An Encompass customer in the Industrial Heating industry recently fell victim to an opportunistic ransomware attack that had encrypted all internal system files, as well as their Epicor application files. As a result, work was unable to continue, bringing operations to a standstill. Encompass’ Managed Services (MS) were enlisted to help get things back up and running. The company requested this case study be posted anonymously

Ransomware Recovery Project Background

The company’s network fell victim to a severe ransomware attack. Unfortunately, it had affected all internal systems, including backups. The attack took down the company’s systems completely in a matter of hours, forcing the company to rebuild from scratch.  Fortunately, the company was able to save its Epicor Database.

The Plan

Initially, there was no internal plan in place at this company to address the initial attack or the fallout from such an event. The results from the attack were focused effort to get systems up and running as fast as possible and restore a state of operational functionality.

Objectives for the engagement were to recover system use, rebuild what was lost, and establish backups.

A plan to instate standard operating procedures that would minimize the potential for reoccurrence and maximize the efficiency of response and ransomware recovery followed.

The Execution

The company’s staff were able to provide Encompass with the necessary documentation, in the form of a blueprint of the existing Epicor environment, to rebuild the system in a more structurally sound way than the original.

Encompass’ MS team worked with corporate IT staff to ensure backups and other security precautions were in place moving forward.

Overall, Encompass has just been a great asset to our organization. We have been through both a major Epicor upgrade and recovery process with them, and I am extremely impressed with everything they have done.  They definitely make my job easier.

– C.R., IT Manager

The Results

Encompass’ managed services team were able to work with the parent company to reestablish a stable network and functional Epicor system in less than one week.

Next Steps

Documented SOPs were put in place to routinely establish backups and test recoverability on a regular basis.

This company was pleased with Encompass’ level of service and expedient reaction to the situation. The two organizations will continue to work together on future Epicor projects and system maintenance.

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.


Business continuity can be disrupted in a number of ways, such as natural disasters, scaled back staffing, security breaches and infrastructure failure. Most businesses have a hard time adapting to new ways of working when the everyday is interrupted. Manufacturing companies tend to have unique business cases and their own unique set of circumstances to address when external forces alter the here and now. However, preparedness and technology can support business continuity and ensure operations continue to run smoothly. Here is how some of Encompass Solutions’ customers are currently managing operations in a disruptive environment.

M Holland Company – Business Continuity Amid Disruption

At M. Holland Company, our IT support staff is used to providing remote work support to our international team of sales employees, but with the recent change in safety and health hazards, our entire operations office location has gone fully remote. This proved to be a challenge when employees who are usually in the office are now working from their homes. We have found that a lot of the pain from these users is the fear of the “unknown”. New types of issues arise when they are working from home; these are different than the normal ones we see every day in the office. We’ve been able to provide top notch issue resolution and training for our newly remote workers by utilizing instant messaging, video, and voice solutions through Microsoft Teams. Taking the extra time to call our users, normalizing the use of video chat, and screensharing has helped our team be more accustomed to the work from home setting. IT support can still deliver the same level of support, with “digital” face to face contact. This extra support in these challenging times has improved morale for our operations users, which helps them continue to support our sales teams efficiently while working in their new remote environments.

Lauren Palmer-Smith – Team Lead, Innovation and Technology at M. Holland Company

National Tube Supply – How Encompass Is Bridging The Gaps

I want to let you know that the partnership we have with Encompass is invaluable.  The support you continuously give our organization and the expediency with how you react to our ever-needing changes is sincerely appreciated.

I found out yesterday that we are the only steel tube distributor in Illinois that is “set up” the way we are.  We had the vision and expertise on our side that allowed us to react quickly to this current environment.  Our competitors still have all their employees going to work and are not able to have them work remotely.  Since our business is deemed “essential”, we remain open and we have the piece of mind knowing our employees are safe at home and still able to be 100% productive.

We had a project slated for Production at the end of Q2 and as a result of COVID-19, many customers requested this be expedited. Jarrad Kitching and John Ramsay (and our own Eileen Hankosky) once again, came though for us and hit it out of the park.  We went live on Tuesday. Three months ahead of schedule.

Michele Markowski – Board Member at National Tube Supply

Manufacturing is an essential industry, for some, now more than ever. We remain a dependable partner for our customers to turn to when their process and technology needs demand expert assistance. Our commitment to supporting our partnerships has been in place since the beginning of each relationship and will continue to grow through these trials and what may come.

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 has helped modernize operations and automate 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.


Encompass Solutions recently celebrated another successful go-live with a longtime partner and client. This company has several divisions, though this project took focus on Medical Device Manufacturing With Epicor ERP. The project focused on on-site locations in the United States and Costa Rica. The company’s primary Epicor team consists of three resources, supporting approximately 700 employees. The medical device manufacturing company utilizes several Epicor ERP components including all major modules, Advanced Material Management (AMM), Quick Ship, and Manufacturing Execution System (MES).

