What is most valuable?
I like Synergy, that is the CRM system, now they sell them all together with Macola 10, so I don't know if that answer would be applicable, because it was seen as two separate entities, Macola ES, and Synergy, but I do like the CRM functionality of Synergy, that would probably be my favorite.
Whether it's light or heavy manufacturing with bill of materials, traceability, order entry, stuff like that, I mean, that's probably the number one strength of Macola ES, I would say, for light and heavy manufacturing organizations.
How has it helped my organization?
The number one way they improved this product was something called workspaces.
This is like a dashboard meant for, depending on your role with a specific organization, so maybe if you're in accounting and financials, you need to see accounts receivable, accounts payable, your general ledger, so you could set up a dashboard for when you first login -- to drill down into the most important parts of your job and requirements with the company that you need visibility into -- rather than having to start from scratch, so you could set up your own dashboard.
Macola is user based, so say you have seven primary users in your company, say
you have your president, your CFO, your controller, your accounting manager, your IT person, your operations person, and your warehouse manager, you can customize as many as you want, depending on how many users you buy and have each individual dashboard be tailored towards that individual and their job/role with the company.
What needs improvement?
I would say the user interface. For Macola ES, but that's the thing, they did improve it with Macola 10.
For Macola ES, I would say it was (previously) not aesthetically pleasing. It's more user friendly, now. They changed the interface, so there's not so many duplicate screens.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I mean, it's not Oracle, and it's not QuickBooks, it's right in the middle. It's meant for your seven to 100, or let's say seven to 50 user platform.
How is customer service and technical support?
Maybe a four or a five, but here's the thing:
Macola has distributors and resellers of it, so if you work with the company that has their own support staff of Macola, engineers and consultants, you're probably in good hands.
If you have to call Exact Macola directly as a developer, it's like calling Verizon;
you don't know if you're speaking with someone from India, or knows anything about your account, or they're seeing it for the first time.
It's better when you work with an organization that has trained consultants that support you, then you'll be in better hands.
How was the initial setup?
As long as you get training on it, you just set it up how you want to dive into
the system, so it's all on your dashboard, and you can just drill down into it seamlessly, so no that does not become complicated, it becomes complicated when you have to do training -- for each individual person to teach them how to use it.
But, once you get a group full of people and you teach them how to customize their own dashboard, then it becomes a lot easier. That's a big problem with Macola is the training, that's when these projects start to become expensive.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Training, let me start with that, I would highly recommend watching prerecorded videos.
Because when you hire Macola, or a support company, and to have someone come on site, it starts to get expensive. I would highly recommend for training, watching prerecorded videos, have your employees very engaged before bringing in a trained consultant to teach it to you.
Say you want Macola up and running by March 20th, but you got trained on it two months ago, well, everyone forgets, they don't know what to do, and then all hell breaks loose. So, I would highly recommend having some type of hyperlinks saved all in one place, so you can access those five minute videos at any time.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Epicor. SYSPRO. Microsoft Dynamics, Sage 100, I mean, they're all better than, no, I don't want to say better than Macola, but there's just more support behind it, it's more well known, and it's more price friendly. I don't think Exact Macola is super price-friendly. It's not bad, but I don't know, it's hit and miss.
What other advice do I have?
I would make sure A, they do a proof of concept.
So, they set up an environment where they can test it and to see if it meets their specific business requirements.
But, I would look at the reputation of the consulting firm that they engage, and make sure they can not only just sell it to them, but they can provide ongoing services and support it whenever needed.
I guess, the last thing is, I wouldn't just limit myself to Macola, I would talk to other companies and see, which one is the best fit, and do a business process assessment, so you get the comfortability to see, which one of those tier two solutions is going to do what you want it to. Don't get sold off the front.