Looking for a free POS with a free card reader?
- Date Established
- Integrates with most credit card processors
- Strong shipping integration
- Customizable loyalty programs
- Very strong customer management features
- Higher cost than similar systems
- Slightly higher learning curve to master
Do you know what holds the title of unlikeliest locale for the future of software development? The correct answer is Estonia, a small European nation whose official language doesn’t even have a future tense. Skype was Estonia’s first major export, and venture capitalist/ERPLY board member Saul Klein believes that “ERPLY can do for business software what Skype did for telecom.” This Estonian outfit is making waves in a growing POS market, and attracting venture capital like flies to a plate of rosolje.
Started in 2009 by Kristian Hiiemaa and his crew of five, ERPLY was created with the intent to provide proprietors everything they would need to manage their businesses with one inexpensive, stable, and easy-to-use software solution. And they’ve succeeded on most fronts. ERPLY is a cloud-based service whose name indicates it’s more than just a simple point of sale system. ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, which is the technical way of saying “this software organizes a lot of data.” Any ERP software worth its salt needs to hit a list of set criteria: real-time operation, POS functions, HR capabilities, supply chain management, customer relationship management, accounting capabilities, and access controls. ERPLY satisfies these criteria, hence the ERP of the name. I’m not sure what the -LY in the name is for, though it certainly seems like some kind of clunky adverb which describes how the software goes about its business: it erply handles POS by integrating all these back office functions.
ERPLY is cruising along at breakneck speed. Their latest numbers show 20% growth every month with over 100,000 paid subscriptions.
In an interview with BBC News, Hiiemaa spoke of ERPLY as an equalizing factor in the retail landscape, saying the software’s mission was to “bring small companies back to the table so they can fight against the big corporations.” (Note to self: never share a table with a rival Estonian).
I put ERPLY through its paces recently to see if the software achieved the goals Hiiemaa set, and I liked what I saw. It’s an overstatement to say store operations can be started in minutes—ERP by its very nature is too complicated for that—but once you get a handle on ERPLY, it’s a powerful and invaluable tool in getting comprehensive control of your business processes.
Don’t have time to read an entire review? Take a look at our top rated Point of Sale solutions for a few quick recommendations. Every option we present here offers excellent customer support, detailed user interfaces, and easy-to-use software, all for a reasonable price.
Table of Contents
- Cloud-Based or Locally-Installed:
- Specific Industry:
- Specific Size of Business:
- Ease of Use:
- Hardware and Software Requirements:
- Product Features:
- Integrations and Add-Ons:
- Compatible Credit Card Processors:
- Customer Service and Technical Support:
- Negative Reviews and Complaints:
- Positive Reviews and Testimonials:
- Final Verdict:
All pricing tiers come with a 14-day free trial, which won’t extort a credit card number from you. Once you’re convinced, you can then upgrade to one of the paid plans listed below.
- $200/month per location.
- 1 hour training.
- EMV payments.
- Online Tickets.
- $350mo per location.
- Online priority tickets.
- Phone support.
- Conversion of Data.
- Includes everything in the Standard edition.
- Pricing tailored to your specific situation.
- Elite support.
- Enterprise Elite Onboarding.
- Includes everything in the Pro edition.
For more detailed information check out ERPLY’s pricing page.
Cloud-Based or Locally-Installed:
ERPLY is a “Cloud Hybrid System.” This means it works both on and offline. The software is locally installed, but data retrieval is now in the cloud. They’re calling it a “Cloud Hybrid System,” which means that its primary function relies on connectivity with their servers, yet an offline mode is available as a failsafe.
ERPLY is designed specifically for retail operations, from the POS to the backend ERP features.
Specific Size of Business:
ERPLY markets themselves as a small to medium sized business solution, and from CEO Hiiemaa’s words it sounds as though development is focused on alleviating the headaches of the small business specifically. The pricing certainly is in line with that standard, but again, ERP software by its nature isn’t just for the small boutique looking to simplify the sales process. And the latest developments on ERPLY have seen even more features added, making it a complete solution that should be attractive even to the largest of franchises and chain stores.
