About soniah

Sonia has served as managing partner of Encompass Solutions since the company was founded in 2001. She began in manufacturing, working on an ERP implementation. From there she became proficient in small business operations, including the development of a standard implementation methodology. As she has grown to take on ever more complex projects—including many for large, multi-national companies—Sonia has (at last count) worked on over 30 implementations in a cross-section of process industries. She is particularly knowledgeable in enterprise-wide integration and the management and support of heavily customized applications.


Sudden and abrupt change can interrupt anyone’s mode of operation. This couldn’t be truer than in manufacturing and distribution industries. When that change affects supply chains, livelihoods, and communities, anxieties are compounded. In these situations, people look for business leadership as a source of answers to the unknowns that are feeding their anxiety. Here are 3 ways to lead your organization through a crisis and towards a better outcome.

Business Leadership – Success From Uncertainty

There are many qualities that make a great leader, such as passion, delegating, owning responsibility, honesty, and active listening. However, not all leadership qualities are created equal when it relates to business. This is punctuated when situations are considered critical. Our current business and economic climate qualify soundly for this designation. From this point of view, below are three of the most effective and essential business leadership qualities that will help your organization endure a tough situation and lead to overall business success.

1. Give Clear Direction

A light in the dark can be more than a means of finding your way around after the power goes out. A clear path delivers comfort and confidence to move forward. In the dark, your teams may stumble over their anxiety of what may or may not come next. Direction delivers many essential signals to your organization, here are four among the most effective:

Be Calm – “Calm is Contagious” I’m not sure if its an idiom, but it should be. People react to the signals they are given every day. The most primal of which is behavior. Your calm and reassuring body language, sincerity, and timeliness reinforce the reassuring effect that essential to every level of your organization. Understanding you’ve provided a behavior to emulate every member of your organization can move forward with focused and unencumbered with anxiety.

Communicate Openly – By maintaining direct and open communication, you negate the inherent anxiety that comes with moving through the dark. Whether delivering good or bad news, your communications need to come when they are needed and provide details that lead forward. You don’t have to have all the answers, but you must let your teams know the one’s you do have.

Be Precise – Clarity is an important part of giving direction. Don’t leave room for misinterpretation. Keep your workplaces free of inefficient language and processes. By communicating in clean, clear, crisp directives, everyone remains on the same page and works towards the common goal.

Maintain Your Connection – Your organization may have been founded by an individual, but I guarantee it was built by people. Some of them may be senior members of your organization, some of them may have joined you days before any significant change upended your day-to-day. It’s important to remember that they are all invested in your continued success. If you don’t treat them as though they have a stake in the game, you may be compounding the problems you are already facing.

By giving your teams a clear direction moving forward, you enable them to keep their focus and put the unanswered questions out of their path. This leaves them free from distractions to continue towards their goal. This leads us to the next point.

2. Outline achievable goals

One of the biggest components of business leadership is to include yourself as part of the solution. Having a goal in mind helps to maintain focus. To that effect, the notion of “here’s what I, you, and we can do now…” can be real foundational support for those who can let their minds wander into the great expanse of what comes next.

By ensuring everyone has a goal, is on task, and maintains accountability throughout your organizational structure, your place in the supply chains remain uninterrupted, your products reach their destinations, and your relationships remain in good standing.

3. Identify Opportunity And Implement

This is where you show your organization that you are in control of the situation. You’ve given everyone the rundown on what’s happening form an operational standpoint and measures being taken to alleviate constraints. With the staff at ease, they can go about achieving goals and completing tasks in their “new now” modes of operation.

By identifying key opportunities that you can take advantage of during this change of pace, you communicate to everyone that growth is still happening, even if it may not be apparent on the surface. Big ships take time to steer and those efficiency projects that kept being pushed onto the back burner due to high volume orders fulfillment or staff shortages are now primed and ready to be implemented. At the very least, you can outline your strategy to achieve the implementation of new ideas and projects so that you can hit the ground running when the conditions permit.

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 for hundreds of customers across the globe. 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 fear’s been around for a long time, definitely longer than your business has been around.

The fear doesn’t look like any one thing. In fact, it can look like anything.

It’s The Fear Of Change

It’s the fear of change. The fear of ‘IT’ and new, stranger things.

Nothing makes an organization cling to old legacy systems—costly, unsupported, outdated, and inefficient as they are—than the fear that there will be issues adapting, learning, and adopting a brand new software system.

an image of a stressed worker collapsed on his laptop. replacing obsolete systems and conquering the fear of change is essential to the success of your business. encompass solutions erp experts can help.

