Acquisition agreement. Under CC 3.0 Creator attribution: Nick Youngson - link to - has announced the acquisition of Smart Software, an existing Epicor ISV partner and a SaaS vendor that provides AI-driven inventory planning and optimisation (IP&O) applications. The acquisition supplements the AI powered tools Epicor already has within its solutions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 1981, Smart Software has been a leading provider of demand planning, forecasting, and inventory optimization solutions. It has been mainly bootstrapped receiving a $150K grant from the National Science Foundation in 2012. More recently, in February 2024, it announced a partnership with Sage for its cloud and on-premises versions of Sage X3, Sage 300, and Sage 100. What will happen to that relationship now is unclear, as Sage X3 is a competitor to Epicor solutions. Did this also make this deal an auction between the two ERP giants? If so, Epicor has stolen a march on Sage.

Steve Murphy, Epicor CEO (Image credit/Pixabay/Steve Murphy)
Steve Murphy, Epicor CEO

Steve Murphy, Epicor CEO commented, “In today’s fast-paced and constantly evolving supply chain landscape, effective inventory management is critical for success. The Smart Software acquisition further accelerates our focus in transforming traditional ERP from a system of record to a system of action, giving Epicor customers AI-powered capabilities to turn inventory into a competitive asset that helps drive up customer service levels and drive down costs.”

What does Epicor get immediately

Smart Software already has three modules integrated to the Epicor Kinetic ERP solution.

  • Epicor Smart Demand Planner. Provides statistical forecasting that automatically selects the right forecast model for each item accounting for trend, seasonality and promotion/event-driven demand.
  • Epicor Smart Inventory Optimization. Delivers inventory policy decision support and the means to share, collaborate, and track the impact of your inventory planning policy.
  • Epicor Smart Operational Analytics. A reporting tool that offers a 360 degree of the inventory so you can identify value, stocking trends, overstocks, understocks, and potential order cancellations.

It will be interesting to see which other solutions Epicor integrates into its technology platform. The SmartForecasts Cloud is a statistical forecasting solution available on Smart’s Inventory Planning and Optimization Platform. Overall the entire cloud IP&O platform that Smart Software offers leverages patented, probabilistic AI and machine learning models to deliver superior forecasting and “what if” analysis. Customers are able to better predict demand, stockout risks, and costs.

In addition they can create “what-if” scenarios enabling them to mitigate risk by adjusting stock levels to enable them to meet demand. Smart Software has customers across MRO and aftermarket Spare Parts, Manufacturing, and Distribution, all key target industries for Epicor solutions. Big Ass Fans, a joint customer, has seen the benefit of the solution.

BAF’s Supply Chain Manager commented, “Smart Inventory Planning & Optimization is the critical tool we use to manage our forecasts across a large and dynamic set of Products/Parts, multi-national sites, and complex supply chains,” added the Supply Chain Manager. “The ability of the software to provide a statistical forecast as baseline, allow adjustments by various subject matter experts, each recorded as ‘snapshots’ for consensus building and later use in accuracy/improvement efforts, then ultimately feed the forecast data directly into our Material Requirements Planning software is central to our S&OP process.”

Looking forward

Smart Software is already integrated with several Epicor solutions, and will not extend the functionality available having been acquired. Epicor identifies several benefits that customers can gain for the complementary solution:

  • AI-Driven Operational Efficiency: With this acquisition, Epicor customers can strengthen and streamline inventory management processes, ensuring optimal stock levels. By eliminating manual data entry/data prep and automating demand forecasting while accounting for trends, seasonality, and intermittency, businesses can optimize cost savings, improve resource utilization, and run smoother operations.
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction and Lifetime Value: Leveraging Smart Software and AI technology, Epicor’s solutions can minimize stockout situations so that products are available when customers need them, enhancing the customer experience and boosting customer loyalty and lifetime value.
  • Best-in-Class Inventory Optimization and Cash Flow: With Smart Software, Epicor customers can strengthen their ability to balance inventory levels and optimize working capital. By preventing excess stock and minimizing the creation of obsolete or slow-moving inventory, businesses can free up funds that would otherwise be tied to inventory. Additionally, Smart Software contributes to efficient cash flow management, promoting overall financial health and viability.

Greg Hartunian, Smart Software President, commented, “As a long-time Epicor ISV partner, we’re closely aligned in delivering customers the AI-powered technologies they need to improve forecast accuracy and optimize inventory levels. We’re excited to join Epicor and continue our journey in driving innovation across the supply chain industries.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

What isn’t clear is whether this acquisition is providing a good exit for the founders of Smart Software, but it seems likely. The announcement did not indicate whether the leadership would be switching to Epicor or whether they would retire.

It is a good purchase for the global ERP vendor. There is good alignment on industries and several joint customers already. For Smart Software it opens the potential for huge international growth. The main unanswered question, though, is what happens to the existing customers who don’t use Epicor solutions. Will they have a roadmap looking forward? Also, what about the nascent relationship with Sage? While there was no mention of an integration with Sage Intacct Manufacturing, was this on the roadmap?


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