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QuoteWerks Review 27 of 30
Review: "QuoteWerks - the way quoting should be!"
https://www.trustradius.com/cpqQuoteWerksUnspecified8.448101
Stephen Siggs profile photo
February 06, 2014

Review: "QuoteWerks - the way quoting should be!"

Score 10 out of 101
Vetted Review
Reseller
Review Source

Software Version
Corporate
Modules Used
Quoting, SOP, POP and Invoicing

Overall Satisfaction

QuoteWerks is used across the business to manage all of our quoting, sales order processing, purchase order processing and invoicing; it also holds all of our product/service lists and pricing. QuoteWerks very effectively manages our business's back office processes.
  • Holding Product and Price Lists which are integrated into our website so there's just one place to manage this information
  • Effectively managing the quote, order and invoice processes and retaining easily accessible history
  • Tight, seamless integration with Swiftpage ACT! contact management and Sage 50 Accounts for a smooth transition of data
  • Highly flexible which has allowed us as consultants to successfully implement QuoteWerks into many different business types
  • Clients are increasingly asking about a cloud-based / SaaS version
  • As a developer, the ability to modify screens (add and move fields around) would be great (but I realise incredibly difficult to implement!!!)
  • I am struggling, but one other piece of feedback from prospective clients is that it could do with a face lift. While functionally rich and very stable, admittedly the UI is a little tired.
  • All of the examples provided! Faster lead conversion with the QuoteValet add-on; increased employee efficiency producing quotations from scratch, using templates of commonly quoted products and services or duplicating previous quotes; and better customer service because we can access information that much quicker with it being in one single database.
  • It is intuitive so very easy to get started with, but contains a rich depth of features that can be set up to an individual businesses requirements for even greater efficiencies.
  • The contact management and accounting integrations provide us with a seamless end-to-end back office solution.
  • From a partner / consultancy point-of-view it has provided with a good steady income for the last 9 years; from a developer point-of-view the stable API has provided us with an opportunity to create many product and custom add-on solutions.
  • Microsoft Word,Sage ACT!,Microsoft Excel,Sage 50 Accounts
As with many of our clients, we came from a place where we were using Microsoft Word and Excel to produce quotations. We looked at Sage ACT! (now Swiftpage ACT!) and Sage 50 Accounts as these were the other software products in the business at the time, but they were 'clunky', slow and didn't come close to offering the flexibility of QuoteWerks.
Unless a significantly better solution comes to market (because I don't believe there's one available at the moment) I honestly can't see our business running without QuoteWerks.
QuoteWerks is a very well rounded solution for any business that sells products and/or services. It is well suited to businesses using the more popular contact managers and accounting packages that want a seamless end-to-end solution and you shouldn't be put off by the fact that you might be using three different packages - it really is a very smooth transition from working in each. Where it is less appropriate is if you are looking for a proposal writing piece of software; there are some very good features in QuoteWerks that help with proposal writing, but arguably there are better packages available for this.

Product Usage

3 - All administrative tasks work through QuoteWerks, so each individual with whatever role they are performing at the time - marketing, sales, purchasing or accounts - will reference QuoteWerks for information. Customer support also use it in supporting our clients, plus the development team also get involved enhancing our existing integration solution products and developing new add-ons for QuoteWerks.
2 - As consultants and developers, we have a rounded knowledge of all of QuoteWerks features to be able to advise and train Users on how to get the most from the software. From our clients point of view, they will often have a in-house 'software champion' to manage their internal first line support (usually, but not exclusively, someone with a technical background) that has helped set up the system initially.
  • Quoting, SOP, POP and invoicing
  • Reporting on business and individual Sales Reps performance
  • Reviewing customers past purchases for possible supply of additional value added products and services
  • Reviewing lost prospect enquiries to understand how and why we lose sales
  • Integrating it to our website to update Product lists and prices
  • Building a business around it - providing consultancy, training and support services
  • Building the ConnectIt brand of integration and add-on software solutions
  • Internally QuoteWerks is very scaleable - it is definitely very capable of seeing our business through future growth
  • Externally we will no doubt develop further integration and add-on solutions to provide other businesses with more efficient back office processes
  • With clients, from day one they will often overlook the reporting side of QuoteWerks because there's nothing to report on; after 6-12 months, once there is data available, then it can be quite eye-opening as to what sort of information you can mine

