Encompass Solutions is pleased to announce our new technology partnership with EBizCharge, a provider of payment gateway solutions for manufacturers and other businesses.

What EBizCharge Does

EBizCharge is an out-of-the-box payment integration. The solution allows businesses to accept credit and debit card payments, send email payment reminders to customers, automate payment collections, and more. This all happens within the Epicor environment.

EBizCharge qualifies cards at the lowest rates, lowering your monthly processing costs. The solution is easy to install and requires no development activities.

The Benefits of EBizCharge 

The new partnership between Encompass and EBizCharge offers two tiers of benefits. The first comes in the form of benefits specific to Epicor users. The second includes benefits specific to Encompass customers. Here are the benefits you can leverage as both an Epicor user and Encompass customer.

Benefits for Epicor users

  • The latest data encryption and tokenization technology for maximum transaction security and PCI compliance.
  • Access to an online customer payment portal, allowing customers to pay invoices online.
  • Unlimited transactions/batch history for viewing and reporting purposes.
  • Powerful search functionality to run custom reports.
  • Ability to sort through transactions by category.
  • Immediate release of funds when issuing refunds.
  • Ability to assign users and manage access limits with ease.
  • Mobile app available for iOS and Android devices.

Benefits for Encompass customers

  • Lowered processing costs.
  • A quick and seamless transition.
  • No long-term contracts.
  • Simplified statement (one instead of two to three) and one point of contact.
  • Flat rate processing options.
  • Next-day funding options.
  • Proactive chargeback management team.
  • Access to a world-class, in-house customer support team, available 24/7 and free of charge.

if you’re ready to learn more about EBizCharge’s proprietary payment gateway, with its streamlined payment integrations backed by five-star customer support, schedule a demo, here.

About EBizCharge

EBizCharge integrates to over 100 major ERP, CRM, and accounting systems including Epicor 9 and 10. EBizCharge is the leading integrated payments platform in the United States allowing merchants to accept payments in their ERP system, power their online store, upload customer invoices to the online payment portal, and provide mobile credit card processing, unlimited transaction history, customizable reports, electronic invoicing, email payment links, secure encryption, tokenization, and 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. 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.


Over the last 40 years, electronic data interchange (EDI) has become known as a business standard format for relaying documents electronically between trading partners in a network. While EDI comes with great benefits, it is not without its challenges. Fortunately, for the vast majority of businesses, the benefits of EDI far outweigh the drawbacks. Modern methods and technology have only served to provide more potent EDI benefits for small and medium businesses.

Financial Benefits Of EDI

Because EDI is a digital means of communicating for businesses, it comes with many advantages over paper-based systems. Not only this, but it saves on costly errors, wait time, and a host of other factors that businesses not utilizing EDI will suffer from.

Take for instance paper and postage, the most obvious difference between EDI and other communication systems. Because all EDI transactions are completed electronically and instantaneously, the expense for paper, postage, envelopes, forms, ink, and transit costs are cut out of the equation. EDI not only saves on waste and materials within a business, but also resources beyond the walls of the business, such as fuel and labor associated with shipping and transit activities. Administrative and maintenance costs are also impacted by EDI, due to storage, filing, and retrieval costs no longer being part of the equation.

an image of the financial benefits of edi

Labor costs are reduced, as well. This is due to the fact that data entry, manual review of documents, and other administrative tasks, like sorting, copying, and filing, are no longer necessary with EDI. The automation provided by EDI frees time to take on and complete constructive tasks for teams while cutting down on costly errors significantly. The work hours involved are reduced significantly and order processing can essentially be put on autopilot, save for the instances and conditions a business has built into their EDI processes.

Operational Benefits of EDI

We touched on the automation EDI provides in the section above, but those improvements go beyond cost-savings and financial benefits of EDI. When your business runs more efficiently, trading partners and customers are more inclined to return to you with their business.

Maintaining accuracy in a paper-based trading network is a full-time job. Even with expert administrators and financial professionals, these tasks are wrought with problematic processes. There are many opportunities for human errors when it comes to re-keying data from orders, processing returns, and carrying out payment processing. EDI is an as-in, as-out technology. This means that the data received is the exact same as the data transmitted from trading partners. There is no need to re-enter data manually. The result is fewer erroneous entries, product returns, and lost orders.

an image of the operational benefits of edi

On the topic of order fulfilment, EDI provides businesses with better visibility into their supply chain and inventory. The lead-time necessary to process an order is reduced and a business can move closer to a Just-in-time (JIT) system.

