With the technology landscape changing swiftly and environmental factors demanding digital transformation more quickly than ever, now is the time to get on board with eCommerce for manufacturers.

What is eCommerce?

eCommerce or electronic commerce refers to any business conducted by two parties in an online setting. eCommerce generally occurs through an online sales portal.

Some of the most well-known examples of online marketplaces are Amazon and Alibaba. However, more and more businesses are creating eCommerce portals within their own websites.

There are two main types of eCommerce: Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B).

The Difference Between B2B and B2C eCommerce

The first example, B2C, can been seen in online marketplaces like Alibaba and Amazon. Even a small manufacturer can create their own eCommerce framework wo sell directly to consumers, thus avoiding a marketplace middleman, like Amazon.

The second example, B2B, is a bit more complex. The relationships shared between of manufacturers, partners, and suppliers involve more moving parts. We are talking about systems of complicated workflows, customer-specific pricing structures, multiple buyer personas and multi-site instances.

B2B Ecommerce goes beyond a website of products and a customer’s shopping cart.

B2B eCommerce has the power to digitally transform a traditional manufacturing business into a modern enterprise.

Why Should Manufacturers Invest in eCommerce?

2020 saw perhaps the most dramatic increase in eCommerce activity ever. This was largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses had to find a way to conduct sales and deliver their products to customers in a safe and convenient way. The adoption of eCommerce was a clear choice for many. However, according to eCommerce thought leaders at Digital Commerce 360, “80% of companies still depend primarily on their internal sales force to drive revenue, and that nearly three-fourths of manufacturers—70%—don’t have a comprehensive digital commerce strategy in place.”

For some manufacturers, digital transformation may be met with resistance for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common excuses include:

  • We do not need more software/technology.
  • We do not sell direct to consumers, so what is the point?
  • The business is not prepared for that level of change.
  • We are doing fine without it.
  • We already tried that and were unsuccessful.
  • The price is a barrier to entry.
  • We have salespeople for that.
  • We are unique, it will not work us.
  • We’re a people company and eCommerce is too impersonal.

These reasons and many more are provided by executives and managers who do not acknowledge that the writing is on the wall. Unfortunately for them, businesses that fail to adopt new technology have a tendency to fall out of favor with customers.

As more young talent joins the workforce, the need to incorporate modern technology and tools increases, too. Companies that are open to adopting technology to increase business performance are innovators and employees respond to tech-literate companies.

Businesses that are slow to adopt or flat-out reject digital transformation fail to remain competitive in terms of performance and in attracting new talent.

If not for convenience, new revenue streams, or attracting young talent to an organization, manufacturers should consider eCommerce for the insight it provides.

As customers make those online purchases, data is recorded. Companies can then use this data to understand their customer habits in more detail. Knowing who buys what at what time and in what quantity can enable more efficient sales practices and better customer satisfaction.

eCommerce Growth

According to Digital Commerce 360, “Ecommerce sales will reach $839.02 billion by the end of 2020 with an incredible 40.3% growth from 2019, Digital Commerce 360 estimates. That’s the highest annual U.S. ecommerce growth in at least two decades.” By Q3 alone, US eCommerce sales rose nearly 40%.

This amount of growth is simply too big to ignore. The rise in eCommerce adoption is only increasing as manufacturers acknowledge customers’ need to access products and services on their own terms.

The Benefits of eCommerce for Manufacturers

Beyond making the buyer’s journey more convenient, eCommerce adoption offers three key benefits:

  • Efficiency
  • Engagement
  • Revenue

We will break these key benefits down to show you how eCommerce solutions can enable your manufacturing business with a whole new dimension.

Efficiency Through eCommerce

Efficiency through eCommerce adoption can be achieved in several ways.

First, your sales staff can be freed to pursue higher-value sales and relationship-building. With expansive tools and capabilities at their disposal, your team is more effective in the sales cycle and the company’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is reduced.

Cost savings also come in the form of cost of acquisition. That is, bringing in new customers costs you less. By leveraging digital marketing advancements, your business can identify, attract, and convert new customers far more easily when the gateway to their next purchase is accessed by a few clicks or taps on their digital device.

Sometimes, you just don’t want to talk to a rep to place a PO. By giving customers the ability to serve themselves through an eCommerce portal, they are empowered to control their buying journey. Access to relevant data like buying history, order status, quoting, and point of sale (POS), ensures your customers can make that next purchase regardless of your sales reps’ availability.

Finally, eCommerce ensures your customers are introduced to your latest offerings. This can be an improved product, promoted item, or components on which you make the greatest margin. eCommerce gives you the ability to put your targeted products front and center to an audience looking to buy here and now.

Engaging Customers Through eCommerce

Above, we touched on delivering the right product at the right time to your customers. eCommerce makes that process easier and more organic. By delivering an intuitive and familiar online experience, your customers will return, rather than see what your competitors are offering.

More customers are researching and buying online than ever. To ignore this trend is negligent at best and self-destructive at worst. Being where your customers are and giving them the means to direct their buying journey ensures they remain engaged with your company and inform your services alongside their needs.

