Meaningful relationships exist across your company and are a great resource for serving customers and improving efficiency. When workers engage with each other to solve problems and innovate processes, your business benefits and strengthens. By integrating unstructured meetings and conversations with your critical business ERP data and by enabling worker conversations digitally, you can help eliminate worker silos—giving your business a competitive advantage.

Epicor Collaborate is an enterprise-wide collaboration and productivity tool built on a cloud platform. Easy to use and intuitive with hashtags and mentions, Collaborate connects groups of workers simply. When your employee teams communicate digitally, you increase customer responsiveness and satisfaction.

Actionable Collaboration for Greater Productivity

Easily accessible across the Kinetic application, Collaborate, shifts workers from monitoring analytical dashboards and reports to being actively engaged with instant notifications from ERP processes and events. Collaborate message streams collect and communicate these messages across the enterprise. Outlier processes that often bury users in meetings or email are easily mainstreamed with the flexibility and simplicity of Collaborate—optimizing productivity. Key integrations driving worker productivity include Microsoft Teams®, Epicor IoT, Epicor Virtual Agent (EVA), and Epicor Data Discovery.

Microsoft Teams Integration enables teams with external players to connect on project details by sharing Epicor Collaborate messages.

Being notified of adverse events in ERP or directly from your equipment through Epicor IoT, can drive new levels of responsiveness and productivity.

Not every solution that improves productivity has to be complicated. Epicor Virtual Agent (EVA) delivers on simplicity through natural language to answer questions of Kinetic.

Businesses that share and coalesce around business metrics are data driven organizations that thrive on solving problems. Collaborate offers users the ability to shared Epicor Data Discovery (EDD) metrics.

Epicor Collaborate Benefits

Epicor Collaborate allows businesses to leverage their two most important resources, information and personnel, in tandem. Reap the benefits of an actively engaged workforce fueled by the enterprise data you need to make informed decisions, quickly. Those benefits allow your business to:

  • Modernize employee communication for more engaged workers
  • Boost team productivity and responsiveness
  • Experience new levels of worker efficiency
  • Share and action metrics as exceptions occur
  • Eliminate worker silos to improve customer responsiveness
  • Reduce time wasted with email and status update meetings

Easy to deploy

Both Kinetic in the cloud and Kinetic on premises are easy to integrate with Collaborate. There are three simple steps to get started.

Simple to learn—designed for business

Collaborate contains many of the same interface conventions your employees use at home on their devices. This makes Collaborate simple to use and quick to learn. Since employees can adopt the features with near immediacy, Collaborate can offer a fast return on investment. Available to work with Kinetic in the cloud or on premises, Collaborate helps all users stay in touch.

Employees log into the Kinetic Home Page and select the Collaborate tab. They can then start messaging, subscribing to ERP events, and sharing knowledge. Collaborate functions are like other leading cloud-native digital messaging tools, but the feature is designed for heightened connectivity for Kinetic and your business.

The promise of Cloud

Built on the Microsoft® Azure® platform, Collaborate is a cloud solution that leverages powerful Azure tools to deliver security and scalability for your messaging needs. More importantly, the cloud platform provides access to Collaborate on a desktop or a compatible tablet through the Epicor Home Page. Collaborate makes work happen—providing timely messages anywhere for rapid decision making.

Enterprise-wide Collaboration

Multisite, multi-company organizations need to communicate across boundaries to solve problems and remain responsive to customers. As a cloud-based solution, Epicor Collaborate delivers messaging capabilities for intercompany and inter-site conversations. Featured in this capability is the ability to create Enterprise groups that can span locations for greater business efficiency.

Share knowledge

Sharing knowledge helps businesses more easily onboard new employees and retain critical knowledge to support future operational efficiency. Making it easier for staff and departments to share information means that skills and knowledge can be pooled— leading to thorough problem solving, better project progression, and new ideas. Collaborate provides a robust repository of contextual and searchable messages to help workers find answers to repeatable customer issues, store and retrieve process knowledge, and maintain historical audits.

Operational Visibility

Subscribing to exceptions in ERP data helps business leaders respond to problems as they happen. For example, a stakeholder may subscribe to a customer or credit hold status. Once a credit hold message appears in their Collaborate message thread, stakeholders can message finance immediately to determine the reason and follow up with the customer.

Group Messaging

Employees exceedingly work in groups to drive innovation and meet customer expectations. In particular, being able to support cross-functional teams that can coalesce around a complex estimate, project, customer issue, production event whether single instance or ongoing and more. Introducing this group functionality (both public and private) is important as members are informed on a timely basis and can offer their perspective.

