2020 has reached the mid-year mark and Avalara is delivering a live presentation on this year’s sales tax changes. The report takes stock of what’s taken place in the world of sales tax since the year began. This includes emerging trends, unforeseen changes, and the curveball this year threw the world with the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us for a live webinar presented on July 15 at 1 pm by the sales tax experts at Avalara on their 2020 Sales Tax Changes Midyear Update.

COVID-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hamstrung brick-and-mortar commerce with a tremendous shift to digital operations and eCommerce.

All the while, businesses scrambled to deliver on fulfilment obligations to customers, remain solvent, and even retool to meet the demand for specific products.

Governments addressed the issue in a number of ways, with delayed VAT filings or temporarily cut the VAT rate for industries bearing the largest impacts. For example, the United States pushed back to state and federal income tax deadlines. This provides more time for individuals and businesses to file and pay.

2 Years Beyond South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.

If you recall the 2018 United States Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., the ruling enabled states to tax businesses that have economic activity but no physical presence in the state. Otherwise known as economic nexus. It was a big deal. It still is. At the time, only a handful of states moved on the new ruling and began charging states without physical presence sales tax.

Fast-forward to the June 2020 sales tax situation and the vast majority of states have signed on to adopt these economic nexus laws. COVID-19 has only heightened awareness among states that remain on the fence and it won’t be long before these convoluted rules apply to all 50 states.

States Need More Money

As the last six months have proven, the states are on their own in a number of social and economic areas. As the pandemic continues to send shockwaves through economies of every scale, states are sure they’ll need to supplement their coffers one way or another to remain effective in serving their residents. 2020 sales tax rules for individual states are likely to change to address the need for making up lost revenue.

Digital And Streaming Services Can Expect To Pay More

If you haven’t heard of Zoom or GoTo Meeting, chances are you’ve been living under a rock for the past six months. States are anticipated to raise taxes on these heavily utilized platforms. As a result, digital meeting and entertainment services are likely to see sales tax legislature expanded at their expense.

More Collection Requirements For Marketplace Facilitators

Marketplace facilitators like Etsy, Amazon, eBay and others, are expected to collect and remit sales tax at an increasing rate. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Most states already have such laws governing marketplace facilitator sales tax collections on the books. Just four states remain in this situation in the entirety of the US. One is already closely eyeing the implementation of such legislation.

The Dynamic Nature of 2020 Sales Tax

Nothing is guaranteed but death and taxes. Unfortunately, sales tax rules seldom retain the same state for very long. The last six months have seen reductions or eliminations of sales tax rules for feminine hygiene products. There’s even been discussion within some regions on the elimination of sales tax for firearms. Now, groceries are a focal point for communities hardest hit by job loss and economic downturn.

You can read more in Avlara’s comprehensive report, here: 2020 sales tax changes midyear update.

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. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


As more and more of our ERP implementation and Upgrade customers find their business operations slowing and project teams moving into remote-based roles, I am frequently asked:

  • Does it make sense to continue our project?
  • Can we be successful while working remotely?

Maintaining Project Continuity

It may not seem like it, but slower times in your business can actually be turned to your advantage, and work to drive a rapid, and successful project.  Some typical project challenges are listed below, along with how you can turn a period of slowness in your business, into an accelerated plan to implement or upgrade, such that your new system is ready when your business is. Project continuity will ensure that any active or planned undertakings continue to make use of any momentum that preceded a period of disruption.

Systems Design

While we move to design a system for our clients that correctly supports their desired future state, it’s very important to be able to model end to end processes with subject matter experts in the business.  This can be challenging as these individuals are almost always key business roles, and it is normally difficult to get dedicated time.  With more bandwidth for each subject matter expert (SME) to work remotely with the lead on our side, the process modeling that can sometimes take months or more can be compressed into just a few weeks, leaving us plenty of time to complete any gaps – like custom screens, reports, or integrations –  so that the system is ready for your team.

Education 

It is common during a project for end-users to struggle to find time to attend education classes, workshops, and to make time to do their homework while they keep up with the demands of their 9 to 5 job.    This can be a good time to allocate some time each day for them to focus on learning the system, and ensuring readiness for UAT and cutover.

