Virtual Press Kit

About Essent

Company Information
Essent is the leading provider of fully-integrated business management software solutions and services for the promotional products industry. Essent solutions combine flexible workflow management with innovative technologies that automate repetitive tasks and simplify business processes. Since 1981, Essent has offered the systems, service, software, and support critical to success in today’s highly-competitive marketplace.

Product Information
Essent is the one and only fully-integrated Business Management System designed to fit the unique needs of the promotional products industry. For the first time ever, distributors and suppliers can manage business using only one software solution — a solution that offers unprecedented power, flexibility, scalability, speed, and ease of use.
Essent’s end-to-end functionality unlocks the full potential of each and every promotional products business. By integrating the major functional areas — marketing, sales, web, purchasing, inventory control, fulfillment, shipping, and accounting — the system eliminates data reentry, costly errors, rote tasks, and workflow complication. Essent gives users the power to:

  • Maximize Profits
  • Streamline Operations
  • Cut Costs
  • Increase Customer Satisfaction
  • Optimize Productivity

Essent equips distributors and suppliers with more than 100 industry-specific tools that provide a distinctive edge in the highly competitive promotional products arena.

Essent Advantage
For more than 20 years, Essent has made innovation its primary focus. That’s why the Essent Business Management System is the most advanced technology in the industry. Award-winning and time-tested, our technology is designed to dovetail with the exact needs of distributors and suppliers by offering the latest in workflow automation and data management. Essent delivers the ultimate cutting-edge tools, convenience, control, and scalability, so users can focus on what’s important — selling.

Customers are the lifeblood of Essent, and total satisfaction is a keystone of our success. A proven track record, industry knowledge, and tailored solutions make Essent the one and only solution for the promotional products industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Essent?
Essent is the leading provider of Business Management Software Solutions and services for data intensive industries. Essent solutions combine flexible workflow management with innovative technologies that automate repetitive tasks and simplify business processes, allowing businesses to increase productivity and profitability.

What is a Business Management System?
A Business Management System is the automation that runs every major facet of business, including marketing, sales, web, purchasing, inventory control, shipping, and accounting. With automation, businesses are able to reduce costs, increase productivity, streamline operations, increase customer satisfaction, and maximize profits.

What is Workflow?
Workflow is the flow or progress of work done by a company. A workflow management system tracks product production status by maintaining precise records of work completed and work scheduled.

Why haven’t I heard of Essent?
Essent is relatively new to the promotional products industry, but the company is by no means new to software development. Essent has been providing Business Management Software Solutions since 1981, and the company’s roster of clients include distributors, suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers.

In 2001, a distributor asked Essent to adapt its core software system to meet the needs of distributors and suppliers. After analyzing the market, we realized there was a tremendous need for a software solution that was fully-integrated from end-to-end.

Essent representatives meet regularly with distributors and suppliers and key members of PPAI and ePSA to learn the wants and needs of the industry. The Essent Business Management System, which features more than 100 industry-specific tools, is a direct reflection of the feedback from these top industry players.

How does Essent differ from other software systems?
Stated simply, Essent is more comprehensive than other industry-specific software packages. Essent gives distributors and suppliers the power to do more with less by fully-integrating marketing, sales, web, e-commerce, purchasing, inventory control, fulfillment, shipping, and accounting.

Essent allows users to manage sales, fulfillment, and everything in between with one piece of software. No other software package offers this unique end-to-end functionality.

What are some of the major features of Essent software solutions?
Essent offers a wide array of industry-specific features. Here, are a few customer favorites:

SiteBuilder™ and Compass Web™ — The combined forces of Essent Site Builder and Compass Web give users the power to simultaneously create, configure, administer, and manage hundreds of company stores with thousands of diverse products — all without programming knowledge.

SiteBuilder is quickly setting the industry standard because it allows users to create an unlimited number of sophisticated e-commerce sites in record time. Using SiteBuilder, it takes only ten minutes to create a site, not hours, days, weeks, or months. Best of all, no programming knowledge is needed, so each and every distributor and supplier has the power to design high-caliber sites.