Microsoft Teams Integration

Microsoft Teams is an industry-leading collaboration platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration for businesses. It is widely used and sits alongside Microsoft Office 365® productivity tools. Collaborate Groups connected to Microsoft Teams to share communications across users, including external guests outside of Kinetic. Note: This feature requires Microsoft Office 365 level AD.

Custom Notifications (Change Data Capture (CDC) and BPM)

Greater responsiveness in business workflow can be more easily achieved with instant notifications guiding your processes. To offer more opportunities to build these notifications into your processes, Collaborate lets users create custom notification rules. This is achieved with the Change Data Capture (CDC) management solution.

Additionally, users can design a Business Process Management (BPM) workflow to post custom notifications in a Collaborate message stream through a new Notify Collaborate action. Users can leverage Data Directives, Method Directives, and Epicor Functions to create workflows that include the Notify Collaborate actions and the action that triggers it.

Operational Efficiency from IoT Notifications

Boosting operational oversight to deliver great performance with Epicor IoT is easier in the latest release as users can view IoT notifications within Collaborate message streams. Users can configure IoT based notifications via BPM and feeding them into Collaborate. This allows users to be notified on asset performance while collaborating with a group of stakeholders on failure situations.

Instant Answers with Epicor Virtual Agent (EVA)

EVA helps users automate mundane tasks such as looking up a contact or inventory information-all she needs is a simple text command. Integration with Collaborate supports EVA skills or commands within message streams. Ask EVA to show you a customer, and then the customer credit, and she will return richly formatted information. The experience and the skills supported are consistent with what is offered in the EVA mobile app.

File Sharing Support

Collaborate users can share files easily, selecting their preferred choice of cloud file storage system. Attaching files in the feeds and conversations speeds up teamwork in any company, and the attachment is saved in the file storage system.

Collaborate integrates with multiple cloud storage providers such as Google Drive® or Dropbox®. Epicor ECM (Enterprise Content Management) is also an option for Collaborate file storage, no matter whether Epicor ECM is Cloud or On-Premises.

Actionable EDD Metrics Drive Improved Productivity

More easily describe business challenges with EDD metrics in Collaborate. Users can leverage an EDD widget to snag and share EDD metrics, including comments that drive actions. New levels of productivity can result when metrics are shared and actioned as exceptions occur. Any key metric can be shared from sales, finance, or operations.

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.

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ERP for start-ups may seem like a bit of an oxymoron. The nature of ERP is to connect several departments  in a unified information system. This allows you to leverage crucial data to make informed decisions that drive the success of your business. When most people hear those three little letters, they tend to think large scale enterprise, multi-national conglomerate, or global entities. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Small And Medium-Sized Businesses Include Start-Ups

The modern enterprise isn’t a fortune 500 company. It isn’t even a fortune 5,000 company.

In the US There are roughly 17 million businesses with fewer than 500 employees. This number represents 99.7% of all US businesses and almost half of total private sector employment.

With that in mind, it would make sense the market for ERP that speaks to the small and medium sized enterprise is ripe for development. In the last 40 years it has done just that with tremendous effect.

Among businesses surveyed in a 2017 Deloitte report commissioned by Google, the top 20% of the most digitally advanced companies:

  • Earned 2 times as much revenue per employee
  • Experienced revenue growth over the previous year that was nearly 4 times as high
  • Were almost 3 times as likely to be creating jobs over the previous year
  • Had an average employment growth rate that was more than 6 times as high
  • Were also 3 times as likely to have exported over the previous year

Those stats can’t be ignored. However, what were the digital advancements these successful companies used to gain their edge in the market? Here’s how the levels of digital transformation of business is represented among those surveyed:

  • Basic – An email address
  • Intermediate – Website, basic marketing tools, online directories, and third-party marketplaces
  • High – Advanced website, mobile or e-commerce capability, engagement on multiple social media platforms, online marketing channels
  • Advanced – Advanced data analytics and applications for business management and customer interactions

It’s clear a business using advanced digital tools to help their business will perform better than those businesses using only basic or intermediate tools. But what does advanced really mean?

In this case, advanced digital tools includes:

  • Data analytics used to examine characteristics of customers, to inform business decisions such as online marketing strategies or products offered.
  • The ability for customers to make bookings and purchases through online channels, such as enabling payments through the business’ website or use of third-party e-commerce platforms.
  • Digital technologies and tools utilized internally in order to improve business processes or worker productivity (e.g. cloud-based software, video conferencing, corporate social networks).

