March 2016 Newsletter

Great Vendor Partners + Encounter = an Awesome 2016!!

We hope that 2016 will be your company's best year ever!  It is only February but the entire committee has September on their minds.  September means Encounter and this year's event promises to be exceptional.  The theme of this year's Encounter is 'Bridging the Gap' and there isn't a more appropriate place to hold the event than Pittsburgh, home to bridges spanning the scenic Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers.  Things to look forward to at Encounter 2016 include...
  • Networking with over 350 User Group members.
  • A beautiful venue where the exhibit area has dramatic floor to ceiling views of the river.
  • Vendor sponsored events like the Monte Carlo Cruise and the Monday Night reception.
Vendors and attendees agree that the training offered and opportunity to interact face to face provided by Encounter is well worth the time away from the office. 
We now have 25 vendor partners who offer a range of technology solutions and services.  We are always on the lookout for new vendor partners.  If there is a vendor you've worked with that offers a product or service you believe our members would value, please email and we will send them an application package.  Remember that in addition to all the great products and services offered by our vendor partners, the dues they pay to become vendor partners allow the User's Group to offer free training to our membership, and don't forget to check out the vendor forums!
Someone much wiser than me said that the one constant in this world is change.  That adage couldn't have been more accurate for the Vendor Relations Committee in 2015.  In the past year we've had five members that have moved on and four new members that have joined the committee.  The committee now includes, Daron Brown (Vice-Chairman), Randy Collins, Haylee Frix, Jon Ghosio, Margie Harris, Tammy Jones, Alison Levy, and me. In addition the committee has been divided into four subcommittees...
  • Vendor Partnership: Tasked with vendor recruitment, vendor applications, contacting the references provided by vendors, and submitting applications to the Board for approval.   Subcommittee Lead is Tammy Jones.
  • Vendor Benefit Management:  Tasked with assigning presentation and newsletter dates, and notifying vendors of these important dates.  Subcommittee Lead is Haylee Frix.
  • Encounter:  Tasked with determining vendor sponsorship levels and the benefits they receive at Encounter for those levels, and the exhibit layout (how vendor booths will be arranged) at Encounter.  Subcommittee Lead is Jon Ghosio.
  • Vendor - Accounting & Budget:  Tracking all income and expenses from each of the other sub committees.  Subcommittee Lead is Margie Harris.
With 25 vendor partners we could use even more assistance.  If you're interested in joining the Vendor Relations Committee, please reach out to either Daron Brown, me, Bill Fitzgerald
Wishing you a prosperous 2016!!!
Bill Fitzgerald, Chair, Vendor Relations Committee

In This Issue
Click on the link above - It will take you to the March 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 January 2016

Holt Electrical Supplies
Saint Louis

Franklin Electric


Get ahead of the competition with a better eCommerce presence

Tired of the "one size fits all" webstore solution?  Rich Schmitt likes to say that you are called independent wholesalers because you all have your own needs.  So why should all Eclipse users settle for the typical webstore solution?
Schmitt ProfiTools, Inc. doesn't think you should have to be typical.  The way you go to market online is just as important as how you treat customers at the counter.  Shopping online isn't as personal as an interaction at the counter, so if your customers don't feel like they are receiving the necessary benefits, they won't use your store.
But first, you DO have a webstore, don't you? If you don't have a webstore, you are undoubtedly falling behind your competition and probably losing sales.
If you DO have a webstore, having an average webstore is not the objective; you have to have a great best-in-market webstore. Below are lists of thoughts to consider:

1.  Blocking and Tackling First: Having a 1st rate store will set you apart from your competition!  A competent webstore will have the following things:

a.  A Great Engine: The webstore needs to run on great software to manage it and guide the user through product selection and purchasing.

b.  Great Content: A million-dollar webstore that uses sub-par content will look and work like crap.

c.  Integration with Eclipse: Live connectivity with real-time pricing and availability.      

2.  Mobile is Hot: Your mobile store has to adapt to specific device and screen sizes automatically. The best mobile experiences use mobile-specific code that is tuned to the smaller screen size for easier browsing, searching, selecting and buying.  

3.  Extras Sweeten the Experience: A site that provides collateral marketing materials, system matchups, diagrams, manuals, calculations, training schedules, parts lookups, inquiries into your suppliers' inventories, etc., allows a one-stop experience to customers who visit your site.

4.  Punchout is on the Rise: Many companies are trying to get their procurement processes under control and make it more efficient. To increase efficiency, they are attempting to do so on the web.


To learn more about how Schmitt ProfiTools is the one-stop-shop for all your eCommerce and content needs, contact Jessica or Call 314-872-9199.
Epicor Eclipse Support Corner

You will be hearing more about our new support tool in the month of March.  You will receive an email asking you to register your contact information in the new tool.  Within the body of this email, you will also find your company number, which we'd like to use once we get to the new tool, instead of your company name.  Using this number will ensure faster service as we will quickly be able to pull up your account, and it is also a good security measure as nobody should have your company number besides the employees you authorize to contact us.  This number will be prominent in the new tool each time you enter a Case (known as a "Service Request" in our current tool). 
The new system has many very nice features that you have all been asking/waiting for.  For example, we will easily be able to email you from a Case, and you will be able to email us back, and that email will automatically update the Case.  No more typing between double quotes!  You will also be able to add multiple contacts to a Case, and we can do the same on our side....much like the old eterm!  Those are just some of the new perks to look forward to.
Our go-live goal is still mid-April, and the project is in serious full-swing.  I will update you next month as that will be much closer to our live date, and I should know if the date is still holding firm.
Hope to see you at Insights!