No matter how amazing a new system appears to your organization and your team, no one likes the disruption and stress that comes along with managing an implementation alongside the everyday tasks your team need to accomplish. The scenarios in your mind can get downright nightmarish… Maybe you can’t wait until your staff is fully onboard and trained. Maybe you’ll have to start up your new software with critical components missing, still being written and tested. Maybe your huge investment won’t work at all.

But there’s one thing scarier than all of that: A study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting finds that companies now face a digital imperative: Adopt new technologies effectively, or face competitive obsolescence. While there is consensus on the importance of adopting digital technology, most employees find the process complex and slow.

That means, if you’re facing either an upgrade or extinction, you’re going to want Encompass on your side.

Only a few ERP systems in the market incorporate the tools needed from day one so that anyone with the right workbench can get up and running quickly and successfully—and we can implement them for you. Whatever the job function, your new system will come pre-configured with all of the KPIs, reminders, reports, and value-driven dashboards for daily and strategic needs—proven from years of real-world use by thousands of people in similar roles at retail, manufacturing and distribution companies.

Get in contact with Encompass today, and let us put your fears to rest.

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 for hundreds of customers across the globe. 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.


Earlier this week, Epicor presented Encompass Solutions, Inc. Platinum Partner Award recognition at the annual Epicor Partner Awards ceremony, presided over by Epicor Software Corp. We were honored to receive this distinction once again and strive to continue delivering the highest level of service in partnership with Epicor.

Encompass Solutions, Inc. Platinum Partner

Greensboro, NC, 25 October 2016 – Encompass Solutions, Inc., has achieved Platinum Partner Status in the Epicor Channel Partner Program. Members are selected by Epicor Software Corporation based on contributions to customers, revenue generated to Epicor as well as other considerations that showcased the partners’ abilities in transforming customers to position them to grow by leveraging Epicor solutions. 

Encompass Solutions, Inc. Platinum Partner

“We are honored to be recognized by Epicor as a Platinum Partner for another consecutive year as we continue to deliver excellence throughout the implementation, technical support, and training of Epicor ERP,” said Sonia Haslam, managing partner, Encompass Solutions, Inc.

Encompass has provided ERP consulting and industry-leading development of mission-critical enterprise solutions for over 15 years. The company’s focus is to be an advocate to customers facing the challenges of the market’s fierce competition and is often chosen as experts in this field to help enterprises achieve a technological advantage.  Encompass’ customer base has expanded to sectors beyond standard manufacturing and distribution to include pharmaceuticals, life sciences and more.

“Congratulations to our Platinum Partner Program member, Encompass Solutions, for enabling business growth by implementing Epicor solutions for another year,” said Joe Cowan, president and chief executive officer, Epicor Software Corporation. “Our partners are an extension of our sales force and we are fortunate to have an elite group of IT professionals aligned with us to support customers to focus on business growth, innovation, and enhanced customer experience.”

Epicor Partner Program Awards

The Epicor Partner Program Awards are designed to reward Epicor Channel Partner Program members who have demonstrated their ability to serve as an extension of Epicor’s own salesforce to help businesses worldwide grow and transform. There are several different categories across different geographies in which partners are awarded, ranging from Global Partner of the Year to specific recognitions such as Customer Advocacy and Marketing Excellence.

About Encompass Solutions, Inc.

Our mission at Encompass is to provide a professional services practice skilled in business consulting, project management, and software implementation that offers clients a complete business solution focused on high levels of customer service, industry expertise, and value available to the North American manufacturing industry and beyond. Encompass Solutions, Inc. is a privately held company. Visit us at encompass-inc.com.

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 for hundreds of customers across the globe. 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.


ERP has been around for almost as long as the internet, pagers and bag phones helping businesses standardize processes, increase efficiency and sales through access to data. Epicor ERP has been able to keep pace with the changing needs of businesses (that bag phone was a little clunky) and has incorporated social business functionality reflecting the way employees are incorporating technology into their personal lives. According to Nick Castellina of Aberdeen Group “organizations that have implemented this approach to ERP saw over twice the improvement in profit margins over the past two years of organizations that have not implemented social ERP.”

The key benefit of Social ERP is collaboration. This goes for organizations that are housed in one building or across the globe. As we all know, Al Gore single-handedly invented the internet but in most cases, collaboration is extremely beneficial to a business. Allowing employees access to data with the necessary tools and infrastructure is the first step to this collaboration. Once employees have the data the next step is to analyze the data (independently and collaboratively) and create a pathway to turn this robust information into a plan that can benefit your business.

