If you have not read the writing on the wall, cloud-based technologies and digital transformation initiatives are quickly becoming the focus for enterprises around the world. Providing more security, reliability, and mobility, cloud technologies simply provide too many benefits to ignore. However, their adoption is not always easy. As with any significant change at the organizational level, cloud ERP implementation challenges can stack up quickly. Here are the top 5 challenges in cloud ERP implementation and how you can address them before they impact your success.

Cloud ERP Implementation Challenges

While there are far more than five challenges that cloud ERP implementation may present an organization, these are what we have found to be the most common. Several of these challenges are compounded by the increased reliance on remote workforces and the inability to meet in-person due to environmental factors.

1. Change Management

While the age-old adage is nothing is certain but death and taxes, in business the only constant is change. For most people who are comfortably entrenched in the predictability of a routine, change can be a “four-letter word”. In most cases, change will be unsurprisingly met with resistance.

Change management will be one of your biggest hurdles in moving towards a complete cloud ERP solution from a system that was either previously on-prem or a hybrid deployment model of on-prem and cloud-based.

The easiest way to address the inherent resistance to change is to illustrate where things will improve. This is done not just by saying things will be new and modern. Show where those improvements will take place, the cost savings and gains in productivity that system users and the company can expect to reap.

2. Focus

The last several months have pretty much done away with the divide between work life and personal life for a significant portion of the global workforce. Transitioning to remote work from home has presented it’s own unique challenges for enterprises of every size.

The result has been a muddying of workhours, family obligations, selfcare, and a host of other responsibilities in one venue, without end.

The ability to focus on an implementation can be a challenge in the best conditions. In a completely remote environment, where distractions are abundant, maintaining focus will be a challenge that presents itself consistently.

To overcome distraction and maintain focus, set aside specific windows of time for core project components. It’s important for businesses be open to scheduling compromises with employees and their families when the lines blur between work and home. By compromising on specific project hours, there is a higher probability of remaining focused on the progress of your implementation project. The remaining work time can be more fluid as the separation of workday duties and household obligations continue to muddy.

3. Security

One of your project initiatives may be an effort to move towards heightened system security. This is a great feature of Cloud ERP. However, during the implementation phase, you may not have advanced security in place to maintain your sensitive data. This security becomes even more difficult to maintain between remote resources, like staff and their workstations.

Make it a point to understand the risks upfront. You can take on the challenge alone, hire on a consultant or work in tandem with your implementation partner to find the right protocol for your case. Simple step, like password protecting Wi-Fi connections, not allowing users other than staff to utilize on remote workstations are a necessary first layer of security.

Firewalls and network security software should follow. If you do not provide the hardware your staff will be working from while remote, you may want to consider doing so. A small investment in this area can result in big savings when you consider the alternative.

Lastly, have a plan in place, both documented and practices, with your staff. Make sure they understand the risks and the results of a security breach and demonstrate the protocol they are going to follow moving forward.

4. Access, Permissions and Productivity

Yeah, I know that’s three things but each build on the former to deliver a complete effort. So, in the interest of time and space, they’ve been combined.

Not everyone on your cloud ERP implementation project will need access to all components of your system. Working with IT to designate the proper permissions will be critical in ensuring that staff remain on task and don’t have an opportunity to ruin transitioning data, either by malice or mistake.

Provisioning web and mobile access may fit into this implementation scenario, too. If your staff have spotty connections based on their location, consider bolstering their coverage through their provider to ensure your project isn’t impeded by poor connectivity. This is usually as simple as flipping a switch on the provider’s end. This way, you won’t lose precious time in the event cloud cover conceals the satellite internet connection of your data analyst in rural Illinois.

5. Knowledge

When making the leap from on-prem and, in many cases, outdated data management systems, tribal knowledge and training will be integral as you move forward.

By relying on your most knowledgeable IT professionals and department heads to deliver their expertise during the cloud ERP implementation process, you have your top minds tackling your biggest challenge yet. However, there will be scenarios for which even they are not prepared. This is where training can be one of your biggest assets. Whether training is provided by your vendor or consultant of choice, or you have chosen to produce your own training plan, enabling your project staff with defined direction and knowledge will ensure their success.