More data may seem like a headache for the traditionally aligned manufacturer. However, with more data, you are better equipped to make informed decisions that benefit your business.

eCommerce sales data can be an invaluable resource in directing your efforts. Product configurations that do not sell can be scrapped, reworked, or remarketed to satisfy the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you are looking at when making business decision. That’s visibility for you and your business. What about the customer?

eCommerce solutions allow customers to configure products online, view and access your entire catalogue of products and match part availability based on specific needs.

How Manufacturers Increase Revenue With eCommerce

When it comes to manufacturers’ c-suite, sometimes all that matters is the bottom line. If revenue is the only means of steering your company one way or the other, eCommerce makes a compelling case.

The fact of the matter is that customers, whether individuals or businesses, are online. According to one eCommerce software provider, as many as 75% of all B2B product purchase are now made online. Not only that but surveys revealed “1 in 3 buyers confess that they would choose a vendor, solely based on the ability to place, pay for, track and return orders online.”

Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer.

You read that right. Manufacturers need to be looking at an eCommerce arm for their marketing and sales activities. In doing so, manufacturers will not only be able to serve existing customers but also retain them at higher rates.

As new customer introduction and acquisition increases alongside eCommerce, manufacturers can increase their market share. The result is a more consistent recurring revenue stream.

By making purchasing easier and improving the overall customer experience, manufacturers can increase revenue per customer by intelligently marketing to them based on eCommerce activity. These personalized buying experiences offer ample opportunities for reorders, cross-selling, and upselling with ease.

Getting started with eCommerce

There are many options available for manufacturers interested in integrating eCommerce tools into their tech stack. Unfortunately, it can be as much of a burden as it is a blessing to be so spoiled for choice.

On the other hand, evaluating eCommerce solutions based on the larger needs of your company can be a sound business decision.

That is why manufacturers should consider Epicor ERP and its available eCommerce functionality. This simple addition can make the process of entering the realm of eCommerce quick and painless. Not only this, but Epicor ERP serves to support your business with a single source of truth that serves as the foundation for all your business operations and decision making.

Epicor ERP has designed their eCommerce solution, Epicor Commerce Connect (ECC), to be live on your website in as few as 5 days.

Epicor Commerce Connect

Epicor Commerce Connect is a comprehensive eCommerce solution that works with Magento and is tightly integrated with the Epicor ERP.

A key capability for manufacturers to modernize their business, Epicor Commerce Connect offers productivity of a cloud-based, fully-integrated digital commerce system. With ECC, manufacturers can communicate their brand value, make available unique product offerings, and compete in today’s online digital marketplace.

Fully integrated with Epicor ERP, ECC avoids multiple databases while delivering streamlined ordering, marketing, SEO, visibility, rich information, and customer service – all in real time, for a highly competitive price. ECC also provides added operational savings with a one-stop-shop ECC solution with flexible Cloud-based deployment, rapid implementation, and high scalability for rapid ROI.

ECC provides responsive mobile ecommerce adapting to different screen sizes on smart devices at a time and place of the buyer’s choosing. ECC can be your basis for continued business growth and a compelling, productive future.

Your customers will experience a modern ecommerce website with convenience, ease-of-use and easy repeat purchasing.

Want to know more? Download this ECC Fact Sheet, Rainier Industries Success Story or contact the experts Encompass today.

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.


Achieve Greater Visibility, Flexibility and Collaboration With Epicor ERP by attending this upcoming Epicor ERP Virtual Summit.

On Wednesday, February 24 and Thursday, February 25, Epicor Software Corp. will be hosting their complimentary February 2021 Virtual Summit – Accelerate Your Business: Achieve Greater Visibility, Flexibility and Collaboration. During the event, customers will experience educational sessions, virtual booths, and so much more.

What to Expect

This Summit will dive into the innovative enhancements of ERP 10.2.700 and show customers how Epicor can help their business accelerate—to move forward with greater visibility and flexibility, more confidence and more success.

This is your first opportunity in 2021 to chat and network with Epicor experts and users in the virtual booths

Who Should Attend

This event is directed towards current Epicor ERP customers using any of the following versions: ERP 10, E9, Vista, Vantage, iSolutions, and select Enterprise customers in the Americas, LATAM, EMEA, and APAC Customers.

Event Details

Date: Wednesday, February 24 and Thursday, February 25, 2021
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm CST
*Virtual booths open from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm CST 
Location: Comfort of your desk
Registration Link: https://events.bizzabo.com/EpicorVirtualSummitFeb2021

Epicor ERP Virtual Summit Agenda

Day One – Wednesday, February 24th

  1. Welcome to the Virtual Summit: Day One
  2. Epicor Application Studio Accelerates Modern User Experience
  3. Explore the Value of Cloud
  4. 7 Reasons Epicor ERP Customers Should Choose the 1 EDI Source Platform
  5. Accelerate Quality With Epicor QMS
  6. Don’t Let Questions Slow You Down

Day Two – Thursday, February 25th

  1. Welcome to the Virtual Summit: Day Two
  2. Common Strategies for Moving to Epicor ERP Cloud
  3. Gain Actionable Insights and Plan Better With Epicor Data Analytics (EDA)
  4. Achieve Delightful Customer Experiences With Epicor Commerce Connect
  5. Accelerate Growth With Advanced Unit of Measure (UOM)
  6. Analyze Epicor ERP With Business Intelligence Tools

If they are not able to attend, we encourage you to complete registration, as the Summit will be available on demand through May 25, 2021.

