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The Manufacturer Profiles Bolt-on Solutions With Insight By Chuck Stewart Of Encompix Manufacturing

   By: Thomas Cutler

The November issue of The Manufacturer reviewed Bolt-on Solutions. It noted, some boutique ERP providers cautiously embrace the bolt-on model. "Our software supports engineering intensive companies," says Chuck Stewart, founder and executive vice president of Cincinnati, OH-based Encompix, an ERP provider for companies in the engineer to order, make to order, and project management industries. "Sometimes there is functionality that is needed where it makes sense to use a bolt-on application. We don't want to reinvent." Stewart uses the example of project management software as a realistic bolt-on application. "Microsoft Project is an industry standard and most, if not all, of our customers use it. It behooves us to make sure that it integrates easily into our ERP system." It is an application that Stewart has no desire to reinvent.

Stewart advocates an open relationship with third party software providers so he can keep his service levels high and provide support to his installed base. "I'm happy to see an improving relationship with software providers that allow us to identify integrations issues and advise the customer," says Stewart. "Customers grow weary of tight integration processes and the trouble they cause, both in cost and time, is unacceptable." He also sees an evolving open standard developing across the industry that is helping ERP companies and third party providers alike. "The architecture is changing and integration is becoming easier," says Stewart. "We are much more in the loop when it comes to upgrades and changes in software, including being invited to conferences and having access to design teams when necessary."

Encompix has filled the manufacturing software requirements of Engineer-to-Order companies since 1992. The company name reflects the commitment to developing business application solutions that encompass the complex areas of project-based and job-based manufacturing.

Encompix www.encompix.com Roger Meloy 513-733-0066



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