September 2016 Newsletter

Encounter 2016 - Vendor Sponsors Support UFO

Are you attending Encounter 2016 in Pittsburgh in just a few days? If your answer is no, I am very sorry to hear that and I hope you will consider joining us next year. It is a great conference with great opportunities for education, networking with ONLY Eclipse users, good food, and especially time with the vendors that bring additional value to our already robust Eclipse system.
If you are going, I encourage you to find time to visit the vendors for several reasons:
1. They all have a service they provide that is meant to enhance your use of your software. They offer services that are wide ranging to all aspects of our businesses. It is a chance to meet with them and hear what they have to offer and also get to know the people you are working with on a deeper level than you can on webinars or phone calls. They are more than happy to arrange time to spend with you one on one if you choose.  Sponsorship fees they pay cover many of the benefits we expect during Encounter which in turn helps offset the attendee registration cost. 

2. Many will have prizes given away just for stopping by and who doesn't like to win a prize. 

3. Most importantly, stop by to thank them. It is their participation and their Sponsorship fees that cover many of the benefits we expect during Encounter. That income in turn helps offset the attendee registration cost. 

It is important to the Eclipse Users Group that this event remain affordable each year so that the wealth you take away is well worth what you invest to get here. The vendors play a huge role in making that a reality.  Visit them in the Admiral and Reflections rooms on the first floor. All breaks and the Monday night Networking Reception will be held in these Sponsor Exhibit rooms.

We look forward to seeing you soon at Encounter 2016, or if you are not attending, hopefully at Encounter 2017.

Vendor Relations Committee

In This Issue
Click on the link above - It will take you to the September 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.
New and Returning Members in August 2016
Returning Members

Nicklas Supply Cranberry Twp, PA

Kore Technologies Continues to Extend the Enterprise with Integration, Data Warehousing and eCommerce Solutions
N ew Product Releases

Kourier Integrator Release 4.3 - Simplified Real-Time Integration
The new release simplifies the development and usability of RESTful Web Services and introduces the Kourier REST Gateway to provide secure and rated data access to MultiValue applications from outside (or inside) the corporate firewall.

Kore Sept

Kourier's REST development framework has been enhanced to streamline and simplify building real-time REST APIs. Developers will be more productive because they can focus on the application interface instead of low-level protocol details.
The new Quick Start Workbench for ODBC data sources (e.g., Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL) and advanced data profiler enables users to quickly create near real-time SQL data warehouses using maintenance-free Microsoft SSIS packages.

Release 4.3 Summary:
  • Kourier REST Gateway
  • Enhanced REST Development Framework:
  • Export Specifications:
  • Quick Start Workbench:  
  • User Interface Improvements
KommerceServer eCommerce Suite  
Release 5.5 
The latest release provides an improved responsive design with enhanced support for mobile devices. Catalog searching now seamlessly integrates with the Apache Solr search engine making it easier to find products within the online catalog.

Kore Sept 

Release 5.5 Summary:
  • Solr Search Integation:
  • Checkout Improvements:
  • Responsive design optimized for Mobile
  • Support Brands within Product Catalog
  • Improved Content Management system
  • Simplified Document Management system
  • Customer Portal open invoices statement with aging buckets
  • Promotional display codes with free shipping for selected items
  • Free shipping on freight methods with minimum purchase
  • Many performance improvements

Kore Sept Kore Sept
Learn More
866-763-KORE |
Greeting Y'all from your Bylaws Committee
Elizabeth "Sis" Richardt - Chairman

Our organization has a set of Bylaws, but once the bylaws are created, they still need to be maintained. The purpose of our committee is to know what our bylaws are and be able to help others in our organization operate within those laws.

Preparing the Bylaws
- The bylaws committee was responsible for gathering all the information necessary to draft the bylaws. Committee members commonly research the bylaws of other organizations in the area as well as organizations that do the same type of work. This provides a benchmark for both the industry and the region, giving the committee an idea of how other organizations operate. The committee also gathers all existing organizational policies and procedures for inclusion or reference in the bylaws. Where policies don't exist, the committee drafts wording to address the issue ahead of approval by the board.

Getting Approval
- The UFO board commonly approves the bylaws by majority at an official board meeting that has a quorum of directors in attendance. The bylaws committee circulates the bylaw draft ahead of the meeting to give directors time to read and ask questions. If the directors require extensive changes or answers, the committee may meet to compile its response and issue a new draft. The bylaws committee head is a board member with a governance role, who tables the final draft bylaws at the board meeting for acceptance. After the board approves the bylaws, they are then presented to the members of the UFO for adoption.

Implementation Duties
- After the bylaws have been approved and adopted by the UFO, the bylaws committee makes sure they are updated on our website.