Lack of familiarity with a new environment is sure to produce plenty of anxiety and opportunities for missteps. Proper planning can help to mitigate these pitfalls. Having an experienced and knowledgeable guide through the process can all but eliminate them entirely. That is because every implementation is different, and every company is different. With the experience of an implementation professional, there is is a wider breadth of experience to draw from in the event an obstacle presents itself.

There will inevitably be some unexpected challenges for even the most experienced vendors, VARs, and consultants to guide you through. However, doing your research and taking the time to get familiar with the nuances of cloud ERP implementation will impart the confidence and understanding any business needs to go through the project on their own.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services. 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.

 


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.


A business unit of CSA Ocean Sciences, SeaRobotics is an SMB that is transitioning from a custom-engineered and prototyping house into a manufacturer of configurable autonomous maritime vehicles. Theirs has been an engineer and build to order process that they would like to standardize into more of a configure-and-build from standardized components driven by new investors. SeaRobotics has been the engineering and manufacturing work for the water rides at Universal Orlando in Florida and continues providing support for the theme park’s water attractions. The company has also developed and deployed the HullBUG which, much like a robotic vacuum for the household, cleans hulls on large ocean-faring vessels.

The Challenge

As primarily an engineering firm, each aspect of the SeaRobotics’s business processes were tied to specific projects. There were issues of:

  1. Stock Inventory or inventory control, as nothing is purchased to stock.
  2. Deliveries being regularly late because there had been no way to schedule purchases or jobs.
  3. Reports were generated from multiple sources, including spreadsheets, and were not available on a timely basis.
  4. SeaRobotics could only recognize revenues at the completion of jobs. This left management in the dark as far as financial performance due to revenue being highly concentrated at random periods.
  5. The business processes were heavily manual and dependent on one-to-one communications to achieve each step.

The heavy reliance on spreadsheets became cumbersome and fell short in supporting the projects and resources at SeaRobotics. Additionally, the company had outgrown its legacy system, Sage for accounting, purchasing, and project management. As a result, Project Management and the related revenue recognition were the most heavily investigated functionality being evaluated by the president, sales and operations. Integration of engineering design and BOM from first Solid Works and then PDM was another consideration of SeaRobotics’ evaluation team. While many business systems were evaluated, none had the support required for SeaRobotics’ operations team, save for Epicor ERP.

an image of a searobotics product on the water

The Project

After a lengthy selection process, Epicor was selected as the system to be implemented for several reasons. Namely, for SeaRobotics’ size, Epicor addressed the greatest number of challenges in an integrated package and offered proven “best practices” to there unique business processes.

Jim Browning, the COO and implementation Project Manager, relied on Encompass’ managing partner Sonia Haslam for advice on how to overcome issues arising from Epicor’s cookie-cutter implementation steps. Encompass consultants were brought on to adapt the system to more appropriately fit a smaller company in which staff whore multiple hats.

The implementation project was headed by Joe Sunderhaus of Encompass who designed the build to address five key requirements set by SeaRobotics. Their requirements were:

  • For staff to be self-reliant in training and process development using Epicor User/Implementation manuals
  • Project Management with WBS history that could be aligned with their old systems, plus monthly revenue recognition
  • The streamlined interface of Engineering and Epicor BOMs
  • Standardized business processes that eliminated the previously inefficient personal communication and follow-up necessary to complete any order
  • Better Job Planning and Scheduling of projects

To address these requirements, Encompass staff setup a workshop-oriented series of remote sessions with stepped through single functional areas. Additional, “homework” at the end of each session was assigned to ensure a complete grasp of the concepts presented.

an image of the searobotics HullBug

Next, the Encompass team helped SeaRobotics staff to overcome unique business issues with standard Epicor functionality on-demand. In order to keep costs down, Encompass kept site visits to a minimum. Remote training and education efficiency made this a cost-effective and effective process, though more training is needed for staff to assimilate to the “Epicor way” of doing things, rather than reverting to the way things were always done.

for the engineering and project components of the project, Encompass facilitated Qbuild in delivering CADLink and then stepped back, letting the vendor work directly with SeaRobotics engineering personnel. Now that the system is live, staff can put their new-found knowledge to use. However, there is more work to be done and weekly status meetings will continue, reviewing accomplishments and setting objectives for the following week.