User Acceptance Testing

Ideally, project team members all need to get together to run high-value business streams through the designed system, to validate all gaps are closed, and the system is ready for production use.  These UAT exercises take key people out of their jobs, for a period of several days.  While things are slower, an activity like this can be tightly scheduled, such that this demanding exercise is out of the way, and the system is ready when business picks up.

As a consulting firm, we are accustomed to working remotely.  As such, we can assist your own project team to be able to be effective and productive, even if much of the team are working from their homes.  The key is to define roles and tightly scheduled tasks within our clients’ organization, build a collaborative way for issues to be logged and addressed, and with a good schedule in place, set periodic meetings to review issues, answer questions, adapt to change, and foster constant communication.

Things Encompass can work with your project team to do are:

  • Define a point (SME) for each business group
  • Set up a tracking system that the client and ESI can collaboratively use to track issues.  We are currently opening our own system to customers, via a web-based portal, free of charge.
  • Set periodic team meetings with SMEs to review critical issues, and let them get updates from Encompass on anything that we have been asked to assist with.  Early morning,  and right before lunch are typically times to meet.
  • Have each SME/Lead funnels all issues from their department to the portal at the end of the day- including questions from their team.  The SME can then set a priority on issues, which might range anywhere from ‘I can’t perform a process’ to ’nice to have in Phase 2.  This is the input to the morning meetings, where the customer’s internal project manager, and the Encompass project manager can set further prioritization as needed.

We realize that while you probably do not want to cut over to a new system while most of the team are remote, we can definitely plan intelligently for project continuity.  By leveraging some of the available time your team has right now, work together to accelerate your project, such that your business can go live as soon as you are ready, rather than trying to restart a project right as things get busy.

I am always available to take a call and help you work through a process that will work for your organization, to ensure project continuity with remote team members, and to prepare for success when things return to normal.

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 has helped modernize operations and automate 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.


What’s your hull?  When was the last time you dry-docked your business?  How can you leverage COVID-19 shutdowns and downturns to revitalize your core business systems to emerge stronger, faster, and leaner after the pandemic storms have passed?

If you’re like us, you’ve spent a lot of time asking critical questions about how COVID-19 will affect you, your employees, and the future of your business.   At Encompass, we’ve been talking a lot about dry dock.  When a ship needs critical work on its hull, it is pulled out of the water into a ‘dry dock’ for inspection and repairs.

This is hugely expensive.  It’s hugely inconvenient, too.  Taking a ship out of water is the equivalent of locking the doors of your business.  We all do that for holidays (fun and predictable), year-end inventories (predictable but never fun), and occasionally because life is unpredictable and sends us surprises like snowstorms and power outages.  But most of us have never shut down our businesses for an extended period of weeks or months the way a ship is taken out of the water for months in dry dock.

COVID-19 changes that.  Some of you sent staff home and locked the gates.  Some of you feel like the gates are locked anyway because your customers are sheltering in place at home.  Some of you saw your entire supply chain shut down and fall apart.  In some way or another, most of us are in dry dock right now.  It’s expensive, outside our control, and hugely inconvenient.

If we’re all dry-docked anyway, how can we take advantage of a complete system shut down and upgrade our business ‘ships?

What’s your hull? When was the last time you dry-docked your business?

If your business is a ship in dry dock, the hull represents your critical systems.  Do you have areas of your business that desperately need overhauling, but they are too integrated in your daily routine to ever take them offline?  This could be:

  • Network and server setup that impacts the security of your systems.
  • ERP modules you paid for but never implemented.
  • Part BOMs that have been inaccurate for years.
  • Financial, engineering, and manufacturing configurations that drive you and your staff crazy.
  • Cleaning up old, bad MRP data so your ERP can run MRP, scheduling, and purchasing accurately.

Encompass is using our own dry-dock time to upgrade and improve the systems that run our business.  We’re keeping staff engaged on continuous improvement projects we never have time to work on when we’re running at full capacity.  And since we are working on systems, this can all be done remotely.

