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.


The free sales tax risk assessment is a self-serve online resource that helps companies determine where they have triggered economic nexus. Companies answer three questions and receive a PDF report that provides a map and details regarding where they have triggered sales tax obligations and which states they need to watch.

Know Where You’re On The Hook With Our Free Sales Tax Risk Assessment Tool

Get a breakdown of states where you may be obligated to collect sales tax. The free Avalara Sales Tax Risk Assessment can help you determine where your sales have created a need to register to collect and remit sales tax — and guide you on a cost-effective automation solution.

Still Need Convincing To Use This Free Sales Tax Risk Assessment Tool?

Has your company triggered economic nexus, or do you want to find out if it has? Try our tax expert partner’s free online sales tax risk assessment today – Avalara will give you your own report.

Selling into states where you’re not physically located? You might be on the hook for sales tax if you’ve sold a certain dollar amount or volume.

Give our tax expert partner Avalara some of your time, and they’ll give you a customized PDF featuring each state where your sales have likely triggered a sales tax obligation and suggestions on an automation solution with strong ROI.

Get a breakdown of states where you may be obligated to collect sales tax. The free Avalara Sales Tax Risk Assessment can help you determine where your sales have created a need to register to collect and remit sales tax — and why.

43 states tax remote sales so it’s hard for businesses with national (or international) sales to know where they’re required to register to collect tax. Avalara’s new tool provides that clarity. Check it out and let’s talk about automating that knowledge.

About Avalara

Offering end-to-end tax compliance solutions to enterprises big and small, Avalara makes automated certificate validation, storage, and management easy. Avalara’s cloud-based sales tax automation software provides accuracy for all of the 12,000+ tax jurisdictions in the United States. Avalara ensures that automating sales, tax calculation, and maintaining compliance are all possible within your existing ERP, POS, or e-commerce 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.


24 states can take the burden of managing sales tax off remote sellers’ shoulders through Streamlined Sales Tax (SST).

an image of the Tax compliance is a challenging undertaking for a business of any size. Regulations are changing constantly at local, state, and federal levels. Not to mention, business relationships with suppliers and customers are growing and expanding, too. All of this ties in to how tax liability is organized, calculated, and addressed. Now, what would you say to an offer that included all of these services and more, for free? Kind of a no brainer, right? Well, if your company resides in one of the 24 qualifying states, you can take advantage of this special program, free of charge. Take advantage of: • Free state registrations • Free tax calculations • Free tax returns preparation, filing and remittance • Audit assistance. Here’s how you can apply at no cost to your business. The Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) Agreement enables participating states to simplify and modernize sales tax administration, in order to substantially reduce the tax compliance burden. As one of only a few certified SST service providers, our partners at Avalara perform the above tasks. In this case, the states pay Avalara for the services, while qualifying businesses get them for free. You can start the qualification process by visiting the following link: Get free tax services in 24 states. About Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) member states

How to Take Advantage of SST

SST has never been more important for remote sellers than it is today. With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. which gave states more authority to impose sales tax obligations on remote sellers, you may be wondering how you’ll comply with the new laws.

What You’ll Learn About SST

Let our partner at Avalara help. In this presentation, you’ll learn how to:

  • Decrease the cost of sales tax calculation, returns, and filing
  • Reduce audit risk
  • Determine if your business qualifies for SST cost savings

You can’t afford to miss this! Join us for Streamlined Sales Tax (SST): Discover How to Get Free Tax Services in 24 States.

Date: Tuesday October 29th, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Duration: 30 Minutes

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, 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.


