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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    4

    Netsuite's SB functionality as a POS sytem

    Currently I have a "brick and mortar only" retail store and I'm looking to add e-commerce. I am intrigued by the all in one aspect of the Netsuite Small business package. However Iím looking for someone that has real world experience using NS as an in-store POS system, in addtion to using it to manage online transactions. Netsuite has told me it can be done, but I would like to find someone that has actually used it. We are currently using QuickBooks with the POS module.

    Great Forum

    Thanks

    Paul

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    52
    Netsuite is a good online asp solution with some very good functionality for an online store. Its especially good fit for small distributors serving the Business to Business marketplace where customer will want to track orders online and view order history.

    However if your business is primarily a retailer selling directly to consumers then it is unlikely that the core features in Netsuite will give you a competitive advantage. There are several solutions that cost significantly less to use then netsuite and more importantly a lot less money to continue to operate. Netsuite is extremely expensive in comparison to other technology.

    One major negative to Netsuite is that itís all on their server. Well that could be good or it could spell disaster for your business. Youíre locked into Netsuite with no portability out of netsuite once you moved your business on to their platform. They control youíre operational costs, when you upgrade and what you can do with every aspect of your business accounting, Inventory and ecommerce. Most businesses can not afford to give up that much control. Just imagine your Point of sale stops working because you loose your internet connection or the netsuite servers go down. Seems like a bad fit.

    Of coarse I am openly bias (At least I admit it). There are several very good solutions that will bolt onto QuickBooks and serve you well as ecommerce solutions. We sell and support actinic software http://actinic.com. You can read reviews here: http://marketplace.intuit.com/AppCar...4863&CatID=203 of other users who much like you are retailers using QuickBooks and have a need for a quality ecommerce solution.

    The three to six thousand dollars you save deploying with Actinic over Netsuite can be put to good use marketing your ecommerce site and adding more orders to your business.

    In all fairness there are some solutions that lend themselves better to certain technology. In order to make a proper recommendation a technology consultant will need to know what products you sell, how you sell them now and who you target as a marketplace. Only then can a consultant develop a proper technology functional requirement scope to match your business needs with a solution that fits your budget. I would be happy to provide you with more detailed information if youíre willing to share more information about your business.

    Brian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    You have confirmed some of the fears that I had about Netsuite. Even though I was told it could be used as a POS, I had reservations about its ease of use. The rep at NS that I was speaking to, really couldn't alleviate these fears.

    The one thing that intrigued me about NS was the built in CRM function and targeted email functions, we sell high-ticket items as well as clases and travel and we maintain a lot of information on our customers, currently in a seperate MS Acess database. I thought we could really get an advantage using NS's built in CRM features and it would also allow us to consolidate everyting into one program.

    Can you steer me towards any other products that have a CRM component.

    Paul

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    52
    Goldmine and Act are two very good low cost crm packages. Depending on your needs you may need some help deploying advanced functionality with Act or goldmine however their is a huge cost savings over a Netsuite or the solution from SAP.

    Goldmine is more advanced then Act and has some very nice add ons that can help you upsell and target / profile your customer base. Both Act and Golmine integrate with Quickbooks. IF your looking to add an ecommerce engine along with your CRM, consider using Oscommerce (free) or Actinic Software (we sell this and it integrates with Quickbooks very nicely) Also you could consider Storefront which has a crm component. Storefront again is more expensive to operate and its quickbooks link is weak.

    There is always HOTmetal, a solution we looked at carefully for a customer. It has excellent features for ecommerce. The crm is pretty good and it is very robust solution for the right merchant enviroment Hotmetal is a good solution.

    I would again suggest that you provide a bit more information about your goals, what your selling and what market your targeting. This information is critical to selecting a solution. As well your busget is a major factor. The solution from SAP is going to run you 30k minimum and netsuite deployment would most likely cost about 10 to 15k first year.

    I wonder if we are caught up on technology terms (too often techies like to generalize and use slick terms :-) You may need a good customer database that helps you market to your cleints more effectively via email and internet marketing. From what you have communicated I dont get the impression ecommerce is your need as much as internet marketing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    174
    Brian,

    Great information -- I like that you're getting people to think about what they want to accomplish and what their business needs are...and not just pushing a particular technology at them.

    Here's a food-for-thought article for anyone thinking about adding CRM.

    http://smallbusinesscomputing.com/bi...le.php/3521856

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for all the good leads.

    I am definitely not a techie, but I understand the majority of what is being discussed.

    Here is a little more info:

    We have a small retail store that sells Scuba equipment and training. We currently do not conduct any transactions online, but we would like this to change. At the same time we want to simplify the process that we use for sending group emails/online newsletters. Finally we would like to be able to better track customers and their purchasing habits, both online and in the store.

