Applicability Statement 2 (AS2) is a specification standard by which vendors and trading partners communicate EDI or other business-to-business data such as XML over the Internet. AS2 provides security for the transport of communications through digital signatures and data encryption and ensures reliable, non-repudiable delivery through the use of receipts.

 

Epicor-ERP-AS2-FS-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, or 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 the Industry.


For manufacturers with more than one location, records of the transactions that occur across the business often get scattered and disorganized. This makes it uniquely challenging to gain the insight you need to address resource requirements, meet customer expectations, and improve profitability.

Achieving these competing goals requires careful consideration of what, how, and when to produce and sell. By optimizing the location of production facilities globally, manufacturing businesses can beat the competition on a local and international level. If a well-thought-out network of production and distribution sites is established, the synergies originating from being closer to customers and distributors make the business more recognizable and profitable in all regions.

With the Multi-Site Management module in Epicor ERP, you can easily manage intercompany activity and get financial control on all sites in one system. Unique to the Epicor approach, each site may run Epicor ERP in the cloud or on-premises, whichever you prefer, for ultimate business flexibility and regional fit. Easily include any number of servers, databases, cloud data centers, companies, countries, and continents across your sites to truly achieve a unified, borderless, global business.

 

Epicor-ERP-Multi-Site-Management-Fact-Sheet

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm specializing 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 the Industry.


Pharma Pharmaceutical Industries (Pharma) is a group of companies that brings together business leaders, seasoned healthcare professionals, marketing and sales specialists, pharmacists, and other industry veterans. Between them, Pharma companies leverage their rich spectrum of expertise to provide a wide range of services to the Saudi pharmaceutical industry. Services offered by Pharma include: branding, marketing, and sales; warehousing and logistics; facilities management; and regulatory compliance consultancy

Success Highlights

Challenges

  • Risk of using incorrect or expired material in manufacturing
  • Inability to accurately control all assets
  • Inconsistencies and errors across manually prepared documents and reports

Solution

  • Epicor® ERP

Benefits

  • Ability to link and integrate transactions across all departments
  • Significant reduction in time for archiving and searching historical data
  • Robust inventory control resulting in improved quality and on-time delivery (OTD)

 

Epicor-ERP-Pharma-Group-CS-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 the Industry.


Are you saving on credit card transactions? If you are, great! Read on, because PayPal Credit Card Transactions are receiving upgraded protocols to secure all external connections made to their systems. As a result, you may need to update your system, too.

And if you’re not saving on credit card transactions, why not? First, read our blog post on how we are able to help you do this. Second, come on back here and learn about this important update.

PayPal Credit Card Transactions Update Details

As we said before: as of June 30, 2017, PayPal is upgrading the protocols used to secure all external connections made to their systems. Transport Layer Security version 1.2 (TLS 1.2) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol version 1.1 (HTTP/1.1) will become mandatory for communication with PayPal. Given these changes, it is necessary to apply a patch to the Authorization Service Lite (ASL) component used by the PayPal integration with Vantage/Epicor ERP.

an image informing retailers that PayPal Credit Card Transactions are receiving a security update

More information about the reason for the upgrade can be found on the PayPal site.

How do I know if I have the problem?

All companies using Credit Card Processing in Vantage, Vista, Epicor ERP v9, or Epicor ERP v10 will be affected by these changes and need to install the update.

Customers using Epicor ERP version 10.1.600 will not be required to make these changes as they are already supported.

How do I obtain the updates? 

There are two elements that need to be updated and are detailed in these instructions. Both the update to the operating system environment (1) and the Epicor program .dll file (2) need to be made to ensure compliance with the changes.

(1) The operating system patch is available for download from Microsoft support:

Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows 8 & Windows Server 2012

Windows 8.1 & Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows 10 & Windows Server 2016

(2) The Epicor program “.dll” files are located on EPICweb under product downloads:

Vantage 8.03.400

Vista 8.03.400

EPR 9.05.700

EPR 9.05.600

EPR 9.04.500

EPR 10.0

EPR 10.1

ERP 10.1.500

Important Note: There is no HotFix for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (not R2) since Microsoft doesn’t provide support for TLS 1.2 on these Operating Systems. This means ASL will no longer work on those versions of Windows and the installation needs to be moved to a different machine with a compatible Operating System.

Of course, if you have any questions about making the changes necessary in the wake of this PayPal Credit Card Transactions update, you can contact us and we’ll be glad to help. Saving the day, saving you money: That’s the Encompass way.

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.