Learning that you now have to collect and remit sales tax to a lot more states because of economic nexus can stress a business financially. Streamlined Sales Tax (SST), basically free sales tax services, makes this process simpler and cost-effective. As a result, you can file returns in 24 states for free if you qualify. Our partner Avalara is certified by SST and can also save you time and money by automating all your sales tax compliance-related activities. Curious if Avalara SST could be a cost-saving compliance option for you? Find out if you qualify.

an image of USA with banner text  offering free sales tax services sst streamlined sales tax agreement

Free Sales Tax Services

Do you find that it’s taking much longer to look up tax rates now that you must register and file in more states? That seems to be the norm now that remote sales are taxable. The Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) Agreement can help with the heavy lifting by providing free sales tax services. These free sales tax automation services including registration, rate calculation, remittance and returns filing in 24 states if you qualify. The states incur all costs. That means you pay no fees. This is your chance to automate tax compliance and get the states to pay for it! This state-subsidized program helps companies manage multi-state tax compliance. Did we mention that it’s free?

Our partner Avalara is certified by the SST to offer you these free sales tax services. Start the qualification process.

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. We provide full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems. For businesses addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Tax compliance is a challenging undertaking for a business of any size. Regulations are changing constantly at local, state, and federal levels. Business relationships with suppliers and customers undergo similar changes regularly. All of this ties into how tax liability is organized, calculated, and addressed. Streamlined sales tax can deliver the answers your business needs with ease.

Now, what would you say to an offer that included all of these services and more, for free? Kind of a no brainer, right? Well, if your company does business in one of the 24 member states, you can take advantage of this special program, free of charge. Click here to get started.

an image of the Tax compliance is a challenging undertaking for a business of any size. Regulations are changing constantly at local, state, and federal levels. Not to mention, business relationships with suppliers and customers are growing and expanding, too. All of this ties in to how tax liability is organized, calculated, and addressed. Now, what would you say to an offer that included all of these services and more, for free? Kind of a no brainer, right? Well, if your company resides in one of the 24 qualifying states, you can take advantage of this special program, free of charge. Take advantage of: • Free state registrations • Free tax calculations • Free tax returns preparation, filing and remittance • Audit assistance. Here’s how you can apply at no cost to your business. The Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) Agreement enables participating states to simplify and modernize sales tax administration, in order to substantially reduce the tax compliance burden. As one of only a few certified SST service providers, our partners at Avalara perform the above tasks. In this case, the states pay Avalara for the services, while qualifying businesses get them for free. You can start the qualification process by visiting the following link: Get free tax services in 24 states. About Streamlined Sales Tax member states

Take advantage of free:

  • State registrations
  • Tax calculations
  • Tax returns preparation, filing and remittance
  • Audit assistance.

Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement Details

Here’s how you can apply at no cost to your business. The Agreement enables participating states to simplify and modernize sales tax administration, in order to substantially reduce the tax compliance burden. As one of only a few certified SST service providers, our partners at Avalara perform the above tasks. The states pay Avalara for the services and qualifying businesses get them for free.

Contact Encompass Solutions, Inc. using the link below to start the qualification process.

About Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board Inc.

The effort that became the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board began in March 2000. The goal of this effort is to find solutions for the complexity in-state sales tax systems that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court holding (Bellas Hess v. Illinois and Quill Corp. v. North Dakota) that a state may not require a seller that does not have physical presence in the state to collect tax on sales into the state. The Court ruled that the existing system was too complicated to impose on a business that did not have a physical presence in the state. The Court said Congress has the authority to allow states to require remote sellers to collect tax.

The result of this work is the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. This Agreement simplifies and modernizes sales and use tax administration in order to substantially reduce the burden of tax compliance. The Agreement focuses on improving sales and use tax administration systems for all sellers and for all types of commerce through all of the following:

  1. State-level administration of sales and use tax collections.
  2. Uniformity in the state and local tax bases.
  3. Uniformity of major tax base definitions.
  4. A central, electronic registration system for all member states.
  5. Simplification of state and local tax rates.
  6. Uniform sourcing rules for all taxable transactions.
  7. Simplified administration of exemptions.
  8. Simplified tax returns.
  9. Simplification of tax remittances.
  10. Protection of consumer privacy.