For more information, contact your CAM at Encompass Solutions.

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.

 


In addition to features incorporated as part of Precise Solutions’ (developers of Epicor Advanced Requisition Management) scheduled product roadmap, the updates in Epicor ARM 10.3 SP11 have been influenced by requests received from Epicor ARM customers.

Support for Purchase Order (PO) suggestions in Epicor (ERP10) is a major addition to Epicor ARM’s out-of-the-box functionality, and a focal point for version 10.3.11.

An overview of this new feature can be viewed below – or you may wish to register for our 30-minute ‘What’s New in ARM’ webinar on Thursday 10 December; which will summarize the last 12 months of module and feature updates, including PO suggestions. Register for the webinar

‘PO Suggestions’ in ARM 10.3 SP11 explained

For several years now, Epicor ARMs broad functionality (coupled with its high degree of automation and integration to Epicor ERP) has earned it the title of the ‘go-to’ solution for ad-hoc and miscellaneous purchasing within Epicor.

For certain organizations however – particularly those in the manufacturing space – a less-subjective and calculated approach needs to be utilized for inventory purchasing. This kind of purchasing is typically handled in Epicor via a process known as MRP (Material Requirements Planning).

Running MRP in Epicor produces ‘PO Suggestions’ – a calculated list of required parts based on timing, minimums, maximums, and demand. Because Epicor handles this task particularly well, it was not uncommon to see organizations using Epicor PO Suggestions to cater to the bulk of their inventory purchasing and Epicor ARM for all ad-hoc purchasing.

Now, in version 10.3.11, PO suggestions from Epicor are made visible within Epicor ARM under a new menu item labelled ‘PO Suggestions’.

With permission, an Epicor ARM user can now see and create requisitions from the current list of suggested parts.

The user checks a box next to each line to select the part to be requested.

Clicking the ‘Requisition’ button initiates the process, creating and automatically submitting new requisitions for approval based on the selected parts.

As always, approvers are automatically notified by email once the requisitions have been submitted.

By having Epicor PO Suggestion lists available in Epicor ARM, users can quickly and simply generate requisitions based on demand from Epicor, with the resulting requisitions still being subject to Epicor ARMs powerful, multi-dimensional approval functionality.

Epicor ARM 10.3 SP11 Release Guide – Download

Upgrade eligibility

Epicor ARM 10.3 SP11 is compatible with Epicor 10.

Users upgrading to Epicor ARM 10.3 SP11 should note the following:

If you are upgrading from ARM versions 10.0 SP6, ARM 10.1.0, ARM 10.1 SP1 – SP4, you must run the Upgrade Manager to migrate data to ensure compatibility with the enhanced approvals process that was introduced in ARM 10.1 SP6.

If you are upgrading from ARM 10.1 SP5 you do not need to run the Upgrade Manager to migrate your data as it will already be compatible with the enhanced approvals process (introduced in ARM 10.1 SP6).

Users upgrading to this version should perform a full synchronisation on the GLAccountDefinition and GLAccount jobs within Integration Manager.

‘What’s New in ARM?’ Webinar – December 10

Precise will be hosting a thirty-minute webinar on Thursday 10 December at 11am (GMT).

We will be highlighting some of the newest and most popular features incorporated in Advanced Requisition Management over the past twelve months. This webinar will cover:

  • PO Suggestions
  • Email Approval Enhancement
  • External Integration Suite (Punchout)
  • Advanced Approval Trees
  • Requisition Line Defaulting

Register now

What is Epicor Advanced Requisition Management?

Epicor Advanced Requisitions Management (ARM) is an online workflow and purchase requisition tool which enables organizations to gain visibility and control over their procurement spending and reduce their purchasing costs.

Epicor ARM automates and streamlines the procurement process, utilizing a web browser to integrate with and extend the Epicor Purchasing module. Multiple approval methods provide a flexible framework that can be configured to meet the requirements of any organization.

About Precise Business Solutions

An award-winning and market-leading provider of ERP software solutions. Precise provides global software solutions, coupled with local business expertise. Precise is a leading provider of business software solutions and associated services to the Australian and international market place. A wholly-owned Western Australian company, Precise has been in business since 1989. Over the last 25 years, Precise has assisted organisations to maximise efficiencies and gain a competitive advantage. Precise Business Solutions is also the developer of integrated companion solutions for Epicor ERP and Prophet 21: – Epicor Advanced Requisition Management (ARM) – Precise Point of Sale (POS) These solutions are distributed worldwide through their alliance partner Epicor Software Corporation. Precise continues to be a market leader in implementation, support and services. Partnering with their customers to help them be the best they can be, has always been Precise’s primary focus.

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.

