The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce has been very active in delivering useful information to citizens and businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One topic, in particular, was too relevant not to share with our partners and other small to medium-sized business owners in the state. Small Business Disaster Relief Loans are now an option for many businesses in North Carolina as a result of the public health crisis.

These low interest, working capital loans are available to those in affected disaster areas.

If you want to know more about the Small Business Disaster Relief Loans, whether you qualify, and how you can apply for these funds, please watch the full action call – HERE.

You can apply online – HERE.

North Carolina Small Business Disaster Relief Loans FAQ

  • WHAT ARE SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS? 

Low-interest working capital loans of $2 million or less for small businesses and certain nonprofits.

  • WHO SHOULD APPLY?

Any small business impacted by COVID-19. Business owners should apply even if they don’t have the best credit or if they can’t prove they’ve exhausted all other means. Additionally, the SBA does not deny disaster loans solely on a business’ inability to provide collateral. If you are denied, you can reapply in 60 days.

Exclusions for the loans include religious and charitable organizations; farmers and ranchers, who are eligible for USDA loans; and small businesses that derive more than 1/3 of their revenue from gambling.

  • HOW CAN I USE THE MONEY?

The purpose of economic injury disaster loans is to restore businesses to their pre-crisis state. The money can be used to pay for necessary business expenses like payroll, mortgage or rent payments and inventory. It can’t be used to expand your business or consolidate past debts.

  • WHEN AND HOW DO I APPLY?

Apply as soon as possible to get the maximum amount of funding. You will submit your application online, but the SBA recommends looking through the paper application first so you’ll know what you need.

All businesses will need to provide:

  • Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506T) for the applicant, principals and affiliates.
  • Complete copies of the most recent federal income tax return.
  • Schedule of Liabilities (SBA Form 2202).
  • Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413).

Some businesses will need to provide:

  • Complete copy, including all schedules, of the most recent federal income tax return for principals, general partners or managing member and affiliates.
  • If the most recent federal income tax return has not been filed, a year-end profit-and-loss statement and balance sheet for that tax year.
  • A current year-to-date profit-and-loss statement.
  • Additional Filing Requirements (SBA Form 1368) providing monthly sales figures.

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.


If you’re like many manufacturers in the US and around the world, COVID-19 has disrupted your supply chain significantly. Many of our partners have spent the recent weeks evaluating which of their Suppliers in China and other parts of Asia have stopped shipments. Evaluating how this will affect your manufacturing operations in the US and other facilities around the world can be a cumbersome task. The impact on the delivery of products that this global pandemic has produced cannot be understated. By proactively leveraging these COVID-19 resources, your business can be better prepared than businesses reacting to the latest industry disruption.

Discounted Consulting

In an effort to address the increasing call for our services and the remote requirements businesses currently need to adopt, we’ve expanded our emphasis on remote consulting and implementation services. This slower time could be an opportunity, while people have the bandwidth, to prepare to scale up for future growth.

You can tailor these combined training seminars and implementation services to topics specific to projects currently underway or planned in your organization. The benefit of combining these two services remotely results in better use of your time and money.

We are also offering discounted consulting blocks to make these services more easily available to businesses.

Cycle Count Workshops

Streamlining inventory management through effective cycle counting can do away with show-stopping inventory activities at the end of the year when flu-season and holiday social gatherings are in full effect.

Work smarter, not harder, and instate a policy that ensures your organization is prepared throughout the year with accurate and effective inventory management.

Production And Delivery Analysis

Our consultants increasingly hear from the board room regarding how outside vendors, salespeople on the road, and visiting customers could potentially bring nasty bugs into their facilities. It’s a legitimate concern and carrying out predictive analytics is an undertaking where Encompass Solutions is happy to lend a hand. Together, we can sit down and take the time to figure out how you can stay in business during an uncertain time, remain profitable, and protect your staff.