Today twenty-four states have adopted the simplification measures in the Agreement (representing over 31 percent of the population) and more states are moving to adopt the simplification measures.

About Avalara

Experts in all things revolving around tax compliance, Avalara makes tax compliance easy and efficient. This enables you to do what you do best, without constantly worrying about rate changes or filing deadlines.

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.


Industrial automation is a topic of conversation that manufacturers all over the globe are discussing on the shop floors of production facilities and in board rooms. Industrial automation is no longer an optional component of manufacturing industries. In order to remain competitive, industrial automation must be considered to maintain a level of competitiveness in modern manufacturing scenarios.

What Is Industrial Automation?

As far as an Industrial automation definition is concerned, the concept can be defined as completing an operation or procedure without human assistance by utilizing control systems, such as computers or robots, and information technologies, like ERP platforms and EDI, for handling different processes and machinery.

Types of Industrial Automation

There are several types of industrial automation in use today. They can be broken down into four main categories:

  1. Fixed (Hard) Automation

  2. Programmable Automation

  3. Flexible (Soft) Automation

  4. Totally Integrated Automation (TIA)

These types of automation are leveraged in different scenarios, some data-driven and some production-driven. We’ll go into that a little later.

For now, it’s important to understand that industrial automation technologies and concepts can be applied most readily to data collection, data processing, and predictable physical work, such as welding, soldering, painting, food prep, packaging, and materials handling.

Fixed (Hard) Automation

Fixed automation refers to the use of special purpose equipment to automate a fixed sequence of processing or assembly operations.

an image of fixed (hard) automation in industrial automation

In this example, the application is usually simple and will involve a process or assembly that is dictated by programmed commands. It is relatively difficult to accommodate changes in the product design in a fixed automation process, which is set up with one purpose or process per application in mind.

Fixed (Hard) Automation Examples include:

  • Mechanized assembly
  • Machining transfer lines
  • Automated material handling

Fixed (Hard) Automation Advantages:

  • High production rates
  • Low unit cost

Fixed (Hard) Automation Disadvantages:

  • Relatively inflexible in accommodating product variety
  • High initial investment for custom-engineered equipment
  • High vulnerability to failure
  • Obsolescence

Programmable Automation

In programmable automation, the production equipment is designed with the capability to change the sequence of operations to accommodate different product configurations.

an image of programmable automation in industrial automation

Programmable automation is used most often when manufacturing products in batches. It allows for customization and frequent changes throughout the manufacturing process.

In this case, the operation is controlled by a program of instructions that are read and interpreted by the system. New programs can be prepared and entered into the hardware to produce new products at any time.

Programmable Automation Examples include:

  • Computer Numerical controlled (CNC) machine tools
  • Industrial robots
  • Programmable logic controllers (PLC)

Programmable Automation Advantages:

  • Flexible and able to deal with design variations
  • Suitable for batch production

Programmable Automation Disadvantages:

  • High investment in general purpose equipment
  • Lower production rate than fixed automation

Flexible (Soft) Automation

With flexible automation, several machine tools are linked together by a material-handling system, and all components of the system are controlled by a central computer. This configuration offers rapid and smooth changes to products and processes.

an example of soft (flexible) automation

Utilizing multiple tools that are linked by a material handling system, like this rotary indexer, a flexible approach to automation is capable of producing a variety of parts with virtually no time lost for changes in the configuration. The same is true when reprogramming the system or altering the physical set up.

Flexible (Soft) Automation Examples Include:

Robot arms that can be programmed to assume multiple tasks, such as insert screws, drill holes, sand, weld, insert rivets, and spray paint objects on an assembly line.

