August 2016 Newsletter

Encounter 2016 - How to Get the Best ROI

Encounter 2016, the Eclipse Users Group Annual Training and Networking Conference is coming up fast.  Encounter is already sold out, so if you are not signed up yet and want to attend, get on the waiting list now.  If you signed up it's a good time to review what you can do to get the most out of this event.

Before you attend:
  1. Talk to people in different functional areas in your company and find out what their important Eclipse issues are.  Show them the session schedule and the vendor list to see if anything strikes their interest.
  2. If multiple people from your company are attending, coordinate your schedules to attend the maximum number of sessions.  This is a good time to stretch your areas of expertise.  If you are the Purchasing Manager, it could be helpful to see what is going on in Accounts Payable and the processes to pay all those purchase orders.
  3. Many people arrive with a list of questions/issues that they want to get more information about while at the conference.
  4. If you are considering using a new third party vendor, ask the vendor for a list of Eclipse user references and make a note to look them up during the conference.
While at the Conference:
  1. Participate and ask questions during the sessions, the best sessions are typically where there is an exchange of ideas and experiences.  Some questions spark great discussions.
  2. Do not just hang out with people from your company, meet other users who can provide you with a different point of view.  One of the best phases to hear is "That's a great idea, I never thought of handling it that way".  Go to the social events and try to meet as many new people as possible. One great advantage of an Eclipse only conference is that every user you interact with is on the same software and very likely in the same business as you.  As a group we deal with similar customers, have similar vendors, hire similar employees, and of course have similar problems/issues/challenges.
  3. Visit the vendor booth sessions and see what they have to offer.  A new vendor may have a great solution to a problem your company is dealing with.  This is a good time to discuss with another user their experiences with a vendor you are thinking about using. If you already use a vendor's products, touch base and see what enhancements are planned for the future.  Share your vendor experiences with other users, nothing keeps a company focused on customer service more than knowing that current customers talk to future prospects.
  4. Epicor has really supported your Users Group in putting on this conference. They are sending a significant number of people, who will be providing a wealth of information about the current product and what is coming in the future.  These people have tremendous influence on what changes go into the product, and are the experts on what is currently in the product.  They have seen how many companies have used Eclipse to make processes work better.  Tap into this wealth of experience.
After the Conference:
  1. Commit to put into practice at least one thing you learned at the conference.
  2. Consider being pro-active in sharing your experiences with other users by doing a Web Session or doing a User Roundtable at Encounter 2017.
  3. Build on the contacts you made by reaching out for the input of users at another company.
  4. Provide some feedback to the User Group on the conference.  What did you find beneficial and what was not.  What can be done to make Encounter 2017 better? 
  5. Identify other users in your organization that would benefit from attending Encounter 2017 in Albuquerque NM.  Then get this event into the budget for next year.

See you in Pittsburgh!

Rich Chadwick, Training Committee Chair

In This Issue
Click on the link above - It will take you to the August Calendar on our website. You can click on each class to see the detail, make sure to click the back button in your browser to get back to this newsletter.
Seven tips for driving change through analytics
Nuggets of wisdom for distributors from distributors

Wholesale distribution is a complex and increasingly competitive business. To thrive you must give your team easy, real-time access to the information they need to make the best possible decisions.
Read our concise ebook to get tips directly from distribution executives, just like you, who have driven positive change in their business through analytics. You'll get key insights including:
  • Where analytics fits into your business strategy
  • How to pick the right analytics solution
  • Tips for successful rollout and adoption
  • How analytics can help keep your pricing on track
  • How to connect the dots between your business goals and analytics
Learn these and other battle-tested strategies by downloading our ebook today and take your first step towards becoming a more successful data-driven organization.

"Analytics puts you into the driver's seat as to what's going on in your business. For me, it was like a pay raise..."
Tommy Thompson
Executive Vice President
Turner Supply Company

Come meet with us at Encounter 2016 in September!

Epicor Eclipse Support Corner
By Camille Alberico, Eclipse Customer Support Manager

Hello Eclipse customers,  
I have a just a few things to share this month.  
  • Release 9.0.2 is now available, and our first set of customers went up on the week of July 25th after an extensive beta period.  So far, so good!
  • We continue to make great progress within the India Technology Center (ITC).  Beth Barber & Scott Zahn have just returned from a weeklong trip to Bangalore.  They focused on enhancing troubleshooting skills and deep diving into specific areas of the package.  The feedback has been enormously positive from both the trainers, and the trainees.  We are also getting ready to host a group of ITC reps in Hyannis, Massachusetts where we will continue knowledge and troubleshooting sharing.  I would like to take them to a local customer site so they can see our software in action, and can also see the inner workings of a distribution business. Site yet to be determined but I am happy to take volunteers J
  • EpicCare continues to grow.  We have more enhancements in line, but we have made a lot of changes based upon customer feedback.  A minor example, but we are currently working on adding a "Request Upgrade" option from the customer portal. 
  • Please don't forget about our knowledge base contest.  We have not received many entries to date.  There are prizes - come on!  The Eclipse customer base is filled with years of hard earned knowledge!
Lastly, I look forward to seeing all of you at the Encounter conference in September.  Remember that Ian Ashby will be traveling from the UK to deliver a Customer Support update session.  That should be a big draw!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer,

