In today’s business environment, distributors need the flexibility to adjust their metrics to adapt to current market conditions — not spending time looking in different places to get basic reports on the status of business operations. Introducing: Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) Financial Statements powered by Phocas, the first-ranked vendor for many KPIs across all of its peer groups. EDA Financial Statements allows for timely, accurate, and accessible financial reporting. to cover this all-new component of EDA, an Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) Financial Statements Webinar will be taking place in the first week of June.

Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) Financial Statements Webinar

Join our webinar to see how modern finance leaders configure statements for their entities as well as branches, departments, product lines and more. And with permissions in place, empower users to proactively manage their performance and effectively answer their own questions.

In this webinar, we’ll uncover:

  • Why it’s urgent to advance from static spreadsheet reporting
  • Automated consolidation and presentation of month-end reports
  • Ways to empower managers with the information they need to perform
  • A centralized source of timely and accurate financial data
  • Why secure cloud access is critical for business continuity
  • How to do so much more than analyzing AR/AP and ledger data in EDA

During this webinar, you’ll see EDA Financial Statements firsthand and learn how you can become a trailblazer in financial self-service, reporting, dashboards and analysis. We look forward to seeing you there.

Watch The Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) Financial Statements Webinar Recording

Phocas and Epicor Data Analytics receive 34 top rankings in BARC’s The BI Survey 19

The Phocas-powered Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) is recommended by 100% of customers and continues to outpace BI competitors in many KPIs in its peer groups, according to BARC’s The BI Survey 19, the largest BI user survey in the world. This year, Phocas/EDA finished on top of 34 rankings and received 49 leading positions across the three groups, with a 28 percent adoption rate compared to the industry average of 18 percent.

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.


Unfortunately, we are seeing an uptick in opportunists using COVID-19 ransomware attacks across customers in many different industries.  Ransomware attacks encrypt all files on your network, leaving you with no recourse but to rebuild your system, and worst case, to start over.

How To Protect Your Business From Opportunists And COVID-19 Ransomware Attacks

There are some steps that you can take to protect yourselves that we wanted to share.  Encompass would be happy to assist you with any of these conversations, we have experience working with customers who have had to recover from critical system failures – up to and including rebuilding systems from scratch. We are happy to share our thoughts on how to harden your own systems to ensure this does not happen to you.

Backups.  Make sure you have a backup plan in place, that it is running, and that it has been tested.  Make sure your backups are not stored on your network – we have seen customers following good backup plans, but by leaving their backups on the network, have found that the backups have also been lost due to encryption.    Make sure you have recent backups, that they are stored off-network, and that you periodically run a trial restore, to ensure that the backups are indeed comprehensive – there may be critical components on other servers (custom reports, custom labels) that are not included in your backup plan.

Media and license keys. This is a great time to locate media to install business-critical applications, and that you have the appropriate license keys.  Often the software may have been purchased many years ago, and with role changes in your organization, it may not be apparent that they are not available, until they are needed.

Key reports.  Frequently generate and store copies of critical reports, ideally both on paper, and electronically that can be used to ensure your business can keep running should the system need to be rebuilt.  Things like Aging Reports, Production Schedules and other critical reports can be automatically generated and sent to an email address should they be needed during a system outage.

Business Continuity plans.  Make sure each department has ‘run on paper’ processes that can be used if needed – preprinted packing slip templates, inventory move templates, production data capture templates.  These can be used while a system is restored, and can be re-keyed once the system is online to ensure accuracy.

Be proactive.  There are things you can do to protect yourself from these kinds of attacks.  Evaluate true failover systems that allow a shadow installation to come online if needed.  Ensure you have multiple-factor authentication configured for your email systems to prevent unauthorized access.  Run anti-malware software on key servers that can detect mass file change and quarantine that program.

Recovery Documentation. Keep all documentation, receipts, expenses, emails, etc. for any legal or insurance needs in the future. Creating a folder within your email program and minimizing email subject threads are two tips for managing this process.

Quick Reference Guides. Have these created for your most critical servers and business applications. These might contain items like usernames and passwords, support contacts and other important information. Make sure to have these in printed format and kept in a secure location. Some companies put these in a fire-proof safe to protect from fire or flood damage.