The Project

The project scope was to upgrade an existing Epicor 9.05.702a to Epicor 10.2.400. The upgrade project would also need to account for hundreds of custom BPMs, Dashboards, Reports, SQL Tools, and linked systems that had built up over the years. Additionally, a transition to an FDA validated environment with proper change control was necessary. All of this happened on a typical non-holiday weekend, with some manufacturing departments on-site and actively working.

The Encompass Solutions Team was responsible for:

  • Project planning and estimating
  • Project management
  • Technical assistance uplifting customizations, reports and dashboards,
  • Hardware configuration and sizing recommendations
  • All aspects of the data conversion
  • Conversion planning and preparation
  • System test planning

The Plan

An Encompass Solutions project manager was handed the sequencing and timing authority to map the timeline, deliverables, and overall upgrade project plan. At a high level, there were timelines created for Test Conversions, Technical Uplift Tasks, UAT, and Validation.

The project would follow Encompass Solutions’ standard upgrade methodology. This began by estimating the uplift effort, as that would drive the remainder the schedule.

The Execution

Once the project plan was established, Encompass and the client stood up the new 10.2.400 environment and performed the first pass conversion.

The next phase of the project, and most lengthy, focused on uplifting and unit testing over 800 objects (UI customizations, reports, BPMs, dashboard, and more)

Once the uplift was complete, a second pass conversion was performed. This served as the first conversion where we started to look at the length of the conversion, cleaning up errors and started to put together the conversion validation steps. This conversion served as the basis for system test.

System test planning started three months prior to the test. The actual test was conducted over a three-week period by the client and Encompass Solutions.

Upon completion of system test, we executed a third pass conversion.  This served to further test our conversion process and procedures. This also provided a clean database for the client to perform their validation process as required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. After FDA validation was complete, we executed a fourth pass conversion to finalize all conversion weekend steps, processes validations, timing, and reconciliation.

As part of planning, a series of test and practice installs took place prior to Go Live. During the weekend of Go Live, the project was within15 minutes of the anticipated Go-Live time. Encompass was onsite for the event, and post-Go Live, as needed.

“Perhaps the most surprising detail was that [Encompass] have taken ownership of most errors and bugs and seen them through resolution, which takes a lot of work off our team.”

– IT Business Analysis Manager

The Results

Go live was a smooth process. The client was able to successfully make jobs, ship parts, and collect payments. Aside from a few hiccups, 90% of the users are having a better experience with the updated Epicor ERP system. Of the 10% that didn’t have as great of an experience, these were mostly due to changes in behavior from Epicor 9 to Epicor 10, almost all of which were discovered during UAT. This means that during Go-Live there were very few surprises.

Next Steps

The company’s next steps including taking the Epicor 10 foundation and expanding it to two more locations in 2020 and a third in 2021. The client has already invited the same Encompass Solutions project team to assist in those future projects.

Encompass has also been engaged to support projects that will provide order integration with the client’s European operations, implement a vendor management inventory solution, as well as bring additional sites onto Epicor ERP.

Company Details

  • Established: 1999
  • Location: USA, Costa Rica
  • Industry: Manufacturing, Medical Devices
  • Previous System – Epicor ERP 9.05.702a
  • Current System – Epicor ERP 10.2.400
  • Deployment – On Prem

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.


The decision to choose one ERP system over another is a difficult one for manufacturers to make. The evaluation process is extensive and requires juggling a business’ unique requirements, a product’s specialized offerings, the partner relationship, and so much more. Here’s how one of our customers weighed the pros and cons of Epicor versus IQMS to make their final selection in favor of the former.

Epicor Versus IQMS

We asked Metaphase Technologies’ President Kevin High three questions regarding how Metaphase reached their ultimate decision to implement Epicor ERP with Encompass Solutions as their manufacturing technology partner. Three questions of Epicor versus IQMS made it clear which of the two was a better fit for their organization.

an image of epicor versus IQMS as chosen by metaphase technologies

What were the perceived shortcomings of IQMS?

IQMS is great for manufacturers who are in the business of running high volume products. It is not flexible for companies who, like ourselves, have a high number of skews and produce low volume. Because of the nature of IQMS, we were not able to fully implement and utilize it for the reasons we liked it. Our employees also did not find it so user-friendly. It was rather ugly out-of-the-box and required a lot of customization that was beyond our scope. We simply did not have the funds at the time to throw into customizing it.

What criteria informed your decision to select Epicor as a replacement?