Camille Alberico
Senior Manager, Eclipse Customer Support
Extend Your Functionality,               
  and Your Choices, with Zerion's New API Tools

When AmazonSupply first hit the scene in 2012, the general consensus among Eclipse users was that contractors relied heavily on their relationships with salespeople, and the total package offered by distributors would remain superior to buying products online.
Fast forward to 2016, and much of that seems to have proven true. But now Amazon is promising same-day delivery, and in many cases, using local supply houses to do it. Other local distributors have launched their own online sales engines and are ramping up their e-commerce efforts. Many of our customers are now exploring or actively pursuing online sales, both to hang on to existing customers and to generate new revenue. Technology has been changing the way we do business, and keeping up through electronic communication and an online sales presence are no longer just "nice to have" for distributors, they're "must haves."
Years ago, Eclipse formed partnerships to make web sales possible for their users. However, these partnerships were exclusive, and limited to only one type of programming language (XML). This remains the same today. But, it seems unreasonable to restrict companies running on Eclipse to only a handful of web developers, when there are approximately 150,000 to choose from in the U.S. (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).
How can you be sure you're getting the best fit for your company, your budget and your design preferences? What if you want to use someone local, or someone you have an existing relationship with? Thus far, those things have not been possible. Enter Zerion's newly developed API. API stands for application programming interface. Basically, it's a way for one system to talk to another. Our API knows how to send data from Eclipse, and receive data back from ANY web commerce provider we configure it with. That means - YOU get to choose!
Keep in mind that this issue of choice is not contained solely to e-commerce. We're using that as our main example here, but making Eclipse communicate with other vendors has been difficult to date; and, Eclipse has been making those choices on your behalf. As such, Zerion is also launching a full-service EDI suite, and a Lite version of the API. The EDI suite offers complete electronic document exchange services for a monthly fee, and has no cap on the number of vendors you can set-up. The lite API can handle punch-outs, order submit, and pricing/availability for all types of third-party integrations. You no longer have to be confined by Eclipse's preferred partners. Zerion's connector can help you extend your functionality to be better, faster and stronger. You can continue using your legacy software program, while adapting to the needs of today's customer. 
We've been testing our new tools with some select customers, and their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Diane Kjarland , the IT Manager at Blazer Electric Supply, who is using our EDI suite, had this to say: "Switching from the Epicor Platinum EDI package to Zerion seemed like a no brainer, and it has proven to be a smart decision. Zerion offers unlimited connections at almost half the price? What is there to think about? The unknown factor was service, but Zerion has proven to be very responsive. If I have an issue, I can make a call or send an email and I will get a prompt response. My only complaint is that I didn't know about this earlier."
Are you ready to be next? Contact us at 877.872.1726 or . We'll also be sharing more about these solutions at the UFO Encounter conference in September. 
Users Helping Users Article
This month with Encounter 2016 right around the corner I wanted to point out a cool feature on the website that may help you network with others even more.

If you're considering a Companion Product of Eclipse or just a 3rd Party Vendor in general, our membership list can help.

Go to the About Us Page and click on the Sortable Membership List.

Now you can filter by Companion Product and get a list of companies with that product.

Click on the company name and call their IT Department.   

Maybe you can meet up at Encounter and talk about the pros and cons to the product your considering in person!
One Solution for Uncertain Times Second Phase Logo

We all know there are a lot of questions in the air these days and one of them is what is the best way to deal with the current economic uncertainties as they relate to your business?  Of course at the top of that list is to focus on your core business and to do that very well.  Second is to make sure your clients maximize their purchases with your company.  Second Phase, the leader in webstore solutions for Eclipse users would like to suggest that the best way to maximize your clients purchases with your company is to compliment your existing sales & support team with a leading 24/7 webstore.  A Second Phase webstore is specifically designed to provide just the right set of revenue maximizing features at a price point that results in a great return on your investment. 

Eclipse Users focused features include:
  • The tightest integration with your Eclipse data possible so all your custom pricing, related product relationships, order history, ship to & bill to info, real time sku availability and much more come straight into the Second Phase webstore so there is no duplication of data and effort.
  • A long list of ways for your clients to reorder product with a few clicks at any time of day on any device, including named product groups, saved shopping carts, reorder pad, one click reorder from past orders, job order management, and upload purchase order file.
  • A complete product content solution (with our partner Trade Service) so you can have the level of product info needed for a successful web purchase and easily edit and manage all this content with our Cloud LSI + PIM tool.
  • A Cloud based turnkey SAAS solution so everything is included for a reasonable monthly cost to minimize your staff and hardware needs and to maximize the speed, reliability and security of your webstore.
Find out why Second Phase has replaced more Web Order Entry solutions than anyone and why even Eclipse recommends us to their customers.  Taking your sales, support and marketing to a 24/7 level based o n the latest web technologies is a great way to hedge against economic certainties.   If you will be at the upcoming UFO conference we look forward to meeting you at our booth or conference session.  

For info right away call or email us at 303-582-9326 or