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Encompass Solutions, Inc.
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Creating the Perfect Enterprise System: Bringing Epicor and Bezlio Together-
Mickey Truck Bodies (Mickey) manufactures all-aluminum beverage bodies and beverage trailers, dry freight, and refrigerated van bodies, emergency vehicles and specially engineered equipment for customers throughout the U.S. and more than 50 other countries. The company operates a national network of full-service Reconditioning/Service Centers and a complete Parts Shop with genuine Mickey Parts as well as parts for most competitive makes and models.

With 6 facilities and over 300 manufacturing employees, the sheer cost of licensing and hardware, as well as the volume of transactions recorded on the shop floor, presented a challenge for Mickey, but Encompass had the perfect solution to enhance their Epicor system: SaberLogic’s Bezlio! Bezlio offers a flexible interface to Epicor using Bezls that provide the ability to add key features without significant expense. In addition, they are able to use the Bezls from anywhere in their shop, even where WiFi may be spotty.

REAL-TIME INVENTORY TRANSFER APP

To increase efficiency, Mickey desired an inventory transfer solution to enable users to issue multiple materials to a job from mobile devices. The user begins the process by entering their employee ID, and then inputs the job and optionally the assembly/operation. A list of buttons is presented per the material requirements. Inventory on hand is displayed, and the user can tap or scan the barcode of the warehouse/bin they wish to pull from, indicate the quantity, and move on to the next material. When all inventory selections are specified, the user clicks the ‘Issue Materials’ button, and all transactions are processed in real time.

PRODUCTION LABOR TRANSACTIONS ON MOBILE DEVICES

Bezlio allows the ability to track production transactions from mobile devices. Users can clock in, clock out, start/stop production activities, and start/stop indirect activities. The end activity screen for production activities allows for the input of completed quantities as well as scrap. When clocked into a production activity with attachments defined at the job level, such as an Assembly Guide, they are presented as buttons that can be tapped to display in a built-in PDF viewer.

Bezlio is a cost-effective solution for using mobile devices to efficiently capture and record shop floor data real time. Because Mickey has multiple facilities utilizing Epicor, there is a huge saving on MES user licenses and workstation hardware costs, estimating between $80,000 – $90,000. In addition, transactions from all locations are streamlined and controlled, making data entry and collection easier while simultaneously enforcing critical business rules.

Ready for your business to run with a killer tool set?
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Encompass Solutions, End of Year 2017 highlights
Our company retreats are as unique as the people on our team. Hailing from all over the globe, when our team meets up for a company retreat, you know some amazing and exciting things will happen! This past May, our team met just outside of Asheville, NC for our bi-annual team retreat. This year’s retreat was as intense, educational, and fun as every retreat is, and we can hardly wait until the next one!
Wine and Cheese!
Thank you to all our Customers who attended and stopped by to visit us during the biggest Epicor Customer event of the year. We loved catching up with you and we look forward to seeing you again very soon!
We would like to give thanks again to Kaufman Container for hosting this open house event with us. Prospects took an up-close and personal tour of how one of our client’s, Kaufman Container, uses Epicor ERP to grow their business.
It was an opportunity to see and speak to individuals utilizing Epicor ERP.
Attendees toured six stations showcasing “Day in the Life” demos, depicting how employees in multiple departments are empowered to make the right decisions at the right time due to an integrated MES and ERP system.
This open house format mapped out the various ways that Epicor’s Manufacturing Suite inspires co-workers to collaborate, connect financials and databases, access reports while remote, and communicate effectively.
E 10.2 includes a new mobile CRM app, that works with both a limited CRM license and standard licenses.
UI… can make calls directly from the app
Epicor is folding the salesforce integration into core product with E 10.2 and adding functionality.
Hitachi integration is official with E 10.2
Built in KPIs to get customers started with the new home page format.
“Growth happens one customer at a time” Steve Murphy, new CEO of Epicor
Official announcement: https://www.epicor.com/…/epicor-launches-newest-version-of…/
Encompass is honored as Platinum Epicor Partner 2017 for yet another consecutive year!
Encompass Solutions continues to provide ERP consulting and industry-leading development of mission-critical enterprise solutions.
The company’s focus is to be an advocate for customers facing the challenges of the market’s fierce competition and is often chosen as experts in the IT field to help enterprises achieve a technological advantage.
Office Headquarters expansion: As our company grows yet again, we are going to be expanding our footprint here at Revolution Mills to a bigger office suite.
We are working hard to bring even more new products and services to the website very soon.
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Austin, TX,December11,2017
Epicor Launches Newest Version of Epicor ERP to Support Global Growth, Innovation, and Competitive Advantage
New release features powerful new capabilities for winning execution on the factory floor and beyond
Epicor Software Corporation, a global provider of industry-specific enterprise software to promote business growth, introduced the latest version of Epicor ERP, the global enterprise resource planning solution in use today by thousands of companies in 150 countries worldwide.