Flexible (Soft) Automation Advantages:

  • Continuous production of variable mixtures of products
  • Flexible to deal with product design variation
  • Offers Medium production rate

Flexible (Soft) Automation Disadvantages:

  • Requires High amount of investment
  • High unit cost relative to fixed automation

Totally-Integrated Automation (TIA)

More of a philosophy pioneered by Siemens Automation and Drives than a tangible system, TIA includes several core concepts:

  • A common software environment
  • A common data management system
  • A common communication method

 TIA implementation is ideal for many industries, including:

  • Automotive
  • General machine construction
  • Special-purpose machine manufacturing
  • Standard mechanical equipment manufacturer, OEMs
  • Plastics processing
  • The packaging industry
  • Food, beverages and tobacco industries

Totally-Integrated Automation (TIA) Defining Characteristics:

  • Facilitates shorter time-to-market
  • Higher productivity
  • Lower life-cycle costs
  • Reduced complexity
  • Greater security of investment

Industrial Automation With ERP And EDI

In the past, ERP software has served, in large part, to automate traditional business functions and record-keeping activities. Today, IIoT technologies extend those automation capabilities to the production floor. Taking into account the vast amounts of data production processes, robotics, and edge devices provide to centralized ERP systems, maintenance schedules, demand planning, and reporting can all be completed without the need for human intervention. By setting conditions and responses within the ERP system, users can monitor facility operations to expend energy or resources only when conditions warrant. The results are a more connected, streamlined business from the shop floor to the top floor with less waste at every level.

EDI further optimizes operations by eliminating manual communications between trading partners that used to take the form of faxes, phone calls, and emails. Electronic Data Interchange is an ERP agnostic technology that communicates critical order and shipping details instantaneously between digital devices. Standardized document formats, ensure that your logistics are in sync. Data exchanged through EDI is kept secure end-to-end and remains easy to interpret for both active orders and historical records.

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.


Traditionally, the procurement process requires a great deal of manual effort as businesses commit resources to find and acquire goods, services, or work from external sources. These agreements require further attention as contracts need to be drawn, terms agreed to, and those agreements managed throughout the life of the manufacturer/supplier relationship. This often extends far beyond one source to incorporate many external suppliers who can fulfill needs when another supplier cannot or for materials of varying quality and composition. The process is one that has been most often achieved through a tendering or competitive bidding process. Fortunately, modern procurement automation solutions have enabled manufacturers to hand off many of their manual tasks to self-guided systems. The resulting procurement process improvement frees valuable internal resources for business-critical decision-making and strategizing efforts. Our partners at SourceDay have developed these industry-leading procurement automation solutions for use in an array of manufacturing and supply chain scenarios.

an image of the sourceday procurement automation solutions on a laptop

SourceDay Procurement Automation Solutions

SourceDay Procurement Automation Solutions For Buyers And Suppliers

For suppliers, Managing customers’ needs can be a daunting task. SourceDay allows you to handle it all in one convenient place. Purchase order management and buyer/supplier collaboration solutions work together to eliminate headaches that come with managing an extensive list of customers. What’s even more attractive is the fact that SourceDay’s procurement automation solutions are free for suppliers.

For buyers, maintaining an effective and intuitive collaboration process with suppliers brings many challenges. when parts are being ordered in vast quantities the sheer volume of parts being ordered and so much relying on those parts arriving perfectly, supplier relationships are critical. A delay, an error, poor quality materials or miscommunication can have detrimental implications with ripple effects that impact the end customer.

ERP systems, like Infor, SAP, NetSuite and Epicor, help companies manage their businesses from financial operations to inventory management, production and customer fulfillment. As good as ERP systems are, they all have feature gaps in functionality. Today’s ERP systems lack effective tools for managing purchase orders and suppliers. Once the ERP establishes requirements and the POs are generated, most buyers leave their ERP systems and rely on static, manual spreadsheets, emails, phone calls and faxes to handle the rest. This equates to data in the ERP system being out of sync and creates aggravation, mistakes while making it impossible for manufacturing and distribution companies to schedule production runs and forecast deliveries to their customers.

