In early 2008 we started Provino Premium Wines on a shoestring budget. Like any fiscally responsible start-up company, the plan was to grow the company over time and initially save as much money as we could. If you recall, early 2008 was probably the worst time in the history of the world to start a company – other than now, March 2009… but we’re thriving and growing like mad, and have 15 employees now.
Being an engineer and coming from the software world myself (Netscape, Netmanage, Vitalsigns Software) I looked at a multitude of products to determine which would be best for both the short term needs we had, and also be able to grow into long term growth, should we actually have a business idea that took off. We initially installed the standalone version of Channergy on 2 stations, and within a couple of months found that we needed functionality that wasn’t part of the standard product. I wrote a detailed scope of work, and got a VERY reasonable estimate on how much it would cost to get the work done by the Channergy engineering team. A little skeptical, I eagerly opened a download a couple of weeks later and was amazed that they had implemented a wonderful version of the new Product Choosing screen we all have now. They also went above and beyond the scope of work definition, and added customization features that made it really useful.
After about 4 months, we quickly realized we had outgrown the standalone network version and then moved to the client-server version in about 10 minutes. And we didnt have a single data corruption or functionality problem – that’s a first, and I’ve experience several nightmares converting standalone products to network and SQL versions.
We’ve now been running the company for over a year on this platform and grown revenues to over $1mm in sales and we’re still chugging along. I’ve written dozens of custom reports, written automated tracking imports, dual inventory location reconciliation routines, and converted the entire Channergy platform to be web-based with all menus and user selections coming from a central web server. We implemented all of this ithout a single call to tech support (well, the report writer is a little odd and sometimes requires an email for explanation, but you can’t have everything). Drop me a line if you want more details about how to perform this conversion.
On the subject of tech support – every call and email to tech support is answered promptly, and the answers almost always solve the problem. This is often the downfall of small software companies, and these guys are experts AND are able to respond in a timely fashion, especially when they know your business depends on it.
In summary, we’ve had nothing but positive experiences with the product and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a robust order entry/inventory management system.
President & CEO
Provino Premium Wines