Many of our customers slow down during the holiday season – they have limited staff and/or run leaner. This is a great time of year to look at projects that have been kicked down the road during 2021 or from prior years. Taking care of any software-related business improvement projects while volumes are lower and people have a little more room to think and plan can put your business ahead in the New Year.
Make the most of any holiday lulls. Encompass can help you take care of those projects that you have been deferring so you can fine-tune your business for 2022.
Example Business Improvement Projects
Encompass can help you implement an array of straightforward, effective business improvement projects that will help cope with higher volumes and unforeseen disruptions. Some examples include:
Building out your CRM system to provide better customer service in 2022
Conducting a Business Process Review (BPR)
Establish an online eCommerce storefront for your business
Installing Info worker to seamlessly allow your staff to connect to your CRM system
Preparing to analyze prior years’ data with BI tools like EDA
Looking at tools to help you better forecast and budget with each new year
Considering shop-floor, device-based control systems like EWMW
Schedule a workshop to implement inventory cycle counting
Have ideas you want to implement but just don’t know how to go about getting started? Contact us today and we’ll put our heads together to make your idea’s a reality.
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, or 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 the Industry.
Kaufman had been running several non-integrated systems before the implementation of Epicor ERP. During that time, these non-integrated platforms led to colleagues having to do each other’s jobs. One example included a lack of confidence in the inventory on hand. with no trust in the system data, users had to manually confirm inventory availability.
The Epicor implementation effort was owned by Kaufman IT Director Larry Keilin. “The transition from our old system to our new system was less painful than I expected for many employees, the day you switch from an old system to a new system is the day they love the old system,” Keilin commented. “A large number of our employees got on the Epicor bandwagon and became excited about all the work they can now do that they couldn’t do before. We are truly seeing the benefits, for example, for the purchasing department, the Buyers Workbench is such a useful tool that it stands out, and our customer service department loves the way they can take an old order, copy it, and create a new one-it’s a huge time saver for them.”
70 Concurrent Office Users
15 Concurrent Data Collection Users
8 Database Users
Challenges for this project are both substantial and essential to overcome if Kaufman were to make the most of its new ERP system. First, overcoming the lack of visibility for purchasing decisions, which up until this point had been made using days’ worth of research and inventory management via Microsoft® Excel® worksheets, would be essential.
Second, The lack of real-time transaction data gave little insight into how Kaufman was performing at any given point in time. Finally, the organization’s multiple costing methodologies provided inconsistent gross margin calculations.
Kaufman Container implemented its Epicor ERP solution with the primary goals of:
Better tracking of sales and gross margin data to salespersons and customers.
Improve inventory management.
Integrate production management.
Growing revenue and profitability.
Encompass Solutions was contracted by Kaufman to perform an end-to-end business process review (BPR) which was critical in helping to determine the optimal business processes to follow. This would yield the maximum benefit from the newly implemented Epicor ERP product. The BRP was completed in just one week and helped outline areas for improvement as well as recommendations for systems and process improvement moving forward into implementation.
Every business area was taken into account during the assessment and recommendations for changes in engineering, production, inventory, purchasing, costing, and accounting departments were presented. In particular, a go-forward path that included additional modules to offer a substantial benefit to production and inventory management was provided by Encompass.
When asked how he felt we performed in our assessment, Keilin offered, “Encompass has done a great job at assessing the situation, with BPR guidance to systematically attack and resolve pain points following the implementation.”
High return on investment that saw overhead costs cut by 30%.
System usability improved significantly as a result of easy-to-use dashboards and report generation.
Business Process Management (BPM) provided users the ability to set conditions and actions that added functionality to the system, tailoring screens and processes as needed.
Reorganization of sites, warehouses, and bins enabled quick and easy product location for issuing to jobs or shipping.
Parts purchasing was made easier with the visibility of time phase reporting.
The consistent average cost across all product lines.
For the past 100 years, Kaufman Container has been a leader in the North American market in providing quality and innovative packaging components and value-added services. From our beginning, our focus has always been on giving our customers exactly what they are looking for. Kaufman Container continues to be your “One Stop Shop” for all your packaging needs.
Today, Kaufman Container continues to be a privately-held, family-owned business that operates two key facilities in the Midwest. The business offers a wide variety of products and services, warehousing, quality and technical support, logistics assistance, and an in-house decorating facility.
Ever been on a hike? A real hike. I’m not talking about a long walk with a bottle of water, here, I’m talking about carrying thirty pounds of a tent, sleeping bag, food, and equipment in a backpack the size of two small children twenty miles up and down mountains.
Whether you have or not, you know that a whole lot of prep happens before a hike: breaking in the boots, getting the pack fitted, paring weighty equipment down to the barest essentials. If you’re just getting started toward your ERP journey, you may want to consider out free ERP selection strategies ebook. If you’ve just finished your ERP implementation project, you’ll certainly feel as though you’ve hiked the Appalachian Trail.
Just as with a hike, though, your ERP system isn’t just about the destination, it’s about the journey: In the same way that any good hiker will be constantly adjusting their pack, changing their pace and stride, and constantly reorienting themselves via map and compass to keep themselves moving steadily and happily, a good company is going to be constantly reevaluating their system and making upgrades, streamlining processes, and changing to meet market demands.
Encompass will be with you every step of the way in your ERP journey with a BPR: A Business Process Review.
What Is A Business Process Review
A business process review is like a hiker’s gear adjustment: It is an objective look at how your company is currently operating. It involves a review of current business practices and system-user interaction, with a focus on optimization. It includes an analysis of system transaction use and configuration to identify functionality that may better support your operational needs. Although technology application and configuration is a core part of this assessment, your business processes, resource skills, and infrastructure are also evaluated. We also conduct employee interviews to determine ‘pain points’ for the user and management.
Here’s a list of the mountains we often have to climb while getting your ERP system on the right path:
Poor Data Quality – Incomplete or incorrect data creates mistrust in the system, creating the need for offline workarounds, which increases the risk of inaccuracies while creating unneeded workload.
Mismatch Between Roles & Responsibilities – Insufficient training in the case of high employee turnover and lack of proper training creates inefficiencies and inaccurate data, as does ignoring the hierarchy for responsibilities (managers assuming duties meant for their employees, or giving work to employees that are beyond their skill level, for example).
Offline Processes – Employees may perform work off of the ERP because ‘that’s how we’ve always done it,’ or because they ‘don’t trust the system’. This could be through the incorrect implementation of the ERP, through poor training, or the need for a ‘mindset change’.
Growth – Unexpected or aggressive growth may require an expansion of existing infrastructure before operational systems impact and slow growth.
Training – High turnover or increased growth creates staff with less expertise and knowledge. Even with experienced staff, cross-training or advanced training is needed for employees to understand the ‘big picture’ of the ERP process.
The end result: The business process review provides a suite of deliverables that improve your business by refining and upgrading your ERP system. The BPR identifies the ‘Hot Spots’ where efficiency drops, or where lack of training creates problems downstream, or where features are not being used correctly (or at all) and offer solutions to all of them, through new functionality, increased training, or modifying the procedure.
So, break out the boots and the hiking stick: The trail to a better ERP and better business is a steep one, full of rocks and switchbacks, but trust us: when you’re at the top of the mountain, the view is incredible.
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.