Epicor vs SAP vs Infor ERP: Which ERP Software is the Winner?

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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are a vital part of today’s business landscape. With all kinds of new ERP solutions constantly popping up, the ERP software industry is becoming competitive – so which vendors are the best? This article contains a comprehensive comparison of three distinguished ERP systems, Epicor vs SAP vs Infor, that will help human decision-makers keep tabs on everything from supply chains to customer relationships. SelectHub Analysts evaluated each system to ultimately choose which of these leaders is the winning solution.

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Setting the Stage

In the past, ERP systems were divided into different tiers that represented the market they serve. Tier 2 solutions are for midsize companies and Tier 3 is for smaller businesses. Respectively, a Tier 1 ERP solution serves large, complex businesses that need a wealth of features. As a result, they’re the most expensive ERP systems, and SAP and Oracle, highly recognized names in software, primarily dominate this space. With all of these credentials, one may perceive Tier 1 solutions, such as SAP, as the best – but that’s not inherently true.

Infor, SAP and Epicor

As one of the first companies to provide ERP software, SAP has been around since 1972, and since then, they’ve become champions in the software industry. SAP serves businesses of all types and sizes, and they offer a wide variety of solutions for more than 200 million users worldwide. On the contrary, Infor first began in 2002 as an ERP software vendor for manufacturers, and has since expanded their industry verticals. Infor was acquired by Koch Industries and became a wholly-owned, stand-alone subsidiary of Koch in 2020. Lastly, Epicor, also first founded in 1972, provides industry-specific software for manufacturers, distributors, retailers and service organizations.

Though all of these vendors have been revered as the top solutions in the industry for decades, the true value of a solution lies within the system’s functionality. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter how popular an ERP vendor is if they don’t offer the correct functionality for your business. Between that fact and an increase in small businesses adopting ERP software, we’ve seen a shift in how we approach software selection. ERP vendors have adapted to this shift, and as a result, tiered ERP solutions have become a thing of the past. In other words, ERP software’s value isn’t determined by tiers, but rather the functionality they offer and the types of businesses they serve. It’s vital to focus on comparing capabilities to determine whether a solution is right for you. Read on to learn more about what that process entails.

How do You Choose What’s Right for your Business?

So, you know what vendors are considered popular, and what they’re like – but how can you know which one is right for your business? The answer is that you should look at your requirements; that will tell you what sort of functionality will suit you. Otherwise, you should consider common ERP selection criteria. Taking that step will ensure that your ERP software vendor will be a strong business partner on top of providing the correct functionality. The easy-to-follow, four-stage process helps you determine your business needs, evaluate and compare solutions, validate your technical requirements and negotiate a great contract.

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Epicor vs SAP vs Infor

With no further ado, we’re going to begin comparing these solutions in question. The following contains a head-to-head capabilities comparison to reveal the best product for each feature between Epicor ERP, Infor CloudSuite Industrial and SAP Business ByDesign. Use this list after you’ve gathered your requirements and are ready to compare vendors.

Customer Relationship Management

For the CRM feature, Epicor ERP provides advanced collaboration capabilities to connect employees, departments and supply chain partners. The solution focuses on centralizing operations to create a seamless customer service experience. Users can monitor and standardize every stage of the case management process as well as manage contact information of the customers, suppliers and vendors.

Meanwhile, Infor’s system provides the user with an integrated solution between the front and back offices. The CRM allows users to manage their marketing, sales, order, contact and customer management activities.

With SAP Business ByDesign, users can manage marketing, sales and service processes to drive customer engagement. The solution enables users to deploy personalized customer information for campaigns, lead generation and qualification and sales team handovers.

Winner: SAP Business ByDesign is the winner as it enables users to employ personalized customer information for campaigns, lead generation and sales team handovers. The ability to configure the CRM solution to fit users’ needs provides this system with a head above the rest.

Advantage
@SAP rates better than Epicor ERP and Infor for #customerrelationshipmanagement capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation management in Epicor enables users to measure the success of marketing campaigns, understand the target market, improve communications and build customer and prospect relationships. This robust solution allows users to generate and manage marketing campaigns from end to end.

Infor CloudSuite Industrial offers a more simple approach; the marketing department can track all elements of a marketing or sales campaign, including its effectiveness. You can learn more about the integration of sales and marketing automation by visiting our article, Sales-Marketing Automation: How Do These Tools Work Together?