The Results

With a completed and successful Go-Live in July 2019, SeaRobotics received the functionality they were seeking in a brand new Epicor ERP system and on budget. That said, no project is without its road bumps. In the case of SeaRobotics’ ERP implementation, the inability for critical team members to step away from business demands and focus on Epicor caused their initially projected April go-live to slip into July.

Now that the new ERP system is in place, the company has committed to using better procedures in-line with the system to run their business. Encompass will support a first month-end on August 5 and 6 as well as outline a Phase 2 to include added functionality to be later submitted for board approval. Our two companies will also discuss whether Epicor can/should be extended to include SeaRobotics’ sister company, integrating the manufacturing processes between the two companies to maximize the manufacturing resources.

Additional Details

Founded –1999
Location – Stuart, FL
Industry – Manufacturing
Employees – 25
Epicor Version – Currently 10.2.400
Deployment – Cloud MT

About SeaRobotics

SeaRobotics was founded in 1999 to pursue the development of robotic systems for deployment in the marine environment. The company has assembled a staff of highly qualified engineers, technicians, and personnel with extensive offshore and field experience. SeaRobotics specializes in developing products and technology for the maritime industry, producing autonomous, semi-autonomous and remote-control systems. The company focuses on commercial, government, and defense markets around the world.

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 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.


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.


When it comes to an ERP implementation or ERP upgrade, there are a significant number of factors to consider. Not only will you have to employ essential and proven ERP selection strategies, but getting the job done in a reasonable amount of time can be just as important. For some, it’s more important. Here are just a few ways a rapid implementation can be leveraged for a faster, smoother implementation process.

For more info on ERP implementation strategies, download our free guide for 8 Essential ERP Selection Strategies.

A customer recently went live in January, about 4 months after signing their purchase agreement with the ERP Vendor. Encompass had engaged with them in October, days after they completed their initial install. Several factors really helped ease the process, and you might want to consider them as you evaluate the potential benefits of rapid implementations.

1) Timing

Trying to time the project to coincide with your slow season will minimize downtime and maximize utilization of staff during what may be your least productive time. In the case of this example company, January to March is a dead time for one of their companies and about half volume for their second company. As a result, the choice was made to focus on a minimal go-live event in January. This allowed for extra time in February to wrap up loose threads and address potentially unforeseen issues.

an image of an hourglass, signifying that when time is short an erp rapid implementation may be the best solution.

2) Experience = Wisdom

The company’s core team was comprised of three members that had firsthand experience in other ERP implementations. That perspective made for significantly better decisions and focused efforts to be made throughout the project. It can be difficult imparting similar perspective to inexperienced customers who do not want or cannot afford to hire a consulting team for their rapid implementation, but it definitely helps when they have it.

3) Embrace The Phase

If the core requirement for your go-live strategy is to sell, ship, invoice customers, buy, and pay suppliers on day 1, a phased, or layered, approach can work exceptionally well. For all the other “wants” out of your ERP system, logging, planning and working on those components as soon as possible after go-live will deliver the results you are after. With this approach, you can be working other functionality you need within days of your go-live event.

In the case of our example company, the phased approach can be applied to things like engineering. By making sure they had their top-selling parts and parts on order fully engineered, everything else was pushed out with the understanding they would work through the list over time. In this case, data conversion from their old system wasn’t very clean, and most of their engineering data were bad, to begin with. Trying to have perfection on day 1 would have pushed the project out three months. Instead, they do not lose any operational function while they work within their ERP system to migrate and clean up their company data moving forward.