Order accuracy is maintained at the highest level via digital records. When tied into a business’ ERP system, order, supply chain, and inventory data are ready and accessible for better and more informed decision making. When a business is more able to adapt to market conditions and respond to supply chain issues, they are better positioned to outperform their competitors.

EDI has a tremendous impact on operations, from speed and accuracy to automation and efficiency. However, security is a topic increasingly at the forefront of conversations between trading partners and businesses with their customers. EDI delivers enhanced security protocols that place several layers of protection between transactional data between businesses and their networks, as well as their customers.

Trading Partner and Customer Benefits of EDI

Beyond all the internal business benefits of EDI, there are many external trading partner and customer benefits of EDI.

One example emerges in a businesses ability to respond to changes in market conditions more quickly and effectively. Response time to environmental factors can be shaved down to seconds with EDI, resulting in fewer order disruptions and streamlined processes between sales and trading partner activities. The precision that this facilitates ensures that production planning, order fulfilment, delivery, and response time are much more precise and in alignment with a trading network or customers’ best interests.

an imag eof the tradin partner and customer benefits of edi

The internet has connected the world on a scale never seen before in history. As a result, those we communicate with expect updates to be quick, accurate, and on-demand. EDI facilitates all three of these demands by providing information on process statuses, such as acknowledging receipt of orders, invoices, changes to purchase orders, pending payment status and more.

Delivering on customer expectations is the key to securing their business long-term. EDI ensures that businesses are equipped to do so while also making accurate and timely updates available. In a competitive marketplace, where the buyer has the power, businesses need to leverage every advantage available. A high-level of customer service is essential to thrive and EDI can help provide customer benefits their competitors may lack.

Trading partners and trading networks are often the driving force behind EDI implementation. EDI compliance can open the doors to more fruitful and expansive trading networks for businesses. Once the standards are put into place, EDI trading partner benefits are numerous and serve to grow a business’ trading network.

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.


5G wireless technology has a lot of potential. In this post, I will explore several of the front-running industries setting themselves apart by taking advantage of 5G.

Ten years ago, autonomous vehicles were just getting started and were thought to be something out of “The Jetsons”. Fast-forward a few years and we finally have driverless cars being tested in some areas of the country. The backbone behind this? 5G technology. That’s right 5G is the mobile technology that will propel self-driving vehicles into large-scale adoption; you can read more about it here. Let’s continue the 5G vs 4G conversation taking place right now.

5G Wireless Technology In The Near Future

In the next few years, the healthcare industry is anticipating the use of 5G to quickly and reliably transmit large data files. MRI images, for example, currently take a long time to transfer over the network to other doctors or specialists. By using 5G technology, these transmissions will become quicker, more reliable and sent in a secure manner to protect patient privacy. Healthcare systems also will use 5G to stream real-time high-quality video for better doctor-patient interaction. By doing so providers will make tele-medicine an everyday occurrence. You can read a bit more about that, here.

an image of healthcare professionals and patients leveraging 5g wireless technology

How John Deere Plan To Leverage 5G Wireless Technology

When you hear the name John Deere, visions of tractors and Midwest America pop into your head, right? What if I told you this 180-year-old bellwether of a company is leading the charge in farming automation? You’d probably think I’m crazy – and you might be right – but not because of this. John Deere, with its acquisition of Blue River, is looking to advance farm equipment well beyond what most people thought possible. With their integration of automated driving technology, computer vision systems and applications, some experts believe farmers will be able to double or triple their annual yield. Learn about 5G and the future of farming here.

Up Next For 5G Wireless Technology

While 5G wireless technology promises huge disruption in just about every global industry, it is not without resistance. There are quite a few barriers for 5G to overcome before it’s ubiquitous and in part 3 of this series, I will discuss some of the headwinds 5G wireless technology faces in the coming years.

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.