Evaluation and Selection

Yes - We were using Microsoft Word and Excel to produce quotations, but this was inefficient and there was no real way to analyse the quotes we were producing. We wanted a solution which was easy to use, robust and would work with our existing (then Sage, now Swiftpage) ACT! and Sage 50 Accounts. We found QuoteWerks which sits very nicely in between the two.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
  • Analyst Reports
The single most important factors were the usability and features. This meant that we could very easily get started with the product and expand our usage as the business requirements evolved and our knowledge of the product expanded. I feel that the usability and features are the key reason for our success in reselling the solution across so many different business induatries and types.
I'm not sure that I would. The only reason for a change in the process would be if I was working in a different business with different business requirements - QuoteWerks may be more (or less) applicable in a different vertical. Albeit, while I wouldn't want to second guess the outcome or influence it, given the number of different business types we have successfully implemented QuoteWerks in I'd be surprised if it wasn't a good fit.

Implementation

Well, like implementing any software, I'd recommend either 1) installing it to a test PC first and either reading the manual or 'playing' with it to understand how it will work for your business before trying ti implement it, or 2) bringing in a third party (like us!) to assist in the implementation process.
Change management was minimal - Well, we learnt that change is good! We went from a clunky, very manual process of doing quotations in Word or Excel to having a system where we could create quotes much quicker and in a consistent way. This business benefit is also something that we have seen in businesses we've implemented QuoteWerks into - it's usually not so much changing the business process as refining it, having everyone do it consistently and using a different piece of software to perform the task.
  • Not for our business, but for others it is often having a server in place - it will work, but it is not recommended to run QuoteWerks from an individual workstation if multiple users are accessing it
  • Collating and de-duping Product and Contact lists can also be a challenge for a business
  • In all honesty, QuoteWerks is one of the easiest and stable software system I've worked with technically. Any issues are around exactly how to configure it fot it to work best and making sure that Users are trained properly on the way that is has been set up to get the most benefit.

Training

As I have said in the above: we found the product very easy to get started with and build on as the requirements of our business evolved. As software consultants and developers by trade, getting started with a new piece of software is part of what we do. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this approach to other businesses as it can be time-consuming and you can find yourself looking at things that really aren't relevant to how your business works - in-house, we probably don't use 50% of what QuoteWerks is capable of albeit in implementations we have had to know every nook and cranny of the features. As a QuoteWerks I'd be much more inclined to recommend getting an expert into short-cut the process and help you get the software set up.

Configuration

The Configuration options are very extensive, but we do occassionally get clients that would like modifications to areas of the software which are not available. Sometimes we can work around this with add-on development, but equally sometimes that is cost-prohibitive and can greatly increse the price of a piece of software which in what it provides out of the box is incredibly well priced as compared to similar products targetted at the same business size.
Yes - bring in the experts!!! :) Seriously: the best practices would be to understand your business process and how that should be applied to QuoteWerks, follow the User Manual documented guidelines on installing the software and ensure that all users are trained to use it in the same way given the configuration path that you have taken.
Yes - we have customized the interface extensively - There ahave been relatively simple changes such as changing labels to reflect our terminology and the data that we have chosen to enter into QuoteWerks. The most extensive changes that we have made (outside of developing add-ons to QuoteWerks) have been around the Document Layouts, reporting and the QuoteValet online quote review and acceptance tool. Given that the QuoteValet interface is customisable using HTML, then there are a lot of possibilities and options here if you are familiar with HTML and CSS.
Yes - we have added extensive custom code - Unlike some other software authors, the QuoteWerks API/SDK is freely available on request. This has not only allowed us to develop custom add-ons for our own business - specifically linking it to Sage 50 Accounts (UK version) and validating fields - but also for our clients businesses. For a developer, the QuoteWerks API is very easy to understand and offers many options to modify or enhance behaviours. Also with the database being open, there are opportunities to link directly to that to read information for use in other systems.
The culmination of the configuration and customisations that we have done are on our websites, this includes:
* Integrations with Sage 50 (UK), Sage 200 (UK), Sage MAS90/200, Pegasus Opera, Microsoft CRM and websites - www.connectit-software.co.uk
* Add-ons for Document validation, part ordering or invoicing www.connectit-workflow.co.uk
* Layouts and reporting - http://www.hilltopsit.co.uk/quotewerks/quotewerks_quote_analysis_report_pack.aspx

