Sponsored Content, August 2015
Founded in December 2014, Epic Piping services the chemical, power, and oil and gas industries. Epic Piping is a fast-growing, turnkey industrial piping company, expanding from three employees at its Baton Rouge headquarters to more than a hundred—with plans to hire up to 400 employees by the fall of 2015. Chief Administrative and Information Officer Jeremy Turner says the company is preparing for this growth by leveraging Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne through its partnership with IBM.
Immediately upon the founding of the company, Turner set to work identifying an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that could support such an ambitious trajectory. “It was a technical challenge,” says Turner. “How could we implement systems to keep up with a growth curve that goes from zero to a $200 million-dollar company in a matter of 12 to 18 months? We had to find and implement a solution that could support our scale, but was also flexible enough to meet the dynamics of our particular business model.”
Fundamental to that business model is a strategy of re-engineering some of the industry’s key business processes. With decades of experience in the pipe fabrication industry, Turner and his colleagues determined that they could build a company that relied on automation and built-in analytics, and even robotics, to quickly outpace its established competitors. At the same time, the company needed an ERP solution that could function optimally in a business with unique production challenges.
“Every product we develop is unique,” says Turner. “We do not build a single product one thousand times; we build 1,000 individual products. Everything we do starts in engineering, and is then tracked throughout the manufacturing and shipping processes. A typical product lifecycle in our business is six to eight weeks, from inception to shipping. It’s extremely fast-paced and complex.”
For the new company to be successful, Turner needed a solution that could not only scale as the company grew, but that could also automate data and administrative processes, and react to disruptions anywhere in the production development lifecycle.An ERP Built for Growth
To manage the company’s financials, manufacturing, and distribution, Epic Piping selected Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne for its ability to scale to both organic and acquisition growth. After a lengthy competitive review process, Epic Piping chose IBM’s Hybrid Cloud for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne over five other competitors’ solutions to support the company’s growth. This service-based solution includes preconfigured industry templates and provides scalability, up to 99.5 percent uptime, and systems administration support for batch promotions. The solution is backed by IBM’s experience as a trusted Oracle Diamond Partner. By purchasing the cloud-based solution, Epic Piping would be able to lower the total cost of ownership, and wouldn’t have to hire and manage technology support personnel.
“IBM’s industrial sector is making significant investments in the oil and gas market around cloud, analytics, and enterprise mobility. Our Oil & Gas Hybrid Cloud solution for JD Edwards offers a comprehensive monthly subscription as a service model from Oracle software licenses, implementation services, and application support deployed on a scalable IBM Hybrid Cloud infrastructure. This allows for Epic Piping to do what they do best—fabricating pipe,” says Ken Englund, managing partner, Industrial Sector at IBM Global Business Services.
The ability to incorporate everything from distribution to expansion internationally in one single environment is critical, and we can do it with JD Edwards.
Turner agrees that trusting IBM to provide support was a good decision. “We felt there are other areas we need to innovate in, and the ERP is not one of them,” he says. “I don’t think about infrastructure technology now, which is great and was the intent. I don’t want to have to worry about how many servers I have and if they’re up.”Business Processes Redefined
Turner anticipates the return on investment (ROI) in this venture to come in two different ways. First, by embracing technology from the get-go and re-engineering critical business processes, the company will have lower general and administrative costs than its competitors, giving the company an advantage. He also expects to gain ROI from the capability to grow the business on one platform. “The ability to incorporate everything from distribution to expansion internationally in one single environment is critical, and we can do it with JD Edwards,” he says. “There’s a track record proving it can scale.”
IBM will support Epic Piping as each new site becomes operational, fine-tuning features such as mobility functionality. “The project is very agile and aligned to the ramp-up of our business model,” Turner says.
“Epic Piping selected IBM due to the deep industry and JD Edwards product knowledge that was brought in by the teams under the leadership of IBM Oil & Gas Partner Jeff Froug leveraging a single point of accountability model,” says Turner. “Clint Greeson, associate partner and engagement leader, has brought together all the critical elements of JD Edwards implementation expertise, infrastructure support, and long-term application support. A great example of this partnership is bringing up five JD Edwards pre-configured environments in under five weeks and going live with the record to report finance process in eight weeks.”
“Oracle recognized IBM with its 2015 JD Edwards Excellence Award as Outstanding Global Partner,” says John Schiff, vice president of business development for JD Edwards. “The award is a reflection of IBM’s leadership in joint go-to-market activities closing sales across many geographies.”
GBS’s focus on global delivery, centers of excellence, sales, marketing, global alliances, and joint solution selling with Oracle’s JD Edwards team has created one of the largest JD Edwards operations globally. IBM has 15 JD Edwards–centric Global Delivery Centers, and since 1977, it has rolled out more than 1,000 JD Edwards global implementations to more than 375 clients worldwide. “Our Oracle practice recognizes JD Edwards services as one of our top global brands and growth areas globally, and we intend to continue to invest and recruit to keep up with the growing global demand for JD Edwards in its 5G evolution,” says Judy List, general manager and global leader of IBM’s Oracle Services practice.
This advertorial was originally published in the August 2015 JD Edwards special edition of Profit.
IBM and Oracle
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