What business wouldn’t want to save on credit card transactions? Well, we’ve developed a process that will allow you to do just that. We have developed a solution as an enhancement to the base credit card processing module that Epicor provides. With the Epicor credit card transaction enhancement, we replace a DLL with an updated one that looks for events involving capturing of funds or sales (where it is an authorization and capture all in one).

an image of an Epicor credit card transaction enhancement in use

The Epicor Credit Card Transaction Enhancement

When we receive that transaction event, we query the Epicor database for additional information and add that to the request.  This resides at level 3 details, which includes everything for level 2. The nice thing about credit card processors is they will only use the amount of information they need. If it is a consumer credit card, the additional data will be discarded. However, for B2B customers, the enhancement will automatically select the right level and provide those cost savings.

The standard Epicor credit card handling system only provides level 1 information. This is essentially the total and information to identify the customer in terms of fraud protection. Now some of these fees and savings are individually negotiated. The default fees for PayPal Website Payments (which is technically what is used) is 2.9% + $.30/transaction.

Now level 2 will be the level that helps our customers the most. This requires additional details on the purchase. Details can include the amount of the tax, a customer code, postal codes, and tax identification number. For customers that are using corporate cards (B2B customers), you get a lower fee if you provide this information as well. I had seen the most often quoted numbers as .5% savings for level 2 customers. 

Level 3 is the next iteration of that offering something around 1% total savings. This is for business to business (tend to be larger corporations) and business to government purchases. For this, we are sending a lot of additional data in terms of the line-level details about the purchase.

The Epicor Credit Card Transaction Enhancement Level 1, 2, and 3 Comparison

L3

Looking at only level 2 savings (.5%), $400,000 in credit card sales would result in an annual savings of $2,000.

Bezlio is a professional services firm. They provide custom development services and support for Infor ERP Visual (Visual Enterprise/Visual Manufacturing) and Epicor Vantage ERP. 

Here at Encompass Solutions, Inc., we are proud to continue working with Bezlio on many development and implementation projects.

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.


Patrick Miskill’s technical series on ERP tools, particularly the Epicor DMT, wraps up today with a look at all the variables you’ll run into when building your ERP system and how learning about your errors is even more important than learning about your successes.

My actual experience with a manufacturer of fabric belts for large conveyor systems (Fenner Dunlop Americas) saw two uses of DMT: One for a major upgrade, a second for updating their Method of Manufacture/MOMs.  In the first case, we used DMT scripts to upload data from an older version of Epicor to a newer one.  Similar to a new installation, we pulled data out of the source system and formatted it in several dozen spreadsheets for uploading to the new target system. Knowing how the data was structured in the old Epicor system was a big help. For new Epicor customers, extracting and massaging the data from a non‐Epicor legacy system is quite a project; in such cases DMT is an invaluable tool.

Where The Epicor DMT Comes Into Play

In the standard product, an engineer would have to run a “where­‐used” report to determine which part revisions used the raw material; it could be just a few dozen or it could be over 100. Each part revision would require changing in the Engineering Workbench, one by one. It is a time consuming and manually intensive process.  So we developed a process starting with a Business Activity Query (BAQ) which went out and extracted only the MOMs affected by the change. The BAQ was developed specifically for subsequent use in DMT, i.e. column headings matched those required by DMT, we extracted all columns required by DMT (because we already knew the “rules” for MOMs) and only those optional columns we needed to update.  We then entered Excel column formulas specific to the change(s). E.g. if the old raw material was a polyester yarn and the new material was a nylon yarn, unit weights and other factors specific to the textile industry (ever hear of a “twist contraction” variable?) could be entered into a formula that resulted in the new variables for the MOM.

Once the extract and validation of the Excel data was completed, it was simple to format the final output for use by DMT.  Testing a few rows in a copy of the LIVE database, we could easily validate the final updated MOMs.  In fact, we could use the original BAQ extract programs to look at the updated data in the TEST system and quickly evaluate the results. Once we got the process down, we turned what would have been a 100+ hours of manual updates in Epicor to an electronic process that ran in just a few hours.  Once documented, the process could be reviewed, validated (the client was ISO compliant) and repeated as­ needed.

Of course like any software tool, DMT has its quirks. We learned the hard way that despite how illogical a data template may appear, it was critical to supply the required information in exactly the format requested. And interpreting the error logs is sometimes an exercise in the art of editing.  I highly recommend acquiring and using the free “Notepad++” data editing tool; it can help you read a jumbled up error log file and it is essential to always check the final DMT file you create from Excel, prior to uploading it to DMT.  A common mistake is to save an Excel spreadsheet as a comma­‐separated variable file and the resultant ASCII file has extraneous commas and/or columns or just plain garbage. And if your data (e.g. Descriptions) contain commas, you must enclose them in double­‐quotes (or just use a wacky character as the delimiter­‐even safer).