Want help creating your own alternate production and sales plan for the next 90 to 180 days? You’ve likely got many questions revolving around how operations and production will change moving forward. We can help you answer and develop plans in regard to the following questions:

  • What products were imported in the last 90 or 180 days?
  • How will limited supplies impact their production?
  • How will this impact open sales orders and forecasted sales?
  • Which customer accounts will be hit the hardest?
  • How will this affect revenue?

Leveraging Remote Meetings

For many, remote work is a concept that difficult to manage within the current structure of their organization. We’ve mastered the art of remote work with our partners and can help your organization get a handle on the most efficient ways to leverage remote resources and staff.

Encompass offers remote support via Zoom on a daily basis to organizations across the globe. Let us lend a hand in helping you set up and manage your workforce remotely when needed. We’ll assist you to manage your data in such a way that facilitates lag-free, streaming audio and video sharing, suggest the best situations when staff should stay at their desks vs a group in the conference room, how to manage audio if there are multiple users on laptops in the same room, downloading recorded Zoom sessions, and more.

Ultimately, in a worst-case scenario, you may decide that your teams should work remotely for a period of time. We’ll help you develop and implement the Zoom and Webex best practices that fit your organization’s structure. You can maintain that framework and adjust it as time goes on.

Alternate Plans For Production And Sales

Ensure your production floor and sales activities remain in operation, regardless of the current climate, through the development of alternatives based on projected 90-day and 180-day forecasts.

  • How will limited supplies impact their production?
  • How will this impact open sales orders and forecasted sales?
  • Which customer accounts will be hit the hardest?
  • How will this affect revenue?

If you have asked yourself any of the following questions over the last few weeks, it may be worthwhile to formulate alternatives in the event your trading partners cannot fulfill their obligations for one reason or another. Reach out to Encompass today and we’ll work with you to ensure you have an effective plan in place prior to the next big disruption.

Encompass Small Business COVID-19 Resources

Encompass Small Business COVID-19 Resources can assist in completing projects, evaluating and renovating new or existing systems, as well as providing managed services to supplement limited workforce scenarios.

US Small Business Administration Guidance & Loan Information

Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program

Small businesses and private nonprofits are now eligible to apply for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The working capital loans of up to $2 million can provide vital economic support to small businesses and nonprofits to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

CARES Act

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loans

Payroll Protection Program Loans were put into effect April 3, 2020, to provide small businesses with loan funds to maintain their workforce and keep their employees paid. You can read more about the program Here.

Employment Law Changes

Effective April 2, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act mandates paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave and enhanced unemployment compensation benefits.

Click Here for downloadable workplace posters from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Council of Development Finance Agencies Weekly Briefing

Fridays, at 1 p.m. — These one-hour phone calls will feature legislative updates, news from our members, state and local financing strategies, and lessons learned from previous development finance responses to disasters.

Click Here for more information.

Taxes

Federal: The IRS has automatically extended payment deadlines until July 15, 2020, with some exceptions. The filing deadline is still April 15.

US Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Response Toolkit

Click Here to access guides for employment law changes, workplace safety information and other resources.

US Chamber Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist

Ready.Gov Disaster and Emergency Resources Businesses

Click Here for disaster planning for businesses.

COVID-19 Resources For Control And Prevention

It should be noted that first and foremost, you and your staff should be taking all available precautions to minimize the spread of infectious disease in and out of the workplace. While we are adopting our own standards for the health and safety of our staff at Encompass, we don’t feel it is prudent to make suggestions to our partners and other businesses. Join us in following the suggestions of the professionals and research the best practices.

United States Department Of Labor – Occupational Health And Safety Administration

Centers For Disease Control And Prevention

The United States Food and Drug Administration

World Health Organization

We hope you will continue to remain safe and take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of your families, friends, colleagues, and communities.