Before talking about the future, we need to reminisce a bit. Remember when 4G technology was a pioneer in wireless networking? Remember when everyone wanted the latest smartphone so they could stream videos, check Facebook or be the first to tweet about something the Kardashian’s did? Remember when everyone was excited about the latest-n-greatest and we all rushed out to get on the 4G bandwidth wagon – if you didn’t you weren’t one of the “cool kids”. Remember your first analog cell phone or bag phone with a curly “Q” car antenna (fake or otherwise)? Don’t kid yourself, you know you do! Now, we sit on the precipice of a new technological breakthrough in the form of 5G wireless connectivity. Here’s a bit about the 5G vs 4G conversation taking place right now.

What Is 5G Wireless Technology?

With big cellular conglomerates launching 5G cellular networks this year, you might be asking yourself–What is 5G? The G stands for generation, as in the 5th generation of wireless network technology. 5G wireless tech promises faster transfer rates, lower latency, and bigger bandwidth by orders of magnitude. However, Don’t get too excited just yet. Full utilization of 5G wireless networks is still out of reach for the everyday consumer.

The actual 5G radio system, known as 5G New Radio (5G-NR), isn’t compatible with 4G. However, 5G enabled devices will rely on existing 4G infrastructure where applicable until a connection to a 5G wireless network is possible. This whole effort is part of ongoing wireless connectivity’s evolution and is currently on target to meet the usage requirements outlined in the International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020). The requirements include such capabilities as a maximum achievable data rate of 20Gbit/s, 1ms Radio network contribution to packet travel time (read latency), and a total traffic coverage area of 1000 (Mbit/s)/m2.

How 5G Wireless Networks Will Impact Our Lives

Recently, I attended a seminar regarding the new 5G or “fifth generation” cell technology. It was an informative seminar shedding light on the future of 5G in the next five to ten years. As a primer to what’s ahead, 5G offers 10x the bandwidth and faster data transfers than current 4G technology (think wire speed through your cell phone)! Imagine streaming Netflix, Amazon or other online content with a fraction of the buffering time or downloads happening 10x faster. While something to certainly be excited about and cellular providers are licking their chops to charge you more money (for those of us still on a capped data plan), there are several hurdles and challenges to overcome before mainstream adoption takes place. Over the next few blog posts, I will outline areas where 5G technology will enter the market place and several of the biggest challenges facing world-wide adoption.

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.


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.


Top 10 Benefits Of IoT For Manufacturers

Chances are you have come across the terms Internet of Things (IoT) or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). These are networks of connected devices that communicate data to a central system in order to make sense of it all. These networks consist of connected edge devices, terminals, and machines in an enterprise. The data captured through this network provides an understanding of what is successful and what is not in terms of operations and processes. The system that helps you interpret the captured data is, more often than not, your company’s ERP system. Read on to learn how you can leverage the top 10 benefits of IoT for manufacturers in your facility.

Internet of Things (IoT)

When it comes to everyday devices capable of the connectivity we are talking about, the numbers are staggering. Billions of devices exist with this capability. In fact, it is estimated that there are roughly 7 such devices for each person on the planet, totaling roughly 50bn devices by 2020.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

When it comes to IIoT devices, the vast majority reside in manufacturing, followed closely by healthcare and retail industries. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) puts a focus on this interconnectivity and data provided by the terminals, sensors, and other systems on the factory floor. These data-fueled factories become “intelligent” environments, which are capable of informing enterprises from the top down. They provide visibility regarding the efficiency of factory processes and performance both in real-time and over time. In short, the data enables manufacturers to refine and improve operations with relevant and up-to-date data.

an image of IIoT statistics top 10 benefits of iot for manufacturers

Source: Accenture

So, how can your organization stand to benefit from making the investment in IoT connectivity? Here are the top 10 benefits of IoT for manufacturers.

1. The Connected Factory – Blindspots Begone

IoT enabled machines and endpoints are capable of communicating operational information to personnel both inside and peripheral to your organization. That includes machine operators, managers, field service personnel and even partners like suppliers, subcontractors, and OEMs. This connectivity delivers mission-critical data and information to operation managers and factory leadership on-site and out-of-office. The power to control operations and manage factory activity on a remote level increases opportunities for process optimization and automation. view the Connected Factory In Action infographic at Manufacturing Tomorrow.

2. Production Visibility – Identifying Bottlenecks And Improve Processes

When it comes to production, the continuous monitoring of processes that IoT connectivity provides will enable improvements to be made on a rolling basis. Hangtime in assembly and manufacturing operations gain particular benefit when bottlenecks are identified and adjustments can be made in nearly real-time to realize better approaches to production management and the reduction of operational costs. Additionally, part waste is reduced alongside fewer resources tied up in inventory and better overall product delivery. For some organizations, IoT connectivity will lead to a 15 percent productivity increase in delivery and supply chain performance.