Words Of Caution For Epicor DMT

Just remember that “with great power comes great responsibility…”. So before you change data in a system, make darn sure you’ve chosen the correct target database, since DMT will not issue any warning whatsoever if you update LIVE instead of TEST (not that I’ve EVER made that mistake!) and will merrily chug along, processing the data with the full expectation that the operator knows what the target database should be.

This is why it is CRITICAL to always test your DMT script before you run it in a production environment. Note that if you don’t have a recent copy of LIVE for test purposes, you should seek out technical services that can assist you (usually by taking a copy of your most recent backup of LIVE and bringing it up on a similar environment) this is something that Encompass Solutions as an Epicor certified partner does on a regular  basis and offers as a managed service.

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.


Patrick Miskill’s series on ERP management continues with a closer look at how the most powerful tool you can get for managing your system, the DMT, works alongside the most important feature, the Method of Manufacture, or MOM. That’s right, love your MOM is stll the best advice ever. 

The Epicor ERP system, like similar systems from SAP or Oracle, contains hundreds of tables in a single relational database.  The database is almost irrelevant; however, the logical “rules” regarding how the data exists in the database is critical.  Generally speaking, ERP systems consist of simple code (e.g. Unit of Measure) tables, then more complex entity tables (e.g. Suppliers) and finally transaction‐based tables.  All these data must follow rules for “referential integrity” and the underlying database engine must keep track of the data and enforce the rules whether we are talking a few dozen rows of data in a single table or millions of rows of data in hundreds of tables.

The Ease Of Epicor DMT

The beauty of these “back door” tools is that they are quick and easy to load and run. And they also provide instant feedback to the user as to the program’s progress. Either a row insert succeeds or fails.  You can test a single row in just a few seconds; it if fails, the Data Migration Tool provides an error log telling you why it failed.  Error messages can be somewhat cryptic, but usually, it is straight­‐forward.  E.g. you are missing a required column (e.g. the “Company” column). And when all else fails, you can always go enter a row via the standard product then look at the resulting data in the underlying table(s) to deduce what the business object requires. Each DMT template lists the required and optional columns with a basic description of the data. As long as you follow the “rules” the data loads from the spreadsheet, just as if you keyed it manually into the system.

Some data relations, however, are quite complex and even the data template from DMT will cause you “instructional anxiety” (that feeling you get when you read an IKEA instruction guide and say, “What the heck?”). Rule­‐of‐thumb:  Just follow the rules, get one data set to load OK, then attempt a larger data set until you get it right.  Big mistake: Run a spreadsheet with tons of rows without testing and end up with garbage in the system, or better yet, a crashed system!

Case‐in‐point:  Method of Manufacture 

Epicor stores the Method of Manufacture (MOM) for a part as a series of operations and materials linked to the finished goods Part and Revision. It is the “how­‐to” cookbook to make something as simple as a screwdriver or as complex as a 747. It may consist of a single Operation with one or two raw material parts or it can be multiple sub­‐assemblies, each with their own operations and materials. It provides not only the “how­‐to” instructions to build something but it also contains estimates for the labor and burden rates to perform the operations.  These estimates are critical to any manufacturer since they provide the baseline for each manufacturing job in determining how well the actual product conforms to the method and whether the actual costs are in line with the estimated costs.

In the Epicor Production Management module, before a single MOM is created, all dependent data must be loaded into the system.  Example, all raw material parts must be entered, each with a given unit cost. All machine resources used in the manufacturing process must be loaded and activated.  All labor resources (Employees) must be entered along with their labor and burden rates. All operations must be defined and assigned one or more resources. It is an enormous engineering task to get these data entered and all the relationships established properly so that the Epicor ERP system’s production jobs can begin tracking and documenting each step of the MOM, including capturing all related costs for management review.  When done correctly, a company can then take advantage of the “Holy Grail” feature of ERP: MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning, where the system can analyze demand and forecast part, labor and machine requirements for meeting that demand).

Of course just as in life, “things change” like the cost of raw materials, labor rates and then you always have “Acts of God.”  For example when the earthquake off the coast of Japan struck in 2011, the resulting tsunami wiped out many manufacturers along the western coast of the country, leaving companies like Toyota in a serious bind as their “just­‐in‐time” processes ran out of parts and sub­-assemblies needed to manufacture cars and trucks. Imagine the sleepless nights that production managers must have had, re­-engineering their MOMs and seeing their MRP rules flushed down the proverbial toilet!

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.