The latest release includes powerful new functionality to enable manufacturers to grow, innovate, and compete in today’s ever-changing global landscape. Marquee capabilities include mobile Field Service Automation (FSA) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), as well as new business intelligence and visual analytics capabilities delivered via Epicor Data Discovery. A completely redesigned home page, Active Home Page, Smart Inventory Planning and Optimization, and new country and industry-specific functionality are also key features of the new version.

“Businesses that adopt the latest technologies in cloud, analytics, and employee experience will be fit to grow and respond to the new digital challenges of tomorrow while achieving a competitive advantage right now. In this, our third major release in the past 13 months, Epicor continues to deliver cloud-enabled, industry-specific functionality, globalization and localization, mobility, and action-oriented analytics, with continued improvements in customer experience, ease-of-use, and performance.”
Scott Hays, Senior Vice President, Product Marketing, Epicor Software

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Role-based insights for better, faster execution

According to a recent Gartner report, “In 2018, data and analytics can't be ignored — analytics will drive major innovation and disrupt established business models in the coming years.”[1] Epicor ERP equips personnel with critical insights at a glance for better, faster analysis and execution. Active Home Page provides dashboard views of role-based analytics with quick access to role-based functionality. This is made possible through Epicor Data Discovery (EDD), which supports rich on-demand data exploration to surface real-time operational and business performance insights to guide decision making. EDD encapsulates complex data sets into easy-to-understand graphs and charts to allow users to quickly gauge performance, understand trends and opportunities, drill down into data sets, and test out “what if” scenarios.

New mobile FSA and CRM

New mobile FSA and CRM functionality empowers sales and service personnel in the field with the added convenience of mobile access. Available in a cloud or on-premises delivery model, Epicor FSA features integrated mapping to support optimized scheduling and dispatch, and robust workflows to automate processes for asset management, contract, warranty and Service Level Agreement (SLAs), and management of service inventory. Epicor FSA can be used with smartphones, tablets, and laptops for both online and offline communications with the back office for enhanced productivity and efficiency across all service workforce facets, for improved response, reduced costs, and improved customer satisfaction.

Epicor CRM supports digitally enabled sales engagements for improved efficiency and productivity in buyer/seller experiences and revenue acceleration. Mobile CRM syncs and updates with Epicor ERP data in real time, enabling sales teams to access vital information such as real-time stock status and customer credit availability quickly and easily—whether in the office or in the field—via any mobile device. Rich CRM and sales enablement functionality empowers sales teams to manage contacts, follow up with leads, manage sales pipelines, and develop quotes.

Smart inventory planning and optimization

Optimal inventory strategies are essential to drive profitability and growth. With Epicor Smart Inventory Planning and Optimization—an integrated set of cloud-based capabilities for demand planning, inventory optimization, and supply chain analytics—businesses can drive best-practice sales and inventory operations planning (SIOP) and monitor myriad factors to prescribe inventory policies and service levels that yield the lowest total cost.

The package offers a convergence of robust forecasting methodologies, optimization techniques, and consensus demand and inventory planning delivered via an easy-to-use interface accessible in any web browser. Reporting and analytics provide vital stats on inventory status to help uncover root causes of operational inefficiencies, stockouts, excess inventory, and late deliveries.

