Manufacturer transformed by one source of truth

Published on the 12/06/2014 | Written by Epicor Software Corporation



  • Manufacturing


  • A more advanced and sophisticated ERP system to support company growth
  • A single version of truth accessible company-wide


  • Epicor next-generation ERP and Epicor XL Connect


  • One embedded ERP system accessible to the entire company with the ability to support continued growth
  • Improved ability to provide fast and accurate responses to customer enquiries
  • Increased visibility over the production cycle
  • Advanced reporting tool providing real-time secured access to Epicor data from Microsoft Office Excel
  • Ability to produce reports faster with accurate data


P: +61 2 9927 6200

ETEL’s consistent growth and expansion led it to search for a more sophisticated ERP solution that would offer one point of truth across the organisation…

Founded in 1956, ETEL Limited is a long-established New Zealand business specialising in the design and manufacture of distribution transformers. Its speedy growth and success has resulted in the expansion of its premises in Auckland and launch its products internationally in Australia and the Pacific Islands. Its exports now exceed 50 percent of its total output.

Supporting growth
Following decades of strong growth the management team at ETEL was ready to implement an advanced ERP system that could support the company’s development and enable data to be updated in one system where it was accessible to the entire organisation.

Prior to implementing Epicor, ETEL used a system that supported its manufacturing processes and billing material requirements but, as Kent Sheldon, finance manager, explains, “it wasn’t anywhere near as advanced as what we have now”.

“We had a lot of Excel databases, Excel spreadsheets, you name it we had it and everybody had their own systems and sub-systems and we wanted one source for the truth.

ETEL experiences year–on-year growth, on average about 14 percent a year and now has over 180 staff. “We were well overdue to introduce an advanced system like Epicor.

It’s quite a sophisticated operation here and we needed a more sophisticated system. Our systems prior to Epicor ERP were more of an impediment to growth whereas now we have a system that supports our growth,” explains Sheldon.

ETEL went live with Epicor next-generation ERP with a mixture of core manufacturing and financial management modules.

For engineering it is using job management, job scheduling, MRP (materials requirement planning), materials purchasing and shipping – everything on both the material management and production management side. For financial management it is using Epicor for the general ledger, fixed assets, cash management, and currency management – “we have a lot of currency transactions, roughly 50 percent of our sales are to New Zealand customers and 50 percent to Australian customers,”explains Sheldon.

A better view of production
Since introducing Epicor next-generation ERP, ETEL has experienced a number of key benefits which include having a single depository for important data, an improved ability to provide fast and accurate responses to customer enquiries, and increased visibility over the production cycle.

“The greatest benefit of Epicor is that we have one source of the truth. For instance, if there is a stock record that needs fixing, we fix it in one place and then everyone has access to that information from anywhere in the organisation. “It used to be that people would take extracts out of the old system and put them into Excel and they would then manipulate it, they would then find out the truth, go do a stock take and fix their spreadsheet, and that data never got back into the main system for anyone else to use,” says Sheldon.

The Epicor Material Requirements Planning solution has also provided a great deal of visibility over the production cycle previously unavailable to the company.

Sheldon explains, “The Epicor MRP system is a more complex system. There is a lot more data on the planning side. We didn’t know where a job was in production and now we know exactly where it is in the production cycle. With the old system it was like a black hole from raw material to finished goods. Now there are all these stages where we have visibility, which is much better for our customers and benefits us.”

After experiencing important improvements in data accuracy and access, as well as increased visibility over the production cycle, ETEL is planning ahead and looking at adding a broader range of functionality to its Epicor system.

“We have deliberately only implemented the core basics of Epicor. We have a year to get our processes and systems bedded down and corrected and then we will look at adding additional modules to our manufacturing, financial and MRP functionality,” said Sheldon.

Adding efficiency to reporting
ETEL’s reporting processes have also benefitted from using Epicor XL Connect for its general ledger, which allows ETEL to use spreadsheets to gather and arrange business data, by providing real-time secured access to Epicor data from Microsoft Office Excel.

“It puts all of our data into Excel for us, all our board reporting and financial reporting, and provides us with a much better reporting tool. Prior to implementing Epicor and XL Connect we would produce accounts in seven working days and now we do it in two working days. A big part of that is XL Connect,” says Sheldon.


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