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

EDI For Small Businesses: Burdens And Benefits

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

Satisfaction, Loyalty, And Growth With EDI For Small Businesses

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

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

Accuracy, Automation, And Accountability

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

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

Reducing Overhead With An EDI Partner

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

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

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

About Encompass Solutions

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


Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), also often referred to as small and midsize businesses (SMBs), have a tremendous advantage over larger enterprises and many don’t even know it. Because of SMEs’ energy and agility, they are more able to adapt to changes in the marketplace, adopting and implementing ERP solutions and emerging technologies to give them an operational advantage over larger enterprises.

SMEs are not subject to the same bureaucratic processes that corporations and other large enterprise have adopted over the years. Winning customers over with a more modern sensibility and customer-centric approach, SMEs can perform when they need to and turn on a dime when the market demands it. With larger enterprises, the adage of a big ship takes longer to steer fits appropriately alongside industry examples. Their size makes them far more able to weather storms, but less capable of maneuvering. Therefore, SMEs should be getting on board with ERP software platforms and modern automation tools to make their jobs easier now, before their current systems are outgrown at a time when operations can’t afford to be put on hold for an implementation.

an image of disorganized wooden drawers.

The Transition To Effective ERP Solutions Only Gets More Complicated And Costly As Your Enterprise Grows.

Implementing these time and resource saving tools enable SME’s to compete at an accelerated rate. Critical as they may be, the computer systems and software needed to run a successful enterprise of any size are often overlooked components. Amalgamated systems, pieced together from a large swath of vendors, may work for a business at one time and place, but eventually, a unified system is necessary to ensure productivity and survivability as an enterprise grows in tandem with its customer base. Employing these solutions will reduce wasted labor and streamline efforts, allowing departments to work together with the same data, rather than against each other in siloed systems.

Defining Processes With ERP Systems

There will come a time when the c-suite or upper-level management will identify the need to implement an ERP system. Initially serving enterprises as a financial visibility tool, ERP systems have grown to encompass so much more. Now businesses can implement systems that grow alongside their business with modular capabilities that allow them to implement beyond the core system functionalities. A good ERP system will provide data storage and visibility, manufacturing execution, supply chain management, human capital management, and a quote to cash process that takes minutes compared to the antiquated manual approach of the sales cycle. These are just a few of the core competencies of a modern ERP, add to that mobile capability and cloud agility and workforces can utilize these powerful systems remotely or on-site from the shop floor to the boardroom to ensure their operations are running as smoothly as they can.

Cleaning Up The Clutter

SMEs are known for being a medley of paper systems and software applications that allow them to operate with a separate solution for each need. As different departments operate within their own systems, they are missing out on the benefits of sharing data with other components of the business’ operations. Synchronized communication and data visibility cut down on operational lag that results from data being strewn about. Your company’s IT department probably knows the scope of servers, databases, and operating system hindrance as a result. By implementing an effective ERP solution, your business can more appropriately connect its people, processes, and systems to ensure vital data is stowed, prepared, and available in real-time.

an image of a cleaning crew sweeping into a dust pan.

Get Rid Of The Clutter. The New Broom Of ERP Sweeps Clean.

Managing Human Processes Using Automation And ERP

Like most SMEs, the workforce is one that is always pushed to perform on a lean pool of resources. It’s not inherently a bad way of operating, but when vital people fall ill, take their vacation time, or up and leave at a crucial time, it’s likely their work can’t be taken up quickly by someone else because of poorly organized systems that make their core processes and the associated data systems available. When these processes are confined to spreadsheets, the task of making sense of it all when critical personnel are absent becomes an even larger hurdle. Getting rid of the manual calculations associated with data input and output through the business’ many systems. ERP addresses this by taking over the mundane and repetitive calculations required, effectively ending the need for relying on less robust solutions, like Excel.

Man stacking a tower of wood blocks with human silhouettes, human resources and management concept.

Human Capital Management Is Much Easier With The Tools Provided By ERP Solutions.

