Vibhu Kapoor, Regional Vice President, MEIA, Epicor Software spoke with Daniel Shepherd, Deputy Editor, tahawultech.com on supply chain challenges, software solutions and the importance of having a trusted partner.
Q1: Should we be worrying about supply chain challenges with all the other issues right now?
Unfortunately supply chain challenges (regional and global) are not going away anytime soon, but I feel we are in a much better place than we were during the pandemic. Looking at our region, the Middle East, we are heavily dependent on the immigrant workforce. This poses a different challenge to the rest of the world. During the pandemic there was very little transportation, and this really slowed down manufacturing as the workforce went back to their home countries or started looking for other jobs. This led to multiple regional challenges such as high labour costs, lack of available talent pool and high costs for lower income countries, which has resulted in a lot of disruption. As a solutions provider, Epicor provides the technology and intelligence to address these challenges, and things will improve following the pandemic. Things will improve coming out of the pandemic.
Q2: What can businesses do to combat these challenges?
Businesses are resilient and tenacious; they always find innovative ways to solve specific issues. Around 70% of CIOs from other organisations have said that the savings they gained from the pandemic will be used to increase technology adoption and digital transformation. These businesses realised that dependency on human workforces was the biggest cost of the pandemic. Using more technology, automation and the cloud will help businesses emerge from these challenges and be better prepared for the future.
Q3: How is the role of software solutions tackling this issue?
Epicor provides various software solutions to aid customers in tackling issues. Epicor Kinetic is one of the flagship ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning) that was specifically designed for manufacturing organisations. Kinetic provides a complete digital transformation, from manual processes to digital processes. There are other solutions that come with Kinetic such as our advanced manufacturing execution system. Epicor comes in handy in terms of smart warehouses, IoT and industry 4.0, anywhere where machines talk to each other without human intervention. Business insights are also key, for example during the pandemic CX level decision makers could get their business insights by looking at Epicor data analytics. Lately we have introduced Epicor CPQ (configure price quote) which helps customers visualise the 3D design of what they are trying to manufacture whether it be furniture or modular buildings. We now must answer the question of what the role of the human is when you move business processes to the cloud? We are now entering industry 5.0, which involves bringing humans back into the shop floor and having them work with automated tools and industrial robots to create harmony between humans and technology.
Q4: Why is it important to choose a trusted partner?
When you’re adopting the right software solution, you can’t do it without a reliable partner. These advisors spend a lot of time with you to better understand your unique problems and requirements. They understand the capabilities and the pain areas of your business today to provide curated solutions to solve these problems with their deep industry expertise.