We were attracted to Epicor because of the simplicity of it for our users. There are a lot of drop-down options for our users to select from when they’re on a screen which simplifies a lot of the job on the floor. Things flow nicely from sales order to shipping. A couple of our top reasons for choosing Epicor was the integrated shipping module (Manifest – which integrates UPS, FEDEX, and DHL into Epicor) and also the integration to our Engineering programs (CadLink).

Are you satisfied with the implementation and functionality of Epicor?

Implementation is a long process. We used a third party (Encompass) to help us integrate which definitely helped me, as PM of the implementation. Epicor is so simple for the users since the data is selectable but that also means A LOT of data needs to be loaded and it requires quite a bit of set up before users can use it smoothly. Once that data is in there, the functionality of Epicor is great when everything in the process is perfect for that order.

Depending on the business, Epicor requires a lot of custom reporting.  If you have an internal resource who is able to do report writing for you then that would be helpful.

Lastly, I have no IT background but I have been able to learn how to customize screens and create queries in Epicor to pull specific data our company is looking for. Which means almost anybody else should be able to learn too. This is a huge plus!

Overall, I’m happy we went with Epicor but we just need to finish getting all of our ducks in a row before we get the rest of operations fully integrated into the software. I’m happy with the functionality of it since it is extremely customizable.

The One downfall: they don’t have a robust CRM for Sales.

About Metaphase Technologies

For more than two decades, Metaphase Technologies has been developing products that advance “The Quality of Light” through the engineering and manufacture of uniform diffuse high brightness and ultra brightness LED illuminators. Metaphase’s illuminators are specially designed for applications in machine vision, military, and specialty lighting. Metaphase boasts expertise in engineering flexible lighting solutions for ease of integration into vision systems design. The company’s LED illuminators are currently utilized in thousands of applications throughout the world, including vision-guided robotics, automation systems, line scan inspection units, and many others across the machine vision industry.

Metaphase Technologies Selects Encompass Solutions For Epicor ERP Implementation

As the first to standardize built-in constant current drivers, Metaphase continues to synergize cutting-edge machine vision LED lighting & control technologies in an effort to simplify innovation and increase customer return on investment.

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.

 


A business unit of CSA Ocean Sciences, SeaRobotics is an SMB that is transitioning from a custom-engineered and prototyping house into a manufacturer of configurable autonomous maritime vehicles. Theirs has been an engineer and build to order process that they would like to standardize into more of a configure-and-build from standardized components driven by new investors. SeaRobotics has been the engineering and manufacturing work for the water rides at Universal Orlando in Florida and continues providing support for the theme park’s water attractions. The company has also developed and deployed the HullBUG which, much like a robotic vacuum for the household, cleans hulls on large ocean-faring vessels.

The Challenge

As primarily an engineering firm, each aspect of the SeaRobotics’s business processes were tied to specific projects. There were issues of:

  1. Stock Inventory or inventory control, as nothing is purchased to stock.
  2. Deliveries being regularly late because there had been no way to schedule purchases or jobs.
  3. Reports were generated from multiple sources, including spreadsheets, and were not available on a timely basis.
  4. SeaRobotics could only recognize revenues at the completion of jobs. This left management in the dark as far as financial performance due to revenue being highly concentrated at random periods.
  5. The business processes were heavily manual and dependent on one-to-one communications to achieve each step.

The heavy reliance on spreadsheets became cumbersome and fell short in supporting the projects and resources at SeaRobotics. Additionally, the company had outgrown its legacy system, Sage for accounting, purchasing, and project management. As a result, Project Management and the related revenue recognition were the most heavily investigated functionality being evaluated by the president, sales and operations. Integration of engineering design and BOM from first Solid Works and then PDM was another consideration of SeaRobotics’ evaluation team. While many business systems were evaluated, none had the support required for SeaRobotics’ operations team, save for Epicor ERP.

an image of a searobotics product on the water

The Project

After a lengthy selection process, Epicor was selected as the system to be implemented for several reasons. Namely, for SeaRobotics’ size, Epicor addressed the greatest number of challenges in an integrated package and offered proven “best practices” to there unique business processes.

Jim Browning, the COO and implementation Project Manager, relied on Encompass’ managing partner Sonia Haslam for advice on how to overcome issues arising from Epicor’s cookie-cutter implementation steps. Encompass consultants were brought on to adapt the system to more appropriately fit a smaller company in which staff whore multiple hats.