Capabilities to fit specific business needs—around the world and on the shop floor

New country- and industry-specific functionality provides support for the job at hand – whether it’s tax processing in Penang or casting and coating in Kansas City. Functionality localized for specific geographic regions supports global business compliance and reporting, tax and payment processing, and international trade requirements, including legal numbering, and non-recoverable taxes.

Epicor Payment Exchange is now fully integrated with Epicor ERP so customers can enjoy predictable pricing and low rates, along with the peace-of-mind of working with one of the fastest-growing payment processors in the U.S. Epicor Payment Exchange handles all real-time authorization, next-day settlement, and comprehensive reporting for credit card transactions.

Epicor customers using the Epicor Mattec MES solution will also benefit from improvements in MES-ERP integration to more easily account for various parameters and dependencies related to jobs, scheduling, operators, and/or machines.

Upgrading with ease

Committed to providing positive experiences for its customers, Epicor has focused on “ease of everything” from deployment, education, through support, upgrades, and maintenance, resulting in greater profitability, productivity, and growth. New enhancements make it easier than ever for manufacturers to upgrade to the latest version of Epicor ERP to leverage new features and functionality to support growth and competitive advantage.

“Upgrading Epicor ERP is now easier than ever before, which allows us to go through the upgrade process with minimal business disruption,” said Martine Kennedy, IT Project Manager with Windsor Mold Group. The company has leveraged Epicor ERP since 2010 to support operational excellence. Windsor’s Ontario, Canada-based automotive components division was named a Supplier of the Year by General Motors in 2016.

The latest version of Epicor ERP is now generally available worldwide, however, some functionality such as FSA and Mobile CRM while available in the United States is not available in all regions and is expected to become generally available globally in 2018.

[1] Source: Gartner, Inc., “2018 Planning Guide Overview: Thriving in an Era of Change,” Sept. 29, 2017 by Paul DeBeasi and Kyle Hilgendorf

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About Epicor ERP

An ideal fit for discrete and mixed mode manufacturing, and guided by the needs of today’s users, Epicor ERP is a global enterprise resource planning solution that delivers the choice, flexibility, and agility to drive growth and opportunity throughout your business while easing complexity. A single, end-to-end software solution for business, Epicor ERP is available in the cloud, hosted, or on premises. Epicor ERP offers a modular approach with robust capabilities focused on reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving customer responsiveness across the enterprise—all top priorities for achieving continued growth and profitability. Visit the Epicor ERP solution hub to learn more.

About Epicor Software Corporation

Epicor Software Corporation drives business growth. We provide flexible, industry-specific software designed around the needs of our manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industry customers. More than 40 years of experience with our customers’ unique business processes and operational requirements are built into every solution―in the cloud or on premises. With this deep understanding of your industry, Epicor solutions manage complexity, increase efficiency, and free up resources so you can focus on growth. For more information, connect with Epicor or visit www.epicor.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Some of the information in this news release constitutes forward looking information, including with respect to future product strategies and releases as well as the expected benefits of such functionality. While these forward-looking statements represent our current intentions and judgment, these statements are based on assumptions that are subject to a wide range of risks and our actual results could differ materially. Epicor undertakes no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements.

Epicor and the Epicor logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epicor Software Corporation, registered in the United States and other countries. Other trademarks referenced are the property of their respective owners. The product and service offerings depicted in this document are produced by Epicor Software Corporation.
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Silicon Review Names Encompass as One of 50 Best Workplaces for 2017
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Epicor Insights Brings Encompass and Siemens Manufacturing Together-
There is a common similarity in name and industry to the German conglomerate Siemens, but Siemens Manufacturing is a great company of its own, based in St Louis. In 1963, Siemens Manufacturing Company was founded by John and Jim Siemens to manufacture custom control and test equipment for industrial customers. Today, their team of nearly 200 employees maintains a commitment to advanced technology, innovative product manufacturing and delivering high quality solutions to customers.