What can you do to improve your systems?  Right now, your best staff members are probably sitting idle.  They’re afraid of COVID-19.  They’re afraid of losing their jobs.  And they’ve been frustrated for years because they know how to improve your systems but never have time to work on them.

How can you leverage the recent shutdowns and downturns?  Can you use idle time to revitalize your core systems?  What will make you stronger, faster, and leaner once this storm blows past?

Do you need our help?

If you’re reading this, know that Encompass chooses who we partner with.  We pick and choose customers, and we’re with you today because we fundamentally believe in your business.  We want you to survive and thrive.

If you do need help, we started preparing ‘dry dock support’ packages for our customers in late January, and we’re geared up to offer support with:

  • Remote workshops on all core Epicor modules to help your team identify best practices, plan, prep, implement, and process improvements across the system.
  • Rapid implementation of new modules. Right now is the easiest time you’ll ever have implementing scheduling, quality assurance, landed cost, and other new functionality.
  • Report development and customer and supplier communications right out of Epicor.
  • Coaching on how to optimize projects when your team is working from home.

Let us know what you need.  Or just touch base and let us know you, your team, and your families are OK.  We like you as people, and we like being in business with you.  We’re all in this together.

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 has helped modernize operations and automate 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.


Business continuity can be disrupted in a number of ways, such as natural disasters, scaled back staffing, security breaches and infrastructure failure. Most businesses have a hard time adapting to new ways of working when the everyday is interrupted. Manufacturing companies tend to have unique business cases and their own unique set of circumstances to address when external forces alter the here and now. However, preparedness and technology can support business continuity and ensure operations continue to run smoothly. Here is how some of Encompass Solutions’ customers are currently managing operations in a disruptive environment.

M Holland Company – Business Continuity Amid Disruption

At M. Holland Company, our IT support staff is used to providing remote work support to our international team of sales employees, but with the recent change in safety and health hazards, our entire operations office location has gone fully remote. This proved to be a challenge when employees who are usually in the office are now working from their homes. We have found that a lot of the pain from these users is the fear of the “unknown”. New types of issues arise when they are working from home; these are different than the normal ones we see every day in the office. We’ve been able to provide top notch issue resolution and training for our newly remote workers by utilizing instant messaging, video, and voice solutions through Microsoft Teams. Taking the extra time to call our users, normalizing the use of video chat, and screensharing has helped our team be more accustomed to the work from home setting. IT support can still deliver the same level of support, with “digital” face to face contact. This extra support in these challenging times has improved morale for our operations users, which helps them continue to support our sales teams efficiently while working in their new remote environments.

Lauren Palmer-Smith – Team Lead, Innovation and Technology at M. Holland Company

National Tube Supply – How Encompass Is Bridging The Gaps

I want to let you know that the partnership we have with Encompass is invaluable.  The support you continuously give our organization and the expediency with how you react to our ever-needing changes is sincerely appreciated.

I found out yesterday that we are the only steel tube distributor in Illinois that is “set up” the way we are.  We had the vision and expertise on our side that allowed us to react quickly to this current environment.  Our competitors still have all their employees going to work and are not able to have them work remotely.  Since our business is deemed “essential”, we remain open and we have the piece of mind knowing our employees are safe at home and still able to be 100% productive.

We had a project slated for Production at the end of Q2 and as a result of COVID-19, many customers requested this be expedited. Jarrad Kitching and John Ramsay (and our own Eileen Hankosky) once again, came though for us and hit it out of the park.  We went live on Tuesday. Three months ahead of schedule.

Michele Markowski – Board Member at National Tube Supply

Manufacturing is an essential industry, for some, now more than ever. We remain a dependable partner for our customers to turn to when their process and technology needs demand expert assistance. Our commitment to supporting our partnerships has been in place since the beginning of each relationship and will continue to grow through these trials and what may come.

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 has helped modernize operations and automate 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.


I’m Samuel Kniseley Ballesteros, and I’m an EOS Implementer™. You may already be familiar with EOS® or the book, Traction, by Gino Wickman, founder of EOS Worldwide. If you’ve never heard of EOS®, it stands for the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, and this short video clip tells The EOS® Story.