Support

The first line user support is excellent - 9 times out of 10 you are straight through to a very well trained technician and the 1 time out of 10 it is just a short wait. The only reason I have marked the rating down slightly is that as we are very well experienced ourselves anyway and it is rare that we need to contact the help desk; when we do it is usually to confirm an issue (there are very few, but there are some!) or for a very complicated problem. Now usually the technician we get can answer it, but if it needs to be escalated to the development team, then sometimes it can take a couple of days to get an answer. I hasten to add that this type of occassion is incredibly rare, but equally I want to provide a completely open and honest review.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
No - As Solutions Partners (resellers) of the product, we get free support from the Vendor.
Yes - Bugs are very rare in QuoteWerks software, but if the bug is application or business critial, then QuoteWerks author will very very quickly release an interim patch. Where the bug is less critical or there is a workaround for it, then they will wrap a fix up into one of the standard releases which generally come out every 4-6 weeks. I (and our clients) have always been very satisfied with this turnaround.
I guess the problem with this question is that being exceptional is QuoteWerks standard and so to describe an occurrence when I received a call from the VP when he is on vacation does not feel "exceptional". It should be seen as such however and certainly I wouldn't have expected this or the usual response times that QuoteWerks provide on a general day-to-day basis from other software vendors I have worked with in the past.

Usability

In my experience, QuoteWerks is incredibly easy to get started with and very intuitive to putting together your first quote. It also has a depth of features that has not only allowed us to enhance our own internal quote / order / invoice production, but also implemented into other businesses has increased their quote production significantly.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Creating your first quote
  • Modifying the Document Layouts to reflect your corporate image
  • Building Product and price lists to then create Product Bundles, Template Documents, etc. of commonly quoted items
  • The ability to create revisions of documents when a prospect changes their order
  • The ability to duplicate documents from similarly quoted items
  • Contact manager and account package integration
  • For complex businesses with lots of Products that want to use the Configurator, it can be time-consuming to set up, but very worth it once it's completed
  • Setting up layouts and management reports can be quite daunting to some users, but for people use to report writing software it's ok.
  • If your contact and/or product list is not easily accessible, then this can be a time-consuming task, but this is more of a business issue than QuoteWerks - once available, then it is very easy to import them into QuoteWerks
Yes - QuoteWerks mobile interface is QuoteValet where firstly you can present a quotation to your prospect via a website. Your prospect can then change options, ask questions or accept the quotation from the interface. This can very much speed up the cycle from quotation to acceptance, i.e. as opposed to emailing revisions of PDFs back and forth. As an internal tool, QuoteWerks QuoteValet can also be used to create quotes, report on prospect views of the online document and produce management reporting on Sales Rep performance. In honesty, the interface for creating quotes is a little clunky at the moment, but the author is investing a lot of time on the QuoteValet side of things at this time and it has come on no end since they first launched this.

Reliability

We've implemented QuoteWerks in both micro ("one man band") businesses as well as much larger organisations. With QuoteWerks Corporate editions option to host the backend database on SQL Server (a very powerful and scaleable database platform) it's possible to work effectively with QuoteWerks in an organisation with many 100 Users. The flexibility of the product also lends itself very well to evolving with a growing business and having various individual user configurations to help them work best with the software in their individual role in the organisation.
QuoteWerks is a very stable, robust solution. In my experience: bugs in the software are rare; any crashes or system failures are usually due to other infrastructure issues rather than the software itself, i.e. a problem with the network or server, an issue with a.n.other piece of software on the User's workstation that has a knock-on effect on QuoteWerks.
Once set up and running, and particularly when running the more reliable, faster Corporate edition rehosted to SQL Server, then QuoteWerks performs very well. The only reason for the slight mark down here is that QuoteWerks is very sensetive to having a database connection. If there is an issue whereby the connection to the server is lost (network glitch for example) then whereas Outlook (or a.n.other piece of software) might just wait and poll in 30 seconds time, QuoteWerks will crash and potentially a User lose all changes to the document(s) that they were working on.

