Consider the following: Algorithm has been the top reseller of Macola software since 1999 by any measure. We sell and consult with Macola customers in 40 states. Yet a significant part of our business is selling, implementing, designing and supporting WiSys installations. A few years ago, ‘significant’ meant that for every $8 of WiSys revenue, there was only $1 – yes, one dollar – of Macola revenue. And as I’ve mentioned, we have a very large Macola practice.
In that same time frame, how much of the Macola Warehouse Management System did we sell?
And quite frankly, we would have earned higher commissions from Macola by selling their WMS rather than WiSys.
Oh, we have customers who have WMS; customers who were sold the product before they asked us to become involved. We support them as best we can while we demonstrate to them that there’s a better path. Am I bashing Macola WMS for a third-party product?
Not at all.
WiSys has been a WMS system both certified and recommended by Macola periodically for several years (though what drives this is less a matter of superior functionality and one more of economics). And in all fairness, I have heard that Macola WMS is fine in the right situation. But we’re not willing to decipher those situations in such a critical area.
So, you may wonder why WiSys and not Macola’s WMS? It really comes down to three points:
1980’s Technology vs. Today
- Macola WMS uses polling technology. In short, the periodic import of a flat file instead of real-time data collection. We have encountered more than one company with an employee (or 2) whose full-time job is to determine whether the transactions in the flat file updated Macola properly or ‘drop’, and then reconcile the differences. Full. Time. Job. Yikes.
- WiSys WMS is real time. If you scan a transaction, it’s done. No drops, no reconciliation, no pause.
One-Trick Pony vs. a Platform for Change
- In those circumstances where Macola WMS works, that’s what it does: scan – poll – update Macola. And that’s all it does.
- WiSys, through its business objects and Agility tools, offers a platform to change Macola software to meet unique business requirements. When many companies are being forced to shoehorn their business processes into a less-than-flexible ERP system, with WiSys we have the ability to make Macola a much better fit for the customer’s process. Every day our consultants work with customers to knock down inefficient processes and deliver true ROI by optimizing those steps.
Technical Support Resources
- Until recently, Macola had only two key resources that kept the system afloat. And of course, customers became wholly dependent on these two resources to keep them out of the way of a runaway bus! Macola had one designer/programmer and one field consultant. More on this in a moment.
- Conversely, the Algorithm team make it an integral part of any engagement to transfer knowledge to our customers so they ultimately become self-sufficient with WiSys. And either they (or just about anyone who knows SQL server and watches a few videos) can make the necessary future change to continue to support business processes using the WiSys platform. Worst case you have us, 30 other resellers, and WiSys themselves to support you.
If you think I’ve been a bit one sided in this op-ed piece, let me share another’s opinion. Remember that bus I mentioned above? In May of 2018 ECi, the parent company of Macola, decided they no longer needed the services of those two resources and severed their employment. I’ll leave it to you to figure out why - they’ve not told us.
In retrospect, perhaps ECi thought they were a little heavy-handed, as I’ve heard there may be some contractual relationships to be established with these gentlemen. But as of this writing, one has a shingle out on LinkedIn as an independent consultant, and the other as a software designer.
We certainly wish them well, and there should be plenty for them to do on a run out basis. But as for Algorithm and our customers, we don’t see that as a long-term strategy and so we’ll continue our perspective of promoting one, and well, not promoting the other.
If you have any questions on this or any other topic, please let us know! We’d love to continue this conversation or start the next one.