Similarly to Infor CSI, SAP Business ByDesign provides simplicity. It allows users to employ personalized customer information for more effective marketing campaigns, lead generation and qualification, and sales team handovers.

Winner: Epicor is the winner of this category. With advanced capabilities, it takes marketing management to the next level.

Advantage
@Epicor rates better than Infor and Epicor for #marketingmanagement capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

Sales Management

The sales management function of Epicor ERP includes estimate and quote management, order management, POS and demand management. The solution is straight-forward and it automates sales processes.

Infor CloudSuite Industrial contains more complex capabilities for the sales management feature. It allows the sales representatives to assist prospects and customers from initial interest through order placement. The sales teams form can create and manage sales teams for customers, prospects and opportunities. Additionally, the solution can keep track of communications with sales contracts and it lets the user perform sales forecasts.

With SAP, the user can improve account management and gain complete sales force automation, from contact interactions to invoicing. It also provides pipeline bubble charts to view the chance of success for opportunities.

Winner: Infor CloudSuite Industrial – the only system of the three that provides sales forecasting – is the winner of the sales management category. Access to sales insights provides a competitive advantage for Infor CSI users.

Advantage
@Infor rates better than SAP and Epicor for #salesmanagement capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

Infor Sales Forecasting

Infor Sales Forecasting and Planning interface

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Human Resource Management

With Epicor ERP, users can configure their own HR programs, tools and processes. Integration options are available with the user’s choice of payroll and benefit vendors.

The Infor HR feature includes capabilities for recruiting, applicant tracking, personnel records, performance history, compensation management, benefits management, US regulatory requirements and payroll management.

SAP contains features for onboarding, payroll, time and attendance, labour management and requests and approval. It empowers employees to self-manage timesheets, procurement processes and personal information. It allows administrators to manage their employee onboarding process, create and monitor policy-compliant purchase requests and automated approvals, manage time, labor, and compensation with centralized data, and process payroll via third-party payroll providers.

Winner: SAP Business ByDesign wins this category with the most robust features for managing HR.

Advantage
@SAP rates better than Infor and Epicor for #HRmanagement capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

Project Management

Epicor project management uses estimation, planning, scheduling, costing, and supply chain logistics, which gives complete control and analysis of any project. The solution integrates project planning, resource management, time and expense management, and billing and revenue recognition functionality.

While managing a project in Infor CloudSuite Industrial, the user works with a project header, project tasks and project resources. Users can cross-reference project resources to other transactions with this system. Additionally, the user can report on costs from each level of the project individually or roll-up costs into the entire project cost. One of its shining capabilities allows the user to perform what-if situations without actually working on a project.

SAP Business ByDesign provides real-time project collaboration and monitoring. It enables teams to manage, deliver and monitor projects while they’re live and in progress.

Winner: Infor CloudSuite Industrial claims the project management feature, as it provides with what-if analysis. Similarly to the winning reporting feature, access to business insights provides an opportunity for competitive advantage.

Advantage
@Infor rates better than SAP and Epicor for #projectmanagement capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

Demand and Sales Forecasting

Demand and sales forecasting allows users to anticipate inventory needs. Forecasts in Epicor ERP are managed by opportunity probability, category and territory. The user can set the right forecast model for each item, accounting for trend, seasonality and event. The solution manages inventory levels with statistical forecasting.

With Infor, users can perform a sales forecast function, and calculate forecasts based on historical demand using various algorithms with what-if analysis. This style of demand and sales forecasting provides users with the ability to react to their individual situations.

In contrast, SAP Business ByDesign simply allows the user to forecast the future demand of their products. This bare-bone feature gets the job done, but it doesn’t support configuration.

Winner: Epicor ERP takes the cake for the demand and sales forecasting category, as it provides advanced capabilities for configuration. This allows the user to account for unique, personal situations.

Advantage
@Epicor rates better than Infor and SAP for #demandandsalesforecasting capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

Purchase Management

Epicor ERP streamlines purchase order writing and tracking of supplier performance with automated purchasing tools to improve supplier collaboration, order accuracy and negotiations. It lets the user reduce inventory levels and improve on-time deliveries for better cash flow with cross-referencing, mass purchase order receipts, requisition tracking and more.

Through the purchasing function, Infor CloudSuite can create purchase requisitions for requesting items or services. Once an authorized employee approves the requisition, it becomes a purchase order. The company can use the purchase order to authorize payments and ensure that the correct items are received.