SourceDay ERP Integrations

SourceDay has developed seamless integrations alongside the most widely used ERP systems. This extends manufacturers investments in technology, amplifies the power in controlling internal and external processes, as well as boosts the functionality of existing ERP systems. By digitizing and automating supplier purchase order updates into existing ERP systems, customers receive a complete data transfer that eliminates errors and wasted time that results from manual-entry tasks, all while maintaining up-to-date data in your ERP system. Implementing SourceDay, further increases the return on existing ERP system investments.

SourceDay is able to integrate into nearly any ERP:

  • Epicor
  • Epicor Eclipse
  • Epicor Prophet 21
  • SAP
  • NetSuite
  • ECI M1
  • Exact Macola
  • Infor
  • Infor CloudSuite Industrial
  • Infor-SyteLine
  • Infor Visual
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • Plex
  • QAD
  • Shoptech E2

If you don’t see your current ERP system in the list below, you can reach out using the contact us link below to confirm that your system is eligible for SourceDay ERP Integration.

Mobile SourceDay Procurement Automation Solutions

SourceDay is the only procurement management software specifically made to solve the most common challenges manufacturing and distribution companies face in managing their direct spend. Now, with the SourceDay Mobile, procurement leaders and their teams have the ability to manage procurement from anywhere at any time from their smartphones. Users will have quicker access to view, acknowledge and communicate on procurement data, where the data is being consumed, for endless collaboration. No other solution brings greater execution and visibility into the procurement and PO lifecycle while reducing risk, costs, and delays.

The benefits of mobility are felt several times over with SourceDay procurement automation solutions, including:

  • Manufacturing and distribution business flexibility that delivers agility in decision-making processes anywhere, regardless of location, country or time zones
  • Stronger and more easily managed buyer/supplier partnerships with collaboration tools that can be leveraged anytime, anywhere
  • More efficient and proactive customer support to drive supply chain performance
  • Real-time notifications delivered to your mobile devices provide the framework for immediate action and quick decision-making

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.


Traditionally, the procurement process requires a great deal of manual effort as businesses commit resources to find and acquire goods, services, or work from external sources. These agreements require further attention as contracts need to be drawn, terms agreed to, and those agreements managed throughout the life of the manufacturer/supplier relationship. This often extends far beyond one source to incorporate many external suppliers who can fulfill needs when another supplier cannot or for materials of varying quality and composition. The process is one that has been most often achieved through a tendering or competitive bidding process. Fortunately, modern tools have enabled manufacturers to hand off many of these manual tasks to procurement automation solutions. The resulting procurement process improvement frees valuable internal resources for business-critical decision-making and strategizing efforts. Here are our top 10 procurement automation use cases to help start automating the procurement process in your organization.

1. Direct Procurement Tasks: Minimizing The Manual

Spreadsheets, faxes, and emails have long been staples of direct procurement processes. unfortunately, the variability of the results can lead to an unreliable supply chain. There is simply too much opportunity for data entry errors, lost communications, and missed deadlines. This poor visibility in your supply chain and the procurement process can prove to be a significant hurdle to overcome and even potentially cause a halt in manufacturing and machinery. Production stoppages can cost millions in labor, expedited shipping costs, and poor customer satisfaction. By minimizing the manual entry of data and other associated tasks, procurement automation improves your business performance from the inside out.

2. Procurement Automation Elevates Supplier Performance

The benefits of working with a quality supplier cannot be overstated. suppliers are often overlooked as a critical business component as they can impact the functions of your entire organization. Unfortunately,  the manual nature of most procurement management makes it difficult to stay on top of past-due or poor-quality materials.

By operating with outdated and disparate tools, there is no visibility into supplier on-time performance and responsiveness to PO acknowledgments and confirmations. Communication between buyers, suppliers, and stakeholders turns into a moving target when what you really need is a predictable performer. Automation tools built specifically for the procurement process bring clear and reliable communication channels to the forefront while helping to reduce errors, missed deadlines, and unhappy customers.