Integration

For what is available (which is quite a lot and most of the things that you would want to get at!) then QuoteWerks is very good and easy to use. In terms of integration to read data, with the straightforwardly architected open database, it is very easy to understand what information is where to extract it for use in other systems. QuoteWerks does only offer API access through the UI to write document information, so if you wanted to update Customer, Vendor or Exchange Rate information (for example) then there are dangers of writing directly to the database which is not a best practive development technique.
  • Various contact manager: Swiftpage ACT!, Goldmine, Microsoft CRM, AutoTask, ConnectWise, Outlook, SalesForce.com (all out of the box)
  • Various accounts packages: QuickBooks and Peachtree (all out of the box)
  • Other packages with custom solutions: Sage 50 (UK), Sage 200 (UK), Pegasus Opera, Sage MAS90/200 ERP
With most of the contact management integration, QuoteWerks pulls Contact details out and pushes an Opportunity and the Document back. For the account packages (both those integrated out of the box and those using our add-on solutions) it takes the QuoteWerks Document (Quote, Order or Invoice) to create a Sales Order, Purchase Order and/or Sales Invoice. The integrations are what they need to be for general business use albeit some business would like deeper integration and they are very straightforward to set up.
  • Sage 300 ERP (was ACCPAC)
  • Computer 2000 / TechData
As far as I know, the vendors do not and do not plan to support Sage 300 ERP (as ACCPAC) and if we develop a solution I would not expect them to. The vendor does support TechData integration in the US, but not the equivalent Computer 2000 / TechData in the UK. We have already developed this solution and are just waiting for Computer 2000 to make a few changes to their systems before launching it. Again, I would not expect the vendor to develop a solution if we have ours available sensibly priced.
  • File import/export
  • API (e.g. SOAP or REST)
There are a lot of integration solutions already available and details are on the vendors website. For individuals with development knowledge (database architecture and SDK/APIs) then the freely available documentation is comprehensive and easy to follow. For businesses without an in-house developer, then there are also a large number of Development Partners (including ourselves!) that have experience of integrating with QuoteWerks.

Vendor Relationship

Both the vendor (Aspire Technologies in Florida, USA) and the UK distributor (IT Microscope) were very welcoming in both bringing us on board as a partner reseller, helpful in getting us sufficently informed on the software in order to resell it effectively and support us in growing our knowledge as we got more involved in the partner channel, add-on development, etc.
As I stated in the previous answer, both vendor and distributor have supported us well in growing our knowledge as we got more involved in the partner channel, add-on development, etc. I feel that they respect the fact that we are knowledgeable, skilled, ethical consultants with strong customer-focussed values that treat our clients as they treat their own clients. It is a relationship that works well in us working together to provide high class software and services.
The terms on all software licenses and UMP (Update Maintenance Program or Software Assurance as it is often know) is payment up front always. License fees are a one-off cost; the UMP program is an optional subscription to get new software updates as and when they are released (usually 6-8 releases / year).
Not specifically. Obviously there are team members who have been there longer and so consequently have more experience, but all of the team are highly skilled in the roles that they fulfil and we've seen new technical support team members go flying up the learning curve within just a few months. Be nice to them and they'll be nice back, I guess is my only advice, but then don't you treat and vendor like that!???

Upgrading

Yes - We've upgraded QuoteWerks many, many times - in our own live systems, on our demo, test and development workstations as well as for clients. Done properly (taking a backup first) it is a very straightforward process and when things don't go quite according to plan (very rarely) it is also easy to undo the change. Depending on the size of the implementation (size of database and number of users) down time is minimal. We would usually set an expectation of a couple of hours, but this is typically much quicker.
  • New features such as HTML email, enhancements to QuoteValet and undo
  • Generally improved quoting quality and ways to reduce the quote to order cycle
  • New opportunities for providing value-add features and services to our clients
  • The vendor is generally quote closed about what they are working on - not making promises to the reseller network and user-base that they might not meet a time line on
  • Further improvements and extensions of the QuoteValet web and mobile features
Yes - Smaller businesses (including our own) will often start on the Standard edition. As a business grows, and particularly if they evolve to have have remote Sales Reps that want to generate quotes on the road, will move to Professional which has features to allow Sync-ing of document information. As the database grows then QuoteWerks can become slow (particularly if there are a lot of users) so they will then move to Corporate. Moving up through the versions is quite a straightforward process - just using a different license key to unlock the features available. Rehosting to SQL Server in the Corporate edition can be tricky for non-technical users, but the process is well documented in the User Manual and if trained in SQL Server is not too difficult.