The EOS® Method

I help business owners who are overwhelmed with the 136 issues they’re wrestling with simultaneously. It’s all about getting a grip on their business and getting what they really want from the business. I do that by providing a complete system with really simple tools. These tools help you do three things we call Vision, Traction® and Healthy.

  • Vision from the standpoint of first getting your leaders 100% on the same page with where your organization is going and how it is going to get there.
  • Traction® from the standpoint of helping your leaders become more disciplined and accountable, executing really well to achieve every part of your Vision,
  • Healthy, meaning helping your leaders to become a healthy, functional, cohesive leadership team because leaders often don’t function well as a team.

From there, as goes your leadership team, the rest of your organization follows. We get to the point where your entire organization is crystal clear on your Vision, all much more disciplined and accountable in executing on your Vision. The result is gaining consistent Traction® and advancing as a healthy, functional and cohesive team.

I love to meet business owners to hear their story and what they are trying to accomplish with their business.  I also enjoy giving away some of my time (no charge) to get to know them and their leadership team. This includes teaching them the EOS® tools and proven process.  After that, I want them to feel absolutely comfortable calling me anytime with questions. It’s important for them to know that I won’t ever push them to start implementing EOS.  I’m a teacher, facilitator and coach, not a sales guy.

About Samuel

In his 20s, Samuel began leading the International Division for North America’s top architectural metals company. His Cuban heritage gave him the language skills to conduct business with customers in Latin America. Samuel was part of the team that set and realized strategic goals. During that time, the company grew from almost $30 Million to over $100 Million within 10 short years.

The skillset Samuel learned there led him to an opportunity to start his own firm. With that opportunity, he focused on helping companies improve their profitability.

Samuel’s firm picked up a client that helps CPAs become forward-thinking advisors. He worked directly with their team to refine a tool that helps CPAs measure a company’s business potential. The tool ultimately identified opportunities to increase value by improving the key components of the business.

After joining Stewardship Legacy Coaching to lead the Business Coaching Solutions Division, Samuel was introduced to the wonderful world of EOS®, and he was immediately attracted to the simplicity and practicality of EOS® to help entrepreneurs and their leadership teams make their vision clear, simple and achievable.

Now, as an EOS Implementer™, Samuel is excited about helping business owners thrive as they achieve what is best for their families and their companies.

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.


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.


When it comes to EDI, small businesses are often compelled to implement by their larger trading partners and suppliers. While a business may think it’s too small to warrant such a change, it’s easier to get started with EDI for small businesses than one might think.

EDI For Small Businesses: Burdens And Benefits

There are, as with many transformative technologies, initial barriers to be overcome. However, this is true for entities of every size when implementing EDI. In fact, smaller businesses have an easier time with some of these barriers than their larger counterparts. For many, the biggest barrier is costs associated with infrastructure and staff, for others, it’s the transition from paper-based systems to digital and automated ones. Whatever the hurdle to overcome may be, the benefits of integrated EDI for small businesses far outweigh the benefits that may be holding a business back from making the change.

Satisfaction, Loyalty, And Growth With EDI For Small Businesses

When it comes to the many arguments for a small business to begin leveraging EDI, nothing trumps growth. EDI enables growth in a big way, especially for smaller businesses. Two significant avenues through which EDI facilitates this are customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. When the experience of purchasing goes smoothly, and communication is fluid, customers appreciate the experience. Consistent performance in this regard delivers repeatable experiences that drive customer satisfaction. Positive word-of-mouth and online recommendations increase, which earn more business and retain loyal customers.

an image of a small business owner growing his business with edi for small businesses

Accuracy, Automation, And Accountability

It’s not unusual for small business staff to wear many hats and assume several responsibilities from day to day. Even specialists make mistakes, but staff tasked with multiple duties at a business are provided more opportunities to make simple errors. These errors can have far-reaching consequences. With EDI many of the repetitive and manual tasks associated with purchasing, invoicing and shipping can be automated, accurately enacted, and provide transparent records for superior accountability. The result is fewer botched orders, better follow through on commitments to customers, and another opportunity to prove their loyalty is earned and valued.