3. Better Inventory Management – Find It Fast, From Anywhere

With technologies like RFID and IoT connectivity, personnel tasked with managing inventory can leverage automated asset tracking and reporting through ERP to avoid the costly mistakes that come with working within antiquated inventory tracking systems. This connectivity allows items to be tracked and the data recorded to the ERP system automatically. These performance management capabilities made possible through IoT connectivity and ERP can help organizations reduce the number of working hours committed to inventory management each month and reduce the probability of human error. Track your stock from shop to dock with IoT technologies in your facility.

4. Build A Safer Work Environment

While there are no doubts that IoT connectivity and ERP improve production on the factory floor; these technologies can also help create a safer working environment for employees. This can be in the form of vision and spatial awareness systems for human-machine interactions or wearable safety technologies your staff keep on their person throughout the day. There are several safety concerns in any manufacturing facility. IoT connected devices can communicate to larger systems within the organization of aberrations, such as too much vibration or heat being exhibited from a machine or pressure loss within piping segments, and even gas leaks that might be otherwise undetectable to human perception. Staff moving through dangerous parts of your facility can signal to connected machines that a human is in close proximity and appropriate action can be taken automatically. An employee that sustains an injury in a remote location of the facility or even off-site can receive faster care with the inclusion of IoT-connected safety equipment. These are only a handful of examples of how IoT for manufacturers can improve safety in your facility.

5. Secure Your Facilities

With a growing number of bad actors participating in malicious attacks on manufacturers across the globe, manufacturing facility security is a topic of conversation every organization should be discussing. When it comes to security, IoT provides manufacturers with a way to monitor their data coming into the system as well as going out. Terminals and end-points can signal foreign devices being connected to infrastructure, large amounts of data being moved, and individuals accessing data they otherwise shouldn’t have access to. Leveraging IoT for manufacturers can help guard against security threats to vital hardware, software, and cloud-stored data. You can even manage devices and policies throughout an enterprise from a single point using IoT connectivity. For more information on Practical Security for the Internet of things – view the infographic from Entrust.

6.Predictive Maintenance – Minimize Machine Downtime

Predictive maintenance identifies the condition of equipment while it is in-service and determines the optimal service interval. It saves time and money by completing maintenance activity only when necessary. A special focus has been placed on predictive maintenance, as opposed to preventative maintenance, more recently. This is because it allows longer periods of operation between maintenance tasks, resulting in less downtime for essential machinery. When coupled with technologies like IoT for Manufacturers, everything from vibration, voltage, temperature, and other performance indicators feed into sensing tools attached to machines. This information is interpreted and visualized by intelligent software solutions, such as ERP platforms, into updates, warnings, and alerts. Your teams can use this information to evaluate the situation and take the most appropriate action. Intelligent and connected devices assist in setting data points that indicate when a part is reaching end-of-life, too.  Automated systems can be directed to order replacement parts if none are on-site and schedule the replacement or repair in such a way that minimizes unplanned production downtime, which can cost manufacturers as much as $300,000 an hour.

an image of iot for manufacturers and the tools predictive maintenance delivers to manufacturers

The Volvo group provides one real-world example of how an IoT-based predictive maintenance solution can predict damage to spindles, as well as identifies cracking and spalling of rotating equipment, gearing, and motor defects. The resulting improvements to OEE saw a 70 percent reduction in diagnostic time and a 25 percent reduction in repair times.

7. Predictive Forecasting – Real-Time vs. Historical Data

Today’s global economies move too quickly for manufacturers to rely on historical data to forecast demand. Weather events, materials shortages, and a host of other environmental factors can influence demand for any given product at any given time. Accurate forecasting is critical for manufacturers that want to sell as much of a product as possible without oversaturating their markets.

Take, for instance, a widget. A consumer buys a connected widget, which in turn collects data about usage, wear and tear, and overall performance. The relative data is then sent back to the manufacturer to determine what adjustments need to be made to the product for more predictable forecasts of future demand. If the product is satisfactory for customers across a wide range of environments and uses, then the average life-cycle can be taken into account and manufacturing volume can be adjusted to match. The result is more accurate demand forecasting, fewer wasted resources and stock tied up in inventory. What follows is an increase in overall customer satisfaction based on quality and deliverability when consumers return for a replacement part.

