My mother used to make the best chocolate cake – not too sweet, the perfect consistency, served at just the right temperature. I remember this cake not only because it was so good, but also because it was nearly impossible to replicate. If you asked my mother how she made the cake, she would list the ingredients – sugar, flour, chocolate, eggs. But if I tried to make the same cake using these ingredients, my version always tasted like, well, not-so-tasty.
There is so much more to making a perfect cake than just having the right ingredients. For starters, how much of each ingredient do you need? In what order do you need to add the ingredients? How long do you whip the eggs or stir the batter? What temperature/time combination produces the perfect moistness? These are things JoAnn (my mother) figured out that I had not.
It now occurs to me that this is the perfect analogy to what EPIC Systems is, and is not. A typical EPIC client is like my mother. JoAnn figured out how to make the best chocolate cake around, and she knew the intimate details of when to fold in the eggs, how many times to stir the batter, how much to sift the sugar. Like JoAnn, our clients know their secret recipe. It’s what we refer to in the business as the process technology.
So where does EPIC come in? Well, JoAnn made the best chocolate cakes, but she could only make one or two cakes at a time (if I was really well behaved). In hindsight, an enterprising young John Schott should have said, “Hey Mom, these cakes are great! You should start a business and sell them to everyone.” But even if I had said that to my mother, in her little kitchen, with her small set of mixing bowls, my mother couldn’t have done it. There is a big difference between one cake and five hundred – or five-hundred thousand – chocolate cakes.
This is where JoAnn could have used a friend like EPIC Systems. EPIC doesn’t know the special nuances of how to make the perfect cake. What EPIC does know is how to scale up production without sacrificing quality, taking JoAnn from the mixing bowl to a production line making 500 cakes/hour. And we do it without losing those special touches that make JoAnn’s cake the best around.
How? We are awesome at fully extracting your technical, operational and commercial specifications. In fact, it’s the first step in our Front-End Engineering process. We’ve been around for a while. We know the capabilities and the limitations of process equipment, controls and integration. We address your individual challenges, select equipment, model process dynamics and integrate a system that produces the same awesome chocolate cake at high volumes in a cost-effective manner.
During Front-End Engineering we put in the time and effort necessary to guarantee success on your important project. We deliver the most capital-efficient, fastest time-to-market modular process systems in the business.
The moral of the story is this. It’s a winning proposition for all parties involved. JoAnn’s clients are happy because they get chocolate cake to-die-for at a fair price. JoAnn is happy because she gets to do what she loves -make cake. And, she turns enough of a profit to get that fancy patio set she’s been eyeing at Sears for two years now. EPIC is happy because we brought skills that perfectly complemented JoAnn’s to make this happen, learned some really cool things from her about making awesome cake, and made a fair profit for our efforts.
Follow JoAnn’s lead to guaranteeing success. You supply the process technology and let EPIC do the rest!
By: John R. Schott, P.E.
John is an electrical engineer and the President of EPIC Systems, Inc. He has worked in process system design and automation for over 25 years. John let’s his wife do the baking, but that’s only because she refuses to let him replace the oven with a batch mixing system.