 


Given the uncertainty of today’s business climate, owners and managers have a lot of questions about everything from sales and operations, to logistics and inventory. The answers to these questions will help determine next steps, whether it’s to pursue new products or markets, drop under-performing branches or reduce raw goods in the face of industry slowdowns. All of these are real scenarios, and making decisions on gut feel or based on traditions are likely to result in disappointments, or worse, losses. Data analytics has never been more important to help organizations find answers to their critical business questions and help owners and executives understand how their businesses are truly performing.

Data Analytics From The Source

For most companies, there are multiple sources of data, as well as untapped data silos where undervalued information may reside. Keeping pace with this growing data, as well as ensuring key pieces of information are considered for decision making, can be exhausting. Many ERP systems, as important as they are to business processes, were not created for intuitive data access and analysis. In addition, if Excel spreadsheets are the foundation of your reporting, then true data analysis can be challenging as you are limited to the static numbers that you can see, and not perhaps the beauty of the details beneath the surface. This is why understanding business performance, truly digging into the details to find answers to shape strategic decision-making, is challenging.

But this is why Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) is so valuable to businesses. EDA was built from the ground up to provide access to intuitive data analytics for users of all skill level. Data is critical to everyone’s role, so limiting access and analysis to specialists, or managers and higher, limits what team members can do within their roles and responsibilities.

Perhaps the strength of EDA and data analytics is the ability to turn raw information into easy-to-understand dashboards and scorecards. Modern data analytics systems such as EDA enable users to quickly and easily connect diverse data sources into a single source of truth, and conduct ad hoc analysis. The software does most of the heavy lifting, presenting results in interactive dashboard that can be shared with other team members, customers and decision-makers.

Measuring Business Success

Converting the data into a visual presentation such as a chart, graph or table, eliminates much of the guesswork, providing clear indicators of challenges and opportunities. In addition, with a simple click, users can drill-down, or use advanced dashboard filters, to view the underlying transactions or take the analysis even further to different angles or more levels of granularity. These fully customizable dashboards and scorecards help companies to combine all of their information into a single location so that the entire business is referring to and analyzing the same information.

Armed with access to a single source of truth, easy-to-use data analytics, easy-to-understand and interactive dashboards and scorecards, team members across the organization can be empowered with the ability to make important, data-driven decisions. This level of information strengthens the ownership that everyone in the company has in their role and area of responsibility. Perhaps more importantly, it makes tracking performance across individuals and departments, and as a whole, easier and more powerful, as owners and executives can monitor the business from all levels, providing a much more comprehensive picture of performance.

Dashboards and Scorecards Webinar

To learn more about EDA, the importance of data analytics and how to use dashboards and scorecards to track business performance, watch the recorded webinar:

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.


A press release detailing the Epicor Software Corporation acquisition by investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice was published August 31, 2020. You can read the full press release, Here.

Epicor Software Corporation Acquisition

The purchase of Epicor Software Corporation from KKR, the former owner of four years, represents an important milestone for Epicor.

“This is an exciting day for the entire Epicor family—employees, customers, and partners alike – and validates the company’s leadership position across markets we serve,” said Epicor CEO Steve Murphy. “We welcome this new partnership with CD&R, which shares our vision for growing the company, and I thank KKR for a highly successful partnership these past few years. We are excited to work with CD&R to increase investment in our market-leading product portfolio and to enhance our ability to support an ever-increasing range of customer needs.”

“Epicor’s reputation for quality and performance, and its impressive portfolio of next-generation cloud products, position the company well to accelerate growth in the coming years,” said Jeff Hawn, CD&R Operating Partner.  “We look forward to partnering with the Epicor management team to further expand Epicor’s product portfolio as well as make strategic acquisitions to meet customers’ evolving digital transformation needs.”

“We are excited to partner with Epicor and its talented management team to drive the business into a new phase of growth and profitability,” said Rick Schnall, CD&R Co-President. “Our long-standing industrial end-market experience and growing enterprise software expertise aligns well with Epicor’s value creation plan.”

“Four years ago, we embarked on an ambitious product modernization journey together with Epicor and are incredibly proud of the successes that the company has achieved to date, particularly with its recent cloud releases,” remarked John Park, Chairman of the Epicor Board and Head of Americas Technology Private Equity at KKR. “We are confident that CD&R will provide valuable support as the company continues these product- and customer-centric investments to accelerate growth in the cloud.”

CD&R Operating Partner Jeff Hawn will serve as Chairman of the Epicor Board upon close of the transaction, expected later this year.

We expect more information to follow shortly and look forward to an exciting new chapter in the story of Epicor’s rise in prominence over the past 5 decades.

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 pace of order fulfillment is growing every day, and sales are happening faster than ever. That’s why Epicor Quick Ship is becoming the preferred way to streamline shipping processes to better compete in today’s digital marketplace.

Epicor Quick Ship incorporates the Epicor Kinetic Design and Framework in a new web application. This delivers access to critical data for shipping and order fulfillment activities from anywhere. Quick Ship integrates seamlessly with your ERP to help you process shipping transactions quickly and efficiently.