Contact Financial Institutions. You will want to contact your financial institutions (credit cards, banks, retirement, etc.) to make sure they are aware of any suspicious-looking activity. The cyber crooks have your data and can easily unencrypt it to gain important information.

User Education. Educate users to bring awareness on ways to prevent future disruptions. Often times we hear of stories where an email came from a contact that looked legitimate but later found out it was a phishing scam to get a user to provide their username and password. Programs are available to help companies better prepare their user community.

Review Network Access. A regular audit of all network shares, user accounts, and security groups to close off any vulnerable access points.

Stop the Spread. Cryptoware and Ransomware spreads via network shares. Once this gets into your network, it can take over your entire business infrastructure. If you detect this is happening, immediately shut down all servers and/or pull the network cables. Doing so will increase your chances of recovering some of your data.

Contact Law Enforcement. This may not be the first thing on your mind, however, once you have neutralized the ransomware from spreading contacting your local FBI cyber criminal division is a necessary step.

Do Not Pay the Ransom. Whatever you do, if at all possible, do not send any money to them. Doing so only makes you vulnerable to future attacks. Exhaust all your resources, backups, data recovery options before paying any monies.

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.


Every year, millions of workers brave the cold to perform year-end full physical inventories in the final weeks of the fiscal year – with mixed results. While this annual ritual is in many cases the only way to reconcile inventory variances incurred throughout the year, it doesn’t need to be. Enter the cycle count.

Cycle Counts That Count will help you implement better cycle counting on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis starting in April and let you potentially conduct your last ever year-end full physical inventory that same year. The final full physical will validate your efforts at daily counting and provide management with the data they need to determine when to switch to a cycle only inventory process.

Cycle Counts That Count Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying About The Year-End Full Physical Inventory And Love The Cycle Count

An effectively implemented cycle count program can, within 9 months, effectively do away with conducting a full physical inventory. That’s right. You can free your organization from the dreaded yearly shutdown that pulls staff away from their families during the holiday season and closes your shipping doors for a week. Now, what if we told you that our workshop would ensure you’d never have to perform another year-end full physical inventory, ever? Contact Encompass today to set up your workshop and we can help you perform cycle counts that count!

We can work with you to level work out over sessions that coincide with your low periods:

Cycle Count Project Management

Partner with your Encompass team to lay out a simple project for implementing daily or weekly cycle counting for your organization. The audience should include senior management, such as plant managers, the controller, or the executive team, as well as staff responsible for inventory control.

Our first workshop will review how a typical daily cycle counting program looks, how much time will be required to conduct daily counts, as well as case studies in efficiency gained by accurate inventory adjusted on a quicker basis. A series of planning documents will be provided and reviewed during this session which will create a custom-tailored implementation plan for your organization.

Our second workshop will include the same audience. The consultant will review your implementation plan with you and then provide training on setup, configuration, and daily processing of counts in Epicor. The goal of the session is to provide you with a simple roadmap you can follow to get the program up and running immediately for a small subset of product while you complete the implementation plan and ramp-up to include all products over the following 45 days. The session will be recorded to be used by staff for reference in the future.

Your First Count Workshop

We will schedule a follow-up session with our consultant and your finance and warehouse teams to work with you on setting up and processing your first cycle count.

Quarterly Reporting Workshop

We will then follow up with your inventory control team and workshop with your inventory control team to review your first 90 days of results, and help this team prepare their first cycle counting efficiency reports back for management.

End of the Year-End Workshop

In this workshop, your consultant will review best practices for a year-end full physical inventory and work with your team as they prepare to answer a critical question for management: Is this our last year-end inventory.

The agenda will include time to:

  • Review cycle count reports to determine how well parts are being counted based on ABC codes.
  • Review methods to identify problem parts based on recurring variances and suggest probable root causes.
  • Provide best practices for preparing for the full physical.
  • Provide Suggestions for reconciling year-end results and evaluating the cycle counting program’s success for the year.