4) Vanilla Is A Good Choice

While a perfect implementation would be created around a business’ processes and workflows, this can cost a lot of time and money. For our example company, they didn’t have time to customize. Knowing that processes would have to change as a result, they accepted Epicor standard workflows and trained to them. Rather than bending the system to accommodate their process, they adapted some processes. Staff understood the legacy system was being replaced and that change was inevitable. It was a very realistic approach which delivered ideal results for an imperfect scenario.

a picture of vanilla ice cream,

Interested In An ERP Rapid Implementation?

If you are considering an ERP solution, think a rapid implementation is the best fit for your business, or would like to speak with an Encompass consultant about the topic, don’t hesitate to contact us using the link below. We look forward to connecting you with a business solution that fits your build.

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.


It’s no secret that the manufacturing landscape is changing constantly and new technologies are emerging faster than ever. It is for these reasons that identifying which technologies will give your enterprise a competitive edge and allow it to weather the storm of disruption is essential. Adopting a unified ERP system to more efficiently connect and organize your operations is one such advantage. Here’s a list of 10 things you can do to ensure your ERP implementation is a success once you’ve identified which solution is right for your enterprise. For more info on ERP consultants, ERP implementation strategies, and more, download our free guide for 8 Essential ERP Selection Strategies.

1. Pick The Right Partner For The Job: ERP Consultants, Vendors, and Partners

Who you enlist to assist with your implementation is a crucial component of ensuring your success, if not the most important factor contributing to the outcome project.

Don’t add yours to the long line of inefficient and outright failed ERP implementations by doing your due diligence and identifying a vendor, partner, ERP consultants firm, or other organization that speaks to your needs and connects with your organization, its goals, and desired outcomes. You and your teams will likely be working with these ERP experts for months on end, so it’s important to connect not just on a professional level, but a personal one too. After all, if you’re collaborating with someone you can’t stand, there is little chance the project will survive such a strained working relationship.

Trust your partner to know how to manage the project since it’s likely they’ve completed several implementations across an array of industries. It may mean giving up some control you’re used to maintaining, but the success of your project trumps comfort, without question.

2. Pick The Right Solution For Your Situation: Not All ERP Solutions Are Built Alike

There are ERP platforms that have been around for decades and ERP solutions that were developed as recently as last year. They all offer different value for their price. Some sacrifice capability for ease of use, while others sacrifice emphasis on one enterprise need at the expense of another. Whether you want an ERP solution that is cloud-based, hosted, on-premise or one that can be all three, options exist to address your enterprise’s needs. That doesn’t mean the search for the right fit will be easy.

Are you shopping for an ERP solution geared closer to process manufacturing, discrete manufacturing, or a service you provide? It’s better to measure twice and cut once. Don’t’ waste precious resources, like time, money, and labor, on a solution that won’t address your most critical of needs. Contact ERP consultants and vendors, arrange for demos of each solution and meet with your teams to understand what they’ll need out of the final product.

3. Plan For The Future: Going Beyond Go-Live

Your success doesn’t stop once things are up and running. How will your enterprise utilize your new ERP solution of the next 5 or 10 years? Upgrades, turnover, customizations as you enter new markets, and so many more factors await as you move forward.

You need a solution that grows with your business’ trajectory, which makes it even more critical to select a solution that can accommodate that new warehouse overseas or subsidiaries on the horizon. Changing regulations and compliance requirements at local, state, national, and international levels may be something you need to consider.

Going into your selection process with a roadmap of where the organization is going over the next decade will ensure you aren’t painted into an expensive corner. Plan as far as you can to give your partners the clearest picture of your intended journey as possible.

4. Staff Buy-in: On-Boarding Makes The Difference

Let’s put this out there first: nothing ensures a business’ success more than its employees. That said, your staff need to be on board with this transition or it’ll be destined to fail before it starts. It’s natural that change, especially significant change can be fear-inducing. However, with the right approach, your staff can come to embrace the coming change. Address their apprehensions, be prepared to give concrete answers to how the new system will address employee needs and make their jobs both easier and more efficient. Getting your staff to understand why this change is coming is integral in getting them on-board with how you go about implementing.