IoT for Manufacturers in this sense can go far beyond demand forecasting to include the entire supply chain with traditional forecasting, statistical bottom-up forecasting, and ship-to forecasting. Zara is one retailer using IoT to forecast demand and minimize waste.

8. Increased Energy Efficiency – A Smaller Footprint

If you didn’t already know, industries like discrete and process manufacturers are responsible for the majority of energy consumption worldwide. In fact, industrial manufacturing is responsible for consuming 54% globally delivered electricity. This leads to pretty sizable operating costs. fortunately, IoT for manufacturers can significantly increase energy efficiency in a number of ways.

initially, managers can easily identify hardware and devices that use the most energy. This information can be used in creating advanced operating profiles that tell machines when to power up and operate or power down and conserve energy. Systems draining too much power, or more than they should be, can be a sign of malfunction. IoT connectivity can highlight these abnormalities right away and address problems more immediately than if the power consumption of machinery were not being monitored. This capability keeps machines operating at peak efficiency and capacity without draining resources unnecessarily.

Beyond this, IoT connectivity can give you an energy profile of your entire facility, or many facilities. The data can then be used to create the most appropriate and efficient back-up systems to keep operations running smoothly despite adverse environmental factors. As a result, you can keep operating during tight deadlines and production schedules despite outages.

9. Improved Quality – IoT For Manufacturers’ Process Improvement

Quality can mean many things for manufacturers and their partners. Internally, improving processes through IoT devices can come from something as commonplace as alerting operators when there is too much material buildup on a machine’s end effectors or internal mechanisms. The addressing action would lead to improved machine performance, better output, and an improved process. in a temperature controlled facility, aberrant tempt reading could be the result of a door left open, poor insulation, or a faulty HVAC system component. All of which can be identified and addressed with the help of IoT connectivity.

Alternatively, connected products and goods used in the field can relay valuable data that might not have been previously tested. This can include machinery performance when used in a cold, dry climate versus the humid tropics. Even phones that fail in freezing or sweltering temperatures can tell designers and engineers what components are of substandard quality, leading to improvements in future products manufactured with those conditions taken into account.

10. Increase Operational Efficiency – Maneuver Like A Tesla, Not An Oil Tanker

IoT connected devices allow manufacturing operations and executives to utilize data flowing through their facilities to make smarter, more informed decisions. Using the information available enables the connected enterprise to undertake proactive, continuous improvement initiatives that create a more agile and stable future through both insight and action.

Truly, the benefits delivered by IoT-connected assets go beyond operational efficiency. The connected enterprise represents the next level of organizational maturity. It encapsulates predictive maintenance, higher quality products, more focused leadership, and overall organizational health. Overall, IoT for manufacturers allows staff throughout a company to work smarter, not harder, today. over the long term, cost benefits are realized many times over as upsets and disruptions in operations can be avoided entirely.

Epicor ERP IoT For Manufacturers – Workflow

Monitor equipment, assets, environmental factors, inventory locations, and their corresponding IoT data. Events and data—such as sensor and machine telemetry—flow into the Azure IoT Hub. From there, the data propagates to the IoT module of your Epicor ERP solution. Epicor IoT has an advanced rule-based engine that can detect patterns and raise alerts and notifications that propagate into Epicor ERP where they can be used to trigger business process changes like raising a maintenance suggestion when equipment degradation is detected.

Here are just some of the benefits realized when you implement Epicor ERP IoT for manufacturers:

  • Identify issues such as potential breakdowns before they happen
  • Optimize supply and reduce costs by monitoring events across your supply chain
  • Improve overall workers safety and security in the plant by monitoring the KPIs of health and safety
  • Improve decision-making by providing real-time, actionable information
  • Increase customer satisfaction and efficiencies and lower costs
  • Gain insights into the usage patterns and handling of product from customers
  • Predict issues and reduce inventory by tracking materials, equipment, and product as it moves through the supply chain

Contact Encompass Solutions, Inc. to learn more about implementing Epicor ERP IoT for manufacturers using the link below.

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.


