Looking for a way to leverage the power of your ERP to deliver higher quality customer experiences? Encompass Solutions and Bezlio can make that connection through Epicor ERP and a Self-Service Customer Portal. To speak directly with an expert about how you can get started creating a more dynamic and customer-oriented experience, contact us using the link below.

What Is A Self-Service Customer Portal?

Think of these portals as gateways to sharing what content and data you want with a customer, so that they can interact with it on their own time and on their own terms to carry out actions. The applications aren’t limited to customers, either. Self-Service Customer Portals can also be created for supply partners and vendors you work with and function in much the same way.

The information shared can include real-time order status updates, invoice history, and much more. by and large, the biggest benefit is found in the fact that, once an initial build-out is completed,  connecting the customer with the information they are looking for requires no additional effort your end.

The Self-Service Customer portal delivers the customer’s unique data, stored within your ERP, to enhance the relationship you share, deliver mission-critical updates when necessary, and drive loyalty for your brand.

a graphic image of a happy customer utilizing a self--service customer portal

Still not convinced your business needs a self-service customer portal? Here are four reasons why you can’t afford to not have one for your customers.

1. There’s No Reason Not to Build A Self-Service Customer Portal

While we’re sure you can see the benefits a self-service customer portal provides, you may be wondering about the back-end. We’re talking about security. It’s a topic that occupies the waking nightmares and sweaty fever-dreams of many IT professionals and business owners alike. The Bezlio/Epicor integration that will deliver your self-service customer portal utilizes a unique token-based security process. This process protects all of your enterprise data to the most granular levels, around the clock.

Any information you have designated a customer can access, via a security token from your system administrator, is routed securely behind your firewall. This token is required at several points to ensure and data request comes from the person or persons granted permission for that access. Following verification, a secure channel is opened via Bezlio’s cloud API to link the front-end user and data they are cleared to access. No data is ever stored on the device, be it desktop or mobile, during or after the information is accessed.

At this point in the security conversation, it should be clear that your sensitive data is safe at all times, which means you can share securely and with peace of mind knowing no one without access will be able to view your enterprise data. Are your customers frequently requesting order and inventory information to view or check? Investing in a self-service customer portal will give them access to the information they need without having to involve your staff in the process. The ERP and self-service customer portal take care of it all for you.

2. Self-Service Customer Portal Permissions Deliver Only What Customers Need

Your Bezlio-developed self-service customer portal is completely customizable, capable of delivering all the information your customers need and nothing they don’t. That’s right, you have all the control when building out your self-service customer portal. There’s no compromising your data policies as you may experience with an off-the-shelf package.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a self-service customer portal, you may be wondering what information should be shared and what should not.

Some common data examples include order histories, tracking details, shipment information, inventory and parts look-up, order entry, and more. Due to the customizable nature of Bezlio you can share as little or as much as you like, provided that the information you are sharing is relevant to your customers.  Dashboards, search functionality, and many other information tools can all be leveraged when setting up your self-service customer portal.

3. A Self-Service Customer Portal Will Free Your Team

A self-service customer portal pays for itself two-fold. First, it delivers relevant information your customers are looking for via a system that is open to them and secure 24/7. Second, provided you have a platform that facilitates read/write functionality, your customers are granted the ability to modify their own data and handle administrative tasks within the scope of their relationship with your business. This relieves your team of certain admin duties, like placing orders, providing status updates, and reviewing inventory levels.

In providing your customers with the ability to control certain aspects of their information within your ERP system, customer data quality and accuracy are improved. Whatsmore beneficial is the fact that your team no longer needs to manage that data. As a result, your organization runs more effectively. Customer satisfaction improves alongside these organizational efficiencies.

4. A Self-Service Customer Portal Increases Customer Satisfaction And Business Performance

Customers don’t like having to wait.  Few have the time it takes to reach out and get updates on orders, invoices, inventory, or service requests. Why not give them the ability to view, update, and interact with their data when they want it, where they want it?

You’ll find that customers who are empowered to make changes and submit requests or data queries on their own time are far more satisfied with their partner relationships. The result is higher customer satisfaction and improved business performance. This is apparent with the increased volume and frequency of order placement from customers who are able to leverage a self-service customer portal. Handing off the viewing of the status of their repair or service requests in real-time frees your customer service team to tackle more demanding tasks, which saves you time and resources.

when combined, these benefits pave the way for quality data within your organization’s system. So, when the time comes to evaluate employee and business performance, your company leadership has the benefit of more accurate information upon which to base their decisions.