The implementation project was headed by Joe Sunderhaus of Encompass who designed the build to address five key requirements set by SeaRobotics. Their requirements were:

  • For staff to be self-reliant in training and process development using Epicor User/Implementation manuals
  • Project Management with WBS history that could be aligned with their old systems, plus monthly revenue recognition
  • The streamlined interface of Engineering and Epicor BOMs
  • Standardized business processes that eliminated the previously inefficient personal communication and follow-up necessary to complete any order
  • Better Job Planning and Scheduling of projects

To address these requirements, Encompass staff setup a workshop-oriented series of remote sessions with stepped through single functional areas. Additional, “homework” at the end of each session was assigned to ensure a complete grasp of the concepts presented.

an image of the searobotics HullBug

Next, the Encompass team helped SeaRobotics staff to overcome unique business issues with standard Epicor functionality on-demand. In order to keep costs down, Encompass kept site visits to a minimum. Remote training and education efficiency made this a cost-effective and effective process, though more training is needed for staff to assimilate to the “Epicor way” of doing things, rather than reverting to the way things were always done.

for the engineering and project components of the project, Encompass facilitated Qbuild in delivering CADLink and then stepped back, letting the vendor work directly with SeaRobotics engineering personnel. Now that the system is live, staff can put their new-found knowledge to use. However, there is more work to be done and weekly status meetings will continue, reviewing accomplishments and setting objectives for the following week.

The Results

With a completed and successful Go-Live in July 2019, SeaRobotics received the functionality they were seeking in a brand new Epicor ERP system and on budget. That said, no project is without its road bumps. In the case of SeaRobotics’ ERP implementation, the inability for critical team members to step away from business demands and focus on Epicor caused their initially projected April go-live to slip into July.

Now that the new ERP system is in place, the company has committed to using better procedures in-line with the system to run their business. Encompass will support a first month-end on August 5 and 6 as well as outline a Phase 2 to include added functionality to be later submitted for board approval. Our two companies will also discuss whether Epicor can/should be extended to include SeaRobotics’ sister company, integrating the manufacturing processes between the two companies to maximize the manufacturing resources.

Additional Details

Founded –1999
Location – Stuart, FL
Industry – Manufacturing
Employees – 25
Epicor Version – Currently 10.2.400
Deployment – Cloud MT

About SeaRobotics

SeaRobotics was founded in 1999 to pursue the development of robotic systems for deployment in the marine environment. The company has assembled a staff of highly qualified engineers, technicians, and personnel with extensive offshore and field experience. SeaRobotics specializes in developing products and technology for the maritime industry, producing autonomous, semi-autonomous and remote-control systems. The company focuses on commercial, government, and defense markets around the world.

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.


The Challenge

Briskheat currently utilizes Epicor ERP to run their organization’s production activities and admin tasks. A critical component of day-to-day operation, Epicor is used to track projects, manage time, more accurately schedule and plan production activities, as well as collect essential data on processes throughout their production and admin facilities. Prior to bringing on Encompass, Briskheat utilized a support service that fell short of their needs and caused issues that led to the interruption of daily operations. The staff was also not up to speed on how to fully utilize their Epicor system, which meant there was room for improvement in just about every department from an operational standpoint.

The Project

When the situation came to a head at Briskheat with its former support provider, the company decided to look elsewhere for additional support in continuing their ERP efforts. Encompass was asked to step in with a plan standardize processes and to better utilize the company’s Epicor system. While fears of repeating a wrong choice in partner weighted heavily on the minds of Briskheat staff, Encompass was able to quell those fears out of the starting gate. Almost immediately after severing the relationship with their previous partner, Briskheat suffered a significant accounting issue. Before the contract for services had even been signed, Encompass stepped in to correct the issues with Briskheat’s accounting team, and educated the staff on how to avoid such issues in the future.

“Encompass literally came to our rescue. We had a critical accounting issue occur right after we canceled our services with the previous provider. We hadn’t even signed the contract yet. Our Account Manager, Jason Claggett, helped us get the paperwork in order and get resources in contact with our accounting dept and resolved our issue in a very timely manner.” – Applications Administrator, Briskheat Corporation

an image of the briskheat logo

Encompass’ longstanding partnership with Epicor and intimate knowledge of the system instilled confidence in the Briskheat team and enabled us to achieve their desired results.

Next Steps

Briskheat’s teams now have their system under control and continue to learn from Encompass how to utilize the Epicor ERP to its full potential. Employees are much more productive and work more efficiently through their daily tasks. The company is in phase 1 of planning it’s next system-wide upgrade from 9.05 to Epicor ERP version 10.2.400 with Encompass Solutions by their side.

Additional Details

Founded – 1949
Location – Columbus, OH
Industry – Flexible Surface Heaters and Temperature Controllers
System Version – Epicor ERP 9.05
Users/Seats – 50+
Deployment – On-Premise
Additional Tools/Modules – Multi-company, MES, BarTender

About Briskheat

In 1949, BriskHeat Corporation was founded by retired Two Star Major General Earnest Briscoe. Since then, BriskHeat Corporation has become the world-leader and manufacture of the widest variety of Flexible Surface Heaters and Temperature Controllers, Designed for Freeze Protection, Viscosity Control, Condensation Prevention, Process Temperature Control, and Composite Curing Applications and much more. BriskHeat Corporation currently services industries including petrochemical, semiconductor, food processing, biotech, aviation, automotive racing, steel, laboratory, power generation, and many others.

