Epicor has embedded DocSTAR into Epicor Prophet 21 ERP solution. Epicor bought DocStar, an enterprise content management (ECM) solution, in January this year. DocStar ECM is already integrated with Epicor ERP and it will be interesting to see whether further integrations are added.
For organisations challenged by large volumes of documentation, DocStar provides a solution. For those firms already running Prophet21 it could be an obvious choice. Early adopter G.L. Huyett, a manufacturer of non-threaded fasteners, certainly thought so. Scott Longfellow, vice president, Finance on the challenge they faced said: “G.L. Huyett needed an enterprise content management system to gain timely access to information, streamline labor-intensive tasks, reduce physical storage space, and replace multiple legacy applications.”
Explaining why G.L. Huyett chose DocSTAR Longfellow continued :“… we chose DocStar because of its rich features, powerful workflow designer, seamless integration with Prophet 21, user-friendliness and intuitive interface, and because we knew we would have great support from our long-trusted vendor, Epicor.”
Leveraging advantages of ECM with ERP
Many companies implement an ERP for a level of automation and consistency in processes. However, there are always ways of improving efficiency. One of the challenges is that documents flow in, out and through organisations with little integration in the ERP system. Accounts Payable functions that receive paper or even electronic invoices that need transcribing into the system is one example. Inside organisations, design documents need versioning, otherwise out of date specifications can easily be used in error.
A content management solution automates some of these processes. One that incorporates version control to ensure that the latest version is obvious to users, can further improve efficiencies. Standard functions that organisations can expect are document management, searching, scanning/OCR, workflow, versioning, record retention/management, and online forms. Where these are integrated into an ERP solution they can add even more value.
Sanjay Kumar, vice president, product management, Epicor explains: “Lost, misfiled and delayed approvals on documents cost organizations time and money. Remote employees, compliance and security issues add even more layers of complexity to an already-complex system. DocStar ECM can help improve productivity and save costs by creating a paperless workflow to achieve higher efficiency and productivity, better business insights, better cash management, improved collaboration, and a simplified audit process.”
The integration between DocStar and Prophet 21 enables the automation of the accounts payable process. Invoices are scanned, indexed and routed for approval through workflows that are automatic once set up. While there are advantages of using ECM as a standalone product the integration delivers a higher level of efficiency.
What does this mean
Acquiring software companies is something that Epicor has traditionally done. What seems to be changing is that Epicor are no longer buying new ERP solutions to add customers. Instead they are purchasing software that can complement and build out its existing applications. DocStar is now integrated to two applications and it will be interesting to see what the plans are for further integrations. BisTrack, could benefit from such an integration for example.
Epicor also recently announced the retirement of their CEO Joe Cowan. Stephen Murphy will become the new CEO at the beginning of November. It will be interesting to see whether he continues this direction and whether he even considers a consolidation of the product portfolio.