Siemens continues to experience tremendous growth, having out grown an older and no longer supported information system, they started looking for a fully integrated ERP solution with overall newer technology and capabilities to include stronger manufacturing, production, inventory, user friendliness and overall ERP.

During their evaluation of a new software solution, which took a few months, Siemens also considered another high caliber software solution. In the end Epicor stood out for having solid features such as Project Management, Resource Management, Financials, as well as equally advanced capabilities for choosing on premise or cloud deployment.

Epicor did an excellent job in the demo and really showed what Epicor was capable of.

“We were all impressed with the demonstration and the fact that you wrote a mini customization in very short time. This showed us that you could solve the problems we had concerns about as it related to the inventory one to many parts master and BOM.”

John Siemens – President

“We are all behind the selection and want to make this a success for the company.”

Jeff Hamma – Director Materials/Planning

Siemens has chosen Encompass to help deliver the Epicor solution their business needs to better handle their tremendous growth. We look forward to building a system for them that goes far beyond the potential they saw at the Epicor Insights demo, and will allow them to expand beyond what they thought possible.

Epicor annual user and customer convention ‘Epicor Insights’ was also a great opportunity for Siemens to get a close look at what Epicor has to offer. This year’s event was the largest ever, with over 4,000 attendees from across the world joining together to learn, share, and grow alongside Epicor. While there is plenty of technical talk for veteran Epicor power users, the annual Epicor Insights is one of the best ways for potential customers to learn how powerful Epicor is, and how effectively it can improve and enhance their businesses.

In a speech to a large of audience of customers and prospects, Himanshu Palsule, Epicor Chief Product and Technology Officer, discussed growth, industry and the cloud. He said “When you think of Epicor, you think about a company that is fixated on the growth of the customers. Growth in your revenue, growth in your profitability, growth in operations.”
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Are you ready for a peek under the hood? One of the most powerful factors of the ERP systems we install are customized solutions working hand-in-hand with preexisting tools tailor-made for specific industries. Let’s take a look how we helped one of our clients further refine their process and increase their efficiency with two solutions.

Sunlight Supply, Inc., headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, manufactures and distributes gardening supplies. Sunlight implemented Epicor in 2011 and migrated to 10.1 last year, and they have over 150 users.

The first issue we needed to help solve involved Return Material Authorization (RMA). Sunlight was experiencing a large volume of RMAs and the process was bottlenecking because there were too many required Epicor screens for the credit memos to be generated quickly. Working with us, Sunlight decided to automate the process using BPMs, Service Connect, and customizations. This is what they accomplished:

To create the RMA, it is imported directing from their website, or entered manually. Data auto-fills from RMA reason codes, Customer, and Part Master User Defined fields. A UPS return shipping label is generated for customer use.
When the product is returned and the receipt is entered, the receiving warehouse and bin are automatically populated. The reason code triggers the disposition as rework, stock, or defective. Service Connect automates the disposition in the background, eliminating data entry.
A credit memo is automatically created based on the reason code, pulling in the unit price from the last invoice. Restocking fees are added, and the system reverses the term’s discount. Finally, Epicor posts to the specified GL account.
The changes in the RMA process allowed Sunlight to eliminate data entry errors and simplify workflow. They were able to reduce head count in RMA and Accounting and respond in a timely manner to their customers. Finally, this automation allowed Sunlight to expand and improve customer service throughout the RMA process.

The second issue Sunlight was experiencing was with Order Allocation. The standard allocation logic in Epicor was being used differently by just about every user. When orders were not allocated consistently due to staff turnover and training issues, it caused picking problems for the shipping team. Those errors caused customer shipment delays, resulting in dissatisfied customers. Their new headquarters warehouse was more complex, requiring a custom allocation methodology.

Their Customer Service Team used to manually allocate each sales order in the fulfillment workbench and release the picks. This was a two-step process; more steps were necessary if overstock zones were involved. After the changes, the Customer Service Rep ‘reserves’ quantities in the workbench. An automated program then takes over to allocate the orders from appropriate warehouse zones based upon set up for case quantities, pallet quantities, and searching the zones via a prioritized algorithm. The records are then released for picking.