Encompass are ready to partner with you today. For more information please speak to your consultant, Customer Account Manager (CAM) or our team at info@encompass-inc.com.

About Encompass Solutions

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


The Encompass team has returned from DMC 2019 / DMSMS 2019 in Phoenix. We had exceptional conversations, learned quite a bit from industry leaders, and started on the path to a few strategic partnerships. All of these activities will benefit our current and future customers. Like all conferences, there are ups and downs, as well as ways in which the event delivered and fell short. This event was no different we’re glad to have the opportunity to share our findings with you. Here’s a high-level account of what we learned.

The Big Picture At DMC 2019

We had the opportunity to hear from and speak directly to the leading manufacturers supplying our defense forces. Companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics headlined the event. However, smaller manufacturers far outnumbered industry heavyweights. These SMBs keep the United States at the top of aerospace and Defense technology. Their achievements and efforts are no less integral or noteworthy.

At the Defense Manufacturing  Diminishing / Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages Conference, additive manufacturing took center stage. This technology is a solution to the problem of parts and material shortages. Aerospace and defense industries, forces, and researchers are looking to additive manufacturing technology to deliver on the acquisition of parts and components that no longer have reliable procurement sources.

Unfortunately, according to the university professors, high-ranking military personnel, and manufacturers we spoke with, additive manufacturing is not where the technology’s marketers would have you believe it is. The technology is still very much in its infancy. It doesn’t have the reliability that industrial manufacturing processes possess. In short, 3D printing can’t yet meet the tolerances, conformance and compliance requirements that many aerospace and defense applications require. The tech is too new to be reliable. So, for now, 3D printing is relegated to consumer markets and non-essential components. However, everyone agreed that in a few year’s time, this technology will be much closer in delivering on those expectations.

Where We Fit In

Encompass Solutions maintains a wealth of industry knowledge in manufacturing, sourcing, and distribution. Not only this, but the Epicor ERP solution and peripheral products are perfectly aligned to assist our most integral and transformative defense industries. This helps in keeping our servicemen and women at the forefront of technological superiority. Many of the manufacturers supplying our defense forces have engaged Encompass to leverage our expertise and solutions. We look forward to continuing the conversations started at DMC/DMSMS 2019.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


When it comes to EDI, just like any other transformative technologies, there are factors that may present barriers before implementation can begin. There are many barriers that can present themselves when it comes to working with EDI for the first time and each may be unique a business or industry. In this case, the most common EDI barriers to implementation are:

  • Understanding
  • Change Management, Education, And Effort
  • Time
  • Money
  • Willingness Of Customers Or Suppliers

1. Understanding EDI

Understanding EDI is often one of the first EDI barriers to implementation to overcome, but also the easiest. Once a business has a clear picture of the structure, mechanics, and benefits of EDI, the choice to implement or not becomes obvious. What follows is an evaluation of peripheral factors that make EDI implementation feasible or not for that business.

2. EDI Change Management, Education, And Effort

Second on the list of EDI barriers to implementation generally follows understanding EDI. The internal struggle to get management on board, vital staff trained, and reinforcing a culture of continual process improvement is no small endeavor. For most businesses, change management is one of the most significant barriers to overcome in projects of just about any size and scope. For businesses taking on the responsibility to administer EDI in-house, this challenge is a pivotal one. Managing software and hardware installation, updates, and maintenance is a fulltime job on its own. Many businesses make the mistake of assign one key resource to oversee EDI, as well. The problems that arise when they decide to take time off or fall ill can be major roadblocks. The problems multiply exponentially should they decide to leave their role entirely. For those who bring on a third-party, it’s not as significant. This is because a third-party EDI services provider completes the labor associated with EDI administration, updates, security, and auditing.

3. EDI Implementation And Maintenance Time Requirements

Unlike substantial technological projects, like ERP implementation, EDI Implementation can compete in a relatively fast timeframe. Though, this will depend on the size and scope of a trading network. For businesses with no connection to EDI through their suppliers, it will generally take longer to implement EDI than those whose suppliers and trading partners are already aligned to adopt EDI technology.

