Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), also often referred to as small and midsize businesses (SMBs), have a tremendous advantage over larger enterprises and many don’t even know it. Because of SMEs’ energy and agility, they are more able to adapt to changes in the marketplace, adopting and implementing ERP solutions and emerging technologies to give them an operational advantage over larger enterprises.

SMEs are not subject to the same bureaucratic processes that corporations and other large enterprise have adopted over the years. Winning customers over with a more modern sensibility and customer-centric approach, SMEs can perform when they need to and turn on a dime when the market demands it. With larger enterprises, the adage of a big ship takes longer to steer fits appropriately alongside industry examples. Their size makes them far more able to weather storms, but less capable of maneuvering. Therefore, SMEs should be getting on board with ERP software platforms and modern automation tools to make their jobs easier now, before their current systems are outgrown at a time when operations can’t afford to be put on hold for an implementation.

an image of disorganized wooden drawers.

The Transition To Effective ERP Solutions Only Gets More Complicated And Costly As Your Enterprise Grows.

Implementing these time and resource saving tools enable SME’s to compete at an accelerated rate. Critical as they may be, the computer systems and software needed to run a successful enterprise of any size are often overlooked components. Amalgamated systems, pieced together from a large swath of vendors, may work for a business at one time and place, but eventually, a unified system is necessary to ensure productivity and survivability as an enterprise grows in tandem with its customer base. Employing these solutions will reduce wasted labor and streamline efforts, allowing departments to work together with the same data, rather than against each other in siloed systems.

Defining Processes With ERP Systems

There will come a time when the c-suite or upper-level management will identify the need to implement an ERP system. Initially serving enterprises as a financial visibility tool, ERP systems have grown to encompass so much more. Now businesses can implement systems that grow alongside their business with modular capabilities that allow them to implement beyond the core system functionalities. A good ERP system will provide data storage and visibility, manufacturing execution, supply chain management, human capital management, and a quote to cash process that takes minutes compared to the antiquated manual approach of the sales cycle. These are just a few of the core competencies of a modern ERP, add to that mobile capability and cloud agility and workforces can utilize these powerful systems remotely or on-site from the shop floor to the boardroom to ensure their operations are running as smoothly as they can.

Cleaning Up The Clutter

SMEs are known for being a medley of paper systems and software applications that allow them to operate with a separate solution for each need. As different departments operate within their own systems, they are missing out on the benefits of sharing data with other components of the business’ operations. Synchronized communication and data visibility cut down on operational lag that results from data being strewn about. Your company’s IT department probably knows the scope of servers, databases, and operating system hindrance as a result. By implementing an effective ERP solution, your business can more appropriately connect its people, processes, and systems to ensure vital data is stowed, prepared, and available in real-time.

an image of a cleaning crew sweeping into a dust pan.

Get Rid Of The Clutter. The New Broom Of ERP Sweeps Clean.

Managing Human Processes Using Automation And ERP

Like most SMEs, the workforce is one that is always pushed to perform on a lean pool of resources. It’s not inherently a bad way of operating, but when vital people fall ill, take their vacation time, or up and leave at a crucial time, it’s likely their work can’t be taken up quickly by someone else because of poorly organized systems that make their core processes and the associated data systems available. When these processes are confined to spreadsheets, the task of making sense of it all when critical personnel are absent becomes an even larger hurdle. Getting rid of the manual calculations associated with data input and output through the business’ many systems. ERP addresses this by taking over the mundane and repetitive calculations required, effectively ending the need for relying on less robust solutions, like Excel.

Man stacking a tower of wood blocks with human silhouettes, human resources and management concept.

Human Capital Management Is Much Easier With The Tools Provided By ERP Solutions.

The Data You Need, Now

With size comes a divide in how the way upper management interacts with the workforce. As the distance between management and day-to-day operations increases, ERP bridges the gap with increased visibility. Reposting becomes the window through which management sees the company’s performance. ERP systems are especially suited to deliver quality reporting for accurate performance data today and accurate forecasting tomorrow and beyond. Beyond boilerplate standards, ERP systems can deliver custom reports based on the data points managers want to see in any given instance. Consultants and developers can assist in further enhancing customizations within ERP systems.

a photo of charts and graphs on a tablet with printed data sheets on a table.

Get The Data You Need To Refine Processes And Increase Production In Real-Time With ERP.

Outpace The Race

With the time invested in reporting brought down significantly through effective ERP solutions, the error-prone and time-consuming task of data entry and location becomes a less obtrusive task. Businesses can more easily scale at pace with industry as a result. The dependable routine that effective ERP solutions provide offers financial reporting and processes that companies can rely on as they grow. dependable systems and accurate automation through ERP systems enable expansion and additional staff to be brought on and up to speed, faster.