Managing Updates
- The bylaws committee makes note of updates needed. The committee follows the same process for updates as it does for the original draft by reworking the wording where necessary, circulating the revised version and tabling it for approval at a board meeting. At this time we have submitted to become a Non-Profit organization, this required more research. Changes that will be made to current bylaws have already been brought before the Board of Directors for review. Once we get out final approval for becoming a Non-Profit, the final revisions will be brought before the Board of Directors.

We are looking for members that would like to join this committee. Please contact me if you are interested or have questions on our responsibilities. 

You have loads of data and your team is generating more every day. 

Your Eclipse ERP is valuable in helping you manage business processes, aggregate and automate the flow of data and facilitate collaboration. What may be missing from your tools is business intelligence (BI) software that converts your raw data into actionable insights that can strengthen your understanding of your business performance, as well as your customers buying habits and needs. These insights allow you to respond quickly and intelligently to business trends, as well as to the threats and opportunities that can impact your success.
Earlier this year, we released a new version of Phocas to deliver more reporting power and deeper insights from the data that's sitting in your business systems. Included in the release were 33 new features and 106 improvements in everything from the look and feel, collaboration and the user interface, to the visualizations, dashboards and grid control; among others.
Phocas can be delivered via cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS), private cloud or on premise. A more complete cloud-based offering means that our users will always have access to the latest version of Phocas and never have to wait for an upgrade. The cloud offers security, speed, a competitive edge, and more affordable access that is easier on the corporate pocketbook.  Moving to the cloud gives all customer access to enterprise-class technology, allowing SMEs access to the latest and greatest so they can compete with larger organizations.
One of the main updates in Phocas 2016 is Database Designer, which allows every Phocas user to analyze their own data without having to wait on IT. DB Designer provides the following benefits:  
  • Increases users' and IT departments' self-sufficiency,
  • Removes middlemen and bottlenecks, and
  • Allows users to get creative and build solutions to problems that are uniquely theirs.
  IT departments can do more to serve the needs of their users, beyond building reports and dashboards, which will save time and money and allow them focus on other mission-critical technology challenges.
Phocas provides management, sales, inventory, purchasing, finance and account teams the ability to go from high-level business summaries to company-wide detail in seconds. Decision makers can dive deep into the data to reveal specifics on all aspects of their businesses, uncovering answers and opportunities.
To learn more about Phocas, visit Phocas Academy to watch all of our online training videos. You can also experience for yourself the full version of Phocas with our free 14-day trial.
For more information, contact Jamie Brooks at
A Path to Higher Margins 
As Lily Tomlin said, "I always wanted to be somebody, but now I see I should have been more specific".

Most distributors "want to increase margin" but are frustrated in their efforts because they don't get sufficiently specific.  It's easy to understand why.  Each year the average Eclipse user prices over 100,000 customer-item combinations.   The pressures of running a business makes it difficult to be granular enough to optimize margin.
Here are three pricing challenges where specificity is key:

Product Segmentation
Most distributors segment their products for pricing into Sell Groups.  These groups are typically based on the supplier or type of product.  Less than 20% of Eclipse users also segment items based on item price sensitivity.  Not segmenting items by price sensitivity forces distributors to price all items in a Sell Group at one margin for the customer.  The margin must be set to price the competitive items in the group.  So distributors lose money when they sell less price sensitive sales in the group.  You can increase overall margin by more than a point by segmenting by Sell Group and price sensitivity

Customer Segmentation
Distributors do not optimize margin due to insufficient customer segmentation.  To maximize margin, it's vital to segment customers on two axis.  First, separate customers into industry groups.  Then separate customers in each industry group based on their purchase volume/potential.  Our highest margin customers utilize 4 to 5 volume groups per industry.  And they enjoy a 12 to 15 point margin difference between their highest and lowest volume customers.
Customer Pricing
If you price at the Customer/Product group level you're not being specific enough.  When sales people set up a blanket margin for an entire product line, it's based on the most competitive items in that group.  It's easier to set up the record and easy to maintain.  But it's costly. 
When a customer buys one of the less price sensitive items in the group you leave money on the table.  You'll make more if you absolutely minimize this type of pricing.  Instead set the price sensitive, higher volume sales up at the Customer/Item level and allow the incidentals in the product line to be priced by your Customer Price Class/Sell Group matrix.
Information on the Author
Dave Roller is the founder of Profit2, a 19 partner firm dedicated to helping distributors safely increase margin by helping them improve how they price. Profit2 has helped many large Distributors and Manufacturers build margin and earnings for over 10 years. You can reach Dave at or (913) 897-0159.