Maintenance is an ongoing effort for your in-house team and needs to be met with the same care and attention to detail as any other IT operation to keep things running smoothly. Setting aside time for new mappings, changes required when its time to upgrade, and regular auditing is necessary. Hiring a third-party EDI services provider can allay the pressures associated with maintaining your EDI infrastructure.

4. EDI Implementation And Maintenance Costs

Like most process-improving technologies, EDI costs money to implement and maintain. Early iterations of the technology were rather costly. Over the last several years, efficiencies and advancements in EDI have driven costs down. Now, implementations and maintenance are far more affordable for small and medium-sized businesses. The price of that implementation and maintenance depends on the number of documents being mapped and the size of a customer’s or supplier’s trading network. Costs come down when in-house IT maintains the EDI infrastructure, but the additional workload does not always justify the savings on the front-end.  Many businesses find it is preferable to have a specialized third-party administrate their EDI services, while in-house teams manage day-to-day operations.

5. The willingness Of Customers Or Suppliers

For suppliers, EDI is often already in place or easy to implement when requested by customers. Customers, on the other hand, may not be so keen on adding EDI infrastructure because one trading partner requires it. In this case, the trading relationship can be severed. Suppliers tend to be more open to EDI as a framework for optimizing how transactions and communications take place both in and outside of their organization. Still, suppliers may have particular requirements of an EDI solution that a customer or vendor may not agree with

How The Benefits Of EDI Outweigh The EDI Barriers To Implementation

While there are plenty of potential obstacles to overcome when implementing a transformative technology like EDI, the benefits are well worth the process. Successful implementation yields tremendous benefit for businesses, including:

  1. Reduced administrative/transaction costs
  2. Decreased inventory levels/inventory costs
  3. Improved information accuracy
  4. Improved cash flows
  5. Better customer service
  6. Enhanced competitiveness in the marketplace
  7. Efficient communication
  8. More valuable trading partner relationships
  9. More free time for valuable in-house resources
  10. Improved security

To learn more about EDI and how it can benefit your business, contact the EnTrust EDI experts at Encompass Solutions using the link below.

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.


The most recent escalation of US-China Tariffs has seen a commitment from China to raise tariffs on more than $60 billion worth of goods from the US. The results are already being felt. Most notably, in the US stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen more than 700 points since trading began Monday morning following the announcement that China’s latest round of tariffs will go into effect on June 1, 2019. Additionally, The S&P 500 dropped by 2.6 percent and the Nasdaq Composite fell 3.5 percent.

US-China Tariffs: A Brief Background

In December of last year, President Trump introduced tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, which resulted in a slight slowdown in the Chinese Economy. With two of the world’ largest economies in an active trade war, fears around the world of a global economic downturn quickly spread. Fortunately, fears were abated by renewed talks between the two countries over the following months. However, the economic ceasefire would soon be put aside as President Trump instated a new round of heightened tariffs on Chinese imports.

US-China Tariffs: The latest Exchange

The Chinese commitment to raise prices on US-made goods followed President Trump’s commitment to increase tariffs on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese manufactured goods last week. That round of tariffs would include more than 5,700 goods subject to as high as a 25 percent tariff, up from the previous 10 percent. Experts believe that the latest US-China tariffs will only make things worse for both economies.

Trump’s duty increase on Chinese exports came following allegations that China had backtracked on its agreement reign in the alleged theft of intellectual property and pressures to hand over technology for companies manufacturing components in China. Trump has gone so far as to threaten an additional $325 billion worth of tariffs on other Chinese products.

After the most recent developments regarding US-China tariffs, Alec Young, managing director of global markets research at FTSE Russell in New York, stated in regard to investor activity, “With the ultimate trade outcome inherently uncertain and difficult to model or predict, investors are selling first and asking questions later. Investors are increasingly worried an anticipated second-half profit rebound may now evaporate as President Trump’s threat to tariff the remaining $325bn in Chinese imports would disproportionately target consumer products like iPhones, thereby posing a greater threat to the consumption-driven US economy.”