SAP Business ByDesign streamlines the company’s purchasing activities and provides buyers with real-time information so they can negotiate better prices.

Winner: Epicor ERP wins the purchase management category. With automated purchasing tools, advanced delivery capabilities and more, it provides the most robust solution.

Advantage
@Epicor rates better than Infor and SAP for #purchasemanagement capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

Cash Flow Management

Cash flow management is similar to accounting management. Epicor ERP offers standard accounting capabilities. The system can manage the accounts receivable and payable of the organization.

Similarly, Infor CloudSuite Industrial manages the accounts receivable and payable of the organization.

Lastly, SAP Business ByDesign uses customer and supplier transaction data to get real-time visibility into the cash position.

Winner: SAP Business ByDesign wins the cash flow management category, with capabilities which provide insights into cash position.

Advantage
@SAP rates better than Infor and Epicor for #cashflowmanagement capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

Order Management

With Epicor’s Order Job Wizard, the user can generate appropriate jobs for new orders in a single step. Customer credit status can be checked online at quote entry, order entry and shipment entry. Sales orders, jobs, purchase orders, field service calls, cases, tasks, milestones and budget information can be linked to manage projects.

The Infor Industrial Suite provides an Opportunities form, which allows the user to track estimated orders assigned to prospects or customers.

SAP does not offer order management capabilities, but third-party integrations are available for users.

Winner: The order management category was an easy win for Epicor ERP, which possesses the most robust capabilities for this particular functionality.

Advantage
@Epicor rates better than SAP and Infor for #ordermanagement capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

Multi-Currency Management

The Epicor ERP POS function enables the user to manage multiple currencies. This straightforward solution contains the bare-minimum capabilities for multi-currency management.

With CloudSuite Industrial, the user can manage multiple currencies and convert the amount to their home currency during any international transaction. In addition, the user can define multiple currencies for a customer by using the Customer Currency Codes form or the Currency Codes tab on the Customers form. The solution lets the user create customer orders and invoices in foreign currency. It also defines multiple currencies for a vendor by using the Vendor Currency Codes form or the Currency Codes tab on the Vendors form.

SAP Business ByDesign lets the user manage multiple currencies, operating units and reporting standards. This solution is slightly more advanced than the Epicor ERP order management system.

Winner: Infor CloudSuite Industrial provides the most comprehensive multi-currency management capabilities.

Advantage
@Infor rates better than SAP and Epicor for #multicurrencymanagement capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

Procurement

Epicor ERP streamlines purchase order writing and tracking of supplier performance with automated purchasing tools to improve supplier collaboration, order accuracy and negotiations.

Infor CSI lets the user enter a vendor record to track and control all subsequent transactions with the vendor.

SAP Business ByDesign maintains a central database of supplier and product information that lets the user manage multiple supplier contracts. The solution streamlines the purchasing activity and provides the buyers with real-time data.

Winner: SAP Business ByDesign provides the best procurement management with access to business insights and the ability to manage multiple contracts at once.

Advantage
@SAP rates better than Infor and Epicor for #procurementmanagement capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

Supply Chain Management

Epicor ERP’s supply chain management features include purchase management, demand management, inventory management, shipping and receiving, warehouse management, material management and supplier relationship management.

Infor’s CSI Supply chain management features include manufacturing, material planning and inventory management.

With SAP Business ByDesign, users can get a view of the supply networks and layouts for supply chain modeling and also control material flows with an exception-driven approach to procurement planning. It also includes product development, manufacturing, warehouse and logistics features.

Winner: SAP Business ByDesign is the winner because it enables its users with the feature of supply chain modeling.

Advantage
@SAP rates better than Infor and Epicor for #supplychainmanagement capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

Integration

Users can integrate with solutions like Epicor Commerce Connect, Salesforce and more.

Alternatively, Infor CloudSuite Industrial is integrated with an EDI translator and also enables users to integrate with other CRM solutions.

SAP Business ByDesign integrates with other third-party on-premise and cloud solutions.

Winner: Epicor ERP wins for this category, as it integrates directly with a couple of valuable, popular CRM systems.

Advantage
@Epicor rates better than Infor and SAP for #integration capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

Data Analysis

Epicor Data Analytics (EDA), powered by Phocas, is a cloud service with powerful tools to reduce costs, identify new opportunities and speed decision-making. It allows users to stay up-to-date with the daily changes of the business and visualize data across all of your business systems from production to sales. EDA is integrated within the business intelligence and analytics feature, but since Epicor takes a modular approach, it comes at an additional cost.