An image of a shop floor production improvements thanks to edi for small businesses

Reducing Overhead With An EDI Partner

For many small businesses, envisioning the added burden of managing EDI infrastructure and maintaining knowledgeable staff can sink the idea of before it’s put into action. Fortunately, there are options that don’t place these anxieties squarely on the shoulders of businesses. After the initial set-up of EDI, an EDP partner can maintain the system apart from a business’ day-to-day operation and IT structure. These systems are repeatable and scale with growth and can be easily integrated into existing ERP systems or to those added further down the line as time goes on.

an image of a business owner and edi partner agreeing on an edi for small businesses contract

By passing off the cost of an EDI project to an external partner, small businesses can enjoy the benefits of EDI without the additional staff, software, and hardware to maintain. This leaves in-house talent free to take on value-added activities that drive business growth and focus on customer care.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in EDI,  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.


When it comes to running a business, everyone has a business management system. These systems may even fall into the category of Enterprise Resource Planning software, even if users don’t know it by that name. Such a system can be as simple as a whiteboard on a breakroom wall but more often will take the form of spreadsheets and emails.

What Is Enterprise Resource Planning Software?

ERP software is a means of communicating processes and resources to a business’ personnel. This information is then used by personnel to complete tasks such as how many parts to build for a purchase order or how many orders to fulfill by specified deadlines. The level of depth ERP software provides is virtually limitless.

an image depicting the architecture of erp enterprise resource planning system with connections between business intelligence (bi), production, crm modules and hr diagram.

Why Do Businesses Use ERP Software?

Unfortunately, businesses relying on spreadsheets miss out on putting a lot of their valuable data to use. Not only this, but they divide their teams into siloed departments that leave them working less efficiently. ERP software bridges gaps in communicating processes and resources with personnel. The result is accurate and relevant data delivered to those who need it, in real-time and across departments. Businesses will find ERP applications enable better communication, increased efficiency, increased order accuracy and fulfillment, reduced inventory and labor costs, and happier customers.

The most modern examples of enterprise resource planning software deliver automation capabilities. Today, ERP software offers virtual assistants, workflow automation capabilities, automated data capture and entry, intelligent robot interfaces, predictive maintenance tools, and systems to connect manufacturing business from the shop floor to the top floor.

What Is The best ERP software?

The best ERP software is the one that checks all the boxes, or the most, when it comes to meeting the needs of your business now and into the future. That said, evaluating and selecting the ERP software that’s right for your business is not an overnight decision. Once you’ve decided that a more robust enterprise resource planning system is what you need, begin evaluating options.

The typical ERP evaluation process from the buyer’s end begins with research, then engaging those vendors or their certified resellers, discovery follows to ensure the ERP software is the right fit for a business, then demonstrations, agreements, implementation and finally training. Some vendors and vars will stop there, only reaching out to continue selling add-on services and upgrades. However, you will want to find a partnership with experts in the ERP software of your choosing. That’s because these systems will potentially help run your business for decades as you grow and expand. Finding the right fit for both ERP software and partnership in providers are important.

How To Select ERP Software

In short, every business is different and has different needs out of ERP software. Though, there are core functionalities that all ERP systems will include, like financials and operations. Beyond that, there are systems geared towards retailers, manufacturers, healthcare, and just about every other industry vertical one can name. That said, no matter what ERP software you may need, there are reliable ways to evaluate ERP software that apply to the evaluation process regardless of industry and purpose. We’ve put together a great resource on how to evaluate ERP software, no matter what industry you are in. You can download it for free.

Don’t get hamstrung by inaccurate data, lost information, and poor response time when unforeseen events take place. When the time is right to choose an ERP system that’s right for your business, big or small, talk to the experts at Encompass Solutions. We’ll connect you with a system that fits your build.

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.


Budgeting is the lifeblood of any company and there are instances whereby the time the budget is complete, it’s already stale. Spreadsheets may be the go-to choice for budgeting and planning, but they quickly become error-prone, insecure, disconnected, time-consuming, and are non-collaborative. Many companies treat cash as an afterthought, neglecting to forecast the Balance Sheet because it’s simply too difficult. Instead, they rely on spreadsheets to organize data from a General Ledger.

