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Suggestions for our first CRM please.

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Philip Houston

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Post Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:52 am

Suggestions for our first CRM please.

Hi all!
Merry Christmas to you all.

There are many CRM systems available.
I've never used one before but I hear it will help to organise my work day and increase contact with my previous clients.

Using Flexisign 12
I have Sage 50 accounting software, can it be integrated from quotes to invoices?
I'm struggling to find the right one.

Sign tracker, Shop Vox, Sage CRM......

Feeling overwhelmed....lol
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David Hammond

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Post Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:18 pm

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

Hi Philip, I suggest you get the popcorn at the ready :lol: :lol: :lol:

We use Clarity, which links in with Sage for invoicing. We've two of their calc wizards, for pricing roll 2 roll jobs, and the other for our small format digital machine.

It does take some setting up, entering all your supplier costs, and updating them when they increase, and tweaking to calc wizards to suite your desired pricing. It's a case of checking the ink usage & machine time, against what you've told clarity the machine should be.

It has it's pro's and con's. Yes we're going to be more expensive than the company down the road who guess prices, and charge £25 for everything. But then we're not really interested in that work. Because we produce a variety of work, for a variety of customers, we've job history at our fingertips, prices, costs, specifications, and have it linked to our file server so each job automatically get's it's own job folders, so locating artwork is a doddle.

It will keep all your contact details together, you still need to do the contact part, and remember the data protection laws have changed around sending e-mails. It will provide loads of sales data, what quotes you've sent so you can be more proactive at sales, and if you spend enough it'll plan your production schedule (we don't bother with that)

I know James @ group101 is an advocate of ShopVox, others are happy using their excel spreadsheets or other methods.

In my opinion whichever CRM you choose, you need to commit fully to it, and systemise your company to work around it, and I'm sure you'll benefit, it's when you do that quick job and don't put it in the system, then they come back and all the artwork/colours/spec are missing. :bangshead:

There are more generic CRM systems such as Zoho. We use a combination of Clarity for quoting/Sales/CRM, Trello as a job board, and google calendar for planning.
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Philip Houston

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Post Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:27 pm

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

Thanks for the info David.
There is only the three of us here.
Good to hear about another product to merge with sage.

I'll check it out also.

:thumbsup:
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Luke Culpin

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Post Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:09 pm

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

We’ve used Clarity before, but I didn’t seem to want to use it! I used tharstern is a previous job at a printers, it was an amazing system which I would love to have, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to justify that cost!! I am keen to get a good look at shopvox!
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Philip Houston

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Post Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:19 am

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

Hi Luke, check out Sign Tracker also.
And tell me what you think of it?

Philip
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Karl Lewins

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Post Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:56 am

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

I use shop vox and it's really good, once you get it all set up it's an excellent product but think it only links with quick books and xero
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Luke Culpin

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Post Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:17 am

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

Philip Houston wrote:Hi Luke, check out Sign Tracker also.
And tell me what you think of it?

Philip


Thanks for the suggestion! Just looking at screenshots, it actually looks really user friendly! I think I may well give this a go!!
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Philip Houston

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Post Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:50 am

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

Hi Luke,
Joe seems keen to break into the UK market. Providing an extended trial period. I also see that they do webinars to show the benefits of their software before we jump in.

Philip
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Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 08.46.36.png
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Robert Lambie

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Post Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:57 am

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

We already have a job tracking system of our own, works very well and been using it about 7 years now.

I looked into some that are available, but the bit that got me was it is priced "per user".
Now do not get me wrong, I am more than willing to pay well for a good product. But tracking jobs throughout the work place, requires everyone that works for you to be able to monitor job progress steps.
So ten employees is costing £900 just to RENT the "basic" job board or £2500 for RENTING the pro version, and it is this cost every year here on.
This was for shopvox, which of them all i liked the modern look/feel to it. But every employee you add your bill and commitment goes up!

we have multiple signlab packages, costing in region of £2000+ per package but these are one off payments and i have the choice to sell it or whatever at a later stage.

I looked into it a while back, so maybe things are not just as they appeared to me, so i am hoping someone tells me i am wrong and its worth looking at again.
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Philip Houston

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Post Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:04 am

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

Lol, sounds like there's some space in the market for your solution Robert.
£££'s
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Jamie Hunt

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Post Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:09 pm

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

Robert Lambie wrote:We already have a job tracking system of our own, works very well and been using it about 7 years now.

I looked into some that are available, but the bit that got me was it is priced "per user".
Now do not get me wrong, I am more than willing to pay well for a good product. But tracking jobs throughout the work place, requires everyone that works for you to be able to monitor job progress steps.
So ten employees is costing £900 just to RENT the "basic" job board or £2500 for RENTING the pro version, and it is this cost every year here on.
This was for shopvox, which of them all i liked the modern look/feel to it. But every employee you add your bill and commitment goes up!

we have multiple signlab packages, costing in region of £2000+ per package but these are one off payments and i have the choice to sell it or whatever at a later stage.