When an order is pulled in to the Customer Shipment Entry screen, Quick Ship contacts the selected carrier—via web API and retrieves the appropriate freight charges and tracking information based on the size, weight, dimensions, number of packages, and destination zip code.

That information then automatically appears in your ERP system. This lets you process any shipment using any licensed carrier from the same screen—ensuring you never have to leave your ERP solution to initiate a shipment. By auto-populating all the necessary information, you can also eliminate manual errors associated with copying the data from the carrier to the ERP system. Quick Ship then prints the carrier label and any additional paperwork required for the shipment.

Quick Ship offers rate shopping at time of quote, order or shipment to keep shipping costs low for your customers and to drive new loyalty for your business. Closing the loop, the calculated freight automatically flows back to Epicor for automated invoicing of freight charges.

Epicor Quick Ship Requirements

As a product built for Epicor ERP and Prophet 21, Epicor Quick Ship comes with a few pre-requisites. For example, all environments implementing Epicor Quick Ship will need:

  • Epicor ERP release 10.1.500 or later
  • Packout Management

Epicor Quick Ship system requirements:

  • Windows 7 SPI (x86 and x64) and later
  • Windows Server 2012 and later
  • 300 MB of installed resources
  • 1 GHz or faster processor
  • 2 GB RAM
  • EPL or ZPL label printer
  • Laser Printer for forms

Epicor Quick Ship Benefits

The benefits that come with Epicor Quick Ship go beyond expedited processes and fewer errors associated with manual data entry. Epicor Quick Ship improves your bottom line performance, too. with spend reduction and better customer experiences, your business benefits greatly from this powerful tool. Epicor Quick Ship benefits include:

  • Reduce overall freight spend
  • Eliminate surcharges and fines
  • Streamline multiple tasks
  • Improved customer service
  • Easier on-boarding and training

Epicor Quick Ship Key Features

Epicor quick ship provides a bounty of functionality that drive value and improve operations. from automating manual tasks to easy rate shopping and import tools, Epicor Quick Ship comes equipped with everything a manufacturer or distributor needs to run a modern shipping department.

Epicor Quick Ship key features include:

  • Seamless Integration with Epicor ERP
  • Support for multiple carriers/account numbers in one system
  • Rate Shopping (ability to compare real time rates from carriers in one screen)
  • Data Mapping Tool
  • Bill of Lading Generation
  • Automated blind shipping
  • Automated email notification
  • Automated hazmat paperwork
  • Best way and routing guide
  • Configurable handling fees by customer or facility
  • Consolidated Shipments
  • EEI/ACE integration
  • HazMat paperwork
  • International shipments and documentation
  • Miscellaneous shipments
  • Postal shipping with Endicia
  • Print or email return labels
  • Rate Import Tool for Custom Carriers
  • Rate shopping
  • Support for non-U.S. origins in a single server deployment
  • Transfer orders

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 for start-ups may seem like a bit of an oxymoron. The nature of ERP is to connect several departments  in a unified information system. This allows you to leverage crucial data to make informed decisions that drive the success of your business. When most people hear those three little letters, they tend to think large scale enterprise, multi-national conglomerate, or global entities. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Small And Medium-Sized Businesses Include Start-Ups

The modern enterprise isn’t a fortune 500 company. It isn’t even a fortune 5,000 company.

In the US There are roughly 17 million businesses with fewer than 500 employees. This number represents 99.7% of all US businesses and almost half of total private sector employment.

With that in mind, it would make sense the market for ERP that speaks to the small and medium sized enterprise is ripe for development. In the last 40 years it has done just that with tremendous effect.

Among businesses surveyed in a 2017 Deloitte report commissioned by Google, the top 20% of the most digitally advanced companies:

  • Earned 2 times as much revenue per employee
  • Experienced revenue growth over the previous year that was nearly 4 times as high
  • Were almost 3 times as likely to be creating jobs over the previous year
  • Had an average employment growth rate that was more than 6 times as high
  • Were also 3 times as likely to have exported over the previous year

Those stats can’t be ignored. However, what were the digital advancements these successful companies used to gain their edge in the market? Here’s how the levels of digital transformation of business is represented among those surveyed:

  • Basic – An email address
  • Intermediate – Website, basic marketing tools, online directories, and third-party marketplaces
  • High – Advanced website, mobile or e-commerce capability, engagement on multiple social media platforms, online marketing channels
  • Advanced – Advanced data analytics and applications for business management and customer interactions

It’s clear a business using advanced digital tools to help their business will perform better than those businesses using only basic or intermediate tools. But what does advanced really mean?

In this case, advanced digital tools includes:

  • Data analytics used to examine characteristics of customers, to inform business decisions such as online marketing strategies or products offered.
  • The ability for customers to make bookings and purchases through online channels, such as enabling payments through the business’ website or use of third-party e-commerce platforms.
  • Digital technologies and tools utilized internally in order to improve business processes or worker productivity (e.g. cloud-based software, video conferencing, corporate social networks).

Epicor ERP For Start-Ups Facilitate Sales Excellence

Let’s start with the first benefit of ERP for start-ups. It’s no secret that sales are top of mind of a start-up.