Medium sized businesses struggling to keep up with the management of their retail operations are going to see the biggest upside, as ERP software traditionally has large upfront costs that are out of the midsize retailer’s means. With ERPLY’s cloud-based, no-contract monthly service model, investing in such robust software and management tools becomes a lot more attractive to a wider swath of business owners.
Ease of Use:
Upon signing up and logging in for the first time, I was presented with a full-featured dashboard. The “So Simple A Child Could Use It” standard referred to by CEO Hiiemaa may be true of the register itself, but getting products into your system in a meaningful, erply way (I’m sticking with that as an adverb) certainly isn’t child’s play. Again, this is inherent to the concept of ERP and not a fault of the software, per se. Everything about your business is interconnected in some way, and true ERP software provides the tools to organize these pieces into a functioning whole. Don’t expect to turn it on and be ready to go in minutes; inventory, storage, sales, invoicing, and purchasing are all gears in the machine of a retail operation and, as with any machine, you need to assemble the parts in a thoughtful, deliberate way to keep everything running smoothly. Once you’re up and running and used to the whole environment, the clean design and surprising speed of the software should make daily operation a breeze – but there WILL be a learning curve.
Hardware and Software Requirements:
You’d think that the device running point of sale software would need to be physically present. But you would be as wrong as I was. The whole instance of your ERPLY installation can be accessed through a web browser. In a pinch, any computer with a functioning Internet connection and web browser would suffice.
As for peripherals, ERPLY’s site features a handy-dandy list of compatible hardware:
- Payment Devices – Pick your favorite credit card scanner, and it’s probably on this list. There are several MagTek, ID Tech, and Ingenico devices, along with Atos Worldline Yoman and PayPal Here for all your international needs. And in observance of the EMV chip card liability switch that occurred in October 2015, the Verifone MX 915 has become available in the U.S.
- Printers – All EPSON and Star printers are supported, though ERPLY provides direct printing to EPSON products for faster printouts. You could also use most generic printers such as Legacy Com and LPT.
- Cash Drawers – Though they feature Star, APG, Partnertech, and the M-S CF-405 cash drawers on their site, the system is compatible with any drawer connected through a printer or via a direct port.
- Customer Displays – Again, ERPLY prefers Star, Jarltech, or Birch displays, but any USB, COM, or LPT display pole will work.
- Scales – You’ve got your choice of Mettler Toledo Viva, Avery Berkel FX, or Dibal scales.
- Scanners – For PC operating systems, Honeywell is recommended. Socket Mobile and Motorola are optimal for the iPad, but most USB and Bluetooth scanners in keyboard mode will work.
Self-labeled “Hardware Agnostic,” ERPLY claims its software can be used with virtually any hardware you’d like as a POS computer. “That said,” they add, “at the lower end of the performance spectrum you may see some performance problems.” Here are their suggested specifications:
- 1 GHZ or higher processor
- 1 GB RAM
- 3 GB hard drive space
- 1024 x 768 screen resolution
ERPLY’s functions are extensive. I’m going to highlight the features that I think make ERPLY stand out, and if I haven’t listed something you’re looking for, don’t assume it’s because the feature is not there. More likely, it’s because I simply got tired of typing.
- All Tender Payments – ERPLY processes credit card, cash, and check payments, and even creates, redeems, and tracks gift card payments. Customers can also have “house accounts” with credit lines that purchases can be made against, and the ability to send out credit statements or invoices.
- Real-Time Reporting – Current register totals from all locations can be viewed at any time.
- Shipping Integration – The shipping module connects to all major shipping carriers like FedEx and UPS, providing real-time quotes based on weight, shape, and shipping methods. Print out labels at the register, slap them on, and send your items on their way.
- Customizable/Printable Purchase Orders – Using ERPLY does not mean you have to sacrifice company branding. Create custom purchase orders with your own company logo and font.