The Data You Need, Now

With size comes a divide in how the way upper management interacts with the workforce. As the distance between management and day-to-day operations increases, ERP bridges the gap with increased visibility. Reposting becomes the window through which management sees the company’s performance. ERP systems are especially suited to deliver quality reporting for accurate performance data today and accurate forecasting tomorrow and beyond. Beyond boilerplate standards, ERP systems can deliver custom reports based on the data points managers want to see in any given instance. Consultants and developers can assist in further enhancing customizations within ERP systems.

a photo of charts and graphs on a tablet with printed data sheets on a table.

Get The Data You Need To Refine Processes And Increase Production In Real-Time With ERP.

Outpace The Race

With the time invested in reporting brought down significantly through effective ERP solutions, the error-prone and time-consuming task of data entry and location becomes a less obtrusive task. Businesses can more easily scale at pace with industry as a result. The dependable routine that effective ERP solutions provide offers financial reporting and processes that companies can rely on as they grow. dependable systems and accurate automation through ERP systems enable expansion and additional staff to be brought on and up to speed, faster.

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 the goal is to be agile both on the shop floor and in the marketplace, manufacturers need tools that allow them significant maneuverability. ERP systems have traditionally been the biggest component of operational adaptability when circumstances change behind the scenes. Cloud ERP is one recent example of innovation in Industry 4.0 that has reinvigorated the manufacturing space for enterprises of every size. A survey by Technology Evaluation Centers revealed Epicor ERP ranked as the top solution for growing small and medium businesses.

Cost Saving Software

Today, small and medium businesses (SMB) can achieve world-class efficiency at a fraction of the cost when compared to the past 10 or even five years. What was once accepted as a software solution available only to large enterprises, ERP allows small and medium businesses to access data like never before. Without the high-cost of on-premises solutions, cloud ERP solutions provide significantly improved levels of insight into operations by omitting the costly expenses of hardware, maintenance, and security. Small and medium businesses are finding it easier to make their mark in the marketplace with the extra capital provided by these all-in-one solutions, in many cases built specifically for their industry.

Information Sharing

By more effectively sharing relevant information between departments, small and medium business operations can avoid bottlenecks caused by low inventory or sub-contracting tasks. Access to as much or as little data as is necessary provides every member of the workforce with the insight they need to ensure the supply chain is never interrupted.

ERP Frees Resources

Cloud-based ERP systems bring down operational costs at the point of implementation, that much is true. However, more impressive still is the ability for small and medium businesses to take advantage of the reduction of labor costs associated with ERP solutions. By eliminating the human component of repetitive tasks, labor is freed to be focused elsewhere in the supply chain. Additional benefits of the automation components of ERP solutions include fewer instances of erroneous data and more accurate forecasting.

The Take Away For Small And Medium Businesses

Beyond the cost benefits implementing an ERP system puts SMBs in the right mindset for growth with a commitment to the long-term. Positioning your business for success starts with the right attitude, after that the right tools pave the way for your progression. Cloud ERP brings several benefits that SMBs can see the results of immediately.

The first immediate benefit is uniformity and transparency within a single information system. Without the need to chase down data or keep departments working within siloed systems, everyone can work on the same page towards the same goal. With multiple data entries and exports no longer in the picture, errors are mitigated, productivity increased, and associated expenses no longer affect your bottom line.

an image of a coffee ERP coffee and several components of a business drawn on paper.

ERP Systems Are Accessible And Highly Beneficial To Small And Medium Businesses.

Informed decision making emerges with effective ERP solutions in place. Everyone from marketing to management to accounting benefits from the ability to make more effective decisions affecting operations now and ahead. When the overall strategy becomes clearer, agility comes naturally and your business can adapt more easily to obstacles before they become issues.

Streamlined processes make way for increased productivity with ERP. The systems you have put in place today will enable a smoother transition through growth as you enjoy the success resulting from your hard work. The alternative may end up costing you much more than the price tag of an ERP system.

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.