What Is EDI? Electronic Data Interchange, is defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology as, “the computer-to-computer interchange of strictly formatted messages that represent documents other than monetary instruments. EDI implies a sequence of messages between two parties, either of whom may serve as originator or recipient. The formatted data representing the documents may be transmitted from originator to recipient via telecommunications or physically transported on electronic storage media.” However, it can be summarized as a process by which computer systems exchange business documents quickly and securely in a standard electronic format. Some examples of those electronic formats include those from ANSI, EDIFACT, TRADACOMS and ebXML.

What Is EDI Efficiency

By shedding traditional paper-based systems, businesses and their partners can take advantage of a host of benefits that EDI provides. Those benefits include, but are not limited to faster production speeds, fewer errors, reduced costs, and stronger more reliable partnerships.

When it comes to Electronic Commerce (EC), also known as e-commerce/eCommerce, EDI provides an essential method for carrying out business functions relating to information exchange, monetary transactions, and purchasing both in business-to-business and business-to-consumer relationships.

an image of points of light connecting buildings, devices,and people in an effort to visually answer the question: What Is EDI?

EDI helps eliminate human participation in the exchange of essential documents throughout business processes. In short, EDI helps automate monotonous and error-prone business processes.

What Is EDI Security

When it comes to how EDI can affect your company’s business processes with customers and partners, security becomes one of the most important factors to consider. By doing away with paper systems and outdated technology, like phone, fax, and email conversations, your business is freed to take advantage of more comprehensive and secure methods of exchange. Consider these benefits when it comes to implementing an EDI solution for your business:

  • Audit trails
  • Contingency planning
  • Use of acknowledgments
  • Electronic document management
  • Activities of supporting networks
  • User access controls to systems and networks
  • Cryptographic techniques for authentication and confidentiality

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.


if only henry ford had the benefits of epicor social enterprise

If Henry Ford and Thomas Edison had your email inbox, we’d probably ride horses to work and read our reports by candlelight.  Information is the brain fuel of our businesses, that much is true.  However, email, unnecessary meetings, and worse – constant interruptions – have turned that fuel into the business equivalent of the Twinkie.  You can live on Twinkies, but it’s not a good life. This is where Social Networking for ERP really shines. It reclaims your inbox, cleans the fluff out of your calendar, and allows you and your teams that ultimate modern luxury – Focus.  Below are two ways Epicor Social Enterprise will rock your business world. Want to know more about Epicor Social Enterprise? Get in touch using the contact us button below.

Focus – Epicor Social Enterprise Delivers Faster Results With Fewer Emails

Epicor Social integrates the most valuable features of social networking right into your ERP system. This means your activity stream built into Epicor shows you what you need to know, when you need it, exactly where you need to see it in order to do your job effectively.  Have a hot customer order that needs special babysitting?  Follow it. Concerned about your new product launch?  Track #MySuperAmazingProject using hashtags. Use callouts to send a question to the quality control team or accounting and bring them into the dialog.

The point is that Epicor Social gets work out of your inbox and back into the ERP system where the real work happens, anyway. Everything is linked.  Everyone that needs to be involved is involved. And everything has a context, so you jump right from the discussion into the Epicor record and do the work that needs to be done. Vitamin F(ocus) is a good thing.

Innovation – Let The Creative Juices Flow With Epicor Social Enterprise

If information is the brain fuel of your business, innovation is the lifeblood. Innovation is what allows you to respond to changing customer needs and position yourself successfully in a crowded marketplace. Innovation is amazing.

The problem?  Innovation is also tough.  You need geniuses, but they’re in short supply.  What most businesses have instead is an untapped collective pool of experience and ideas spread across the entire team and no way to harness it.

Epicor Social is the Juice-O-Matic that taps into your team’s creative juices. Does Sales love the idea?  Super. What does manufacturing say?  Bring those voices together, comment, vote, and move on. Companies that embrace social networking in ERP typically see an upswing in innovation, shorter process and decision times, better profits, and more on-time projects.  That’s how you measure lifeblood, and that’s what Epicor Social brings to your business.

Ford and Edison understood focus, collaboration, and innovation. So does Epicor. Let us know how we can help you evaluate Epicor Social tools and help you get out of your inbox and back into your business 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.


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

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

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

Get-Collaborative-Image

The Benefits Of Social ERP

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

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

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

About Encompass Solutions

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