- Supplier Database – Keep track of your vendors including necessary contact info, contracts, and items purchased. This automatically connects to the PO creation system for quick ordering.
- Automated Reordering – Define restock levels for products so the system can automatically generate and send purchase orders to your suppliers when your inventory is running low. Set a maximum stock level so you don’t order more than you can afford at any given time.
- Track Purchase Order Status – Keep track of your purchases based on what has arrived, what is in transit, what has been received partially, and what has been received damaged.
- Purchase Reports – Take a look at all your purchases for a certain period with easily accessible and understandable purchase reports.
- Easy Inventory Management – View stocks at each store location or all locations combined with easy transfer of items between stores. ERPLY manages COGS (cost of goods sold) using the FIFO (first in first out) system. You are able to generate multiple price lists through the inventory module so that pricing can be determined by location, customer groups, or any promotions/sales you might have.
- Easy Sales Promotions/Coupons – ERPLY contains a function for the implementation of promotions like BOGO or 50% off next purchase. Furthermore, the system has the ability to create, print, scan, and redeem coupons. For easy insight into the return on investment, detailed coupon reports allow you to see how many coupons were redeemed for which items and by which customers.
- Multiple Tax Rates – Whether based on product or store location, tax rates can be customized.
- HR Capabilities – ERPLY has a built-in time clock for employee time tracking with clock reports you can generate based on employee, store, and/or time period. Additionally, the system has schedule management capabilities (so employees can see their schedule right in the system), manages payroll and commissions (whether sales-based, product-based, or tiered), and supports multiple security parameters for individual employees so you can control what each employee is able to access and what is restricted (can also be done by groups, e.g. “cashiers”).
- Advanced Customer Management – With ERPLY you can record and manage very detailed customer contact information, including name, address, phone, email, business info, Twitter ID, Facebook name, webpage URL, loyalty card codes, bank name, bank routing info, special discounts, credit limits, overdue penalties . . . everything other than their fingerprints. The system is also able to record each customer’s sales history, allowing storeowners to keep track of frequent purchases to send customers recommendations, coupons, promotions, discounts, or other specials. Furthermore, the system is able to create and implement loyalty programs for promotional incentives.
- Email Linking – ERPLY can link all your emails together from one location, connecting all your customer emails at the same time, allowing for easy sending of customer documents like receipts, quotes, or promotions.
- Barcoding Feature – ERPLY’s barcoding feature allows you to create and print your own barcodes, which can even be customized with your own business logo.
- Customizable Sales Reports – With 100+ basic report templates to choose from, the filtering options—like employees, products, date, time range, customer—create an insanely large amount of permutations, meaning there probably isn’t an insight into your business that ERPLY isn’t capable of providing. This customization can allow for easy pinpointing of slow versus busy times, which in turn provides information for potential adjustments in inventory, staff, or promotions. Also, reports for different locations can be prepared by date range, making it easy to delineate busy times by location, as well as stores that may need more promotion in their area.
- Dashboard Feature – ERPLY’s “dashboard” widget bar provides a quick look at daily figures and can be customized to present whatever information you desire, including but not limited to: last year’s numbers compared to this year’s, total revenue for the day, total units for the day, number of sales for the day, average daily transaction, current product inventory, returned items, and new tasks. The “dashboard” can be specified to provide a glance at various sales reports as well, like sales by employee, top daily sales, top monthly sales, and monthly sales summary.
Integrations and Add-Ons:
There are a few add-ons that are available with your ERPLY subscription:
- QuickBooks – This integration allows you to send new invoices from ERPLY into QuickBooks, synchronize customers between ERPLY and Quickbooks, and send invoice payments from QuickBooks to ERPLY.
- ERPLY Accounting – A separate offering from ERPLY, this suite of online accounting tools can be integrated with the POS for seamless management of your inventory and the money that flows around it. The “Small” accounting package–less than 500 invoices per month and only one user–is included with a Retail Chain or Enterprise subscription to ERPLY.