See The Benefits Of A Self-Service Customer Portal For Yourself

There are many reasons for building a self-service customer portal, and at Bezlio, the development platform has been used to create some amazing examples. If you think your organization could benefit from a self-service customer portal, we’d love to show you how this low-code development platform can help you build your own quickly, easily, and at a fraction of the cost of many other software solutions.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider, Suite Success Partner, and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


When it comes to an ERP implementation or ERP upgrade, there are a significant number of factors to consider. Not only will you have to employ essential and proven ERP selection strategies, but getting the job done in a reasonable amount of time can be just as important. For some, it’s more important. Here are just a few ways a rapid implementation can be leveraged for a faster, smoother implementation process.

For more info on ERP implementation strategies, download our free guide for 8 Essential ERP Selection Strategies.

A customer recently went live in January, about 4 months after signing their purchase agreement with the ERP Vendor. Encompass had engaged with them in October, days after they completed their initial install. Several factors really helped ease the process, and you might want to consider them as you evaluate the potential benefits of rapid implementations.

1) Timing

Trying to time the project to coincide with your slow season will minimize downtime and maximize utilization of staff during what may be your least productive time. In the case of this example company, January to March is a dead time for one of their companies and about half volume for their second company. As a result, the choice was made to focus on a minimal go-live event in January. This allowed for extra time in February to wrap up loose threads and address potentially unforeseen issues.

an image of an hourglass, signifying that when time is short an erp rapid implementation may be the best solution.

2) Experience = Wisdom

The company’s core team was comprised of three members that had firsthand experience in other ERP implementations. That perspective made for significantly better decisions and focused efforts to be made throughout the project. It can be difficult imparting similar perspective to inexperienced customers who do not want or cannot afford to hire a consulting team for their rapid implementation, but it definitely helps when they have it.

3) Embrace The Phase

If the core requirement for your go-live strategy is to sell, ship, invoice customers, buy, and pay suppliers on day 1, a phased, or layered, approach can work exceptionally well. For all the other “wants” out of your ERP system, logging, planning and working on those components as soon as possible after go-live will deliver the results you are after. With this approach, you can be working other functionality you need within days of your go-live event.

In the case of our example company, the phased approach can be applied to things like engineering. By making sure they had their top-selling parts and parts on order fully engineered, everything else was pushed out with the understanding they would work through the list over time. In this case, data conversion from their old system wasn’t very clean, and most of their engineering data were bad, to begin with. Trying to have perfection on day 1 would have pushed the project out three months. Instead, they do not lose any operational function while they work within their ERP system to migrate and clean up their company data moving forward.

4) Vanilla Is A Good Choice

While a perfect implementation would be created around a business’ processes and workflows, this can cost a lot of time and money. For our example company, they didn’t have time to customize. Knowing that processes would have to change as a result, they accepted Epicor standard workflows and trained to them. Rather than bending the system to accommodate their process, they adapted some processes. Staff understood the legacy system was being replaced and that change was inevitable. It was a very realistic approach which delivered ideal results for an imperfect scenario.

a picture of vanilla ice cream,

Interested In An ERP Rapid Implementation?

If you are considering an ERP solution, think a rapid implementation is the best fit for your business, or would like to speak with an Encompass consultant about the topic, don’t hesitate to contact us using the link below. We look forward to connecting you with a business solution that fits your build.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


The manufacturing industry has experienced a recent breakthrough in welding technology thanks to the efforts of scientists from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. The new Heriot-Watt laser system facilitates the fusing of metal and glass together. These two materials are difficult to join due to their strikingly disparate thermal properties. The technology utilizes an ultra-fast laser system that is capable of joining materials that, until recently, had to be joined through the use of messy and unreliable adhesives.

How The Heriot-Watt Laser System Works

The new Heriot-Watt laser system uses light that is aimed at connection points in materials to fuse them together. The result is a more reliable connection than adhesives can provide. Traditional adhesives can be difficult to work with and lead to slippage or movement over time or in harsh environments. Outgassing is another issue manufacturers currently face when working with adhesives, especially in electronics and medical fields. This is a process by which the organic chemicals in these substances release gasses which can lead to a reduction in product integrity over time, as well as contamination of sterile environments. Materials that the system has been proven to join include optical materials, such as:

  • quartz
  • borosilicate glass
  • sapphire

which have been successfully welded to metals that include:

  • aluminum
  • titanium
  • stainless steel

through the use of picosecond (1012 or 1/1,000,000,000,000 of a second) pulses of infrared laser light. The new Heriot-Watt laser system uses light that is aimed at predefined tracks in materials to fuse them together. The result is a more reliable connection than adhesives can provide. These adhesives can be difficult to work with and lead to slippage or movement over time or in harsh environments. Outgassing is another issue manufacturers currently face when working with adhesives, especially in electronics and medical fields. This is a process by which the organic chemicals in these substances release gasses which can lead to a reduction in product integrity over time as well as contamination of sterile environments.

The Heriot-Watt Laser System Effects On Manufacturing

The newly proven process has significant implications for manufacturing industries that routinely require the union of these raw materials, including:

  • aerospace
  • defense
  • energy
  • electronics
  • optical technology
  • healthcare

The manufacturing and design flexibility the Heriot-Watt Laser System provides welds that have been tested to maintain their integrity between -50C to 90C.

