What Is Spruce?
Spruce provides business management software that helps home and building supply businesses improve productivity and control costs.
With comprehensive document management, you can focus on growing your business instead of digging through piles of paper. Advanced reporting and analytics help you stay informed and make decisions based on your business. Because Spruce is cloud based, you can access the system from anywhere and rest easy knowing your data is always backed up and protected.
Who Uses Spruce?
Spruce is ideal for: LBM Dealers, Hardware Stores, Home Centers, Kitchen & Bath Showrooms, Plumbing/Electrical/HVAC Supply, Window/Door/Millwork, Tile/Flooring Supply, Masonry/Brick/ Concrete Supply.
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Reviews of Spruce
6 months in and so far, so good!
Comments: We have upgraded from QuickBooks POS and we are seeing greatly improved inventory control, prompt invoicing, delivery management and faster "in person" point of sale transactions.
Easy point of sale transactions, lots of options for training/classes, Cayan credit card processing integrates well, driver/delivery app was easy to learn and institute, document management is easy and physical inventory/ data entry was a snap.
Data conversion could have been a smoother process.
Comments: As with any software of this nature it is only as good as the information you put into it. If you do not input purchase orders correctly or receive the product correctly it will not keep your inventory correct or cost correct. The learning curve is not high but you do have to take the time to learn how to use the software and what the different functions will do. As with any software change or upgrade do your homework first and list out your expectations to see if the software you are looking at will meet those expectations.
Very user friendly. POS works well and is quick to get customer invoiced. The document management built into the software is very good and eliminates the need for paper files. Can easily tag external documents and scan into the software and tag to specific invoices, orders, quotes. Customer support has been great to deal with. They provide a good online help system with videos and documents to explain how to work with the software. There are lots of add on features if you need them. The implementation went very smooth when we switched over from the ECS PRO system we were on. The day we went live we were up and running that afternoon on the ECI Spruce system. The implementation team outlined a course of action over several months to get everything in place and tested before the actual go live date. The key to the success we had was in the planning done by Spruce and on us acting on there advice and getting the training and pre implementation check list done.
Crystal reports (optional add on) does take some time to get used to and is a little hard to use on initial setup. But overall it offers good reports.
Poor Customer Service
It has a good inventory system. But if you are coming off anything but another program that your inventory is already in (i.e. a manual system) be prepared to spend a lot of time updating and correcting many things. It could work well for many industries, but you need to be sure yours is one of those (i.e. lumber) and you ask many questions before agreeing to this program. We have made it work for us since we've invested so much money, but it hasn't been easy.
Customer Service is horrible. You call in and basically get a call center of people who can look up the same things you can look up through their on-line help. Otherwise they have to send you to a support specialist who typically has to call you back. It takes quite a while (days not hours) for them to actually call you back and typically I have to call and raise a fuss to get a hold of anyone. The GL is primitive. There is no easy way to get reports and any information back out of the system. The only way I've found to do this is you have a learn Crystal reports, purchase the product or pay more money to have them write you a report. This is a very rigid program. If you have anything special or any "different" way of completing tasks, you will have to conform to the program. It's very difficult to get the program to conform to you. Also if you have invoice terms rather than statement terms, you will not get a proper statement to send to customers monthly. They consider each invoice the "statement". And if you have discounts on those invoices you cannot change that amount if your customer does not take that discount.
ECI Software Solutions Response
4 years ago
Katie, I'm sorry to read that you feel our support team isn't getting back to you in a timely manner. Our front-line customer service reps do handle the initial calls to hopefully resolve the easy requests and keep our support specialists free to help with the more critical/urgent questions. We are going to reach out to you and review your support inquiries, so that we can understand how/where we can better meet your expectations on response times. We can also discuss your reporting/statement concerns to understand what you need and how to accomplish that in the software. Again, we appreciate your feedback and hope we can help you with these issues soon. Your Spruce Team
Review of Spruce at Cleveland Lumber
Comments: We have seen much greater control over our inventory, also we are able to monitor exceptions easier through reporting. Also, purchasing has been easier by being able to see our ordering history and usage on different products. Our daily balancing procedure has been simplified thanks to Spruce. While our staff has struggled some to adapt to the system most of this is due to their refusal to go to training.
As a manager I like the features that allow for reporting on data collected through the normal course of business such as product use by month. Also, the ability to price certain items based on a fixed margin based on current cost if selected. Lastly, while not a uncommon feature, I like to be able to send documents such as invoices via e-mail which our last system wouldn't do. We also like the Delivery feature that allows sales people to see the status of there delivery. There are many more, but these are just a few.
While probably not an issue at every business, our staff is a little older, less sophisticated and not very computer literate. It would be nice to have people that specialize in each segment of our business to come spend more time doing individual training to get them up to speed on their specific roll in the new system. It can be overwhelming for the implementation specialist to train everyone and also for those like myself to train everyone in rolls that I am not so familiar in such as Manufacturing.
Do not switch to Spruce
Comments: It has not been a good experience overall. Support is poor, more senior people, our account manager and their Canadian salesperson have no desire to support us anymore either.
There are a few features that are handy and these are the only features they show you in the demos. Document linking is helpful but very clunky. Connecting POs and special orders and importing documents.
The POS is very slow and follows no sales logical. Clearly the developers do not understand the end users. Too many clicks to process a sale. The POS often disconnects from our credit card terminals putting us out of business for hours at a time. This happens once weekly, and Spruce Support is not very helpful in ensuring that this does not continue to happen. From the accounting end, we are finding errors in the math with no solutions provided. The statements are very difficult to understand, for all our customers and after having spoken to other Spruce Users they have the same issues. Yet when we asked for a better solution, no progress was made. The customer support is slow and we're often left with "it's just this way" or with no viable solution. We're very unhappy with the software