5. Sideline The Bureaucracy: Streamline Implementation

Bureaucracy is notorious for slowing down even the most efficient processes. EPR consultants and integrators are good at their jobs when they’re allowed to operate. By getting the necessary parties involved from inception, you can avoid blockers to critical processes during implementation. This may depend on how many layers of management your organization had in place, but by clearing the channel to enable the ERP consultants to do their job without impediment, you can avoid bottlenecks and wasting precious resources in the process.

6. Establish Order: Project Roles And Responsibilities

When it comes to both in-house and external resources, making sure everyone has a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities during your ERP implementation process. Your partnered ERP consultant will walk you through the process and give recommendations on how best to delegate the workload during implementation. Ensure that you and your team know what’s going on at every stage to avoid bottlenecks and unintended setbacks.

7. An Opportunity To Redefine Your Business Processes

Your ERP consultants will likely conduct a business process review prior to beginning your ERP implementation. This is a critical time for your business to reevaluate how processes are carried out. While you may be tempted to replicate old ways of doing things on a new ERP platform, the new system enables your teams to make more efficient use of the tools at their disposal. Go back to the beginning and determine whether your organization should change the way they do things from the onset. Keep in mind, many ERP software solutions come built in with the best practices of hundreds if not thousands of businesses in related industries.

8. Emphasize Clean Data

Old SKUs, incomplete, and just plain bad customer data don’t need to follow you into a new era for your business. make an impact with a new start that doesn’t leave room for shoddy work. Ensuring your recording and data practices are clean and clear from the start is the best way to ensure the right approach to record keeping and management is in your future.

9. Don’t Cut Corners On Training

Like onboarding, your team should be in it to win it when it comes to your ERP implementation. That means they need to know the software inside and out when it comes time to use the platform. A quality ERP consultant will get your staff trained in all the right tools needed for their given role. Instill confidence in your team by giving them the best training that money can buy, your business with prosper and your staff buy-in will increase with your investment.

10. Don’t Cut Ties After Go Live

When it comes time to use the new ERP solution on your own, chances are there will be bumps in the road as you move forward. This is where your team’s training is proven and your reevaluated business processes are put to the test. Consider bringing on an ERP consultant that offers managed services and support beyond ERP implementation. Maintaining a solid professional relationship with partners can save your business a lot of unnecessary grief and precious resources in the long run. On the other end of a successful go-live, when your business hits the ground running and has a bright future ahead a good partner can enable your enterprise to take advantage of rapid development and position for expansion.

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.


In an effort to scale operations alongside the company’s recently enjoyed growth, Metaphase has contracted the services of Encompass Solutions to implement Epicor ERP, train staff, and support operations through Go-Live and beyond. With the project plan finalized, implementation, testing, and user training are projected to be completed by the end of this year. Find out why Metaphase chose Encompass Solutions to implement their ERP solution in our interview with Metaphase President Kevin High, here.

The Project

Metaphase Technologies Inc. is a leading manufacturer of machine vision and specialty LED lighting.  They develop products that advance “The Quality of Light” through engineering and manufacturing of LED illuminators for machine vision, military, and specialty lighting applications.  Because Metaphase is projecting another year of 20% growth, they require a system that supports their growth without the necessity of increasing their labor force.

The Challenge

Currently, Metaphase Technologies operates on IQMS ERP and are looking to replace the system due to its labor-intensive nature.  Most of Metaphase Technologies’ production is manual, but it is necessary to scan in and out of those processes on the shop floor.  Quality is critical to their business; and therefore, quality checks are performed when materials are received, during the manufacturing process, and prior to shipping. Because Metaphase Technologies ships their products globally, multi-language support is essential. Additionally, the ability to price for shipping companies, integrate UPS and FedEx into the system for customer information, and maintain the applicable rates in real-time is essential to the project’s success.