By supporting end-to-end online transactions, Essent Compass Web brings web-savvy customers all the benefits of e-commerce and saves distributors and suppliers the hassle traditionally associated with company store maintenance.

Art Vault™ — By maintaining a centralized list of artwork, Art Vault™ ensures the right image is always available to distributors, their customers, and their suppliers. Using the tool is as simple as scrolling through the artwork, selecting an image, and attaching it to the order. Additional artwork may be uploaded by customers at any time.

Product Requirement Surveys — Essent offers powerful product requirement surveys that capture all the information needed to create and deliver a custom product. Users may define a list of relevant questions, gather requirements and options, and communicate specifications to customers, internal departments, and suppliers. The intelligent surveys are based on dependencies, so when a question is answered, a series of dependent questions appear. The powerful technology validates product specifications, so distributors and suppliers can be 100% confident orders are accurate.

Essent E-Commerce — With Essent, every step of the sales process may be completed online, even for complicated custom orders. Essent offers complete product catalogs, an intuitive shopping cart, online credit card processing, artwork upload, product requirement surveys, and shipment tracking. Customers can shop online at their convenience and get quick answers to all their burning questions.

What are the benefits of Essent software?
Because Essent software is fully-integrated, it is possible for distributors and suppliers to manage every major facet of business with one piece of software. They no longer have to manage company stores, accounting, and customer data with separate programs — it’s all tracked by Essent in real-time. Essent automation is the key to cutting costs, eliminating data reentry, reducing errors, and increasing productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction.

What size distributor and supplier typically uses Essent software?
While Essent greatly benefits distributors and suppliers of any size, the software best fits mid to large-size organizations. Essent does, however, work with distributors and suppliers that do not fall within these strict confines.

What is the ROI associated with Essent software solutions?
Organizations using Essent software solutions typically see measurable benefits approximately one month after implementation. Since Essent eliminates rote tasks, data reentry, and workflow complication, distributors and suppliers are able to spend more time selling product and less time performing manual tasks. The return is tremendous, and many have said the system pays for itself in less than 18 months.

Employee Biographies

Eric Alessi
President and CEO
President and CEO Eric Alessi is the chief architect of Essent’s innovative software solutions, Compass and InSite. During his 15 years managing Essent, Eric has transformed the company from a regional software development house to a multi-million dollar corporation serving thousands of customers nation-wide. Eric holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and cognitive psychology from The Pennsylvania State University and has completed graduate work in operations research, accounting, and business management.

Ron Cahill
Vice President of Operations
Vice President of Operations Ron Cahill has more than 10 years of experience in the sales and implementation of large scale information systems. Ron is responsible for Essent’s daily operations, including sales management, marketing, customer service, and systems integration. Ron plays an active role in implementing strategic growth initiatives within vertical marketplaces. His educational background in sales and marketing has helped Essent become a recognized leader in systems, service, software, and support.

Steve Luisser
Vice President of Research & Development
Steve Luisser has more than a decade of extensive experience in large-scale, client/server information management systems. As Vice President of Research & Development, Steve plays an integral role in system design, project management, and quality control. He leads the teams responsible for the development of Essent’s software solutions, Compass and InSite. Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Moravian College.

P. Bryan Sheaffer
Promotional Products Industry Specialist
Promotional Products Industry Specialist Bryan Sheaffer is responsible for the development of distributor, supplier, and industry relationships. An authority on business processes for the industry, Bryan manages the promotional products consulting practice at Essent. He plays a critical role in sales, marketing, needs analysis, and process mapping. Prior to joining Essent, Bryan served as Vice President of PowerSource Online, a world-wide B2B trading hub for computer parts, where he helped large distributors implement innovative e-business solutions. Bryan completed his bachelor’s degree at Lock Haven University and is working toward a master’s in E-commerce at DeSales University.

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