Professor Duncan Hand, director of the five-university EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Laser-based Production Processes based at Heriot-Watt, said of the technology “Traditionally it has been very difficult to weld together dissimilar materials like glass and metal due to their different thermal properties—the high temperatures and highly different thermal expansions involved cause the glass to shatter.” When asked how the technology differs from methods currently used by manufacturers to join the two materials, he would go on to state,”The parts to be welded are placed in close contact, and the laser is focused through the optical material to provide a very small and highly intense spot at the interface between the two materials—we achieved megawatt peak power over an area just a few microns across. This creates a microplasma, like a tiny ball of lightning, inside the material, surrounded by a highly-confined melt region.”

Commercialization Of The Heriot-Watt Laser System

While the technology is not yet commercially available, Heriot-Watt scientists are working closely with a consortium, which includes laser firms Oxford Lasers and Coherent Scotland, as well as end-users Leonardo and Gooch & Housego. The partnership seeks to develop a prototype for the system that will bring it closer to commercialization. Glass Technology Services and the Centre for Process Innovation have geared their efforts towards another commercialization route with the packaging of OLED devices.

More information on the Heriot-Watt laser system can be found, Here.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Tax season is in full swing for many in the US. While it’s only a few months out of the year that a majority of individuals take taxes, reporting, and accounting seriously, businesses have to tackle these tasks full-time. Our March 2019 news and updates take a particular focus on automation and accounting practices that can help you solve more with less using ERP.

First, take advantage of a few best practices to help your AP department mitigate risk and automate non-revenue generating activities through your ERP system. Leverage increased efficiency, improved performance, and more resources dedicated to high-value tasks, not to mention sweet, sweet peace of mind.

What does 2019 have in store for ERP? Take a look at a few ERP trends we’ve noticed get traction. We fully expect them to make it into the mainstream this year.

Carve out some time on your calendar to see the Encompass Solutions automation and robotics presentation at Automate 2019 in Chicago, IL April 8-11. We will be exhibiting at Booth #9245 during the biggest automation event in the US.

Speaking on the topic of trends, NetSuite Senior Director for Global Manufacturing Center of Excellence, David Gustovich, gave his thoughts on 2019 manufacturing trends in a recent interview we deliver in full.

Our partners, the tax experts at Avalara, have expanded their capability in delivering the industry’s top tax automation software and content with their recent acquisition of Indix and its proprietary AI technology.

Automation In Accounts Payable

Here are a few best practices you can implement now to insulate against risk. The added benefits of automation in AP are just icing on the cake.

An image of how AP automation benefits a business as part of the march 2019 news and updates at Encompass Solutions.

2019  ERP Trends 

Interested in learning about what’s in store for ERP in 2019? Have a look at this overview of trends and digital transformation strategies taking shape for many businesses over the next year.

animage of 2019 ERP trends as part of the march 2019 news and updates from Encompass Solutions

Automate 2019

Don’t miss this automation event in Chicago, IL April 8-11. Automate 2019 will deliver insights, education and networking opportunities surrounding automation in all its forms. Encompass Solutions will exhibit at Booth #9245  and deliver an introductory breakout session on automation and robotics with steps you can take now toward implementing in your facility.

an image of the automate 2019 banner in march 2019 news and updates from encompass solutions

Encompass Partner Avalara Acquires Indix

Avalara acquires Indix in an effort to offer the most accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive source of global tax and product content with the help of AI.

an image illustrating avalara acquires indix AI technology as part of march 2019 news and updates from encompass solutions

2019 Manufacturing Trends

NetSuite’s Senior Director for Global Manufacturing Center of Excellence, David Gustovich, sat down in a recent interview to discuss the 2019 Manufacturing Trends he expects to see take root.

an image of a steelmill as pat of the mach 2019 news and updates from encompass solutions 2019 manufacturing trends

Encompass March 2019 News And Updates

If you are attending Epicor Insights 2019, we hope you’ll join us for the annual Encompass Solutions Customer Appreciation Event. We’ll be serving up the tastiest bites and beverages the Mandalay Bay has to offer. More details to come as well as an RSVP link for attendees

an image of the encpomass logo

Epicor March 2019 News And Updates

The biggest Epicor event of the year will be taking place at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, NV from April 15th to 18th. Train, network and explore the developments revealed at this year’s event for all things Epicor.

an image of the epicor logo for the epicor consultants at encompass solutions

Oracle NetSuite March 2019 News And Updates

NetSuite’s annual conference, SuiteWorld, will be held at Sands Las Vegas April 1-4. Join us on-site to talk about the latest developments NetSuite’s Cloud ERP solutions have to offer.

an image of the Oracle + NetSuite logo

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.