    Currently we are using QB with the QB POS module.

    I talked to Actinic, and one problem that came up was that even though their product interacts with QB, there is no way for inventory information to get back to the QB POS. So that if we were going to maintain one inventory for online and stores sales, we would have to manually enter the online sales info in the POS.

    While I don't mind spending a little money to get this done right the first time, we really don't have a tech person on staff so I am looking for something that will work right out of the box w/o a lot of tweaking.

    Paul

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    52
    I understand the need to update your inventory. There may be some good news here if you like the way Actinic Software works. Actinic is a Quickbooks SDK and beta partner for new version and releases of software. Actinic is now completing the development and testing of a new Quickbooks SDK link to the Quickbooks merchant services and POS systems. The new version to be released in the very near future will have the capabilities of moving orders and interacting directly with Quickbooks POS system. Inventory on your website will come from your inventory on the POS system.

    If you want more information on this new Quickbooks SDK link please contact me directly as not all Actinic support or sales persons are familiar with this new development. To be honest it will not be announced until the software is production in a couple of months.

    I would also mention that you should consider expanding your marketing approach beyond email marketing. Spam has deeply hurt the effectiveness of email marketing and there are other options which you may find more effective in delivering your message. Broadcast Email marketing can help but consider looking in to a web log that you syndicate and or organic search marketing for attracting new customers. possiably even pay-per-click which I have seen work well for other Dive shops that use Actinic.

    Tracking customers online and offline is critical to your success. I like when prospective customers tell me that they have this as a business objective. This means your searching for the most effective method to interact with your customers so you can increase your marketing and efforts where it will impact your business most. This is why we built the "elf" Extended logging format of Urchin web reporting tools for Actinic ecommcerce software. Urchin allows a merchant to see wich marketing campaign, which keyword phrase, which pay per click advertisment or email broadcast delivered a customer to the website and you can actually see real sales numbers with each marketing effort. This type of reporting is much more effective then google or overture conversion tracking. Urchin actually tracks organic search, email marketing and paid advertisement all under a single platform to enhance your understanding of your web site conversion.

    Again I hope this helps
    Brian Johnson 732-528-7635 x203

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    4
    Can anyone point out the major differences between the Actinic and Miva software.

    Paul

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    52
    Actinic & Miva differences. Both are good ecommerce products.

    The primary difference is the way the technology is deployed. Miva is a scripting tool which requires that you deploy your scripts with a web host that has the miva script engine of the same version installed and operating on their hosting server. Miva is not a stand alone solution. As well Miva is a server based technology and has all the operational drawbacks of Yahoo!store or storesense. You must add new products and do all site maintenance through the web based interface which can be difficult if you have a large catalog or a lot of daily maintenance.

    Actinic on the otherhand is a PC based technology much like Macromedia dreamweaver. A designer or a merchant can build their store as well as perform all maintenance to the webstore on the local PC and then upload the changes to the web server using ftp in the Actinic cleint software. Actinic can be hosted anywhere provide your web host has perl and cgi access which almost all commercial hosters support. There is no special server enviroment needed to run the Actinic software. Actinic support coneventions on the desktop like drag drop and odbc linking of databases for easy product maintenance. The Actinic product aslos has a bidirectional middleware called link for quickbooks 2002-2005. This allows a bidirectional flow of data between the Actinic software and Quickbooks making order processing and inventory management in Quickbooks easy.

    We are bias as sure solutions distributes and supports the Actinic Software in the US and Canada. however we have built and deployed ecommerce sites for Miva, Oscommerce, x-cart, Mail order manager, Everest and YAhoo! Stores. Each solution has its pluses and minuses depending on the customer and requirements. There are technology differences in solutions that should be looked at. You should also consider your own business goals and strategies. Your business may have a particular need or requirement that will make your business a success or left unchecked a failure. MAke sure you understand what your business needs to be successful and be sure the technology you choose can support that need. We always recomend the best solution for the business, which is why from time to time our team deploys a solution other then Actinic for a customer.

    I hope this information helps you.

    Brian

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    8

    POS for NetSuite coming soon!

    You Might want to check out OnSite's POS for NetSuite. The product is in beta and is suppossed to be launched end of this month. They have a solid overview on their site at: http://www.onsitetechnology.com/netsuite

    The company did some intense NetSuite integration/consulting work in the past for one of my customers and it was quality - I have confidence that this product will be exactly what is missing from the standard NetSuite product.