Whether you are in it for the long-haul or just long enough for get an offer, proving viability through sales is key in attracting investors and securing longevity.

Epicor ERP CRM and Sales Management tools drive intelligent marketing and provide insightful data about what products are and are not moving. Add to this the ability to collaborate with internal teams as well as customers externally through one unified system and you have a recipe for success.

With Epcior Sales Management tools Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales team. By giving your sales teams the ability to manage their opportunities and automating administrative tasks, you free up their time to focus on building lasting, profitable relationships. It also enables your sales team to:

  • Produce accurate estimates
  • Streamline your order-to-cash cycle
  • Fulfill perfect orders and ensure high customer satisfaction

Components of the sales management module include:

Estimate and Quote Management – Easily generate and track all customer or prospect requests for quotation (RFQs)—from the time of receipt until an order is placed. Create estimates and get quotes out more quickly with more accurate pricing and lead times with a wide range of powerful tools.

  • Generate accurate and timely estimates and quotes
  • Import data from a variety of customer and system sources
  • Check inventory availability during quote entry
  • Manage the sales cycle with dynamic task lists that ensure the right people are working on the quote at the right time
  • Automatically cross reference customer part numbers to your part numbers during the quoting process

Order Management – Order Management drives the Epicor system. From the time an order is entered, its progress is tracked through final shipment—producing perfect order fulfillment on demand for maximum customer satisfaction.

  • With the Order Job Wizard, generate appropriate jobs for new orders in a single step
  • Check customer credit status online at quote entry, order entry, and shipment entry
  • Using blanket orders, establish multiple releases for each sales order line and pull parts directly from inventory
  • Link sales orders, jobs, purchase orders, field service calls, cases, tasks, milestones, and budget information to manage projects

EDI/Demand ManagementEntrust EDI/Demand Management secures your competitive edge by incorporating electronic data interchange (EDI) with demand scheduling.

  • Get full flexibility and control for setting up customer contracts and handling their schedules in the Epicor ERP system
  • Reduce lead time and effort for planning and procurement
  • With Demand Management, set up contracts per customer with such agreed-upon parameters as pricing, initial demand schedule, and contract end date

Point of Sale – Epicor Point of Sale (POS) extends the power of your Epicor ERP to a customer-facing sales environment—regardless if you need a single POS station or if you’re a multinational chain.

  • Feature-rich system that empowers store personnel to deliver an enhanced customer experience
  • Comprehensive functionality includes electronic gift cards, gift receipting, customized receipt per transaction type, coupon redemption/issuance, layaways, special orders, suspend and resume, item marking for various functions, additional input fields, multicurrency, start/end of day functions, cash management, and more.

Epicor Commerce Connect – B2B and B2C eCommerce are the new norm. Epicor Commerce Connect (ECC) provides your buyers and sales channels with a simple online shopping experience that encourages repeat purchases and sets your brand apart.

  • Launch an attractive, simple-to-use eCommerce site with your own branding in less time
  • Manage only one product database with tight integration into Epicor ERP
  • Simplify channel support by letting your partners make payments on accounts, access pricelists, and place quick re-orders

Epicor Customer Connect – Today’s customers want new access to information. Epicor Customer Connect helps you improve customer loyalty and online commerce.

  • Special promotions and pricelists
  • Enable your customers to make repeat purchases

Startup Growth And Innovation With Advanced Digital Tools At An Affordable Price

Epicor technology is powered by industry-leading innovation and expertise. The software empowers businesses of every size and is modular to fit the needs of a start-ups, no matter their stage of growth. Epicor solutions feature seamless integration with thousands of existing software applications, web-enabled platforms, and fully configurable interfaces and reporting systems.

Utilize the components of Epicor ERP your start-up needs here and now. Add more functionality as you scale, customize the framework to fit your unique business components, and take as much control of your technology as you like with on-premise, cloud, and hybrid deployment options. Mobile solutions can further be utilized to access the system from Windows, iOS, and Android devices.

Epicor ERP for start-ups is designed to be both accessible and affordable for the small business and start-up. Financing, subscription models, and even tax write offs are available for Epicor ERP software purchases.

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.


Epicor Data Analytics (EDA), powered by Phocas, is an easy-to-use cloud service with powerful tools to help you reduce costs, identify new opportunities, and speed decision-making.

  • Stay up-to-date with the daily changes of your business
  • Eliminate time-consuming and error-prone manual reporting processes
  • Visualize data across all of your business systems from production to sales

EDA factsheet – Download
EDA customer success story – Download
EDA top-ranked Highlights in Business Application Research Center (BARC) Report – Download

Epicor Data Analytics Prebuilt Content Packs

Each of the currently available Epicor ERP content packages for EDA provides starter dashboards and deep integration into a specific set of Epicor ERP data. You have the freedom to build onto these content packs with any additional fields from Epicor ERP and augment from any other data sources, such as Salesforce and ADP.

Epicor Data Analytics for Sales (sales, orders, quotes)

Quickly discover business trends by visualizing the sales data in your Epicor system. Get deeper insight into sales results by account, location, geography, order, and more.