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.


Kaufman Container has enjoyed substantial returns on its investment in Epicor ERP software thanks to skilled consulting, implementation, and training services provided by Encompass Solutions, Inc. and Epicor Software Corp.

The Project

Kaufman had been running several non-integrated systems prior to the implementation of Epicor ERP. During that time, these non-integrated platforms led to colleagues having to do each other’s jobs. One example included a lack of confidence in inventory on hand. with no trust in the system data, users had to manually confirm inventory availability.

The Epicor implementation effort was owned by Kaufman IT Director Larry Keilin. “The transition from our old system to our new system was less painful than I expected-for many employees, the day you switch from an old system to a new system is the day they love the old system,” Keilin commented. “A large number of our employees got on the Epicor bandwagon and became excited about all the work they can now do that they couldn’t do before. We are truly seeing the benefits, for example for the purchasing department, the Buyers Workbench is such a useful tool that it really stands out, and our customer service department really loves the way they can take an old order, copy it, and create a new one-it’s a huge time saver for them.”

The Details

  • 70 Concurrent Office Users
  • 15 Concurrent Data Collection Users
  • 8 Database Users
  • On-Premise Deployment

The Challenge

Challenges for this project both substantial and essential to overcome if Kaufman were to make the most of their new ERP system. First, overcoming the lack of visibility for purchasing decisions, which up until this point had been made using days worth of research and inventory management via Microsoft® Excel® worksheets, would be essential.

Second, The lack of real-time transaction data gave little insight into how Kaufman was performing at any given point in time. Finally, the organization’s multiple costing methodologies provided inconsistent gross margin calculations.

The Goals

Kaufman Container implemented its Epicor ERP solution with the primary goals of:

  • Better tracking of sales and gross margin data to salespersons and customers.
  • Improve inventory management.
  • Integrate production management.
  • Growing revenue and profitability.

The Results

Encompass Solutions was contracted by Kaufman to perform an end-to-end business process review (BPR) which was critical in helping to determine the optimal business processes to follow. This would yield the maximum benefit from the newly implemented Epicor ERP product. The BRP was completed in just one week and help outline areas for improvement as well as recommendations for systems and process improvement moving forward into implementation. 

Every business area was taken into account during the assessment and recommendations for changes in engineering, production, inventory, purchasing, costing, and accounting departments were presented. In particular, a go-forward path that included additional modules to offer substantial benefit to production and inventory management was provided by Encompass

When asked how he felt we performed in our assessment, Keilin offered, “Encompass has done a great job at assessing the situation, with BPR guidance to systematically attack and resolve pain points following the implementation.”

Improvements included:

  • High return on investment that saw overhead costs cut by 30%.
  • System usability improved significantly as a result of easy-to-use dashboards and report generation.
  • Business Process Management (BPM) provided users the ability to set conditions and actions that added functionality to the system, tailoring screens and processes as needed.
  • Reorganization of sites, warehouses, and bins enabled quick and easy product location for issuing to jobs or shipping.
  • Parts purchasing was made easier with the visibility of time phase reporting.
  • Consistent average costing across all product lines.

Full Kaufman Container Case Study

About Kaufman Container

For the past 100 years, Kaufman Container has been a leader in the North American market in providing quality and innovative packaging components and value-added services. From our beginning, our focus has always been on giving our customers exactly what they are looking for. Kaufman Container continues to be your “One Stop Shop” for all your packaging needs.

an image of the case study kaufman container corporate headquarters

Today, Kaufman Container continues to be a privately-held, family-owned business which operates two key facilities in the Midwest. The business offers a wide variety of products and services, warehousing, quality and technical support, logistics assistance and an in-house decorating facility.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, a NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Platinum 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.


We recently sat down with Masterbuilt’s Director of Information Systems Cristina Robinson to discuss the company’s utilization of Encompass Solutions’ Managed Services, manufacturing top-of-the-line cooking equipment, and the future of Masterbuilt. Here’s what Cristina had to say about the company and where she hopes to see growth enabled by the essential services Encompass Solutions and Epicor ERP provide.

An image of the Masterbuilt logoQ: Can you describe what Masterbuilt does?

Masterbuilt manufactures grills, smokers, and fryers. We believe that given the right tools, anything can be mastered. That’s why we build products to perfect recipes that will become family traditions.

Q: What makes Masterbuilt unique?

