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Software feedback/recommendations please

Had 1 in mind, now not so sure due to reviews on trustpilot

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We have been searching for a new ERP/MRP software package since about August. The one we currently use is bespoke and is no longer viable to maintain (all courses of action taken to recetify).  I had 4 recommendations, narrowed it down to 2 Sage 200 + Manufacturing and Access Financials + Factory Master.  Had a demo with both and Access came out on top. We are on the cusp of placing the order but my director found trustpilot reviews for them and it wasnt good. Can anyone who has used it give me an honest opinion, about the actual software and the aftercare/support or recommend another system, my bosses were not over keen on Sage. 

I had done lots of research into what we needed, but didnt even know trustpilot existed and am unsure as to where else to look for reviews etc. For us as a small company the investment in the new software is huge, so dont want to jump into anything that isnt right.

Thanks, 

Wendy

Replies (12)

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By johnt27
12th Jan 2021 18:50

You're in difficult territory here as the ERP/MRP world has lots of good products and is no way near as clear cut as the small accounting space. Trustpilot has been around for many years but many of the major software players in this space don't actively seek feedback on such platforms so what you will find are reviews either by those most evangelical or with a grudge/problem that isn't resolved which will likely represent a small minority of users. That's not to say they should be dismissed out of hand but I'd look for specific issues that are pertinent to your business and if you've done a trial or are trialling products test these issues out.

My biggest bugbear with many ERP systems is that you make lots of compromises for an all encompassing product and the sum of the parts are less than the value of dedicated seperately connected systems that are increasingly available. Some ERP systems now have reasonably active marketplaces that allow you to connect to 3rd party products, others do not, and these may be critical to your needs.

You'll find that many accountants wouldn't wish a Sage product on their own worst enemy. Much of this sentiment comes from experience with Sage 50, their newer cloud accounting product SBCA (bodged on launch) and Sage 200 to a degree. If you are spending significant sums here Sage Intacct and X3 are both good products, significantly better than 200 and may be worth a look.

If you could make Sage 200 work for you, it may that you don't need a full ERP system at all and could use a combo of Xero and something like Unleashed. I couldn't say without more info. The benefit of this is a fully integrated, completely modern system, but there may be compromises on things such as production management, for example.

As it happens Unleased has recently been acquired by the Access Group and if they can take 10% of the technology and features they've acquired it will be all to the good for the other Access Products. Access Financials is a reasonable system - I've come across it in the past and deal with clients who currently use it. But the same can be said for many other systems including Sage 200.

As for other systems to consider - there are many! Xledger, SAP, Netsuite, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics 365 are just a few that you may or may not have already considered and dismissed and this list is by no means exhaustive.

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Replying to johnt27:
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By WendyMatlock
13th Jan 2021 17:09

Hi

Thanks for responding, the actual software side we were quite happy with, the issue with the reviews and a couple of responses I have had from another site is their customer service/support, changing things after you have signed with them. i.e being told one thing before and it actually being something else after, as in extra charges. As far as the support is concerned you are tide in with them. It also appears that side of things has decreased over the last year or 2.

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By paul.benny
13th Jan 2021 16:24

I've had a quick look at the Trustpilot reviews.

Access market a range of products and it's difficult to tell which reviews are for which product and impossible to filter them to find relevant reviews. It's clear that there are some happy customers and some that are very dissatisfied.

Go back to the beginning with your selection process. Did you define your requirements in full, in detail? in particular, what are your requirements around bills of material, standard costs, labour and overhead absorption, subassemblies. Do you do much bespoking/customisation? Do you need any kind of lot or batch control? Do you deal with yields.

How do the products you are considering match against your requirements. Have you seem these demonstrated. Or just been told it can do it?

Have you been in contact with an reference sites? Are there user groups you can tap into? Is third party support readily available or are you locked into the one provider?

Some software companies buy in products/companies and bolt them onto their existing software with varying degrees of success. What's the case with your shortlist?