Camille Alberico
Senior Manager, Eclipse Customer Support Epicor Software Corporation 
Epicor Software Corporation  | 

Data-Driven Distribution
Product and pricing data is essential to running a successful distribution business - it feeds external channels through web stores, quotes, and bids, and internal channels through inventory management and your Eclipse business system.
To keep internal and external processes working efficiently, the data you use must be accurate and up-to-date, and the best way to ensure current and high quality data is to continually receive that data straight from the source: your manufacturer trading partners. Rather than individually contacting each manufacturer to gather this information, which consumes valuable time and effort, consider subscribing to a data pool service, like IDEA's Industry Data Warehouse (IDW). Through the IDW, you'll gain access to the latest manufacturer-supplied product and pricing data in one standardized, centralized source.

Quantity and Quality Through Data Certification
Quality data contributes to simplified categorization and easy, accurate product searches on your web store and/or in your Eclipse system. Recognizing this demand for quality, IDEA launched the Data Certification Program in late 2014. This program - which measures the breadth, depth, and quality of transactional, packaging, and descriptive product information available in the IDW - is part of an effort to bring more complete, high quality data than ever to the channel. How?

First, the completeness of a manufacturer's data in the IDW is assessed at the item-level (with more than 1.4 million items are complete and fully attributed to date). After each eligible item is complete, it undergoes quarterly programmatic and visual quality checks to ensure consistency and accuracy. Once measured for completeness and quality, that data becomes "IDEA-certified". Distributors can request any missing SKUs and/or data through the data quality report tool in the IDW. Further, IDEA helps your manufacturers help you by providing those manufacturers with actionable reports and various analytics tools along the way. Equipped with IDEA tools and services, your manufacturers can better manage their IDW data and maintain their certification level over time.

As a distributor using IDEA-certified data, you can manage the product information in your Eclipse business system, on your web stores, and in your marketing materials with greater efficiency and confidence.

To learn more about how the IDW and the Data Certification Program can help you and your business, contact IDEA to schedule a one-on-one at, or visit our website for more information:
Users Helping Users Article
Users helping Users:  
This section of the newsletter is dedicated to you!  We wanted to showcase some of the postings on the Bulletin Boards that we felt were great examples of users helping users.   So if you have not been on the Bulletin Boards lately hopefully this will help to stir your interest!
This post came in on 02/15/16 at 12:55pm and had the first answer in about 24 hours!
This is especially awesome since it is on the "Newbie" board.  Love to see new users to Eclipse being helped by some of us that have been around longer than we would like to admit. 

Thread: Finding newly created buylines:
Is there a way to use MAINT.LOG or BUY.LINE to find new buy lines created in the last X number of days?
Part Two: In MAINT.LOG is a 'REASON' attribute. Any Idea what the numbers mean, or where a 'lookup table' can be found? 

Answer #1:
As for the first part, not any easy way I know. If it's a one-off need, you could select on MAINT.LOG @ID="BUY.LINE~]", display @ID and F2 (ENTERED.DT), dump into Excel, extract the actual lines from between the ~'s in the @ID, then do a pivot table and change the value field to Minimum - that would show you the oldest date in the log for each buy line, and you could then filter on specific dates as you need. If this is an ongoing thing, not sure how you could do this.

For part two, the 'codes' are nothing more than attribute numbers in the BUY.LINE (and BUY.LINE.BR) files. You can figure out what they correspond to either in dictionary summary (F1/D/S) or via TCL with LIST DICT BUY.LINE.

Answer #2
Actually, not sure this is fool-proof, but you could probably specifically select on @ID's ending in ~1. The MAINT.LOG entries are written as BUY.LINE~line~sequential_number, so the first entry for buy line CHEESE should be BUY.LINE~CHEESE~1. Select @ID="BUY.LINE~]" AND @ID="[~1" and you should be able to pull the first record. For all I know, ~1 may not be written in certain odd circumstances, and/or it might be removed by some weird process, but I'd bet that technique would be 99% accurate. You could also much more easily automate. Add an ENTERED.DT select to your Report Writer and it just might show you what you need without any Excel nonsense.

Answer #3
Digging around, I found that when Attribute 5 "REASON" has an asterisk (*), it means this entry is the date and time when the buy line was created. Might make the select run faster if you selected on REASON = "*", but as noted above, that is usually in the first entry anyway.
Enhancement Committee - Featured Idea
by Kevin Stevenson, Enhancement Committee Chair

The Ideas Site, available through the Eclipse Users Group website, remains a great resource to help turn your ideas into new enhancements.  All ideas are reviewed with Eclipse developers, and your votes determine the priority they receive. 
Here is a recent idea posted to the Sales & Marketing Reporting community:
Customer Expediting
- Within the customer expedite report you have to run it by customer.  This limits the ability for expeditors to help writers because they don't know which customers to add for the week.  It would be extremely useful to be able to run this report by writer/inside sales.
Please visit the Ideas Site today to vote on great ideas like this one and to submit your own suggestions!

Remember you must be logged in to see the IDEAS Site Menu button, 3rd from the right.