Answers questions like:

  • What is my average sales and gross margin by invoice?
  • Who was buying, but is not buying now?
  • Where are we succeeding geographically?

Gain full visibility into:

  • Net sales
  • Quantity shipped
  • Quantity ordered
  • Material cost
  • Fixed burden
  • Variable burden
  • Labor cost
  • Other cost
  • Gross margin

Epicor Data Analytics for Materials (inventory, purchasing, and shipping)

Improve the productivity of what is likely your largest fixed asset—your inventory—by making sure you invest in the right inventory mix. EDA can help you see your inventory data more clearly.

Answers questions like:

  • What is our current inventory value today?
  • What are our potential inventory shortfalls?
  • What is on order in my open POs?
  • Where are my shipments?

Gain full visibility into:

  • Quantity on hand
  • Inventory value
  • Cost
  • Allocated
  • Backordered
  • On PO
  • In transit
  • Quantity ordered

Epicor Data Analytics for Financials (AR/AP and general ledger)

Improve overall visibility into your business by drilling down into categorized accounts and transactions within your income statement and balance sheet.

Answers questions like:

  • What are this year’s actuals versus last year’s actuals by account?
  • How long is money held up in accounts receivable?
  • What payments are receivable and what invoices are due?
  • Did we take advantage of discount terms and how much did we save?

Gain full visibility into:

  • Amount paid
  • Terms taken
  • Allowed
  • Bad debt amount
  • Amount receivable
  • Owing
  • Items invoiced
  • Invoices paid
  • Memos
  • Terms taken
  • Transactions for income statement and balance sheet

Epicor Data Analytics for Production (production, reporting and quality)

With the production content pack for Epicor ERP and iScala, make certain that quality products are produced for the right customer at the right time—for the right price and profit margin.

Answers questions like:

  • What are my resource earned hours?
  • Do I have differences in production rates between shifts?
  • How do I improve the overall effectiveness of my resources?
  • What is the most frequent cause for product rejections?

Gain full visibility into:

  • Good quantity
  • Total quantity
  • Good value
  • Total value
  • Estimated setup hours
  • Estimated production hours
  • Actual production hours
  • Actual production
  • Rework hours
  • Actual setup hours
  • Actual setup rework hours
  • Production run standard
  • Production labor rate
  • Setup labor rate
  • Production burden rate
  • Setup burden rate
  • Actual labor cost
  • Actual burden cost
  • Rework labor cost
  • Rework burden cost

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 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERP is an annually published report that outlines the research organization’s perspective on the best software available. This year, Epicor Software again received designation as a visionary in the category of Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Enterprises.

The published report is free to download for anyone interested in learning more about Epicor Software and other Cloud ERP vendors.

an image advertising the 2020 gartner magic quadrant for cloud erp report

You can download the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Enterprises report HERE.

Epicor ERP Cloud is a secure, economical, efficient, and reliable enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

The solution provides businesses with flexibility and comprehensive support. It helps manufacturers simplify processes, optimize operations and ease IT responsibilities.

For example, Epicor Cloud ERP delivers a 99.5% or greater uptime.

Aerospace and defense manufacturer Wipaire leverages the benefits of Epicor Cloud ERP to free up resources and reduce costs.

The company enjoys real-time access to information, which delivers higher cost efficiency and better time management.

Wipaire Controller Mike Elrod commented about their choice to use Epicor ERP, “We chose to deploy in the cloud because it offered flexibility and cost savings and we no longer need to maintain in-house servers or equipment.”

Epicor ERP is built to scale alongside manufacturers as they grow and depend on better tools to deliver the results and experience their stakeholders and customers expect.

With Epicor Cloud ERP, businesses are better equipped to compete, thrive, and grow by harnessing data and implementing automation to improve productivity and profitability.

“We believe Epicor’s spot in the Visionaries quadrant proves that we are a cloud vendor of choice in the markets we serve, and that our cloud ERP software is providing customers with the tools they need to succeed in today’s mid and enterprise markets,” said President Himanshu Palsule. “Our customer base is large, incredibly loyal, and actively engaged, and we will continue to foster those relationships to address and prioritize their feedback in future product updates so that our customers can push ahead of their competitors and can focus on business resiliency rather than IT administration.”

Placement in the Visionary quadrant validates Epicor’s ability to provide businesses with the best ERP solution. Read the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Enterprises report HERE to learn more.

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.


As part of the Epicor Cloud ERP 10.2.700 Update, Epicor Cloud ERP pilot instances will upgrade to the newest release in September 2020. Read on to learn what new business value awaits and how to prepare.