- Warehouse Web App – A complementary application to the back office functions, this mobile app is designed to be used in the warehouse or on the shop floor. Configure shipping and receiving rules, receive products from suppliers, and ship/receive products from another warehouse from most tablets and smart devices.
- PrestaShop, Magento, Shopify – These common online shopping carts are able to connect to ERPLY, enabling you to take online orders. Transactions, inventory levels, and CRM are all tied directly into your ERPLY admin.
- ERPLY eCommerce – ERPLY now offers the ability to build and customize your own eCommerce platform that works seamlessly with your ERPLY system and can be integrated directly into your company web page, blog, and social channels. Keep in mind, though, that this is not a do-it-yourself feature and will require the services of an external web design and development agency.
In addition to these integrations, ERPLY also makes the API (Application Programming Interface) for its inventory backend freely available so that anyone can engineer their own custom integrations.
Compatible Credit Card Processors:
ERPLY has recently taken a major leap forward, partnering with just about every big name processor around the globe, and even if your preferred processor isn’t on the list, let ERPLY know. They may be able to add the integration for you. Rates may vary between the many providers.
Customer Service and Technical Support:
ERPLY’s customers largely have good things to say about the company’s customer service and technical support. The support options include:
- Phone and Email – Contact the support team directly by sending them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call at the number listed on their help site.
- Knowledgebase – You’ve got to love an extensive, searchable knowledgebase with a plethora of training and educational materials, and ERPLY’s got it.
- FAQ – For more basic troubleshooting, there are several FAQ sections organized by category.
- Tutorial Videos – A complete library of tutorial videos is also available.
- Social Media – Alongside the company blog, you can keep track of ERPLY’s goings-on through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Negative Reviews and Complaints:
It’s a pretty great sign that I can’t find many complaints or negative reviews out on the Internet. I mean, the Internet is where complaints propagate like a virus. Here are a few of the common criticisms I found:
- Customer Service – A couple customers reported long wait times and several said their requests for help went unanswered.
- Bugs/Minor Issues – Though this did not seem to be a prevalent problem, there were a small number of complaints regarding bugs and other issues regarding the software.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials:
On the flip side, there’s no shortage of good vibes surrounding ERPLY. Their users seem to really like it, suggesting that the software is every bit as simple and equalizing as its developers intended it to be. Even at the iTunes app store, normally a dumping ground for the ill-informed who spout off at having to pay for a valuable monthly service, ERPLY’s users are highly satisfied. Some common points of praise are:
- Impressive Features – A large number of customers praise the versatility of ERPLY’s feature set. A lot of customers are also impressed with the inventory feature.
- Bang for Your Buck – Customers think ERPLY is well priced and delivers your money’s worth.
- Customer Service – Quite a few customers stated that their customer service experience was great and had no complaints.
- Easy to Use – Though there can be a bit of a learning curve in some areas of the software, many customers laud the straightforward user interface and find it a breeze to operate.
So is ERPLY the next Skype? As far as the analogy goes (which isn’t extremely far) I would have to say yes. ERPLY distinguishes itself nicely, navigating with relative finesse the dichotomy between high-end functionality and “little guy” accessibility. If I were one of the folks behind the creation of the software, I’d be less inclined to say I was trying for a second Skype, and more likely to brag that I’d developed the first ERPLY. It certainly has the potential to be a game-changer for midsize, family-owned retail operations that usually lack the means—financially and technically—to get a handle on their operations. It wouldn’t be fair to categorize ERPLY on the expensive side of the cloud-based POS scale (though it may be correct). The real truth is that it’s on the very low end of cost for full ERP solutions.
Since ERPLY got their offline capability launched, I’ve had a hard time deciding where they should focus their development. Perhaps they should concentrate on employing an in-house Customer Support Team. But 100,000 ERPLY users can’t be wrong, correct? Their user base is growing and consistently happy, and the software is a true ERP solution. Lots of companies are doing POS well these days, but only one is doing it erply.
If you’re ready to take the dive for yourself, you may start your free trial here.