The Goals

Metaphase Technologies will be implementing their Epicor ERP solution with the following goals in mind:

  • Efficiently managing global business operations
  • Providing better information to make more informed decisions
  • Supporting Engineer-to-Order Manufacturing (ETO)
  • Providing visibility to manage and track costs to measure and improve profitability
  • Supporting traceability requirements for warranties and material tracking
  • Growing revenue and profitability

The Metaphase Technologies’ team will be taking advantage of this project to review and update business processes, while leveraging standard software capabilities whenever possible. Additionally, there is a desire to streamline ETO processes through the use of technology.

About Metaphase Technologies

For more than two decades, Metaphase Technologies has been developing products that advance “The Quality of Light” through the engineering and manufacture of uniform diffuse high brightness and ultra brightness LED illuminators. Metaphase’s illuminators are specially designed for applications in machine vision, military, and specialty lighting. Metaphase boasts expertise in engineering flexible lighting solutions for ease of integration into vision systems design. The company’s LED illuminators are currently utilized in thousands of applications throughout the world, including vision-guided robotics, automation systems, line scan inspection units, and many others across the machine vision industry.

Metaphase Technologies Selects Encompass Solutions For Epicor ERP Implementation

As the first to standardize built-in constant current drivers, Metaphase continues to synergize cutting-edge machine vision LED lighting & control technologies in an effort to simplify innovation and increase customer return on investment.

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.


When it comes to directing the future of a company, CEOs have to understand the necessity and difficulty in choosing the right ERP solution for their business. Not only does the solution need to fit the industry, but it must be one that a workforce can adapt readily to avoid any lull in services being delivered to customers.

a photo of a checklist being marked with a red pen.

The Implementation Journey Is An Exhaustive One And The More Preparation In Place, The Better.

The journey is an exhaustive one and the more preparation that can be put in place prior to an implementation, the more likely your success. To help avoid banging your head against the office wall in frustration, here are a few suggestions that will help ensure you make the right decision when it’s time to upgrade to a quality ERP solution.

Understand The Problem And The Process

Being an executive in-the-know certifies that your positive influence regarding an implementation reaches every level of the organization. A CEO needs to be the first one who knows what the business needs and how the ERP solution addresses those needs. These details need to be clearly articulated to the upper-management, management, and ground-level employees to make certain everyone is on the same page.

Be Involved, Own The Effort

This really can’t be stated enough, as a leader in the company’s direction a forward-thinking CEO should be on board and support the project from day-one with regular check-ups on progression. This doesn’t just ensure your workforce and additional help are on task with implementation, but that the business is in the mindset that this change is happening, it’s good for the future of the company, and everyone is committed to its success. Whether you’re entrusting the stewardship of your implementation to vendors, VARs, consultants or none of these, ownership still needs to come from the heart of the organization.

Know ERP Is A Solution, Not A Magic Wand

While ERP systems can make running an enterprise infinitely easier, these solutions are not a magic wand. ERP systems require users to put in the effort to get the benefits. Realistic expectations are essential when faced with replacing fractured systems and poor data utilization. ERP can streamline your methods and make every process, from quote to cash, a breeze. However, this is true only so long as your enterprise puts the tools to work properly.

Maintain Focus

It may seem like a no-brainer, but ERP implementations are tricky things in that they can easily sprawl into larger projects as time goes on and needs are constantly added to the list of things to address. Being clear about what must happen from day one will ensure that only mission-critical components of an implementation consume your precious time, capital, and labor resources.

Partner With Experienced ERP Professionals

Partnering with a vendor, VAR or consultant can make the difference between a successful implementation and a failure, as they’ve directly participated in several implementation projects. An ERP professional can help guide your business to greater success than if you went alone into the implementation. That’s not to say it can’t be done. However, projects that don’t incorporate at least some level of experienced consultation into the process generally end up costing far more in the long term than they save upfront.

Know Your Partners

If you do choose to bring on outside help for the implementation process, it’s important to be realistic about the timeframe and how well your solution provider understands your goals. After all, the implementation process can span several months, depending on the size of an enterprise, and your organizations will be spending a lot of time working together. An implementation is more than a transaction, it’s a business relationship.

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.