Companies justify moving to a standard enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution based on a number of compelling reasons. By supporting a single system rather than several smaller and disparate systems, they can enjoy economies of scale. Additionally, having a single application architecture with fewer user interfaces creates lower integration costs. Plus, with common task automation and easier access to more information, businesses gain efficiencies not available when employees use multiple systems.

While the case for standardizing on a single ERP system can be relatively straightforward to make, the costs and impacts are sometimes easy to overlook. Companies should take into consideration a number of factors to help ensure a successful implementation.

 

Epicor-Planning-For-a-Successful-ERP-WP-ENS

About Encompass Solutions

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


This month, Encompass joined the ranks of Avalara Certified Implementation Partners. We have been implementing Avalara’s automated tax compliance software and Epicor ERP for years. It was only recently that we made things official.

A big congratulations to our own Leslie Kendall for completing the certification program and earning us a place of distinction among the Avalara and Epicor partner communities. We want to thank Avalara as well for a partnership that continues to grow and develop alongside our respective organizations. We look forward to many more years empowering manufacturers with  business management solutions.

Avalara Certified Implementation Partners

Encompass Solutions achieved Partner status by completing Avalara Solutions certification training for implementation components.

As a Certified Implementation Partner, Encompass is provided the highest level of support for their Encompass-implemented clients. This includes direct access to senior technical resources.

Encompass also enhances the implementation experience through the use of unique project management templates, Avalara implementation best practices, and access to internal tools to address the needs of  data migration, tax code mapping, and more.

How Customers Benefit

The benefits of being listed among Avalara Certified Implementation are not reserved for Encompass or Avalara exclusively. Customers relying on us for Avalara-related projects enjoy many benefits of the partnership, including:

Confidence – Avalara Certified Implementation Partners pass rigorous training, have access to tools and priority support, so you can be confident when you go live on your automated tax compliance solution.

Customer Experience- Clients benefit from a single point of contact, expert in their ERP or accounting system, familiar with tier business challenges, focused on their business success.

Time to Value – ​Implementing a tax compliance solution can be time consuming and risky. Avalara Certified Implementation Partners are trained to accelerate your time to value while minimizing your firm’s time commitment.

About Encompass Solutions

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


So, you just purchased a shiny new ERP, and are looking to roll out EDI.  You want to get started right away on your EDI project, right?   We should be able to set up data and test all transactions out of the box, right? WRONG!

EDI Project Best Practices

EDI is a customized, systemic process, that much like your data, rolls through the quote to cash cycle in a coordinated sequence.  Each EDI document requires data from an upstream process, and you must always complete, and validate,  the upstream processes first.    A common mistake we see on many EDI projects, is an expectation that EDI is plug and play, and that we can implement all documents simultaneously.  EDI is not plug and play, for the same reason that ERP implementations are not plug and play.

EDI trading partners are notorious for sending through erroneous or uniquely specific data.    Our customers all have different shipping and packaging scenarios.   Many customers have different expectations on how EDI data is to be handled.    The answer to a successful EDI implementation, is to work on each document until it is correct, until moving to the next one, and ensuring that the ERP system has been configured and validated for packaging and shipping processes prior to starting to work on outbound transactions.  EDI implementations always lag the ERP implementation by some weeks, and always last the duration of the design and validation stage of the implementation project.

Below are some typical EDI transactions, that must be managed, and processed sequentially.

Inbound Purchase Orders (850i), Demand Forecasts (830i), etc.

Many times, Trading Partners will send data that does not have a native home in ERP.  Our EDI team must carefully inspect all the inbound PO documents from all your trading partners, and understand for each file, which will be unique, whether there is a native home in Epicor, and if not, we create one for it, and make it visible in the ERP through customization.  This can take time, and for some trading partners, extensive customer part cross references must be built, so that Epicor ERP can understand what it is in fact that this customer is ordering.

Outbound Sales Acknowledgement (855o)

It is common to need to include custom trading partner data in an 855 outbound.  Until all of the inbound maps have been translated, and the data housed in Epicor, we can not start testing 855o.   This is normally not a difficult transaction, but until we have every inbound document defined and custom schema in place to accommodate your trading partners, we can not design the outbound format for this document for testing.

Outbound Packing Slip (856o)

Most customers expect us to be able to start this right away.  Some customers have even demanded that we start this right away.  The trouble is that everyone ships differently, and some people have multiple levels of packaging, at various points in their production process, that change how we build the dataset for the 850o.    Another common mistake our customers make are asking for the packing labels before the ASN is designed.

The shipping and packaging process must ALWAYS be designed first, and approved, before we start building 856o data and labels.  Typically the label would be the last thing we build, as we process through all the 850i for all trading partners, demonstrate all packaging scenarios for each, and then finally, armed with model data, we can construct the outbound ASN dataset and labels.  This is especially important when you have multiple versions of labels for different trading partners, or if you have Master Pallets, Mixed Pallets etc.    All EDI projects I have seen go over budget, or that have been frustrated, have been those where the company insists on having working outbound ASN’s before the shipping process is validated.

Outbound Invoices (810)

Typically the easiest of all, but these can not be started until a validated ASN document has been produced.  As such, we save these until the end of the project, to ensure all the data necessary on the invoice, whether from custom inbound data from the 850o, or custom packaging data from the 856o, are available.   Shipments in the system are required to invoice, so there needs to be a solid, unchanging process to generate multiple shipments for the inbound orders, such that they can be invoiced.  This data is typically not available until the last quarter of the implementation.