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.


When the goal is to be agile both on the shop floor and in the marketplace, manufacturers need tools that allow them significant maneuverability. ERP systems have traditionally been the biggest component of operational adaptability when circumstances change behind the scenes. Cloud ERP is one recent example of innovation in Industry 4.0 that has reinvigorated the manufacturing space for enterprises of every size. A survey by Technology Evaluation Centers revealed Epicor ERP ranked as the top solution for growing small and medium businesses.

Cost Saving Software

Today, small and medium businesses (SMB) can achieve world-class efficiency at a fraction of the cost when compared to the past 10 or even five years. What was once accepted as a software solution available only to large enterprises, ERP allows small and medium businesses to access data like never before. Without the high-cost of on-premises solutions, cloud ERP solutions provide significantly improved levels of insight into operations by omitting the costly expenses of hardware, maintenance, and security. Small and medium businesses are finding it easier to make their mark in the marketplace with the extra capital provided by these all-in-one solutions, in many cases built specifically for their industry.

Information Sharing

By more effectively sharing relevant information between departments, small and medium business operations can avoid bottlenecks caused by low inventory or sub-contracting tasks. Access to as much or as little data as is necessary provides every member of the workforce with the insight they need to ensure the supply chain is never interrupted.

ERP Frees Resources

Cloud-based ERP systems bring down operational costs at the point of implementation, that much is true. However, more impressive still is the ability for small and medium businesses to take advantage of the reduction of labor costs associated with ERP solutions. By eliminating the human component of repetitive tasks, labor is freed to be focused elsewhere in the supply chain. Additional benefits of the automation components of ERP solutions include fewer instances of erroneous data and more accurate forecasting.

The Take Away For Small And Medium Businesses

Beyond the cost benefits implementing an ERP system puts SMBs in the right mindset for growth with a commitment to the long-term. Positioning your business for success starts with the right attitude, after that the right tools pave the way for your progression. Cloud ERP brings several benefits that SMBs can see the results of immediately.

The first immediate benefit is uniformity and transparency within a single information system. Without the need to chase down data or keep departments working within siloed systems, everyone can work on the same page towards the same goal. With multiple data entries and exports no longer in the picture, errors are mitigated, productivity increased, and associated expenses no longer affect your bottom line.

an image of a coffee ERP coffee and several components of a business drawn on paper.

ERP Systems Are Accessible And Highly Beneficial To Small And Medium Businesses.

Informed decision making emerges with effective ERP solutions in place. Everyone from marketing to management to accounting benefits from the ability to make more effective decisions affecting operations now and ahead. When the overall strategy becomes clearer, agility comes naturally and your business can adapt more easily to obstacles before they become issues.

Streamlined processes make way for increased productivity with ERP. The systems you have put in place today will enable a smoother transition through growth as you enjoy the success resulting from your hard work. The alternative may end up costing you much more than the price tag of an ERP system.

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.


How Bezlio Adds Predictive Analytics And Machine Learning To ERP

I’ve always been passionate about bringing new technology to companies to help them be more competitive. An exciting emerging technology that’s got the IT/IS crowd buzzing right now is using machine learning to allow for smarter data analyzation. Companies spend a significant amount of money generating data compared to analyzing it. With the technology Bezlio is built on, we allow companies to take emerging technologies, like predictive analytics and machine learning, as they become available and leverage it regardless of the back-end system.

machine learning and predictive analytics with bezlio and epicor erp

In a recent technology article, Forbes tells us that Machine Learning is the ability for computer programs to analyze big data, extract information automatically, and learn from it. 

We are able to run Epicor ERP along with Bezlio to utilize machine learning and predictive analytics. Bezlio’s plugin architecture means that the source data can be from anything, along with a plugin available in Bezlio that utilizes the Accord.NET Framework, a very popular machine learning library.

To get to the golden Promised Land of machine learning, however, we must first walk the dark path of statistics. Seriously though: Most of the machine learning concepts were derived from past statistical analytic techniques. Even applying some simple statistics can be used with ERP data to gain better insights. I have always liked statistics because it takes the gut out of gut decisions based on incomplete data.

To learn more about Bezlio please visit the website.

To read the original blog entry including multimedia and technical details, please click here.

During the 2017 Bezlio Mainspring Developer Conference, Brian Ellis spoke about the subject of predictive analytics and machine learning as it relates to using it with Bezlio and any ERP or CRM.

About Encompass Solutions

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


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

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

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

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The Benefits Of Social ERP

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

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

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

About Encompass Solutions

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