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Epec Leading the Way for US Manufacturing With Cloud-based Technology

By Ed McMahon, CEO, Epec Engineered Technologies

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Ed McMahon, CEO, Epec Engineered Technologies

At  Epec Engineered Technologies we design and manufacture custom, build to print products, for all sectors of the electronics industry. We are a leading edge manufacture of electronics that are used in medical devices, test and measurement equipment, military and aerospace electronics, portable and consumer electronics, industrial applications, and the automotive and transportation industry. We are constantly incorporating the newest technologies into our products, but we don’t stop there. As a technology based company, we strive on using the latest technologies into all aspects of our business, including the use of cloud-based data utilized by our offices across the world.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane to 2007; back then we were using an on-site ERP system. We were also in the process of expanding our supply chain into Asia, contracting with manufacturers there to produce our engineered and customized components. But our hosted ERP system was making it difficult to exchange data with our partners. This legacy ERP system was time-consuming to customize, often it required costly workarounds and spreadsheets for exchanging data, and could not integrate well with third-party systems, thus preventing Epec from sending and receiving real-time data on orders and production status. It was also difficult to create the custom forms, workflows, dashboards and reports that we needed in order to run our business.

After evaluating several options we selected NetSuite. Today, all of Epec's 120 employees, from our New Bedford, MA headquarters to offices in Colorado, Florida, the U.K. and China, all use NetSuite's standardized cloud platform.

That’s not all. We are also utilizing two custom-built configure-price-quote (CPQ) tools from Selectica that are natively integrated with NetSuite. Instant PCB Quote, our online quote and ordering tool that lets customers configure and order their own printed circuit boards and flex circuits built to their specifications on Epec's secure website. The second tool is used internally by Epec’s customer service team for quoting PCB’s. Our internal customer service tool has almost doubled the number of customer quotes we can produce per day, from 40 to75, without the need to hire more staff. This in-house CPQ tool eliminates many of the time-consuming manual steps in quote generation.

Once we mastered using Netsuite as an ERP and CRM system, we began looking at how we could use the system to go paperless. By integrating another cloud based tool, Box.com, Epec was able to take 80 percent of process and make them paperless. Not only did it save money and tree’s, it also allowed us to be more effective as a business as we could use the functionality to store the document copy in the record that is was associated with, which reduced any need to go searching for something. Not only was this helpful in terms of providing our customers with faster customer service, it also reduced audit times by over 50percent as all of the documents associated with a transaction were in one place.

Lastly, we have just rolled out a Customer Portal, which lets our customers log in to our Netsuite account and view all of their orders, invoices, quotes, statements, and much more. Giving them this ability has allowed our customer service team more time to focus on providing more value added services for our customers.

 Epec has also recently been recognized with the 2015Manufacturing Leadership Award (ML Award) in Innovation Process Leadership from the Manufacturing Leadership Council. The award is given to companies and individuals that have undertaken breakthrough projects in manufacturing as determined by an expert panel of judges. The Innovation Process Leadership award recognizes Epec's transformation with an IT and business modernization initiative using cloud-based ERP technology that has enabled lean, agile manufacturing and supply chain execution, while improving business efficiency and scalability for global growth.

 NetSuite cloud ERP and complementary solutions have played an important role in our growth at Epec, with more than 5,000 customers around the world, including GE, Philips, Siemens, Raytheon, Tesla, Dolby, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Since implementing NetSuite in 2007, Epec’s revenue has increased 233 percent. The NetSuite cloud ERP solution has also been instrumental in enabling Epec to rapidly assimilate seven acquired companies, while making software customizations for improved business efficiency that were virtually impossible in its previous environment.

 With such growth this past year, last December we completed an addition of 4,000 square feet of new manufacturing space for production of custom battery packs and energy-efficient fans and motors at our Massachusetts headquarters, bringing the facility to 24,000 square feet.

Many of our competitors are still living in the past with the way their backend systems and processes are setup. Quoting and using data from Excel spreadsheets doesn’t cut it anymore in today’s day and age. To be an industry leading manufacturer today you need to make sure that your backend infrastructure I sup to par with the technology of today, and most leading edge companies want to collaborate more with their customers by giving them access to data and improving ease of use. And that is where Epec has the competitive advantage. Our continuous investment in people, technology, and new ideas make it easier for us to help our customers deliver their high quality products to market, faster.

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