Eclipse Users Group (UFO) Newsletter                                                                                         September   2013
September Web Training Sessions
September 4, 2013
New Hire #1 Solar-Introduction To Eclipse 
Webinar - Zerion Consultant
September 5, 2013
New Hire #2 Solar-Beyond The Basics 
Webinar - Zerion Consultant
September 12, 2013
Commissions Eterm & Solar 
Webinar - Zerion Consultant
September 10, 2013 
Becoming a Customer Centric Biller 
Vendor Product Presentation - Billtrust

September 19-20, 2013 Las Vegas Training and Networking Conference. This conference has been sold out for a long time. We look forward to seeing those who are attending in a couple of weeks! 
In This Issue
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"The UFO Advice Column" - User to User We All Improve
by 'Uncle' Frank Ousterhout

Dear Uncle Frank,

                I really like Solar and have become very good at it, exploiting all the features and flying through my job (mostly without the mouse!)

                Since I am the resident 'pro', I get stuck teaching all the new employees how to use Solar.  Don't get me wrong, I like to teach but it is hard to get my regular work done.  Have you got any ideas?

                Tom the (drafted) Teacher from Tulsa


Dear Tom,

                Absolutely!  There are many ways to help a new employee get started in Solar without your 100% hand-holding. 

                But first, I am also a devotee of 'mouseless' Solar.  I have edited my desktop widget titles to show the keystrokes to do the widget work [New Message ALT-S M/N].  When I run out of number mnemonics on a custom toolbar I just add the next item I want and then I add the keystrokes to the item Display String (it is editable).  I have noticed that on many screens a 'button' has a letter underlined and instead of using my mouse to click on the button I just use ALT and the underlined letter.  And finally I have slowly learned a lot of the Control Key plus Letter command combinations that show on many menu items.  In fact, a lot of them are very similar to the old ALT plus Letter commands in Eterm.  But I digress...

                Now, about those new employees.  The UFO website has many wonderful (FREE) resources.  I recently used the previously recorded training webinar presentation called "New Hire #1 Solar - Introduction to Eclipse".  It was posted about a year ago and runs for 57:27 minutes.  I personally recommend you give it try.  It is one of many sessions on various topics and did I mention it is free?  Then, after some hands on one-on-one I set up my new hire with several Epicor LMS (Learning Management System) courses.  They were quite helpful also but are only available with a subscription to the LMS program (not free but valuable.)  Also, keep an eye on ALL the UFO training each month.  They offer many FREE 1 hour webinars.  And if you know of a topic not previously done or not on the schedule, suggest it to Mary or the Training Committee and it could show up in the following months.



                Uncle Frank

Training Committee Report
by Rich Chadwick, Training Committee Chair

 It's been a busy year for the Eclipse User's Group Training Committee. With the blessing of the Board of Directors the committee has continued the program of providing Web Training Classes, and now Training Videos, at no charge to our members.  Starting in 2012 this has increased member participation to over 2300 attendees last year, and 2013 is running ahead of last year. The goal of the Training Committee is to provide low cost/high value training to increase the value of membership for our users.  The committee does this through the following programs:

  1. Monthly Web classes, an average of 4 classes per month are held, typically one hour in length.  These classes are taught by individuals very knowledgeable in the subject matter and allow the attendees to interact with the instructor.  Information about the web classes, and sign ups are available on the User's Group web site.  The subjects covered vary between regularly repeated classes targeted at new employees and more specialized subjects in areas like accounting and pricing
  2. Web Videos, also available on the web site. These are typically recordings of the more popular classes and allow individuals that cannot attend the scheduled web sessions a chance to view the information.  Web usage of these videos is tracked so the most popular subjects can be expanded upon in the future 
  3. User Roundtables, these are web based sessions lead by an Eclipse user that seeks to share information and best practices among members using a specific part of the Eclipse system.  Subjects like Job Management and the RF Warehouse are discussed by members who use these features on a daily basis.  This is a great place to exchange ideas and suggestions with fellow users. 
  4. Training and Networking Conference, two day conference Sept 19-20 in Las Vegas. Starting this year the User's Group will have a conference dedicated to just Eclipse users and focused on providing in-depth training on specific subjects plus an opportunity to network with other Eclipse users.  With the large size of the Epicor Insights Conference many users expressed the need for something on a smaller and less expensive scale where it would be cost effective to send multiple individuals from the same company.  The training committee decided that the first year would be relatively small (around 80 people), seek to deliver more in-depth classes, and allow our vendor partners a chance to interact with our members.  The response from both members and vendors has been overwhelming. The conference was sold out prior to the end of "early bird" enrollment.  The committee has begun the planning process for next year with the expectation getting even more members involved.