US-China Tariffs: Who’s Affected

There are industries across the board who are affected by the ongoing trade war, particularly those incorporating steel and aluminum into their manufacturing operations. Listen firsthand to 12 top executives explain how the trade war has already affected their bottom line as far back as late 2018.

Twelve US execs explain how Trump’s trade war affects their bottom lines from CNBC.

It remains unclear just how the latest round of tariffs will affect small and medium-sized businesses, which cannot as readily absorb cost increases when compared to their larger, conglomerate counterparts. However, based on reports, many are less than optimistic in regard to the economic outlook.

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.


When it comes to delivering on your stakeholders’ expectations, there is only one action that defines success in the world of commerce. That is getting the right products to the right customers at the right price. Achieving the goal while keeping costs to a minimum and efficiency to a maximum is what manufacturers, distributors, and retailers strive for. In the case of many enterprises, only a quality ERP solution can tackle each challenge of order fulfillment head-on.

The commerce ecosystem, whether it be in traditionally grounded retail or exclusively an online operation, is a delicate one that relies equally on manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers delivering the product to customers the way they want it and when they want it. Order fulfillment is the key performance indicator that illustrates when these systems are operating in harmony and out of order.

Creating the perfect order for customers will satisfy everyone in the commerce chain from end to end and there are crucial components that every enterprise needs to deliver to reach that harmonious result.

Hit Your Shipping Times, Every Time

If you are shipping customer-direct or sending components to a trading partner for the next stage of the process, your product needs to be where you say it will, when you say it will. Dependable delivery is not just a selling point, it’s a contract that can make or break future business between parties and even open you up to legal ramifications in certain situations. Ensuring that your deliveries meet their recipients on the expected dates is one of the best ways to maintain working relationships and secure the business of your customers for the foreseeable future.

an image of the world map with two points connected by a line. Points are labeled a and b to indicate order fulfillment is getting products from origin to destination.

Getting Your Customers’ Order From Point A To Point B Is Paramount In Order Fulfillment.

 

Right Order, Right Size

The last thing anyone wants to deal with in commerce is additional back and forth through shipping. If your order is delivered with the wrong components or in a quantity other than what was agreed upon at purchase, it speaks volumes to the recipient about how you do business. Purchase order change requests are supply-side hassles and are often the latter in a ‘fill or kill’ scenario. End customers have lives too, and demanding schedules don’t leave much time to work around reordering and returns. Getting it right the first time will ensure there is a next time for you to fulfill orders.

a picture of a stack of boxes with one open and seemingly empty to signify accurate order fulfillment is required for success.

Ensure Your Customers Get What They Ordered In The Correct Quantities.

Safe Arrival Without Compromise

So, you got the shipment where it needed to be when it needed to be there, in the right quantity and all, only now the box is bashed in because of poor handling and your packaging didn’t do enough to protect the precious cargo. Placing blame on the shipping company doesn’t do for a customer who needed their order intact. Next time, account for problems that can arise even when the order is out of your hands and en route to its destination. Whether you’re flying it freight or hand-delivering, make sure the packaging can stand up to whatever the journey may throw at it.

A picture of a heavily damaged package labeled fragile - handle with care to signify proper order fulfillment needs to consider damage in transit.

Packages Are Damaged In Transit On A Regular Basis. Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst.

Having All Your Docs In a Row

From start to finish, documentation should be spot on and detail every aspect of the purchase from entry to delivery. There are plenty of places within the chain where the process can go awry, but making sure documentation on your end is on the up and up will ensure that the final component of your perfect purchase order is in place.

a picture of two warehouse workers comparing shipment documents.

don’t Leave Any Room for Confusion When It Comes To Providing The Proper Documentation Of Customer Orders.

Achieve Optimal Order Fulfillment With A Modern ERP

Beyond the four pillars of perfect order fulfillment, maintaining your stride with modern tools will help you streamline your efforts and remain competitive. Antiquated and manually maintained systems of packing, shipping, and documenting leave too much room for human error and incorrect data to find their way into the pipeline. By implementing an effective ERP solution, your operations will maintain an efficient process from start to finish while giving you the competitive advantage of functioning with the latest in tools and systems built specifically to support your enterprise.

