More and more companies decide to implement an ERP system tailored to their needs, which translates into greater efficiency and therefore higher profits. One of the key features of the Epicor Kinetic system is its configurator, which allows you to control processes down to the smallest detail.
What is the Epicor Kinetic Configurator?
For many years, the spread of ERP systems has been observed, especially in large companies. This type of software allows you to collect all the data on inventory, materials, production lines, and accounting in one place. This translates into the possibility of faster and more efficient work and therefore contributes to increasing the efficiency of the company.
Despite the wide use of ERP systems in modern enterprises, many of their functionalities require manual operation. In order to reduce this to the necessary minimum, it became necessary to develop an intuitive configurator that covers all possible data. One of the systems available on the market is Epicor Kinetic, implemented on the Polish market by Mindbox.
Epicor Kinetic Configurator allows you to set the appropriate configuration of individual elements. In the case of a production line, it is used to create a product with specific properties. It contains all possible options for a given production line and compares them in real time with stock levels, creates tasks, assigns people to perform them, and calculates the price of the finished product.
The tool automatically excludes impossible options. It also gives an insight into the history of individual configurations and tasks and links them with other elements of the system. It is also characterized by a friendly and intuitive interface and a high degree of customization. What exactly does the setup process look like? It will be indicated in the example of the configurator implemented by Mindbox for a window manufacturing company. Their production requires special attention and diligence because, in order to properly fulfill its tasks, it must meet a number of requirements.
Create order in the Kinetic configurator
Epicor Kinetic allows users to quickly and seamlessly create an order. Data on possible shapes, dimensions, and materials for the production of windows are uploaded to the system, which is then available in the configurator to create an order. In real-time, the system excludes impossible options and calculates the required amount of materials and the final price of the product.
In the case of the configurator implemented by Mindbox at the window manufacturer, it allows four possible shapes, four patterns of window grilles, and four colors for the interior and exterior parts. It also has the ability to choose specific dimensions tailored to the capabilities of the production line, as well as the functionality known as dynamic lists. Windows are manufactured for two types of climates: northern and southern. After selecting any option, the configurator gives you the choice of specific types of glass assigned to a given climate and excludes the others. In other words, it allows you to build different dependencies between different options.
Then, the configurator using the Order Job Wizard allows you to create a production order that can be significantly modified; it provides current insight into the degree of its advancement and the expected completion date, as well as the possibility of delay or cancellation. The configurator automatically translates the data entered by the user into production methods in all possible aspects of the window—frame, glass, painting, etc. Despite the wide possibilities offered by the Epicor Kinetic configurator, it is sometimes necessary to modify it to adapt it to changing conditions. The tool can be modified at any time by changing the value or adding new lines of code.
The configurator saves time and space
Under the conditions of the production line, it is necessary to optimize the time and space necessary to perform the tasks as much as possible. This also applies to ERP systems. Epicor Kinetic uses lookup tables for this purpose. The system’s memory stores tables with results for specific configurations, which speeds up the processes of creating orders and production. For example, it stores data on glasses that are approved for use in a given climate—for the southern, there are three possibilities, for the northern there are four. The table with possibilities can be assigned to each element, which allows us to significantly speed up the work, as the system automatically fills in the values after selecting a specific option.
In order to further minimize the time needed to create an order, it is also necessary to properly manage the dependencies between the variables. The Epicor Kinetic configurator achieves this by means of dynamic lists, i.e., those in which the values depend on the variables. So if we choose the northern climate, the system will suggest (using the Data Lookup Method) four possible glass variants, which in turn will determine further features of the order.
The rules are the most important thing
The Epicor Kinetic Configurator allows you to create rules that define specific tasks to be performed. For example, the Keep Component When principle allows us to eliminate the need for painting for windows that are not to be painted—it eliminates all materials and activities unnecessary to make a specific product. It can be applied not only to raw materials but also to machines, employees, or other values in the system.
The software automatically calculates the amount and dimensions of the necessary materials, e.g., the length and amount of wood necessary to create a frame with specific dimensions. The possibilities don’t stop there — it also allows you to issue detailed instructions for individual operations. The possibility of adding comments allows, for example, to provide employees of the glass cutting line with detailed guidelines.
Based on all the previously described properties, the configurator is able to calculate the company’s costs and calculate the price that the customer will have to pay. Another functionality is the option to choose the transport of the order (also in the case of products not manufactured by the company but used by it), e.g. based on the data entered in the system or the customer’s postal code; in the second case, the system will automatically select the shipping company and calculate transport costs.
The Configurator is the diamond of the system
As you can see in the examples above, a well-designed and implemented configurator can significantly accelerate the processes used in the company. The ability to adjust options to specific customer requirements, as well as link individual system elements with various dependencies, makes creating orders, production planning, organizing inventory, and distribution of finished products easy and fast. This, in turn, reduces the need for tedious manual entry of subsequent processes and therefore also allows you to use the full potential of your employees.