Cin7 is one of the standout solutions in the current cloud inventory market. It is one of the few solutions, that manages Inventory, POS, e-Commerce, EDI, 3PL and marketplaces with relative ease.

Advantages

Initially you might think, so what? How is that useful to me or my client?

The simple answer to that question, it means a lot!

It means, you do not have to have many different solutions independently working to do what one solution can.

The challenge with running different solutions, is that they don’t always “talk” to each other. This means that your e-commerce software does not have a live feed of inventory. It means you will need to manually or worse yet, double enter this information every day to maintain correct stock levels.

Extrapolate this across a retail store, which has its own POS software.  Which means you constantly need to transfer stock from one system to another to maintain correct stock levels and you start to get an idea of the complicated nature of having several independent solutions. In contrast, the ease of one solution that fluidly incorporates all your requirements starts to make a lot more sense.

Cin7 is also one of the few solutions that allows for further customisations, allowing for more complex workflows, as opposed to other solutions like Trade Gecko, DEAR Inventory and Unleashed. Customisations often come up, as no two clients are the same. As each client has unique ways of doing things, it is often important to be able to customise the solution to the individual clients needs. We spend a lot of time understanding clients, and for me as the implementor, I do my very best to incorporate the clients typical workflow.

Strong, customisable reporting is also a strong attribute of Cin7. Utilising a pivot table type reporting setup, allows for extensive manipulation to generate stock, purchasing and sales information. Standard dashboards also give you a quick realtime view of your business health, included standard are top selling products, monthly sales, top customer, etc.

They also boast one of the largest teams in the industry consisting of more than seventy developers, support, sales and administration, across New Zealand, Australia, UK and the US. This might not seem like much, but in a relatively new sector that is often dominated with startups which consist of only a handful of staff including the founder. It is quite a statement on the robustness of the company and the direction it is heading. Considering how important your stock information is, I know for me, I would hate to invest so much time and energy and then have the solution provider simply disappear, or just stop growing and supporting the solution.

Disadvantages

As with any solution, nothing is perfect.

There is a limit to what can be customised and changed. It can be a point of frustration for both clients and also for myself when I am implementing the solution. I always try to push the limits of Cin7, which in turn must drive the dev team insane.

Cin7 is not the cheapest solution on the market. This is probably because it is not necessarily aimed at the smaller end of the market. Clients that typically use Cin7 are mature wholesalers/retailers which deal with multiple connections/channels, ie have EDI requirements, B2B for wholesale, POS for retail shops and E-commerce for online retail. Companies that deal in these areas typically turnover between $5-40 million.

It is not to say companies turning over less are not suited, just that typically there would be more cost effective solutions for such entities.

In the past support has been a weak point for Cin7, however over the last twelve months this has improved somewhat. But with the rapid growth of the industry, this is an area that they still have quite a bit to improve in.

Cin7 can sometimes be daunting for those that come from a solution that is not as feature rich. One of Cin7’s advantages is its features, but at the same time, this can also be very intimidating for users. Training and change management is very critical as Cin7 can be quite complicated initially. This usually translates to higher initial setup costs.

In our experience, we have found clients try to find cheaper integrators or even get Cin7 to implement inhouse. This usually ends up costing the client more as there system sometimes does not get setup correctly, and usually lack the training and change management that is so critical to a successful implementation. Lastly they end up with no support and end up frustrated and disappointed. That’s my rant! We get clients coming to us time and time again asking us to help repair and train them on the Cin7.

Final Thoughts

As a cloud integrator, I understand the pros and cons of Cin7 very well. I spend a lot of time “under the hood”, trying to get the very last ounce of efficiency out of the solution. It is in my view one of the best solutions on the market, if not the best! Cin7 does not rest on its laurels and is always improving, whether they are adding new features, or fixing issues. This speaks volumes about Cin7 and its leadership, and where they are going as a solution.

If you want to have a quick snapshot of the solution please check out our Cin7 page. This page also showcases some of our larger clients, and some of our more complex solutions.