3. Supplier Accountability Improves

Procurement automation solutions hold historical data for you to use when evaluating which suppliers are keeping in line with the standards you have set for your relationship. Scorecards keep track of what matters most, including:

  • Supplier price variance
  • On-time delivery
  • Quality
  • Responsiveness

These scorecards ensure that ISO-certified companies maintain adherence to an in-depth supplier scoring system in order to remain ISO compliant. If your suppliers are delivering below your expectations, you can see a complete history of events leading to a downgrading of their rating. This makes having conversations about delivery easy, thanks to concrete historical data you can access from anywhere.

4. Procurement Automation Improves Collaboration

The simplicity and clarity of purpose-built procurement automation tools represent a monumental shift in supplier performance and supply chain efficiency. These systems are designed to integrate seamlessly with your ERP system. They deliver the ability to see and react to changes in real-time from a single source of data. By automating your needs, from manual buying processes to performance analytics, business becomes streamlined at every level. You’ll find tremendous benefit through procurement automation in:

  • Collaboration – Increase collaboration between the buyer and supplier.
  • Visibility – Update data automatically in the ERP and view the information in real-time.
  • Performance – Enhance performance with more accurate information and consistent communication and alerts.
  • Transformation – Improve productivity and supplier performance with better internal resource allocation and more accurate data.

5. Purchase Order Systems Become Streamlined

Automated purchase order management systems extend the power of your ERP. This provides you with the ability to more effectively manage direct spend and buyer-supplier relationships. when purchase orders are created these systems expedite purchase order acknowledgments, track due dates, status changes, and alert your suppliers to important PO changes. All purchase order details and buyer/supplier communications can be tracked directly with each purchase order. Just like with EDI, updates are sent in real-time and immediately sync to your ERP.

6. Better Document Management

As operations expand, more trading partners and suppliers are brought into the fold. Communications, contracts, purchase orders, invoices, and a host of other documents are being routed back and forth between internal and external resources every day. Procurement automation tools will make sharing and managing all types of documents with your suppliers a hassle-free endeavor. By ensuring your suppliers automatically receive the latest revisions of manuals, prints, bill-of-materials, and specifications, they are better able to meet your needs and deliver on their obligations. Uploading your documents into these procurement automation tools will share the latest version of existing documents with your supplier automatically. NEw documents being uploaded need an initial permissions and routing protocol set up, but it’s on autopilot after that, in most cases. You can even require a supplier confirms receipt of your document and easily send reminders to suppliers who are slow to accept, further aiding in accountability and supplier performance.

7. Advance Shipment Notifications, Simplified

Completing detailed Advance Shipment Notification (ASN) documents, saving them to a given platform, and automatically sending them to buyers prior to shipment is made easy with procurement automation. The tools help buyers and receiving departments improve performance as it pertains to incoming supplier shipments with standardized barcodes and shipping labels. A quick scan of a barcode and receivers instantly know the contents of any box.

8. Superior Quality Control

Procurement automation tools track the incoming inspection of materials, placing parts in a quality queue and flagging them for review in order to simplify your quality control processes. If the item(s) fails inspection, the reviewer inputs the reasons into the tool and collaborates with the supplier to disposition the material.

9. Easy Request For Quote (RFQ) Management

Spreadsheets only slow things down when you want RFQ’s in a timely manner and intuitive layout. With procurement automation, you can send a request for quote to your suppliers to track every step of the way, automatically. A comprehensive view of every supplier on your list will allow you to make an informed decision without having to jump between multiple sheets. Tracking responses that align with best pricing and scorecard rating make it easy to compare offers and choose the suppliers who best fit your requirements.

10. Mobile Utilization Of Procurement Automation

Mobility is key for any modern organization. If you can’t make decisions on the move, you are essentially desk-bound. That means, if you’re not in the office, chances are you’re not taking action. Today, procurement automation solutions place simple and intuitive smartphone apps in your hands. These native-developed applications assist in managing procurement and purchase orders from anywhere, at any time. Leveraging quicker access to view, acknowledge, and communicate on procurement data where the data is being consumed allows you to make smarter business decisions, faster.

