Andrew Robling with Epicor
On this week's Industrial Talk we're onsite at FABTECH in Atlanta, GA and talking to Andrew Robling, Senior Product Manager with Epicor Software about “Manufacturing insights through collaborative cloud technology”. Get the answers to your “Manufacturing” questions along with Andrew's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!
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ANDREW ROBLING'S CONTACT INFORMATION:
Personal LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-robling/
Company LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/epicor/
Company Website: https://www.epicor.com/en-us/
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Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's get around once
again, welcome to Industrial Talk. And as you can tell by the buzzy buzz in the background, we are broadcasting on site FABTECH 2022, to Atlanta, Georgia. And again, it's spectacular. And if you don't put this on your calendar for next year, and if you're missing out, you're missing out big time next year is going to be bigger and better. And we're going to have all that, I guess, scheduling information out there on Industrial Talk.com. Now, in the hot seat, Andrew Roblin Epicor ERP conversation, because we need it and you need it. Let's get cracking. Yeah. I can't even say have you had a good conference? Because you're the first one out of the gate. And you you'd be lying out? So how are you doing it? It's a pleasure meeting you.
I'm doing great. I'm very happy to be here. Scott. I'm really impressed with the show so far. I heard that the numbers are going to be back to the 2018 levels. So that's pretty impressive.
What is that number?
I'm not sure what the number is. But it there's a lot of people here.
Like, you know, we were scrambling just to get here. But all a we're in Hall A and we were just scrambling to get here, just a set up. So we haven't even been to B and C. Okay, yes, you're like two more, right? That's
right. Yeah, we're in the eighth Hall. Right. Here we are. We have actually a booth in in OB. And then there's a hall seat as well.
I'm excited. Yeah, well getting live in the Discovery Channel dream. Okay, before we get into the the Epicor Software Corporation conversation, give us a little background on Andrew, why you're such an incredible professional.
Alright, Scott. Let's see, I guess I've been in the manufacturing space for a long time. When I was making my way through college, I actually worked in a manufacturing injection molding plant. And it was kind of fun stuff. Yeah. I don't know if you're familiar with that. That is Oh, yeah,
no, yeah. Sadly, I'm old. And I've been around a lot.
And then I started working for a company called CMS software and in about 1998, CMS CMS. So it was an ERP software company, with apple core product today, focused on the automotive industry. So.
Right. And so you've been with Epicor for a long time,
a long time, I've done professional services. So helping customers put ERP in, I was a solution engineer, help them sell the software has it?
Has it changed dramatically? implementations have changed? Dramatically? I think so. And I not to say that it's easy. No, I'm not. No, don't even think about it. I'm not saying it requires incredible professionals. But I think that it's to a point where this is doable. Because when when, when I was in my team were implementing ERPs. He had, you know, custom interfaces, and the data cleaning would like yeah, I want to do that, you know, so let's dive into Epicor. What is, let's say Epicor is a core capability outside of ERP, what industries are you focused in on?
Yeah, good question. So kind of at a high level, we are anyone that makes sells or, or, or buys things. So think manufacturing, distribution, retail, on the manufacturing side, which I think your audience is probably most investors interested in would be fabricated metals would be a big one. industrial machinery would be another big one.
Why is this important for companies to say, hey, I need a system and I need a system that can handle whatever the financials, the purchase the whatever it does, do you get into also Asset Management and tracking those assets? Well,
yeah, you bet. Yeah, I think it's really important to be able to run your business. Do things like be able to control your inventory, control things like orders, make sure your shipments are getting out on time. Things like real time visibility now, something that we probably dreamed about 20 years ago right. Now that's critical to make business decisions right out there.
Do you find that? Let's just sort of laid on the table there is always a human resource challenge. And I think that there there's this churn that takes place, and I believe correct me if I'm wrong, Andrew, but I believe that there is a necessity to have that visibility, because there's just coming and going people. Yep.
100% agree with that. I'm actually speaking tomorrow about the labor shortage. And mes solution can help with that. So, a hold of you throughout.
You throw out an acronym m e. S, what does that stand for?
Yeah, so mes stands for a manufacturing execution system. So it's about connecting to machines got gathering information and an automated him
he s Yep. See, I've done 5000 of these things. And I still are learning and learning mes factoring execution systems. You know, what, what do you mean by that?
Yeah. So think about taking the human equation out of things a little bit, right. Most people on the shop floor without an mes solution, there may be writing things down about counting things, you know, they're doing all that manually. They're transposing numbers, if they're writing things down, while an mes solution is connecting to the machines, and gathering information in an automated fashion. So when the machine cycles, you know, I can say park just got me.
Simple as that. So so it's in line with that digital transformation journey that people are having. And it's the IoT or IoT, you know, world that we are living in 100%. Yep. The the, when we start talking about resources and the challenges, you're going to be speaking here on that. What are some of the salient points in your conversation? So people understand it is a challenge, but help us understandable? Yeah, well,
I think there's a few things. I think the latest stat is there's over 800,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs as of October in the United States. 100,000. The number is 806,000.
I like the fact that it got it to 6000. Just, I'll just round down. Yeah.
So people are having trouble finding that. I mean, trouble finding people in 2021, something like 47 million people left their jobs.
Again, say that again,
in 2021 47 million people left their jobs, they either retired or moved to a new job. 47 million.
As I pardon me as I write these stats down, yeah. 47 mil? Yep. Left. So all of a sudden, we're we're, we're in a deficit,
big, big time deficit, right. Yeah. And these people are, you know, in the old days, people were happy to get a job, they'd go put their application in, and hope that they get that job. Now, people are a lot more picky, right. They're looking for better wages, they're looking for better work conditions, better benefits. And also they're there, some of them have left manufacturing, because they may be find more stability in, say distribution during the whole COVID pandemic that we have.