Epicor ERP Named Best Small Business ERP

A recent comparison of Epicor ERP, NetSuite, and Infor SyteLine in the small business category revealed that in 10 of the modules tested, Epicor ERP outscored the competition as the best small business ERP. A Vendor dedicated to proving powerful capabilities alongside ease of use, Epicor seeks to redefine the relationship workforces share with ERP. This includes the visualization, interaction, and information consumption for organizations.

The three vendors were compared across 10 main modules that include 2500 features and functions. After Epicor received top marks for five of the 10 main modules tested – General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Job and Projecting cost, and Sales Management – Technology Evaluation Centers’ (TEC) Vendor Showdowns placed Infor SyteLine and NetSuite in second and third place respectively.

ERP Vendor Showdowns

A regular installment from Technology Evaluation Centers, Vendor Showdowns provides unbiased comparisons of software according to set criteria. Complete scoring and rules can be found here. In short, top marks are received for complete support out-of-the-box with ratings decreasing from that benchmark of functionality.

a picture of executives racing each other on a track symbolizing Epicor ERP winning as the Best Small Business ERP

Vendors Were Evaluated By TEC Across 10 Product Categories As Well As 2,500 Functions And Features.

According to TEC’s Vendor Showdowns editor Larry Blitz, “After taking a look at the results of our small business software vendor showdown it is evident that Epicor is the strongest solution overall, followed by Infor, with NetSuite ranking third.” TEC’s Blitz went on to detail Infor SyteLine’s performance in receiving marks for the Inventory, Budgeting, and Manufacturing modules. NetSuite received its recognition in Fixed Assets performance.

About Epicor

Epicor aims to provide the Best Small Business ERP with powerful capabilities alongside accessibility. With the goal of innovating how ERP is used, deployed, and managed, Epicor goes beyond reinventing interfaces and focuses more on the relationship between ERP systems and people. By removing the barriers standing between business and information, Epicor minimizes the steps taken to gain actionable insights and drive growth.

About Technology Evaluation Centers

An independent software analysis firm, Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) helps organizations of all sizes to identify software solutions aligned with business’ unique requirements. With professional expertise in the realm of ERP, CRM, HCM, and BI, TEC is positioned as a leading authority on software in more than 40 categories with more than 25,000 functions and features. Utilizing a proprietary decision-support engine, TEC lets users in professional services, retail, distribution and wholesale, health care, energy, financial services, education, and many more industries find the right software for their needs in a fraction of the time when compared to traditional consulting.

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.


Often, Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMB) get their start using home-grown systems and those they’ve pieced together for specific purposes within their operations. However, as time passes and the organization grows, those same systems don’t scale and can hinder a business’ competitiveness because of poor performance. That’s where Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) comes into the picture. An ERP system is one that integrates all your business’ essential operations into one interface, connecting the data you need to the departments that need it.

Providing both the visibility and the tools necessary to scale with growth, ERP’s triggering and automating of actions enables SMB workforces to focus on more of the front-end essentials, like sales and ordering, while the back-end is managed by powerful software modules designed to automate repetitive processes.

Modern ERP Systems Are Built With SMBs In Mind

In the past, ERP systems were more often than not implemented onsite through a complex and costly process, which required substantial resources from a business not only to erect, but also maintain. With the advent of cloud technology, such costly implementations and maintenance practices are a thing of the past. SMBs can more readily afford the costs associated with implementing an ERP system and the burdens of maintenance are assumed by the provider. This will allow SMBs to maintain competitiveness as well as direct their in-house resources to better use following the offloading of repetitive operations to the business process automation capabilities that ERP software provides.

an image of a coffee ERP coffee and several components of a business drawn on paper.

ERP Systems Are Accessible And Highly Beneficial To Small And Medium Businesses.

This is not to say that on-premises and hosted options are no longer available. Maybe your business would prefer an ERP solution be installed, run, and maintained within a local environment. This is the traditional approach to implementation and it is still available from virtually all providers. However, it is important to keep in mind that this is the costliest option for implementation, training, and maintenance.