Epicor ERP For Start-Ups Facilitate Sales Excellence

Let’s start with the first benefit of ERP for start-ups. It’s no secret that sales are top of mind of a start-up.

Whether you are in it for the long-haul or just long enough for get an offer, proving viability through sales is key in attracting investors and securing longevity.

Epicor ERP CRM and Sales Management tools drive intelligent marketing and provide insightful data about what products are and are not moving. Add to this the ability to collaborate with internal teams as well as customers externally through one unified system and you have a recipe for success.

With Epcior Sales Management tools Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales team. By giving your sales teams the ability to manage their opportunities and automating administrative tasks, you free up their time to focus on building lasting, profitable relationships. It also enables your sales team to:

  • Produce accurate estimates
  • Streamline your order-to-cash cycle
  • Fulfill perfect orders and ensure high customer satisfaction

Components of the sales management module include:

Estimate and Quote Management – Easily generate and track all customer or prospect requests for quotation (RFQs)—from the time of receipt until an order is placed. Create estimates and get quotes out more quickly with more accurate pricing and lead times with a wide range of powerful tools.

  • Generate accurate and timely estimates and quotes
  • Import data from a variety of customer and system sources
  • Check inventory availability during quote entry
  • Manage the sales cycle with dynamic task lists that ensure the right people are working on the quote at the right time
  • Automatically cross reference customer part numbers to your part numbers during the quoting process

Order Management – Order Management drives the Epicor system. From the time an order is entered, its progress is tracked through final shipment—producing perfect order fulfillment on demand for maximum customer satisfaction.

  • With the Order Job Wizard, generate appropriate jobs for new orders in a single step
  • Check customer credit status online at quote entry, order entry, and shipment entry
  • Using blanket orders, establish multiple releases for each sales order line and pull parts directly from inventory
  • Link sales orders, jobs, purchase orders, field service calls, cases, tasks, milestones, and budget information to manage projects

EDI/Demand ManagementEntrust EDI/Demand Management secures your competitive edge by incorporating electronic data interchange (EDI) with demand scheduling.

  • Get full flexibility and control for setting up customer contracts and handling their schedules in the Epicor ERP system
  • Reduce lead time and effort for planning and procurement
  • With Demand Management, set up contracts per customer with such agreed-upon parameters as pricing, initial demand schedule, and contract end date

Point of Sale – Epicor Point of Sale (POS) extends the power of your Epicor ERP to a customer-facing sales environment—regardless if you need a single POS station or if you’re a multinational chain.

  • Feature-rich system that empowers store personnel to deliver an enhanced customer experience
  • Comprehensive functionality includes electronic gift cards, gift receipting, customized receipt per transaction type, coupon redemption/issuance, layaways, special orders, suspend and resume, item marking for various functions, additional input fields, multicurrency, start/end of day functions, cash management, and more.

Epicor Commerce Connect – B2B and B2C eCommerce are the new norm. Epicor Commerce Connect (ECC) provides your buyers and sales channels with a simple online shopping experience that encourages repeat purchases and sets your brand apart.

  • Launch an attractive, simple-to-use eCommerce site with your own branding in less time
  • Manage only one product database with tight integration into Epicor ERP
  • Simplify channel support by letting your partners make payments on accounts, access pricelists, and place quick re-orders

Epicor Customer Connect – Today’s customers want new access to information. Epicor Customer Connect helps you improve customer loyalty and online commerce.

  • Special promotions and pricelists
  • Enable your customers to make repeat purchases

Startup Growth And Innovation With Advanced Digital Tools At An Affordable Price

Epicor technology is powered by industry-leading innovation and expertise. The software empowers businesses of every size and is modular to fit the needs of a start-ups, no matter their stage of growth. Epicor solutions feature seamless integration with thousands of existing software applications, web-enabled platforms, and fully configurable interfaces and reporting systems.

Utilize the components of Epicor ERP your start-up needs here and now. Add more functionality as you scale, customize the framework to fit your unique business components, and take as much control of your technology as you like with on-premise, cloud, and hybrid deployment options. Mobile solutions can further be utilized to access the system from Windows, iOS, and Android devices.

Epicor ERP for start-ups is designed to be both accessible and affordable for the small business and start-up. Financing, subscription models, and even tax write offs are available for Epicor ERP software purchases.

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.