I believe our core values make us unique. Chiefest among them is faith, family and then the rest. The McLemore family set the stage from the beginning here at Masterbuilt with priorities of faith first, family second, then the rest. We live out those priorities each day, as the work comes in line behind the most important thing in our lives.

Q: What prompted you to seek out a managed services provider?

We upgraded to Epicor 10.1 and our customization requests continued causing a backlog. We also did not like having to wait for Epicor support responses.

Q: Was there an evaluation or selection process? If so, what did it involve?

Yes. We wanted to be sure the provider we chose would adhere to an internal method of development and documentation as well as being extremely knowledgeable about Epicor. Additionally, we want to learn from the provider.

Q: What key component(s) of our Managed Services got you interested?

We were most interested in three aspects of Encompass Solutions’ Managed Services:

  • Quarterly system and DB performance tuning
  • Epicor Hotfix and Patch installs
  • Annual business process review

Q: What were some of your apprehensions regarding bringing us on to assist Masterbuilt?

We had none.

Q: What has Masterbuilt been able to accomplish with Encompass’ Managed Services that you couldn’t previously?

The biggest thing I have noticed is the support aspect Encompass provides for Financials. We would normally place a ticket with Epicor Support and it would be days if not weeks before we would get a resolution and even then had no understanding of what the underlying cause was. With Encompass, all of our Financial support issues are resolved within a few days or less and we are educated on the cause.

Q: What are you doing to keep up with the global competition?

By making sure our products are of leading-edge quality and innovating better products each year, we are able to ensure our cooking equipment meet the highest standards of our users, including functionality, durability, and dependability.

Q: What are some everyday challenges Masterbuilt faces in business? Anything specific to cooking and kitchen equipment that other manufacturers might not face?

When it comes to the contentious world of BBQ, pleasing our end users can present a challenge – sometimes we hit the nail on the head and sometimes we are so off course. Finding the perfect fit for every one of our customers’ needs can be a difficult set of standards to live up to. Nevertheless, we are not satisfied with our work until our customers are happy.

As it pertains to cooking – that’s a tough one. The thing that may be a challenge is that the company is Christian-based. Our owner, John McLemore, does not drink alcohol and therefore does not use beer or anything of the sort in any of his recipes. This is sort of a challenge for us because most people associate beer/alcohol with BBQ!

Q: What does “Work” mean at Masterbuilt?

When it comes to our work philosophy we always say, “Do the work, make it fun”. Team Masterbuilt does what it takes to get the work done. We’re not just a team, we’re family. And we’re not just a family, we’re a FUN family! How do we “do the work” at Masterbuilt? With integrity, determination, grit and a whole lot of teamwork. We cultivate relationships with our employees that go far beyond the doors of 1 Masterbuilt Court. There’s a lot of work to do before the bell rings each day, but our team finds a way to laugh and have a great time while getting the job done. With a loyal, trustworthy team and tons of dadgum good food all around us, we think Masterbuilt is the best place in the world to work!

Q: How does Masterbuilt address innovation in manufacturing?

It begins with leading-edge quality and innovation. Masterbuilt leads the way in our industry with quality and innovation of products. We work tirelessly to make our products better and bring new products to market. Product innovation is a cornerstone at Masterbuilt. From the invention of the world’s first indoor electric turkey fryer and the Hitch-Haul cargo carrier, to our unmatched reputation with electric smokers, we are relentless in our pursuit to be the best. It’s not uncommon to find our President/CEO with a welder in the workshop, mentoring our engineering team. We work together to bring you products that make life dadgum good!

Q: How does Masterbuilt approach customer satisfaction?

Our customer service team has one simple goal: world-class customer service. When someone buys our product, they aren’t just a customer to us – they become a member of our Masterbuilt community. We love to share recipes, product tips and even photos or videos of dadgum good food with our community. We wish there was never an issue with a product, but we know it happens from time to time. When it does, our team works hard to reach a resolution with our community members. We strive to create an environment of respect within Team Masterbuilt and also within our Masterbuilt community. We’re here to do the right thing, every single time.

When it comes to sharing, we want to create a special combination of good times, good food, good people. At Masterbuilt, we design products that make sharing good times and good food with good people easy. What’s “good” to us?

G – Gather around the people that mean the most to you.

O – Open up your heart and kitchen to share good food and good times.

O – Original recipes you’ve passed down in your family are best. Don’t have any original recipes? We’re always happy to share ours!

D – Don’t be intimidated by lack of experience. You don’t have to be a chef to be a dadgum good cook.

Sharing the goodness also means giving back. Whether tithing at our local church, serving at our local Valley Rescue Mission, or loading a bus with our team members to go serve in another state, Team Masterbuilt generously gives of their time and resources to make the world a better place.