Corporate Performance Management (or CPM) is an umbrella term for software applications that automate your business’s non-transactional processes – specifically picking up where your ERP system leaves off. We’re partnering with the CPM experts at Prophix to deliver a live webinar on Innovative Budgeting and Planning practices.

Budgeting And Planning Webinar

In this webinar, we discuss how to automate your financial processes to focus on analyzing trends in your data, promote collaboration and develop integrated financial planning across the organization.

After this webinar you will know how to:

  • Breakdown the budgeting process in 5 easy steps
  • Automate data entry and spend less time verifying calculations
  • Compare budgets to actuals while maintaining data accuracy
  • Influence process, people and infrastructure through innovation

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.


What Is Budgeting Process Improvement?

When it comes to gauging corporate performance, the less time spent on non-revenue generating processes, the better. Unfortunately, the budgeting process is essential to proper performance and forecasting. That means mistakes can’t be afforded. Not only do you want to reduce the time and errors associated with manual budgeting in spreadsheets, but building an efficient process around your budgeting activities is of critical importance. Get rid of rigorous workflow processes and meet the growing needs for data security, data accuracy, cross-functional integration of data, and remain nimble in the face of rapid change with these strategies. Budgeting Process Improvement can be achieved with ease, simply follow the steps outlined below.

1. Define The Budgeting Process

While budgeting is primarily a financial process, it affects just about every department of a business. defining the process ensures that it is managed efficiently, frees up time, and provides financial professionals the ability to conduct meaningful analyses, improve forecasting, and respond quickly to changing needs. only after the budgeting process is defined can you begin with budgeting process improvement.

2. Identify The Infrastructure That Supports Your Budgeting Process

Understand the infrastructure that supports your process. Employees, financial and project management skills, processes, and technology are what makes your process run efficiently and ensures the steps required for execution are adhered to across the board.

3. Define Your Budget

A budget is a detailed account of your ability to conduct business processes based on available resources. An effective budget will provide enough detail to make sound decisions in both short-term and long-term scenarios. Defining the parameters of your budget will enable informed business decisions related to spending.

4. Define Relevant Performance Metrics For Your Budget

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will help you stay focused on the goals you have set for your company. Be sure to set these KPIs at the onset of your budgeting, the resulting budget, and related processes to determine the financial health of your organization as it relates to revenue growth, earnings growth, debt reduction, and EBITDA margin.

5. Enable And Encourage Collaboration

Siloed systems and departments are characteristic of poorly organized businesses. By enabling and actively encouraging collaboration among your staff, budget-related issues can be addressed and resolved much more quickly, while new standards for your organization can be detailed, understood, adopted, and monitored more effectively.

6. Plan For Changing Conditions

The only constant is change, so plan accordingly. Businesses that are already in or want to be in a position of industry leadership need their budgeting and planning processes to be in line with this philosophy. Planning scenarios, maintaining an understanding of the latest trends, and implementing best practices all contribute to an organization’s overall financial health as a byproduct of budgeting process improvement.

7. Consider Utilizing Purpose-Built Budgeting Software

Adopting software solutions designed to increase the efficiency, accuracy, and consistency of budgeting processes yields measurable time savings for finance professionals. Industry analysts Aberdeen Group recently identified how Best-in-Class organizations use software automation solutions to increase the efficiency of budgeting and achieve tangible benefits. Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software is designed to help such organizations automate budgeting and planning processes.

Budgeting Action Items And Next Steps

Interested in learning more about what you can do to reduce the time committed to your company budgeting efforts? Want more insights and concrete data regarding your performance in the marketplace? Download the free whitepaper for these details, action items, and more. Otherwise, you can reach out to us directly using the link below for more information or a demonstration of how Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Software can improve operations for your organziation.

an image of the cover for 7 budgeting process improvement tips whitepaper

 

About Prophix

Prophix develops innovative software that automates critical financial processes such as budgeting, planning, consolidation, and reporting—improving a company’s profitability and minimizing its risks. Thousands of forward-looking organizations in more than 90 countries use software from Prophix to gain increased visibility and insight into their business performance.

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.