Want to know more about procurement automation? Get in touch with the experts at Encompass Solutions using the contact us link below. We’ll help you identify the ideal procurement automation solution for your business’ unique needs.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, 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.


Interactive interfaces are the next stage in workforce agility, providing more visibility into data and processes while enabling faster reaction times. Epicor Virtual Agent (EVA) is Epicor Software Corp.’s answer to manufacturers’ desire to extract more value from their current assets and investments without incurring higher costs or sacrificing product quality. The Epicor Virtual Agent, aptly named EVA, is a cutting-edge digital assistant designed to help users work more intelligently.

Epicor Virtual Agent (EVA) At Work

With built-in artificial intelligence, EVA is able to simplify user interactions with the ERP system and automate manual tasks to speed up operations. Text and voice cognitive skills enable EVA to transform data into visual representations. The result is an intuitive experience that allows users to complete actions on native devices with ease. The technology is powered by Natural Language Processing (NLP), a human-computer interactive technology that users can leverage from mobile devices with requests and tasks that will be addressed by the Epicor Virtual Agent. Targeted information and data to enable faster, better decision making is then delivered in real-time.

An image of the Epicor Virtual Assistant, EVA, being used on a mobile device

According to Scott Hays, Epicor senior vice president of product marketing, “When EVA responds within the Epicor solution, she does so with more visuals,” offering the example, “If I ask for a typical part, I’ll get back an image of the part with the key information I need to know right away. And, she’ll have a ‘next best action’ button.” Users can also request more information, including part price or quantity on hand, which will be provided by the Epicor Virtual Agent via the request and response interface.

Taking The Epicor Virtual Agent Beyond Conversation

While the request/response conversational experience may be what most users are familiar with when it comes to virtual agents, the Epicor Virtual Agent extends functionality into proactive suggestion based on best practices. The proactive decision-making process takes into account combinations of events, market statistics and historical data. Designed to extend and support the workforce, EVA can provide insights teams can easily overlook to improve accuracy, problem-spotting, and can even forecast or adjust production or distribution levels according to customer demand.

When conversation falls short, actional insights reinforce the agent’s effectiveness according to Hayes, who elaborated on what it means to be an effective virtual agent, stating “The second capability is taking action. If EVA has noticed something going on, she may say that based on what she’s seeing happening on the factory floor that I should schedule maintenance on a machine.” The data described includes that from shop floor machines and IoT sensors. These devices, coupled with Epicor ERP, create a virtual nervous system that enables seamless and informed communications between EVA and users’ mobile devices.

The Epicor Virtual Agent In Action

By utilizing the EVA via an interface device, management can confirm or deny suggestions from the Epicor Virtual Agent with just a few clicks or taps. Production managers can schedule maintenance for a machine, shift production to other machines, and carry out an array of other actions with ease.

The Epicor Virtual Agent goes beyond traditional manufacturing scenarios, too. Other applications and industry-specific use cases include:

  • Distribution — EVA can provide outside sales and field service representatives with the instant and easy access to information they need, such as product details, price, and availability information, as well as the ability to create a quote on their mobile devices while meeting with customers face-to-face.
  • Retail — EVA utilizes an AI-powered recommendation engine based on market basket analysis to suggest relevant cross-sell or up-sell recommendations in real-time. This can take place in the aisle, in real-time, where purchase decisions are made.
  • Automotive Aftermarket — By using AI to evaluate huge datasets that include vehicle registrations and parts failure rates by region, EVA can communicate to auto parts distributors that specific parts are in high demand and stock levels of specific parts need to be replenished or increased to meet that projected demand.