What’s New In The Epicor Cloud ERP 10.2.700 Update

More details will be released as we near September 2020, but a few highlights include:

  • Cloud Read-only Data Access—Safely and securely view your data in a read-only environment. Epicor ERP Cloud Data Access is a new offering that allows for read-only access to your Epicor ERP instance. This new offering gives freedom of access while also safeguarding data security and system integrity. Access to the database will be on a read-only basis, but also near real-time (within seconds) to provide high value, whether leveraged by you directly or by ISV partners via APIs.
  • Epicor Advanced Unit of Measure—Seamlessly conduct business in a different unit of measure. A new capability, primarily aimed at the metals industry and adjacent industries, provides the ability to buy and value material in one unit of measure and transact in a different unit of measure.
  • Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) Financial Reporting—Budgeting, forecasting, and planning simplified. EDA Budgeting and Planning will provide an easy-to-use solution for budgeting, forecasting, and planning. With EDA Budgeting and Planning, you will be able to create financial budgets from scratch or prior year actuals and generate a budgeting workflow process, eliminating the need for Excel spreadsheets.
  • Epicor Kinetic—Continuing the journey to provide a modern and intuitive user experience with Epicor Kinetic. With this release, Epicor Kinetic is focused on the transformation of maintenance screens and quote to cash process forms targeting high-impact maintenance and entry screens. New enhancements will be made to Epicor Application Studio, which allows you to tailor Kinetic forms with low/no code that won’t break during an upgrade.

How To Prepare For The The Epicor Cloud ERP 10.2.700 Update

Epicor will upgrade pilot systems one month before production systems. This will provide Epicor Cloud ERP customers a chance to explore the updates in 10.2.700 without affecting production systems.

As a best practice, please use this time to review and make any necessary changes to your Unique Business Components (UBCs). This includes any custom reports, BAQs, BPMs, User Interface customizations, etc. Effective testing will ensure everything continues to operate as expected.

If you submit an EpicCare ticket for help with moving your UBCs from Pilot to Production, Epicor will do so for you during the upgrade weekend.

Important Dates

  • Friday, September 11, 2020
    Deadline for Flex customers to submit an EpicCare ticket indicating their preference to defer their upgrade to one of the alternate upgrade dates
  • What’s New in Epicor ERP Cloud 10.2.700 upgrade webinars are scheduled for mid-September. Register for one of the sessions to learn the latest about Epicor Kinetic, AppStudio, and Identity. If you cannot attend, they will be available on demand.
  • Friday, September 18, 2020 – Saturday, September 19, 2020
    Pilot system upgrade to 10.2.700. During this time, your pilot system will be unavailable while Epicor performs your upgrade, but don’t worry—your production system will not be affected by the new release. Once it is complete, log in to your pilot system and start exploring what’s new.
  • Tuesday, October 13, 2020 
    Pilot system update to 10.2.700.2 and UBC Opt-In Deadline. The final version that will be loaded into your Production system will be 10.2.700.2, so we’ll update your Pilot environment on this date. Also, if you want Epicor to move your UBCs from your Pilot environment to your Production environment, you must submit an EpicCare ticket to opt-in to the process. If you do not submit an EpicCare ticket to opt-in to the process, the UBCs from your Pilot environment will not be moved by Epicor to the Production environment.
  • Saturday, October 17, 2020 – Sunday, October 18, 2020
    Production system upgrade to 10.2.700.2. Your upgrade weekend arrives! While Epicor upgrades your production system to Epicor Cloud ERP 10.2.700.2, your system will be unavailable for several hours during this time.

 Note that dates are subject to change.

Flexing Your Upgrade

Subscribers to the Epicor Public Cloud Flex Option can follow the same schedule.

Alternatively, you have the option to defer your upgrade to Epicor Cloud ERP 10.2.700.

Below are the two date options for your flex upgrade.

                      Pilot                                                                              Production

Option 1:    Week of Dec 14, 2020                                               Jan 23-24, 2021

Option 2:    Week of Jan 18, 2021                                                Feb 20-21, 2021

If you choose to defer, you must submit an EpicCare ticket with your selected upgrade date (Option 1 or Option 2) and we will send you a personalized confirmation with your instructions. We must receive your deferral no later than Friday, September 11, 2020. If you do not choose to defer, we’ll keep you on cadence and automatically upgrade your system in September 2020.

Note: If you choose to defer your upgrade, you will not receive any 600.x updates after the 10.2.600.11 update. We only host the upgrade webinars on September 16 and September 17, but replays are accessible at any time afterwards as documentation on EpicWeb. If you defer, you are strongly encouraged to either attend or watch the replay so you are aware of the upgrade process.

About The The Epicor Cloud ERP 10.2.700 Update

The Epicor Cloud ERP 10.2.700 update is the second of two major upgrades in 2020, as part of the regular cadence and commitment to helping your business grow through innovation.

Unlike the more frequent monthly updates that are minor yet enhance your daily experience, major releases like this bring you greater usability, performance, and strategic value in a single upgrade. That’s why we give you advance notice and the opportunity to test and explore the updates in pilot before upgrading your production system.

Next Steps

Watch for additional information about the upcoming upgrade. You will be invited to join educational webinars on September 16 and September 17 to learn more about the Epicor Cloud ERP 10.2.700 update, how to prepare, and ways to leverage the new functionality for driving business growth. Documentation will also be made available on the Epicor customer portal EpicWeb. And as a reminder, reach out to EpicCare anytime you have a question or need application support.

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.

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