Q: Do you have any other thoughts or comments you’d like to share with others considering Encompass Solutions’ Managed Services?

Jason has been awesome and he really sold us on Encompass’ capabilities as a managed services provider. He is a pleasure to work with.  Viviana is the best thing since sliced bread!  She has been amazing with our Financial support tickets.

About Masterbuilt

The Masterbuilt story begins with a leap of faith by Dawson McLemore. Don’t most good stories begin that way? Dawson was working hard to support his family with a steady job at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, when he took a chance and turned his backyard welding hobby into a full-time family business. While he was driving down the road one day, praying for guidance and asking God to build and protect his business, the name Masterbuilt came to mind. As he tells it, our company was “built by the Master”. Masterbuilt has grown leaps and bounds since the day Dawson said that prayer, but we hold on to the same set of priorities. Putting our faith and families at the top of the list keeps everything else in perspective. Our team is good at the work, and they know we value them even more than the work.

Masterbuilt will lead our industry in providing innovative, high-quality products and services, fully recognizing that all things are possible with GOD. This will be done with a commitment to long-term relationships with employees, customers, suppliers and our community, while upholding the highest standards of business ethics.

 

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm 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.


Reverberations from Moogfest 2018 are still being felt long after the event’s conclusion and we couldn’t help but take the opportunity to congratulate Moog Music, Inc., a longtime client of ours at Encompass Solutions, Inc., on another successful year of bringing together musicians, engineers, and enthusiasts to celebrate the legacy of Bob Moog.

an image of the moog logo for Moogfest 2018

Moogfest 2018 in Durham, NC

Moogfest is a tribute and celebration to the legacy of Bob Moog, the creator and mastermind behind Moog synthesizers and electronic music technology.

This marks the 14th anniversary of Moogfest, which features synthesizer technology and all matter of associated gear, gadgets, and goodies. This year, there was a wealth of resources for synth enthusiasts, but Moog and other brands took things a bit further and exhibited their latest creations in guitar rigs, electronic percussion set-ups, and there was even an analog video display to carry the atmosphere even farther. This year’s event placed special emphasis on female, non-binary, and transgender artists when forming their line-up.

The show-stopper for Moogfest 2018 was their latest, semi-modular synthesizer, the Moog Grandmother. Some of the instrument’s features include a digital, arpeggiating sequencer section, one modulation section that doubles as an oscillator to compliment the instrument’s other two oscillators in the mixer section, various utilities for patching, a classic filter section, and an envelope section. Last but not least is the spring reverb that harkens back to classic Moog units with an unmistakably haunting spatial sound.

To explore the sonic possibilities and cosmic context of Grandmother, Moog Music visited the Linear Labs studio of artist-composer Adrian Younge (Black Dynamite, Netflix’s Luke Cage) earlier in 2018. In this video, Younge gives his personal “Thesis On Sound” while incorporating Grandmother into his retro-inspired creative workflow at Linear Labs.

The event not only showcased the latest creations of musical instrument manufacturers but provided learning opportunities and hands-on workshops to craft the ultimate sound geek experience where you could build your own modular Moog synthesizer under the guidance of Moog engineers.

About Moog

Known for manufacturing premier modular synthesizers used by musicians and recording artists the world over, Moog’s impressive products are hand-made right here in our backyard. Based in Asheville, North Carolina, the brand has branched out beyond the theremin and synthesizer to deliver a superior selection of musical instruments and accessories. While the electronic music scene in North Carolina still has plenty of room to catch up with when compared to the likes of New York and San Francisco, Moog makes it a point to deliver innovative ideas that revolutionize sound as we know it. The classic appeal and creative engineering in manufacturing make the most out-of-this-world musical instruments in a region of the US known for dirt roads and back-country sensibilities.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, Epicor Platinum Partner, and Netsuite Solution Provider 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.


Encompass Solutions recently sat down with Metaphase Technologies President Kevin High to discuss the company’s current Epicor ERP implementation, manufacturing custom vision and lighting solutions, and the future of Metaphase. Here’s what Kevin had to say about his company and where he’ll be taking it with the advanced capabilities Encompass Solutions and Epicor ERP will provide.

A graphic of the Metaphase Technologies logo

Q: Can you describe what Metaphase does and what makes the company unique?

Our mission is to be the leading manufacturer of high-quality, high-performance, custom and standard machine vision LED lighting solutions. Metaphase Technologies is a custom job-shop with over 7,000 active products and new ones developed every week. We have in-house resources, including engineering, manufacturing, sales and service, all under one roof. We customize solutions to fit the end-user’s needs and provide application expertise to help determine the ideal solution.

Q: What are some everyday challenges Metaphase faces in business? Anything specific to vision systems and lighting that other manufacturers might not face?