Sunlight used user codes, BPMs, and customizations to automate Order Allocation. Automated order allocation saves Customer Service time. It reduced data entry errors and inconsistencies that slow down the entire shipping process. It improves picking & shipping productivity, allowing them to ship orders to customers more quickly. It is expected to increase inventory accuracy and warehouse operations efficiencies as well. The end result is satisfied customers.
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ERP systems are kinda our thing, so we’re sure you’ll understand when we get really, really excited about version updates. We understand that most people don’t get excited about version updates at all… in fact, a lot of people get nervous at the idea of change. That’s where we come in. We love keeping our clients on the cutting edge and version updates help us make your business more efficient, productive, and streamlined.

That’s definitely something you can get excited about.

Epicor 10.2 has been kept tightly under wraps, but earlier in the month, Express and Multi-Tenant Cloud customers were able to receive a pilot upgrade, and customers with embedded education have access to delta training courses. Our team has been training hard on learning the new features and functionality so that we can continue our commitment to excellence by providing seamless updates and smooth roll-outs.

The new Epicor mission statement—“Ease of Everything”—gives us a clue on what to expect. They’ve made no secret of the fact that there will be a new User Experience with this version, and the new customizable, role-based Home Page will feature active tiles that will display—in real time!—the important data your business needs immediate access to in order to keep your workflow running.

So: Get excited. Epicor 10.2 will be out soon and Encompass will be there to help take your business to the next level.
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For most of us in the software industry, we get tripped up a bit when we see the word ‘expectations.’ We tend to immediately think of them as ‘deliverables’: dashboards, customizations, reports, roadmaps that chart out tasks or future projects. Tied up into those are considerations of expenses, timelines, due dates, and beyond.

We see those because software engineers are natural problem solvers, and those are the immediate solutions we see. Yet ‘expectations’ go beyond these things. Let me explain.

Here in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, last-minute hiking trips seem to happen about every other month; every other weekend if the weather turns especially good. So in prep, I ordered a new pair of boots on a Friday morning, trusting that the two-day priority shipping I had paid for would get them to me soon after the weekend ended, and I could leave on Wednesday morning. I was already looking at new places to see (such as Rough Ridge and its killer views!) and new places to go (the endless creeks below).

So as Mondays tend to go, I get the bad news first thing in the morning: the company I ordered my boots from sent an email, telling me they’d be arriving by the end of the day on Wednesday. Okay, not cool: I paid for two-day shipping which I wouldn’t be getting!

I had a few options: I could shell out more money for overnight shipping. Or, I could repeat the entire process and find another pair of boots that were of the right style, fit, and capabilities of the terrain I wanted to be on. Or, I could delay my trip for a day.

Yeah, right.

I contact the company right away and let them know that I was worried about the delivery date, and that we needed to find out the best way to ensure that my boots made it to my doorstep by the end of Tuesday, not Wednesday. The customer service rep told me to call them back if the boots didn’t arrive by Tuesday night, because they couldn’t do anything to help until the order was late.

They failed to offer help by addressing the problem before it occurred, nor did they seem concerned that something I was depending on would not arrive in time. There was no ownership of the problem, and any urgency to create peace of mind for their customer was nonexistent.

I hung up and sat at my desk, thinking to myself: “I never want to make someone feel the way that customer service rep just made me feel.”

And then I thought, “That’s the very reason why I work here at Encompass, and why I love what I do.”

My job is to ensure that every one of my customers can make it up their own ‘mountains’: They’ll need more than just the right ‘boots’, they’ll need the right boots at the right time; constant support during the climb; and, once they’ve gotten to the top, they need to know we’ll be there on the way down. That’s when ‘expectations’ goes beyond ‘deliverables’ and becomes ‘trust.’

Recently, I worked with a customer who had several important deadlines to meet and not a lot of time to make them happen. With Encompass’ vast global resources, we were able to pull together the right set of team members to help this company not only meet their urgent goals, but assist them in an implementation and go-live of Epicor 10.