I looked into it a while back, so maybe things are not just as they appeared to me, so i am hoping someone tells me i am wrong and its worth looking at again.


Would you be interested in sharing your job tracker Robert at a fee!
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Robert Lambie

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Post Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:40 pm

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

Jamie Hunt wrote:Would you be interested in sharing your job tracker Robert at a fee!


Philip Houston wrote:Lol, sounds like there's some space in the market for your solution Robert.
£££'s


Our site Memberships are getting a bit of a shake up in 2018 as it is, and I have been considering adding the option of the job tracking system to certain level of membership for some time now. Reading the replies here and in and some emails i have received over the last few days based on same. I think I will do just that, so watch this space!
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David Hammond

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Post Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:52 pm

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

Sounds exciting Rob. :smiles:

We use Trello as a job board (free). It's like an electronic t-card board, displayed in our office on a TV, as it's cloud based we can access it from anywhere.

On a site survey all the measurements, photo's, and notes are instantly uploaded. We just move each card along the board as things progress.

Planning is done in google calendar (free), again displayed on a TV in the office.

Clarity handles all our quotes and stores all the customer info.
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Robert Lambie

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Post Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:46 pm

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

The job tracking system is cloud based also David, so same applies, login from anywhere or device. actually my whole business is cloud based these days, meaning we are about 95% paper free (outside production)

Trello, its a nice dynamic software and has a good cosmetic appeal to it, but the downside "i felt" was its a bit too "drag and drop" friendly, move here, there etc had hidden attachments that need clicked to expose and the like. (this was about 4 years ago now, so may have changed) My issue was when there was maybe 40 jobs/customers in a que at once and multiple staff dragging from one section and back to next, it got all a bit messy.

Clarity I looked at also, not for a job tracking board, but for a complete CRM. and it didnt do it for me.
Maybe its the graphic designer in me, but all the old clipart type icons and the like just didnt give me the feel to it i wanted and i guess its "not doing all you want from it" either if your bolting on Trello and Google Calender as a work around. If its just used for pricing jobs, ide use an Excel spreadsheet which is as you say, free.

This was my point in looking at Shopvox, i doubt it will give me everything i want, but it was leaning in the right direction. modern feel etc. just how it was priced, well not so price, more the ongoing financial commitment. and by that i dont mean shopvox was alone. Oh actually there was one other thing, it had the option to connect with quickbooks, but not Sage. We run SageOne online.
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David Hammond

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Post Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:05 pm

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

Got to agree until recently Clarity did look dated, recent updates have brightened things up.

Whilst clarity does generate quotes, it also stores our customer details, historical records, job sheets, costings, and it links to our file server so everything is organised.

We do a lot of print, so lots of repeat orders, endless specifications and suppliers, so makes admin a doddle.

We're nowhere near your staffing level yet! We used to use spreadsheets (if we were lucky) or just guess prices, filing cabinets of job sheet, CD's of artwork :yikes:
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Robert Lambie

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Post Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:28 pm

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

Good to hear Clarity has refreshed its look/feel....

:lol: CDs with artwork, thats nothing! back in the day we had drawers and drawers of 4.5" Floppy Disks.
I remember thinking we had gone all modern when we switched to 100 megabyte Zip Disks.
Not bad considering the whole company ran on only 14 fonts and one outline module, combined costing about £3000
throws a bit of light on how far we have come since starting out.

A filing cabinet was "so organised" back then. :lol:
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Colin Crabb

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Post Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:37 am

Re: Suggestions for our first CRM please.

I remember thinking we had gone all modern when we switched to 100 megabyte Zip Disks.
God, I remember them!.
My first after-school job at a local printers in the 80's had all these typesetting machines that used jumbo 8-inch floppy disks, printing out onto bromide paper ready to paste up artwork for plate making - Ohhh that was cutting edge for a while.... till the first PC arrived.

CRM - we're using a custom set up in Microsoft Access at the moment, with job details that feed into a calendar, but have been looking around to improve this with integrating invoicing and banking.

Roughly what we looking at for clarity?
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Jamie Hunt

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Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:21 pm

Suggestions for our first CRM please.

Robert Lambie wrote:
Jamie Hunt wrote:Would you be interested in sharing your job tracker Robert at a fee!


Philip Houston wrote:Lol, sounds like there's some space in the market for your solution Robert.
£££'s


Our site Memberships are getting a bit of a shake up in 2018 as it is, and I have been considering adding the option of the job tracking system to certain level of membership for some time now. Reading the replies here and in and some emails i have received over the last few days based on same. I think I will do just that, so watch this space!

Ohh great stuff can i upgrade to gold membership if I’ve just signed onto Bronze with a Discount?

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