brought through to the order, the job, the packing slip, and the final invoice. There are so many different ways to track various phases of the project as it moves through. Every detail can be recorded if every employee is disciplined enough to make the input. Then, 10 years from now, when the machine finally has a hiccup, (and assuming everyone entered all the details) you know every purchased part and have a link to every drawing used in manufacturing. Your customer will be amazed when you can recite those part numbers and pull prints within minutes 10 years later with absolute accuracy. You will eliminate QuickBooks, sales force or any other CRM, MS Project, and a host of programs that are not integrated and require multiple entries once you are fully functional. This software will transform your company, and you will become more profitable than you were before. Your work week will never be under 50 hours again, and you will either learn very facet of the software of spend well over 100k every year to keep it running, but if you stay on every employee all the time to do their best and do YOUR best, you will realize some incredible benefits. Our company does more with 20 people than many companies do with 50, and we manufacture parts and machinery. We can credit a lot of that success to the Epicor ERP system.
There are a few Caveats. There is no way you can employ a single person who is not college educated. Without math skills, great writing and data entry skills, and an exceptional amount of discipline, you will not get the quality inputs, and the software will not be able to give quality outputs. Slowly, over a period of about 3-5 years, you will come to the realization that people just cant come up to the level of inputting the information correctly, and you will have to decide if you want this software to work and be useful of if you want to eliminate these people. There is no other way, it simply cant work. Garbage in - Garbage out.
The complexity of the entire computer industry has taken the decision that they are going to complicate every facet that they can to require you to hire consultants to do what for 20 years you could easily do yourself. Continual updates, incredibly complicated reporting that an average person used to be able to do, and a constant push to the cloud really get in the way of helping your customers at every turn. It is almost as if, as a machine shop in our case, your mission is to configure software all day and never deliver a single project.
The pros outweigh the cons, but the cost of ownership and value of the effort put into keeping the software functional was less than 10% in 1996-2010 than it is today. If our company was looking at this software today, I really don't know if it would be possible to justify it.