Access to relevant and actionable data is another key component of ERP software that allows SMBs to operate as effectively as a larger company with more resources. Whether data is your product or helps your business run more efficiently, the business intelligence (BI) provided by ERP systems is an invaluable advantage to an enterprise of any size. Many SMBs might argue that they already have data. Maybe they have so much they don’t know what to do with it all. The response to that is: it’s not enough to have the data, you need to able to make sense of it all and then put it to use. This is the key component of ERP that makes it worth its weight in gold. The insights an ERP system can provide using your company’s data can prove invaluable. It may allow you to identify and rectify bottlenecks or more effectively target customers with marketing campaigns. By maintaining a lean staff with an efficient ERP system, your company can do more with less to accelerate growth and nurture your bottom line.

ERP Functionality And Flexibility

Consider the core components of an ERP system, which includes finances, procurement, and the like, as functionality that most businesses will want to take advantage of no matter what their given industry. Additional functionality is available in an array of tools that apply to a vast spectrum of industries.

A pictureof a digital honeycomb with ERP in the center, and associated functionalities surrounding it

Modern ERP Functionality Is Available In An Array Of Tools That Apply To A Vast Spectrum Of Industries.

Manufacturers want more distribution, logistics, and robust manufacturing execution system (MES) capabilities. A food processor will want a system places more focus on the aspects of batch processing, compliance, and other pertinent operations. ERP offers businesses of all sizes the freedom to pick and choose the functionalities that apply directly to their business. With over 20 years of industry best practices incorporated into system designs, SMBs can rest assured that they are getting a comprehensive solution that addresses their individual needs.

The Human Components Of ERP

A Major hurdle in ERP selection for most SMBs is getting the executive suite on board. Key decision makers need to agree that ERP is a good move for the business. Following the proper procedure and implementation, it’s all but guaranteed a positive outcome. However, implementing an ERP solution is more than just a change in technical systems.

The implementation of an ERP system requires a mindset that your whole company must get behind. Save for a few individuals, most of your workforce may be changing the way they approach daily tasks in a big way. Many ERP systems go to great lengths to make their software as user-friendly and intuitive as possible. Training is thoughtful and extensive from providers and vendors because so much of your company’s success relies on your employees using the software as intended.

A photo of people bringing their hands together as a sign of teamwork.

Your Teams Will Work At Peak Performance With A Modern ERP System On Their side.

Is your workforce often on the move? do you need staff on the floor as connected as those in the office? Adopting an ERP solution with mobile functionality may be the answer you are looking for adn there are many ERP systems that excel in delivering mobile-ready solutions.

Addressing these issues ahead of a go-live event is the best way to ensure your success with a new ERP system. Connecting with a certified and proven consultant is a great way to map out your change management strategy in the early stages of the transition.

Tips For SMBs Considering ERP Systems

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for any business when it comes to shopping for ERP solutions, there are a few points to consider that can narrow down your best candidates.

  1. Outlining your company’s needs will give you a good starting point from which to develop your organization’s ERP strategy. Think about the key features you need now as well as those you’d like to incorporate, or at least evaluate, for future functionality as your business grows.
  2. Your budget will be one of the most important components of the process to consider. Deployment method will factor into this as well, as onsite options will run a higher price tag than cloud-based ERP systems.
  3. Training will be a huge component of getting your workforce up to speed and identifying how much time you must spend on training your employees will go a long way into selecting a solution that is more user-ready out of the box or one that is more technical and requiring of a more thorough set-up.

This list of considerations when approaching an ERP implementation is truly extensive and we couldn’t cover them all in a single blog post. These are a few of the most important attributes to evaluate. Beyond these broad characteristics, more detailed components of an ERP system can be discussed with providers, vendors, and consultants, who are prepared to work in tandem with you to create a comprehensive strategy for your implementation.

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.