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By WendyMatlock
13th Jan 2021 17:16

Hi thanks

I did explain what we wanted to each of the software companies I approached. And honestly its not so much the actual software as there doesnt seem to be any negatives with that. It was more of the customer service/support side that has decreased alot over the past 2yrs. I had a couple of responses on another site and both were long standing customers that now felt they wouldnt recommend them to anyone.

We are still undecided whether to jump in as the software is okay and hope we get back up or to keep looking.

I dont actually know of any reference sites, if know of any could you let me know.
Thanks

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Replying to WendyMatlock:
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By paul.benny
13th Jan 2021 17:33

There's big a difference between explaining what you want (of course our fabulous product can do that.. sort of) and actually seeing how the software actually doing it. I'd suggest you fully write up your requirements and actually tick off each of those requirements when you've seen them in action. "It'll be in the next release" is the salesperson equivalent of "the cheque is in the post".

It might also be useful to grade your requirements into nice-to-have/desirable/essential.

By reference sites I mean businesses already using the software that you can 'visit' and discuss their experience. In your case, they would only be useful if they are manufacturers.

Support availability and quality is a significant concern and would probably be enough to rule out a product. This is a substantial investment - particularly in management time, and your directors are already having doubts. If in doubt, don't do it.

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By jonathan.kempson
15th Jan 2021 14:33

A couple of comments on the Sage side of things (I work for a Sage business partner):
- Sage's own manufacturing modules for Sage 200 were withdrawn from sale late last year. They now recommend Sicon manufacturing modules (which are fully integrated with Sage 200), so you'd need to check that what you had demoed to you was the Sicon modules.
- As far as I know Sage Intacct doesn't currently have manufacturing modules, so it's not an option for you as one of the other posters suggested.

You say that you work for a small business, and if so Sage 200 may be too big for you (and this would be true of a number of the other alternative posters have mentioned). Are you able to provide more details - some or all of rough turnover, number of staff, how sophisticated the company management is?

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Replying to jonathan.kempson:
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By WendyMatlock
15th Jan 2021 16:07

We had a demo of Sage 200 Professional/Sicon back in the summer, have just spoken to Sage again and are thinking of demoing it again but without the Manufacturing element this time.
The business is small in TO and we only have around 20 employees our stock is quite vast active upwards of 5,000 lines, on top of which we have BOM/Assemblys (actually on the stock list is too many to count) and our customer active database is upwards of 6000 (and that has been cleaned down from 12.5k lol) and hoping to clean it further.
We are old school in management, although I am trying to change that slowly.

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Replying to WendyMatlock:
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By johnt27
15th Jan 2021 17:24

Sounds like a perfect fit for something like Unleashed - one of the best stock management systems out there, so long as you don't need MRP type features, which is the only thing that sets Sage 200/Sicon apart. Plus, you'd have the benefit of a whole host of modern, time saving features like website/webshop, shipping, POS integrations and the B2B platform and sales app.

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Replying to jonathan.kempson:
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By johnt27
15th Jan 2021 17:36

jonathan.kempson wrote:

- As far as I know Sage Intacct doesn't currently have manufacturing modules, so it's not an option for you as one of the other posters suggested.

In much the same way that Sage 200's funtional manufacturing modules are dealt with Intacct's modules are a bolt on. The difference between the two is that Intacct is a true cloud product and therefore the integrations are via API, which is the modern, dare I say it, proper, way of doing things. The app marketplace can be found here: https://marketplace.intacct.com/ you'll find it leans towards the North American market, given it's history (Sage have only owned the product for about 3 years) but increasingly some good UK focussed apps are available.

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By tom123
15th Jan 2021 14:51

I have used Sage 200 for many years, we are a manufacturer, although I don't have the manufacturing modules.

Happy to answer any queries.

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Replying to tom123:
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By WendyMatlock
15th Jan 2021 16:11

You are obviously happy with it, do you use something else for the manufacturing or do you just make do. We do not have a manufacturing at the moment as we've never felt the need but as we are investing I thought it was worth investigating as it may streamline things and also give more clarity to costs.

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By tom123
15th Jan 2021 18:16

We make machines to order rather than a production line, plus all hand built and low volume. So probably limited gains from manufacturing works orders etc.

We do use bill of materials with some s small successes.

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