As a company, some of the common challenges we face on a day-to-day basis include tracking of all active projects, custom light specifications, and evaluation units we send to customers. Since we lack continuity of data platforms, it can also be challenging to track where we are in the sales cycle. Lastly, our products are an integral part of our customers’ applications, which means we have to continue designing around component obsolescence. Information acquisition is often a challenge that is time-consuming. It is challenging to be able to view our inventory levels, provide prompt responses, and short lead times.

Q: What is your business hoping to accomplish with Epicor ERP software that you couldn’t previously?

Our expectations in working with Epicor are to learn efficiency in a custom job-shop environment, from top to bottom. What we are looking for is a more streamlined integration from start to finish. When our Sales Managers are in the field, we want them to be able to deliver quick and accurate information to the customers. Our goal with our next software implementation is to have a consistency of data across all departments, including BOM accuracy, to ultimately improve quality and lead times, as well as, efficiency in tracking process flows from start to finish.

Q: How are you taking advantages of strengths and benefits of production located in North America vs. production overseas?

Being a manufacturing company in North America is beneficial for both Metaphase and our domestic customers. Our Sales team maintains a healthy relationship with customers in the USA because of the accessibility and ease of communication. Our time-to-delivery is also decreased since we are not waiting on parts manufactured internationally. 

Q: At what point did you know you would need to implement an ERP solution for your business?

In 2014, we knew that we had to implement an ERP software just to keep up with in-house processes, it was becoming resource intensive to find answers; paper trail audits are very resource intensive and could take days to track down information on a product shipped in previous years. Metaphase has been through an implementation of a software that didn’t appropriately fit the needs for our unique company. In December 2017, we knew we wanted to start looking and exploring different ERP options because our current ERP system is inadequate to handle the custom job-shop flow our company has. We needed a better solution.

Q: Can you describe your ERP selection process?

We began our search by interviewing multiple vendors and identifying certain requirements. We evaluated live demonstrations of the software and eventually narrowed it down to two software companies. Proposals of the implementation process, as well as the financials followed the second demonstration of the software systems. An internal discussion was needed to evaluate the risks and rewards of each and we were able to make a decision.

Q: What key component(s) of Epicor got you interested?

Epicor had not been a software we were looking into originally but a chance meeting with Sonia, President of Encompass Solutions, at the A3 convention had put them on our radar. A good repour and quality customer care from the President had been reassuring and important to us.

Q: What are some of your apprehensions regarding the implementation of a new ERP system and how did Encompass allay those apprehensions and give your company the confidence to bring us on?

There will always be uncertainties about implementing a new ERP system since there is always a chance the system will not meet our expectations. Some apprehensions we have include cost and resource allocation, not being able to complete implementation within the projected time-frame, and also the transfer of data from our current ERP into Epicor. The quality of training and technical support is also a concern that we, along with many other companies, have going into an ERP implementation. Despite the apprehensions we have, Encompass has been guiding us through the process up to this point. The face-to-face communication with Sonia and Lynn have given us the confidence that they are willing to work with us throughout any issues that may occur during the implementation. The live demonstration of the software by Jeff was smooth and displayed his knowledge of the product well. The detailed proposal documentation that included the implementation process and timeline set expectations for not only Epicor/Encompass, but also Metaphase. The level of detail in the documentation made us more confident that Encompass has the experience to run a smooth implementation/ERP transition.

Q: What do you expect will improve as a result of implementation?

After the Epicor implementation, we expect that our process flows within our organization will improve. The user-friendly interface will allow for more timely and accurate information to flow through the system. Being able to help the Sales team save time with an easy CRM management and mobile capabilities, we expect them to have more time to do more selling!

Q: What do your employees think about the transition?

We notified our employees about our decision to move forward with Epicor and apprehension was expected. A majority of them are concerned about having a repeat of our previous ERP implementation and how much committed resources will be needed to make this work. But there is also some excitement about the possibilities this software system has and what it can do for us.

About Metaphase Technologies

For more than two decades, Metaphase Technologies has been developing products that advance “The Quality of Light” through the engineering and manufacture of uniform diffuse high brightness and ultra brightness LED illuminators. Metaphase’s illuminators are specially designed for applications in machine vision, military, and specialty lighting. Metaphase boasts expertise in engineering flexible lighting solutions for ease of integration into vision systems design. The company’s LED illuminators are currently utilized in thousands of applications throughout the world, including vision-guided robotics, automation systems, line scan inspection units, and many others across the machine vision industry.

As the first to standardize built-in constant current drivers, Metaphase continues to synergize cutting-edge machine vision LED lighting & control technologies in an effort to simplify innovation and increase customer return on investment.

 

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.