So as a member, what can you do to make things better for both your company and the User's Group?

  1.  Make sure your company is taking full advantage of the classes offered. New employees are starting all the time; make it part of their training to attend the appropriate web classes.
  2. Email the class list to your employees when it comes out each month.  Maybe that experienced Inside Sales person could use a refresher on Shortcuts in Solar Eclipse.
  3. Give the committee feedback on individual classes and the overall program. Our goal is to provide value in the membership, let us know what your training needs are.
  4. Get involved with the User's Group. Every committee needs people who can add something.       
BI + Eclipse = Sales Growth
Phocas, Vendor Partner


It can be a daunting task to capitalize on the huge wealth of data that has been captured by an ERP system.  Even with an excellent tool such as Eclipse at your disposal, there is always room for improvement.  In particular, the analysis, reporting and dashboarding abilities can be strengthened using Business Intelligence (BI).



Phocas Ipad dashboard 2013


Get it right, and business intelligence can transform your business, allowing non-technical users to answer any legitimate business question from any location on any device in real time, helping to make better business decisions.  Good BI should help:    

                • drive up margins
                • increase stock turns
                • expose potential link-sales
                • lower aged debt
                • enhance customer service
                • improve financial reporting


Uncovering Opportunities for non-technical users

Importantly, BI should be simple, enabling users to unearth opportunities across Sales, Purchasing, and Inventory that might otherwise have been missed.  Which means it should pay for itself almost immediately. 


One such BI tool is Phocas, which has been delivering real results for Eclipse users in manufacturing and distribution businesses.  With particular focus on Plumbing HVAC, Electrical and Industrial sectors, more and more Eclipse users have turned to Phocas; leveraging data from Eclipse and improving the reporting, dashboarding and analytical capabilities of their business.


Eclipse users share their experience with Phocas 

A number of Eclipse users have shared their experience with Phocas.  Advance Electrical president Steven Anixter states that "Phocas gives us that powerful, easy to use business tool that Eclipse users can finally extract that wealth of information that resides in their system. The more you use Phocas, the more intelligent you become." 


Other Eclipse users agree, and Kevin Manning from Aaron & Co points out that "with Phocas we can analyze anything in minutes. Now with Phocas I can stay in the same thought process and nip things in the bud a lot faster."  Bill Salek from Universal Supply Group has spotted an opportunity where "Phocas enabled us to gain an additional $20,000 for our business in incentive growth rebates. And Phocas delivers in seconds - not the months, weeks and days we previously experienced".


Contact details

Phocas Inc

If you'd like more information about Phocas, visit or contact Jamie Brooks on 877-387-4004  ext. 711





Phocas Software is offering a discount of 50% off the implementation of any new contract signed during the month of September 2013.  
To take advantage of this offer contact: 
Jamie Brooks on 877-387-4004  ext. 711 
Offer Expires September 30, 2013. Contact Phocas, Jamie Brooks on 877-387-4004  ext. 711 

Did You Forget or Ever Know?

By Elizabeth Richardt - CappUSA




"Order Shipment Detail" is found on the Status Screen of Sales Order Entry and Purchase Order Entry. This feature gives you great information at just a glance. Let's look at SOE.

  1. Solar

a.      Status Screen - Under "File" on the Menu Bar - Select "Order Shipments Detail"

b.      If you have multiple generations, you will see them all here.

c.      The top have of the screen list all of the generations, whether Open, Closed, or Cancelled

d.      The bottom half list the products associated with the generations.

e.      As you move between gens at the top, the fields will highlight the same color on the bottom half so you          can easily see the products for that gen.

f.       Across the top on the Menu bar are many options you should review.

i       From the bar - there are multiple Inquiries and Maintenance Options - Please explore these.