Social ERP in Epicor can take many forms including the ability to tag conversations, products, projects, customers, equipment, etc. This collaboration creates a central location where all stakeholders can easily access current information and over time you create a database allowing you to avoid previous mistakes and learn and continuously improve with more efficient processes, higher quality products, and services, better profit margins.

Get-Collaborative-Image

The Benefits Of Social ERP

Here are a few stats compiled by Aberdeen Group regarding businesses that have incorporated Social ERP:

  • A decrease in decision-making time of 28% versus 21% for those without social ERP.
  • A decreasein business processes time of 11% versus 9% for those without social ERP.
  • Met internal schedules 95% of the time versus 90% for those without social ERP.
  • Had employees that exceeded performance metrics 58% versus only 36% for those without social ERP.
  • Over the 2 years these statistics have been gathered, Businesses improved profit margins 19% versus 9% for those without social ERP.

The stats are clear (bag phones were good but smartphones are better). Social ERP increases collaboration, efficiency, and profits. Contact us today about implementing a social ERP solution for your business.

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 for hundreds of customers across the globe. 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 Benefits Of Working With An ERP Provider

This sounds ridiculous on the surface, yet most of us are guilty of attempting to do it all on a daily basis. When it comes to working, it is easy to become distracted by the things that are not the focus. This includes everything from accounting, marketing, facilities management, human resources, technology or a hundred other things. On occasion, we all have an epiphany and realize we would be better off letting those who are experts do what they do best. Not only does it take the burden off of you to learn how to do yet another job, but it also allows you to focus on what you do best. In this case, the contractor will typically execute quicker, more efficiently and cost-effectively than you could have. In addition, experts can see the future (except for Beck winning a Grammy. Nobody saw that coming – especially not Kanye), avoiding pitfalls and putting a system or process in place that enables growth. This will allow you to maximize your investment in the areas that fall outside of your expertise but are needed for growth. Below is an outline that will help you determine if you need to work with an ERP provider and how to get the most out of your vendor, specifically your certified Epicor Platinum Partner and ERP provider.

na image of a team of erp provider, erp partners, and erp consultants

Can I do the job myself?

Define the project

  • Goals (sometimes requirements)
  • Budget
  • Timeline
  • Benefits of the project and perhaps even ROI
  • Champions
  • Naysayers
  • Entitlement
  • What are the problems I’m trying to solve
  • Where is my pain?

Define the resources

  • Internal skill sets
  • Available capacity of internal resources
  • Can I borrow from other departments?  This is good, cause there may be limited culture or communication issues if we use internal people from other departments.

Define the holes

  • Skill sets
  • knowledge (industry or product)
  • team building ability
  • time (you might have the right people, but they’re all too busy, or managers won’t release them)

OK, so we need help—where can I get it?

Define the help needed

Define how long you need help

Define where you want the help to work

Define how closely you want them aligned and absorbed into your company and culture

Define the nature of the relationship

  • Contracted for project life
  • Contracted on an hourly/daily basis for specific tasks

Research where the help can come from—the Internet, references from users groups or professional organizations

  • Vendors
  • Independent firms
  • “one-man shops”

Qualify experience, willingness, availability and back-up staff

Will the vendor have access to executives-how often

OK, so we found help, how do I launch them?

Tell them why they were hired

  • Tasks
  • Responsibilities
  • Why they want the work

Talk to your vendor-identify:

  • Terms of service
  • How to change the terms of service
  • How does the vendor get measured & paid
  • How does the vendor raise issues and problems and to whom
  • What are the vendor’s role and place on the project team
  • How will you review the vendor’s work
  • What are the vendor’s documentation responsibilities?
  • What collateral do you expect the vendor to have/develop/bring with them

Work with the vendor to develop and agree upon

  • Project plan-they should have direct input to their part
  • What is the vendor to deliver, how and when
  • What tracking and reporting the vendor is responsible for
  • Work authorization documents
  • Change order documents
  • How often to report hours/ send invoices

Share the project metrics defined in 1. above

OK, your vendor is the expert and you hired him to be the expert, so why aren’t you listening?

Don’t second guess your choice, or them

Second opinions should be disclosed

Promote whatever corporate cultural relationship and inclusions are possible

A sidebar of bullet items that vendors bring to the table.

Knowledge of product specific feature/functionality

  • What’s a standard product
  • What needs customization
  • where are the switches

Knowledge of industry best practices

Knowledge of how to do a project successfully

  • He’s been doing them and getting out alive for a while now…
  • Where to get more help
  • When to stop digging the hole

How to work within the framework of what you bought

  • What you should not modify (change, customize or custom build)
  • How long it will take

Separating Needs/Requirements from Entitlements?