About Encompass Solutions

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


The Benefits Of Working With An ERP Provider

This sounds ridiculous on the surface, yet most of us are guilty of attempting to do it all on a daily basis. When it comes to working, it is easy to become distracted by the things that are not the focus. This includes everything from accounting, marketing, facilities management, human resources, technology or a hundred other things. On occasion, we all have an epiphany and realize we would be better off letting those who are experts do what they do best. Not only does it take the burden off of you to learn how to do yet another job, but it also allows you to focus on what you do best. In this case, the contractor will typically execute quicker, more efficiently and cost-effectively than you could have. In addition, experts can see the future (except for Beck winning a Grammy. Nobody saw that coming – especially not Kanye), avoiding pitfalls and putting a system or process in place that enables growth. This will allow you to maximize your investment in the areas that fall outside of your expertise but are needed for growth. Below is an outline that will help you determine if you need to work with an ERP provider and how to get the most out of your vendor, specifically your certified Epicor Platinum Partner and ERP provider.

na image of a team of erp provider, erp partners, and erp consultants

Can I do the job myself?

Define the project

  • Goals (sometimes requirements)
  • Budget
  • Timeline
  • Benefits of the project and perhaps even ROI
  • Champions
  • Naysayers
  • Entitlement
  • What are the problems I’m trying to solve
  • Where is my pain?

Define the resources

  • Internal skill sets
  • Available capacity of internal resources
  • Can I borrow from other departments?  This is good, cause there may be limited culture or communication issues if we use internal people from other departments.

Define the holes

  • Skill sets
  • knowledge (industry or product)
  • team building ability
  • time (you might have the right people, but they’re all too busy, or managers won’t release them)

OK, so we need help—where can I get it?

Define the help needed

Define how long you need help

Define where you want the help to work

Define how closely you want them aligned and absorbed into your company and culture

Define the nature of the relationship

  • Contracted for project life
  • Contracted on an hourly/daily basis for specific tasks

Research where the help can come from—the Internet, references from users groups or professional organizations

  • Vendors
  • Independent firms
  • “one-man shops”

Qualify experience, willingness, availability and back-up staff

Will the vendor have access to executives-how often

OK, so we found help, how do I launch them?

Tell them why they were hired

  • Tasks
  • Responsibilities
  • Why they want the work

Talk to your vendor-identify:

  • Terms of service
  • How to change the terms of service
  • How does the vendor get measured & paid
  • How does the vendor raise issues and problems and to whom
  • What are the vendor’s role and place on the project team
  • How will you review the vendor’s work
  • What are the vendor’s documentation responsibilities?
  • What collateral do you expect the vendor to have/develop/bring with them

Work with the vendor to develop and agree upon

  • Project plan-they should have direct input to their part
  • What is the vendor to deliver, how and when
  • What tracking and reporting the vendor is responsible for
  • Work authorization documents
  • Change order documents
  • How often to report hours/ send invoices

Share the project metrics defined in 1. above

OK, your vendor is the expert and you hired him to be the expert, so why aren’t you listening?

Don’t second guess your choice, or them

Second opinions should be disclosed

Promote whatever corporate cultural relationship and inclusions are possible

A sidebar of bullet items that vendors bring to the table.

Knowledge of product specific feature/functionality

  • What’s a standard product
  • What needs customization
  • where are the switches

Knowledge of industry best practices

Knowledge of how to do a project successfully

  • He’s been doing them and getting out alive for a while now…
  • Where to get more help
  • When to stop digging the hole

How to work within the framework of what you bought

  • What you should not modify (change, customize or custom build)
  • How long it will take

Separating Needs/Requirements from Entitlements?

  • Defining business issues as separate from workflow or work process issues
  • Will the INFORMATION (not data) be there?

as your national and neighborhood ERP provider, we are here to help if you decide you need assistance with the implementation of your ERP. Contact us today and let us know what level of service you need so you can get on with doing everything else.

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.