Notice that I am on the "Invoice # .001" line on the top half - it is highlighted white - when I look at the bottom half, I look for any products highlighted white, and those are the ones that go with that gen.




2.      Eterm


a.      Status Screen - Select "Alt Q" for Inquiry - then Alt "S" for OE Shipment Details Summary

b.      This screen is not set-up in two halves like Solar, but still easy to read. The products are grouped          together by status

c.      At the Bottom of the screen are multiple options, but be sure to review

                      i.      "Change View"

                      ii.     "Purchasing Info"



Five Ways Eclipse Users Can Grow Their Business Via Billtrust Outsourced Billing Services

by Billtrust Vendor Partner

Eclipse helps your company achieve real operational efficiency. Yet there's more to the productivity improvements and cost savings Eclipse provides than those found in the system itself.


One of the areas that makes Eclipse effective is the way it connects with other processes and services to deliver additional business benefits. As over 100 Eclipse companies know, outsourcing billing services to Billtrust is one of the best steps a business can take to improve cost-efficiency and customer satisfaction.


Here are five ways Billtrust outsourced billing services can make a difference for your enterprise:


1.  Lower Operating Costs. Invoicing is a time-consuming process that sidetracks employees from strategic tasks. Many Eclipse customers have found that outsourcing to Billtrust more than pays for itself in greater manpower efficiency. Additional cost savings come from reduced postage, elimination of equipment, reduction in material costs, and improved cash flow.


"Billtrust has reduced our billing costs and allowed us to redirect manpower to our core business."

--Jeff Carroll, CFO at Johnstone Supply, Houston


2.  Faster, Less Expensive Mailing. With eight print/mail facilities across North America, Billtrust can dramatically reduce mailing time-a major factor in cash flow and customer service. Looking ahead, the challenges the United States Postal Service is facing will have an even greater impact on the time it takes for your customers to receive the bills you send to them and in turn, for you to receive the round trip payment.


3.  Improved Customer Satisfaction. Timelier billing produces real benefits in customer loyalty. Customers report a 17% increase in overall level of satisfaction with billers who use Billtrust. Simply put, the billing process should be designed to make it easy for your customers to do business with you.


4.  eBilling Adoption. Electronic invoicing delivers immediate and measurable value by getting you paid faster, and without relying on print/mail alternatives. On average, billers receive 75% savings by converting to electronic billing from paper delivery. Billtrust has developed a system of billing best practices to help users migrate their customers to modern electronic payment platforms.      


"Billtrust's eAdoption marketing ideas helped us triple the percentage of bills sent electronically.  We now send over half our bills with no paper.

--Tom Nham, Controller, VAMAC Inc.


5.  Paper Reduction. By taking advantage of Billtrust's turnkey eBilling services, you can lower your expenses while also improving the environment. There's even more to gain, however. A good reputation is a company's most valuable asset. Demonstrating your commitment to the environment by reducing paper use not only increases your brand valuation, but also reduces risk with regard to regulation and compliance. 



The bill presentment and payment process is often overlooked as a way to improve profitability and build customer relationships. Yet as Eclipse companies around the world have discovered, there is untapped potential in this routine business activity. By integrating Billtrust into your Eclipse invoicing function, you can turn this workaday customer touchpoint into a powerful strategic asset-one that can add significantly to your bottom line.

 "Billtrust has been a win-win for our customers, and for us."

 --Brady Sweitzer, CFO, L. Fishman & Son, Inc.



Over 100 Eclipse companies use Billtrust's services to improve their billing process.  
In recognition of our longstanding partnership with the UFO, we are waiving the setup fee for our Power Package bundle.  This offer will be valid for all Eclipse Users that sign a contract with Billtrust before December 1st, 2013.  
To learn more visit 
Offer Expires 12/01/13. To Learn More Visit
New Members
Crescent Electric Supply
East Dubuque, IL
Videoscope, IncDoral, FL

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Disclaimer  The information contained in this newsletter is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by UFO and while we endeavor to keep the information up-to-date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to this newsletter or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained in the newsletter for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data arising out of, or in connection with, the use of the information in this newsletter.

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 All Rights Reserved.