Listening to your expert EDI implementation consultant, understanding that EDI will slightly lag the work being done in ERP, and that the work will stretch the duration of the project, are key to a successful EDI implementation.  Following our process and methodology  and will minimize frustrations if expectations were that EDI would be ready day one, and reduce or eliminate rework for any EDI transactions forced through before the system is validated.

If you are having a difficult implementation and would like to talk to Encompass about how to put things back on track, we would be happy to conduct a mid ERP implementation review.   If you are about to start an EDI implementation, understanding the above before starting, and ensuring that the project manager and steering committee understand the timeline, will be critical to meeting expectations, and ultimately having a successful, error free cutover.

About Encompass Solutions

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


In the face of growing competition and a challenging business climate, many job shops and manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce costs, streamline operations, and improve the bottom line. Implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a proven solution for running a business efficiently and effectively. Yet, a large percentage of manufacturers have held back from implementing an ERP system due to high initial costs, long implementation times, and competing demands for time and resources.

This paper describes how the Software as a Service (SaaS) model (more commonly known as ‘the cloud’) delivers financial, implementation, and operational benefits to job shops and manufacturers. It also details cloud deployed Epicor ERP meets the needs of job shops and manufacturers. Job shops and manufacturers can leverage Epicor ERP—and cloud technology to ‘punch above their weight’—increasing effectiveness.

 

Cloud-ERP-for-Job-Shops-and-Manufacturers-WP-ENS

About Encompass Solutions

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


Over the last few years, Software as a Service (SaaS) has become a compelling and credible delivery model for business applications. SaaS, also referred to as “On-Demand” or “Cloud Computing”, eliminates many of the barriers that keep companies from implementing or upgrading their software, and can help you reduce costs. More importantly, it enables you to focus on your core business operations instead of managing IT. So Cloud-based ERP may be right for your business, but where do you start? This white paper contains 10 questions to ask when considering a Cloud-based ERP solution.

 

Epicor-10-Critical-Questions-WP-ENS

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.


In the face of growing competition and a challenging business climate, many job shops and manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce costs, streamline operations, and improve the bottom line. Implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a proven solution for running a business efficiently and effectively. Yet, a large percentage of job shops and manufacturers have held back from implementing an ERP system due to high initial costs, long implementation times, and competing demands for time and resources.

This paper describes how cloud deployed (sometimes referred to as software as a service, or SaaS ERP) delivers financial, implementation, and operational benefits to job shops and manufacturers. It also describes how cloud deployed Epicor ERP—a comprehensive ERP system—meets the needs of job shops and manufacturers. With Epicor ERP, job shops and small manufacturers now have the opportunity to implement an ERP solution that can help transform their operations and their business.

 

Epicor-Delaying-an-ERP-Decision-WP-ENS

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.


In the face of growing competition and a challenging business climate, many job shops and manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce costs, streamline operations, and improve the bottom line. Implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a proven solution for running a business efficiently and effectively. Yet, a large percentage of job shops and manufacturers have held back from implementing an ERP system due to high initial costs, long implementation times, and competing demands for time and resources.

This paper describes how cloud deployed (sometimes referred to as software as a service, or SaaS ERP) delivers financial, implementation, and operational benefits to job shops and manufacturers. It also describes how cloud deployed Epicor ERP—a comprehensive ERP system—meets the needs of job shops and manufacturers. With Epicor ERP, job shops and small manufacturers now have the opportunity to implement an ERP solution that can help transform their operations and their business.

 

Epicor-Deployed-Cloud-ERP-Right-Model-Job-Shops-WP-ENS

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 role of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in managing business processes has expanded significantly over the past decade from a focus on specific business areas such as manufacturing, procurement, or human resources, to broader use throughout the company. Although IT has traditionally been responsible for specifying and implementing technology within an organization, successful ERP implementations require involvement from stakeholders at all levels, from executives to end users. For many companies, the transition from existing traditional systems to a new ERP one can consume significant corporate resources, including time, expense, and risk to business operations. However, as we’ll explore below, this need not be the case.

 

Epicor-Implementation-Best-Practices-for-ERP-Success-WP-ENS

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 software as a service (SaaS) model of application delivery, more commonly known as “cloud deployment,” in which software features are accessed through a Web browser, is an excellent way for manufacturing companies to get the benefits of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems without the need to build additional IT infrastructure. ERP functionality delivered “from the cloud” avoids the complexity and costs that often accompany on-premises ERP implementations, and typically provides a much more favorable total cost of ownership (TCO), compared to legacy on-premises deployment. Companies subscribe to the software features that they need and can add new ones as business requirements change, without buying additional servers or storage to support new functionality. The ERP features are the same as for an on premises ERP system, except that it is hosted and maintained on the cloud provider’s infrastructure.

Epicor Software Corporation is a leading developer of ERP software and systems based in Austin, Texas, with more than 40 years of experience in building ERP systems for thousands of customers around the world. Christine Hansen, a product marketing manager at Epicor with experience in the manufacturing business sector, presents some of the best practices used by discrete manufacturers. She also explains the benefits of the Epicor Cloud ERP solution.

 

Epicor-Improve-Scheduling-Production-Quality-Cloud-ERP-WP-ENS

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.


Companies justify moving to a standard enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution based on a number of compelling reasons. By supporting a single system rather than several smaller and disparate systems, they can enjoy economies of scale. Additionally, having a single application architecture with fewer user interfaces creates lower integration costs. Plus, with common task automation and easier access to more information, businesses gain efficiencies not available when employees use multiple systems.

While the case for standardizing on a single ERP system can be relatively straightforward to make, the costs and impacts are sometimes easy to overlook. Companies should take into consideration a number of factors to help ensure a successful implementation.

 

Epicor-Planning-For-a-Successful-ERP-WP-ENS

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.