Leveraging The Epicor Virtual Agent Alongside Epicor ERP

Developed using AI services from Microsoft Azure AI services are an integral part of EVA’s development. As such, the Epicor Virtual Agent can accompany any size and type of Epicor implementation, be it on-premise or in the cloud. By delivering the power of EVA to customers of every size, even small and medium-sized companies can leverage innovative tech the biggest enterprises use to grow their businesses.

Hays emphasizes EVA’s machine learning component and how extended use will make the tool even more ubiquitous, “With EVA, you interact naturally with your ERP system. It’s as easy as just talking or typing to a colleague. This makes the breadth and depth of the industry-specific functionality and information available inside the system directly accessible to a larger audience, boosting productivity and efficiency, and giving the company an improved return on their ERP investment.”

EVA will be available as part of the latest releases of Epicor ERP and Prophet 21, which are planned for general availability in May 2019.

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.


We came, we saw, it was awesome. Encompass Solutions’ participation as exhibitors and speakers at Automate 2019 gave us the perfect vantage point from which to experience the show and deliver an Automate 2019 recap.

an image of the encompass solutions booth team at automate 2019

Automate 2019 At a Glance

Produced by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), the show featured more than 500 exhibitors in the massive 160,000-square-feet exhibition space at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. In addition, the show hosted five educational tracks that included practical training in How to Automate, Automation Solutions & Innovation, Collaborative & Mobile Robotics, AI, Digitalization & Smart Manufacturing, Certified Vision Professional (CVP) Basic, Certified Vision Professional (CVP) Advanced, Certified Motion Control Professional (CMCP), and Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Updates. These tracks included content from introductory level to advanced topics for users, students, educators, and operators. While we delivered an introductory seminar on current automation types, robotics in use on the factory floor, and how you can get started implementing in your own facilities, we attended several breakout and advanced sessions. During each of those talks, one theme emerged over and over–ours is the age of automation.

Here are just a few more happenings from Automate 2019 in regard to new advanced robots and robot vendor developments that are rolling out into facilities worldwide.

Automation 2019 Key Takeaways

There were too many things we learned at Automate 2019 to list in one post. However, we want to share a few highlights that we think everyone needs to consider moving forward:

  • Automation is here and it’s only gaining more momentum as advancements in hardware, software, and utilization become more refined.
  • If you are not thinking about leveraging automation and robotics, you are already behind.
  • While many are expecting an economic downturn between 2020-2022, now is still the best time to begin investing in these technologies.
  • Start small. You don’t have to outfit your entire operation to remain competitive. start with one robot or one instance of automated assembly. build from there.
  • Empower your staff and involve them in the transformation that is coming.
  • Focused Automation and Robotics specializations for employees will be necessary, as there will be less and less room for unskilled staff in modernized facilities.
  • Upskilling current staff will be of greater benefit and lower cost for employers than training and onboarding new staff.=

It’s going to be a hard-fought battle to outpace competitors as automation becomes more affordable and more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises. Start training and experimenting with automation today and you’ll be ready to weather the bout.

ERP At Automate 2019

We spoke with hundreds of users and manufacturers thinking about robotics and automation during the weeklong Automate 2019 event. While the robots and automation enclosures were captivating, to say the least, one thing few seemed to consider during that time was how they were going to connect those robotics and automated systems to the rest of their enterprise. In short, the answer is an ERP solution.

It’s one thing to install a robot on your factory floor to install windshields, make welds, or assemble PCBs. However, what are you doing with that data from your manufacturing processes? Are you even tracking it? By plugging your robotics and automation data into your ERP system, you are getting more detailed accounts of performance, quality, material and time optimization, maintenance cycles, and so much more. Everyone we spoke with, from attendees to exhibitors to organizers, agreed that ERP connectivity is an essential component of automation and robotics on the factory floor. We look forward to carrying those conversations further and urge everyone looking to automate processes or install robots in their facilities to consider the necessity for visibility and connectivity when evaluating such technologies.

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.