This winter has delivered much snow to practically every state, including recent snowfall in North Carolina where our headquarters are located. I love the way the snow looks when it has first fallen covering streets, cars, yards and buildings with a sparkling white blanket, covering up all imperfections making practically any landscape a picturesque winter scene. As we all know eventually the blanket melts and returns us to the reality of our environment. In business, the beautiful snow blanket takes the form of apathy, resistance to change, misunderstanding or even a simple lack of expertise or knowledge. This blanket is a natural occurrence for most businesses and is even to be expected, but every once in a while you need to break out the shovel and dig down to the real issues and fix them before they become worse. As experts in ERP consulting and support, we offer assessments and solutions for your ERP. Our ERP assessment findings can get under that pretty blanket that has covered up problems and inefficiencies and brings them to light so they may be uncovered and a strategy put in place to solve them.

an image of the revolution mill campus, where encompass experts complete each ERP assessment

What is an ERP Assessment?

An ERP assessment considers the software configuration and setup, the business processes in place as well as areas of opportunity with modules, features, and functionality that may not currently be in use. Analysis may identify betters to leverage existing and unused functionality as well as streamlining or revisiting business processes that may not be fully effective. In addition, an assessment will evaluate the benefits of an upgrade to current releases, or implementation of new functionality where appropriate.

Why Is ERP Assessment Important?

Assessments are essential not only to guide the development of individual ERP strategies but also to monitor and continuously improve the quality of your ERP, inform leadership and staff, and provide evidence of accountability to those invested in an ERP such as Epicor. As Epicor ERP consultants we do assessments on many types of businesses for many markets. The assessments may be done across an entire company, business unit, or even to address a specific departmental or functional focus. Many times assessments may be requested or suggested due to an impression that new functionality or upgrades need to be evaluated, that business needs have changed, there has been staff turnover or even considerations of advances in technology. Recommendations and preliminary plans will be provided.

What does an ERP Assessment Involve?

Each assessment will be customized to meet your specific business objectives but typical Encompass Solutions ERP assessments include the following:

2-3 day onsite survey review of business and requirements (necessary for context) and includes:

  • Current System Configuration
  • Business process and transaction review
  • Company objectives and direction
  • Interviews with functional team leads and relevant management
  • Analysis of implementation progress (complete and remaining efforts)
  • Open issue review
  • Deliverables will include results and our recommendations:
  • Documented strengths/weaknesses of the current system
  • Feature/function training opportunities
  • Business processes requiring review and potential revision
  • System configuration suggestions
  • Additional functionality / modules / features to increase ROI
  • Upgrade process and benefits
  • Presentation back to client team summarizing findings with opportunity for draft review and discussion
  • Final assessment presentation including estimated costs where applicable

Contact us to get assessed and start uncovering the path to improvement.

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.


We are proud to present our new website which explains very thoroughly what we do and who we serve as Enterprise Resource Planning Consultants. However, we are even more proud of the work we do for our clients and their satisfaction with our ERP solutions. For this reason, we have prominently shared testimonials from various clients across many industry types on our homepage and in our many case studies as proven and certified ERP consultants. These testimonials are real-world examples of how we have implemented ERP Solutions such as Epicor and how that has made a difference for our customers in terms of increased efficiency, increased profits, accessibility across many locations and platforms, accounting, inventory, new modules, and general satisfaction. As they say “the proof is in the pudding.”

An image of what encompass solutions does as Enterprise Resource Planning Consultants

Our Role As Enterprise Resource Planning Consultants

Ultimately our ERP team is here to quietly enhance our clients business processes allowing them to design, produce, serve and sell across the country or around the world without worrying about their ERP. What we do behind the scenes is problem solve, customize, analyze, deploy, upgrade and support our customers ERP systems. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship allowing each group to do what they do best so that our customer’s customers have great experiences and come back for more.

Going forward our team of technology experts will blog about a wide variety of Enterprise Resource Planning issues including common mistakes and how to avoid them, transitioning to ERP and trends such as Mobile ERP, Cloud ERP, Social ERP and Two-tier ERP as well as some success stories and creative ways we have addressed customers needs.

In the meantime contact us with your specific needs. Technology changes faster than most organizations can.  Let’s talk about where you’re going next.

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.