So with that, with that, with that stat. What are some of the the solutions for? We've got to manufacture? We've got to be committed to it. We've got to Yep. What what are we doing? How do we mitigate?
Yeah, I think I think companies are doing lots of things. I mean, they're looking at putting in training programs, you know, making sure there's some kind of advancement path for people that they want to see. Adding, like non monetary benefits, like maybe mental health days, for example, right?
Things like that. We know what that sounds like mental health as well. Yeah.
They don't want to pay them anymore, right? They don't want to give them any sick days, but they can take so many mental health days, maybe unpaid leave, for example, during the year, right. Yeah,
I like that. I didn't understand that. Now. That's amazing.
Yeah. Yeah. And then I think software is helping, right. So yes. I think that is a big thing that's helping. I'm talking about a manufacturing execution system specifically. So things like onboarding new employees, right. You can have things like guided digital operating instructions, you mentioned used to do some welding back in the day, I think, Scott,
yeah. Long ago, I, yeah. We just discovered fire. And then we realized we could well,
so imagine if you had, you know, a digital instruction that you could visualize about what you needed to do from a welding perspective.
There's a lot of heavy lifting with that. Right? Yeah. I mean, there's just I mean, you got to create that whole ability to onboard and be able to and then keep up with it because things change, right? Just like industry as a whole. It just changes so rapidly. Yeah. Does your system allow for that nimble capability of saying, hey, yesterday, we were sipping lattes today, we're going to be whatever and I mean, you have to be able to do that.
Absolutely. We're always looking at that where we listen to our customers a lot as well. They have good ideas out there or advancements and we're always listening to what analysts are saying and trying to stay ahead of the curve to make sure our soft Ray is at the leading edge of manufacturing businesses
does Epicor have a sort of a user group type us a no feel and use? Hey, come on over here user group. And then we're going to be able to sort of talk about how we do XYZ.
So we have an online user group, and then they have a regional in person user group meetings. And we have a really cool thing I like a lot. It's called Epicor ideas. So the idea is, your customer or one of our customers has an idea, they can post that idea on a portal. And it's kind of like crowdsourcing everybody within the Epicor group can see that idea, and potentially bolted on if that's if that's something that they'd like to do.
So because I was going to ask, what is the evaluation criteria for, for Epicor? To say, Hey, that's a good idea. But you want the user community to say what their involvement is not just Scott's desire to have that particular field. It's it's part of the user community.
Yeah, that's really important to us, we like to say, you know, that our software is made for you, with you, right? Because we're trying to get that feedback from from customers, and they're really influencing the direction the product is gonna go.
Future hat time. Where do you see it going? What do you see? And I mean, you're constantly improving, and you're constantly refining the platform, your Epicor Software? Yep. Where do you see it going?
Yeah, I think that I think there's a few things right. So recently, we've added a module called Automation Studio, to allow our customers to connect to peripheral systems that they have, right. So if they're using maybe like a Salesforce or something like that, easy connectors into that, and they need to perform. I think that integration side is going to be really important in the future.
Yeah. And being an old salty dog, I remember you always had those custom inner interfaces, you go to a client, and the client says, all our legacy systems are the most important things in the face of the earth, and I need to connect them. And then you say, okay, but it's going to require these custom interfaces. And it's going to cost X Yeah. Now with API's and the ability, it just allows for the ability to be able to connect those precious legacy systems.
That's right. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And then the cloud would be the other thing, I think, is that, right? So, again, we think we want to be the cloud vendor of choice for the markets that we serve. So you know, the people that we have here at the show of being as an example,
I think, I think the country of Australia will be just one big cloud farm. Actually. We were in I think, Disney Springs. Yeah. And of course, there's always people just clicking and videoing. It goes to a cloud. I don't know how they do that. But you do because that's why you're Andrew and your Epicor. All right. How do people get a hold on they're saying, Doc got it? Andrew speaking my, my. Yeah, purpose.
Absolutely get just get a hold of me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Epicor.
Andrew was wonderful. You gotta agree with me on that. Right? Listen, that was fun. Thanks, man. You are awesome. All right. We're not we're gonna have Andrews contact information out on Industrial Talk.com You need to reach out to this Gent. At least have a conversation. chirpy, chirpy? All right. Once again, we're, we're broadcasting from FABTECH, Atlanta, Georgia. It is a buzzing, buzzing, buzzing, as you can tell in the background. We're going to have more great conversation shortly. So stay tuned, we will be right back.
You're listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.
All right, another one in the can't thank you very much again for joining Industrial Talk. Andrew rumbling. Epicor is the company, you got to reach out to him go out to Industrial Talk.com Get all his contact information as well as the company information and have a chat or TripIt bit. It's it's all going to be good. So reach out to Andrew. And I want to put this on your calendar again. Once again, you need to go to FABTECH you need to be a part of that event. I think it's in Chicago this year. And yeah, it won't disappoint. And it's huge. And it has solutions everywhere and the level of passion from the industrial representation there who off the charts. They definitely want to solve your problem. So put that look at FABTECH 23. Big time. Also a plug for mercy. Chefs again, worked with these, this organization in the past. Excellent. And what they do is they run to areas of the world that are experiencing some serious difficulties and they feed them they feed them with Great food. They're passionate about delivering that food. They're passionate about putting smiles on the face because they want to feed the body. And definitely the soul and they do it. Big hearts. Go out to Mercy, chefs. I got all the contact for them out on Industrial Talk all right, be bold, be brave. dare greatly hanging out with Andrew. And yeah, you're gonna change the world. Thank you very much. We got we have more coming from FABTECH I know it's insane. Scott, what is his FABTECH ever gonna end it's never gonna end because they're great people. So be on the lookout for more fat
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