The Business System Spectator

Epicor’s Shared Benefits program about a month ago, when it was initially announced. The program, in brief, offers customers to reunite half of the savings if Epicor provides its implementation services at significantly less than estimated, and only pay half of Epicor’s hourly rates if Epicor exceeds its estimate. In essence, it’s type of a compromise between a time-and-materials task and a fixed-price engagement. After my initial post, Epicor wished to short me more completely on the program, today from Craig Stephens so I decided to have a phone call, Epicor’s VP of Consulting Services, who’s based in the UK. Materials and Time vs.

The problems of time-and-material agreements are well-understood, as many ERP potential clients have noticed the horror tales of projects that run more than budget. Many therefore leap at the chance to have owner undertake the execution as a fixed-price agreement. Inside our buyer consulting services at Strativa, we point out, however, that this can be a mistake often, for just two reasons.

Customers often don’t realize that with a fixed price contract, every change in range becomes a change order. Every assumption must be spelled out in the contract. Furthermore, as the inevitable misunderstandings become obvious during the implementation, the task manager often winds up spending additional time negotiating change purchases than managing the ongoing work itself.

  • Schedule an Open House the Day the Listing Hits the Market
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  • Financial auditors and accountants (1111)
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  • And finally show data to users with elegant demonstration

Secondly, customers don’t realize that a fixed-price contract could cost greater than a time-and-materials engagement, as the vendor immediately jacks up the price by 20% or more as a risk premium for doing the task as a set price. The other point which i find attractive with the Shared Benefits program is the position of bonuses between customer and merchant. With set price contracts, Stephens points out, customers are under little restraint in attempting to include additional scope within the set price.

Under Shared Benefits, customers can still try to interpret the implementation plan to include more work, however they will talk about in the price if the project surpasses budget. Stephens indicated that headcount is flat from the previous year and that there are sufficient consulting resources on board to aid Epicor 9 implementations.

He also indicated that a lot of the efficiency in Epicor 9 can be an upgrade from Epicor’s previous Vantage 8 product, though the financial modules are new and different. Hence the major training effort for Epicor’s consultants is in the E9 financials. In response to my question about records, Stephens also assured me that the system paperwork was all current for the new version and in truth sometimes was developed more quickly than the product itself.

As this is so different from what I’ve noticed from my own sources, I’d be interested in any feedback visitors have with this issue, or any other matter concerning Epicor. Leave a touch upon this post, or email me privately (my email is within the right-hand column). As I published in my earlier post, Epicor should be commended for at least endeavoring to do something about the problems facing organizations generally in contracting for and applying ERP.

Whether Epicor’s Shared Benefits program can be an answer remains to be seen as this program is merely now being rolled out. Stephens says he desires about 40% of Epicor’s new contracts to include the Shared Benefits option and it is the “default” option in writing new business. Over the next couple of months Epicor should get some good early results from this scheduled program, that will demonstrate the success of the concept hopefully.