Epicor Data Analytics

Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) interface

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Meanwhile, CloudSuite Industrial simply offers predictive analytical capabilities.

As for SAP Business ByDesign, it has in-built analytical tools. It offers training on consuming insights for business users, prepares data sources for key users, extended analytics and more.

Winner: SAP Business ByDesign is the winner as it has in-built analytical capabilities.

Advantage
@SAP rates better than Epicor and Infor for #dataanalysis capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

Taxation

Epicor Tax Connect delivers cloud-based compliance solutions for various transaction taxes, including sales and use, VAT, GST, excise, communications, lodging and other indirect tax types. The solution provides real-time visibility into all transactions required by tax authorities. Tax Connect integrates with Epicor ERP as well as various other solutions – so, the feature is not included in the system and it must be requested.

With Infor, the user can automatically create tax transactions. The taxation tool is undecorated but provides baseline functionality as well as process automation.

In contrast, creation of tax-related transactions isn’t included within the SAP system. However, it supports taxation through its third party integration for tax calculation, which helps users get up to date tax rates. Vertex or Avalara are available for this integration.

Winner: Epicor ERP provides the best in-built taxation capabilities. With the cloud-based solution, users can complete complex, unique transactions while they’re on the go.

Advantage
@Epicor rates better than Infor and SAP for #taxation capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

Reporting

Epicor ERP provides robust reporting functionality for users. The Electronic Compliance Engine (ECE) framework ensures the delivery of legally required electronic reports. In addition, reports can be made regarding HR from every angle, including regulatory compliance requirements. Business activity queries (BAQs) are built into the system to drive reports, dashboards and trackers; they’re intended to help users understand what is happening at any given moment across the entire enterprise. With Epicor Advanced MES (Mattec) production monitoring, data can be captured directly from machines and operators to extract real-time production metrics and visual analytics.

Infor CloudSuite Industrial comes with business intelligence tools, which offer financial and operational reporting. Custom reports that take into account business needs can be generated.

SAP Business ByDesign has analytics built into every process and meets reporting standards. With an emphasis on financials, the system provides users with tools to create accounting reports.

Winner: Epicor ERP has the best reporting capabilities with access to a wealth of insights, while SAP and Infor focus solely on financial reporting. In addition, Epicor provides more opportunity for configuration and in-built compliance.

Advantage
@Epicor rates better than Infor and SAP for #reporting capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

Company Size Suitability

Epicor ERP can be used by small, medium and large businesses.

Infor CloudSuite Industrial offers ERP software for small and medium-sized companies.

SAP Business ByDesign specializes in serving medium-sized enterprises.

Winner: Epicor ERP wins for company size suitability, as it caters to businesses of any size. This versatility allows virtually any organization to implement Epicor ERP.

Advantage
@Epicor rates better than Infor and SAP for #companysizesuitability capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

Pricing

Epicor ERP pricing is rated at $$$, which is considered mid-priced on our pricing spectrum which goes up to $$$$$.

Infor price rating is $, at the lowest end of the spectrum.

Similar to Epicor, SAP Business ByDesign is mid-priced, with a pricing rating of $$$.

Winner: Infor offers the most affordable solution, as it’s comparatively less expensive than SAP and Epicor’s offerings.

Advantage
@Infor rates better than SAP and Epicor for #pricing capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the three tools.

And the Victory Goes To…

With a total of eight winning features out of nineteen, Epicor ERP took the lead and is the majority winner. Comprehensive capabilities for marketing management, demand and sales forecasting, purchase management, order management, reporting, taxation, company size and suitability and integration make Epicor the best ERP software vendor.

SAP Business ByDesign takes second place. SAP claims six features: customer relationship management, human resources management, cash flow management, procurement, supply chain management and data analysis. Last is Infor CloudSuite Industrial, with wins for sales management, project management, multi-currency management and pricing.

Remember: though Epicor ERP is the analyst-approved best ERP system of the three, it still may not be the solution for you. As we discussed earlier in this article, optimal software buying involves first gathering your requirements. Once you have that information, you can begin to shortlist and compare vendors. This article will be a helpful reference as you’re evaluating system functionalities.

What do you think of our Epicor vs SAP vs Infor comparison? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Madeline ReinboltEpicor vs SAP vs Infor ERP: Which ERP Software is the Winner?

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