    Can't wait until it is released; I have a few retail customers that I think I can move to NetSuite if a real POS solution is available. I have experience qith QuickBooks, PeachTree and Mas90; I think hand-down NetSuite is the winner for most corps, though there are trade-offs - POS options being one of them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    80
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff Scott
    You Might want to check out OnSite's POS for NetSuite. The product is in beta and is suppossed to be launched end of this month. They have a solid overview on their site at: http://www.onsitetechnology.com/netsuite

    The company did some intense NetSuite integration/consulting work in the past for one of my customers and it was quality - I have confidence that this product will be exactly what is missing from the standard NetSuite product.

    Can't wait until it is released; I have a few retail customers that I think I can move to NetSuite if a real POS solution is available. I have experience qith QuickBooks, PeachTree and Mas90; I think hand-down NetSuite is the winner for most corps, though there are trade-offs - POS options being one of them.
    I see that Netsuite raised their price for their "distribution" edition yet again from $399/mo for the first user to $999/mo. Given their triple digit yearly price increases why would anyone want to take a chance on giving the complete control over their systesm?

    Gary

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    8
    This is another trade-off with going with NetSuite. A couple of my customer's were able to lock-in the current price for a few years by committing long-term. They were also able to get NetSuite direct reps to come down by maybe 30% or so on the licensign costs. I guess supply and demand mostly govern these prices. Also, keep in mind that with any other decent ERP software, you would ultimately need to purchase version upgrades AND possibly pay for labor in performing these upgrades. This is how NetSuite justifies it. It is not a cheap product - but you do get what you pay for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Harrison
    I see that Netsuite raised their price for their "distribution" edition yet again from $399/mo for the first user to $999/mo. Given their triple digit yearly price increases why would anyone want to take a chance on giving the complete control over their systesm?

    Gary

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff Scott
    Also, keep in mind that with any other decent ERP software, you would ultimately need to purchase version upgrades AND possibly pay for labor in performing these upgrades. This is how NetSuite justifies it. It is not a cheap product - but you do get what you pay for.
    Really? What about products like SugarCRM? Granted, SugarCRM isn't a full ERP suite, but you could combine it with something like Quasar Accounting for a full (albeit non-integrated) ERP system... and you'd never have to pay for version upgrades (or the software itself for that matter).

    Why should anyone need to purchase version upgrades, if the version they're using now works just fine? If the version they're using now doesn't work fine, why won't the S/W company fix the problems? These things (forced upgrades) are just a mechanism to introduce artificial scarcity into a marketplace to generate more income.

    Netsuite = $999/user to start;
    SugarCRM + Quasar Accounting = $0 to start even for hundreds of users.

    Cheers,
    -Josh

    http://www.linuxcanada.com
    http://www.sugarcrm.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    8
    If SugarCRM is free, why does it say $40/mo/user up to Enterprise-class CRM on site @$449/user/year? Looks like decent product, though. Salesforce.com would be a proper comparison. Very much stretching it if you put this up against NetSuite. There is certainly value in a complete ERP package vs. CRM only and having to integrate with several other products. It ends up a less than ideal situation where one has to many support issues accross the board.

    Also, I'll take a LArry Ellison backed company vs. an Open Source play anytime. Better odds that in 5 years, the company will still exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by jazzcat
    Really? What about products like SugarCRM? Granted, SugarCRM isn't a full ERP suite, but you could combine it with something like Quasar Accounting for a full (albeit non-integrated) ERP system... and you'd never have to pay for version upgrades (or the software itself for that matter).

    Why should anyone need to purchase version upgrades, if the version they're using now works just fine? If the version they're using now doesn't work fine, why won't the S/W company fix the problems? These things (forced upgrades) are just a mechanism to introduce artificial scarcity into a marketplace to generate more income.

    Netsuite = $999/user to start;
    SugarCRM + Quasar Accounting = $0 to start even for hundreds of users.

    Cheers,
    -Josh

    http://www.linuxcanada.com
    http://www.sugarcrm.com

  15. #15
    InfoSourcing -

    What is your definition of SMB? Microsoft talks about SMB having fewer than 50 PCs. IBM pegs it at 100 to 1,000 employees, Oracle at $500 million or less. But what about the one-person-part-time companies, and those with up to 10 or 15 employees? Those are the guys who are using osCommerce, MonsterCommerce, Miva Merchant, Yahoo!Store and similar systems, and apparently they are too small to even be called "small". Yet those are the kind of people who are much more likely to be reading a forum like this one, and I don't know about Interprise Suite, but NetSuite and Everest are totally inappropriate for companies like that. They need tools that are designed for the way they do business, and priced within their budgets.

    Barney Stone
    Stone Edge Technologies, Inc.

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