  • Defining business issues as separate from workflow or work process issues
  • Will the INFORMATION (not data) be there?

as your national and neighborhood ERP provider, we are here to help if you decide you need assistance with the implementation of your ERP. Contact us today and let us know what level of service you need so you can get on with doing everything else.

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 for hundreds of customers across the globe. 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.


This winter has delivered much snow to practically every state, including recent snowfall in North Carolina where our headquarters are located. I love the way the snow looks when it has first fallen covering streets, cars, yards and buildings with a sparkling white blanket, covering up all imperfections making practically any landscape a picturesque winter scene. As we all know eventually the blanket melts and returns us to the reality of our environment. In business, the beautiful snow blanket takes the form of apathy, resistance to change, misunderstanding or even a simple lack of expertise or knowledge. This blanket is a natural occurrence for most businesses and is even to be expected, but every once in a while you need to break out the shovel and dig down to the real issues and fix them before they become worse. As experts in ERP consulting and support, we offer assessments and solutions for your ERP. Our ERP assessment findings can get under that pretty blanket that has covered up problems and inefficiencies and brings them to light so they may be uncovered and a strategy put in place to solve them.

an image of the revolution mill campus, where encompass experts complete each ERP assessment

What is an ERP Assessment?

An ERP assessment considers the software configuration and setup, the business processes in place as well as areas of opportunity with modules, features, and functionality that may not currently be in use. Analysis may identify betters to leverage existing and unused functionality as well as streamlining or revisiting business processes that may not be fully effective. In addition, an assessment will evaluate the benefits of an upgrade to current releases, or implementation of new functionality where appropriate.

Why Is ERP Assessment Important?

Assessments are essential not only to guide the development of individual ERP strategies but also to monitor and continuously improve the quality of your ERP, inform leadership and staff, and provide evidence of accountability to those invested in an ERP such as Epicor. As Epicor ERP consultants we do assessments on many types of businesses for many markets. The assessments may be done across an entire company, business unit, or even to address a specific departmental or functional focus. Many times assessments may be requested or suggested due to an impression that new functionality or upgrades need to be evaluated, that business needs have changed, there has been staff turnover or even considerations of advances in technology. Recommendations and preliminary plans will be provided.

What does an ERP Assessment Involve?

Each assessment will be customized to meet your specific business objectives but typical Encompass Solutions ERP assessments include the following:

2-3 day onsite survey review of business and requirements (necessary for context) and includes:

  • Current System Configuration
  • Business process and transaction review
  • Company objectives and direction
  • Interviews with functional team leads and relevant management
  • Analysis of implementation progress (complete and remaining efforts)
  • Open issue review
  • Deliverables will include results and our recommendations:
  • Documented strengths/weaknesses of the current system
  • Feature/function training opportunities
  • Business processes requiring review and potential revision
  • System configuration suggestions
  • Additional functionality / modules / features to increase ROI
  • Upgrade process and benefits
  • Presentation back to client team summarizing findings with opportunity for draft review and discussion
  • Final assessment presentation including estimated costs where applicable

Contact us to get assessed and start uncovering the path to improvement.

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 for hundreds of customers across the globe. 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.


We are proud to present our new website which explains very thoroughly what we do and who we serve as Enterprise Resource Planning Consultants. However, we are even more proud of the work we do for our clients and their satisfaction with our ERP solutions. For this reason, we have prominently shared testimonials from various clients across many industry types on our homepage and in our many case studies as proven and certified ERP consultants. These testimonials are real-world examples of how we have implemented ERP Solutions such as Epicor and how that has made a difference for our customers in terms of increased efficiency, increased profits, accessibility across many locations and platforms, accounting, inventory, new modules, and general satisfaction. As they say “the proof is in the pudding.”

An image of what encompass solutions does as Enterprise Resource Planning Consultants

Our Role As Enterprise Resource Planning Consultants

Ultimately our ERP team is here to quietly enhance our clients business processes allowing them to design, produce, serve and sell across the country or around the world without worrying about their ERP. What we do behind the scenes is problem solve, customize, analyze, deploy, upgrade and support our customers ERP systems. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship allowing each group to do what they do best so that our customer’s customers have great experiences and come back for more.

Going forward our team of technology experts will blog about a wide variety of Enterprise Resource Planning issues including common mistakes and how to avoid them, transitioning to ERP and trends such as Mobile ERP, Cloud ERP, Social ERP and Two-tier ERP as well as some success stories and creative ways we have addressed customers needs.

In the meantime contact us with your specific needs. Technology changes faster than most organizations can.  Let’s talk about where you’re going next.

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 for hundreds of customers across the globe. 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.