When a client trusts you enough to have expectations that you’ll take them through the roughest terrain their business has ever seen, well, that’s more valuable than a good pair of hiking boots. And that’s worth a lot, take it from me: I never did get those boots on time. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than hiking up a mountain in the wrong pair of shoes.

A well-tuned ERP system delivered on-time is only half of what Encompass has to offer your business. If you’re worried you aren’t on the right ERP path, come meet us at the bottom of the mountain, and come take a hike with us.
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A Day in the Life: Beyond the Webinar
There’s no doubt that online demos and webinars are the most efficient, easy, and on-demand way to let CFOs, CEOs and IT executives get a taste of new technology solutions. Whether they’re focused on implementing changes for growth, scalability and improved profit margins, the smart executive knows that part of winning and staying ahead in all industries is to be in the know of all IT developments in your business area.

That said: We here at Encompass are delighted to present a new format, a more meaningful experience, a way to see beyond what a standard PowerPoint presentation would show. After all, there is no form of communication as effective as face-to-face, in business and in many other aspects of life.

Just last month Encompass had the opportunity to host a new session of ‘A Day in the Life.’

A ‘Day in the Life’ event is an open house format where people can see IT solutions in action and get feedback from the users. Attendees tour six stations and stay at each one for thirty minutes; each station showcases different “Day in the Life” demos and depict how employees in multiple departments are empowered to make the right decisions at the right time due to an integrated MES and ERP system. The event offered a 360° view of the Epicor Manufacturing Suite as well as insight into how Encompass works with clients to make system recommendations, business process assessments, and overall IT support.

For our ‘Day in the Life Event’, local manufacturers in the Cincinnati area were invited to take an up-close, personal, and free tour of one of our Epicor clients, Kaufman Container, to see how they use Epicor ERP to grow and run their business. Being able to network with a leading packaging sourcing center in the United States with over 100 years of experience was an invaluable experience. Kaufman Container is a privately held, family-owned business which operates two key facilities in the Midwest. Prior to their Epicor implementation, Kaufman were running several non-integrated systems, and users were having to do each other’s jobs to keep things running smoothly. Now, they have streamlined their workflow and have reduced overhead cost by 30% with Epicor ERP 10.

With the face-to-face visibility of the ‘Day in the Life’ event, we’re able to show all of the functionality of our systems, from Sales to Manufacturing, Production/Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Procurement, Finance, Reporting Dashboards, and more. Additionally, we were able to demonstrate the value of using MES and ERP solutions to collaborate with coworkers, connect financials and databases, access reports while remote, and communicate effectively.

Encompass is working to set up another open house event soon. If you’re interested in seeing how a new ERP system can revolutionize your business, checking out ‘A Day in the Life’ is well worth the trip.
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I’ve always been passionate about bringing new technology to companies to help them be more competitive. An exciting emerging technology that’s got the IT/IS crowd buzzing right now is using machine learning to allow for smarter data analyzation. Companies spend a significant amount of money generating data compared to analyzing it. With the technology Bezlio is built on, we allow companies to take emerging technology as it becomes available and leverage it regardless of the back-end system.

In a recent technology article Forbes tells us that Machine Learning is the ability for computer programs to analyze big data, extract information automatically, and learn from it.

We are able to run Epicor ERP along with Bezlio to utilize machine learning and predictive analytics. Bezlio’s plugin architecture means that the source data can be from anything, along with a plugin available in Bezlio that utilizes the Accord.NET Framework, a very popular machine learning library.

To get to the golden Promised Land of machine learning, however, we must first walk the dark path of statistics. Seriously though: Most of the machine learning concepts were derived from past statistical analytic techniques. Even applying some simple statistics can be used with ERP data to gain better insights. I have always liked statistics because it takes the gut out of gut decisions based on incomplete data.

To learn more about Bezlio please visit their website.

To read the original blog entry including multimedia and technical details, please click here.

During the 2017 Bezlio Mainspring Developer Conference, Brian Ellis spoke about the subject of predictive analytics and machine learning as it relates to using it with Bezlio and any ERP or CRM.
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