Spruce is a business management software that helps home and building suppliers streamline processes and reduce costly errors.
Can easily tag external documents and scan into the software and tag to specific invoices, orders, quotes. Customer support has been great to deal with.
It's very difficult to get the program to conform to you. Also if you have invoice terms rather than statement terms, you will not get a proper statement to send to customers monthly.
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Filter reviews (25)
Comments: As with any software of this nature it is only as good as the information you put into it. If you do not input purchase orders correctly or receive the product correctly it will not keep your inventory correct or cost correct. The learning curve is not high but you do have to take the time to learn how to use the software and what the different functions will do. As with any software change or upgrade do your homework first and list out your expectations to see if the software you are looking at will meet those expectations.
Very user friendly. POS works well and is quick to get customer invoiced. The document management built into the software is very good and eliminates the need for paper files. Can easily tag external documents and scan into the software and tag to specific invoices, orders, quotes. Customer support has been great to deal with. They provide a good online help system with videos and documents to explain how to work with the software. There are lots of add on features if you need them. The implementation went very smooth when we switched over from the ECS PRO system we were on. The day we went live we were up and running that afternoon on the ECI Spruce system. The implementation team outlined a course of action over several months to get everything in place and tested before the actual go live date. The key to the success we had was in the planning done by Spruce and on us acting on there advice and getting the training and pre implementation check list done.
Crystal reports (optional add on) does take some time to get used to and is a little hard to use on initial setup. But overall it offers good reports.
Review of Spruce at Cleveland Lumber
Comments: We have seen much greater control over our inventory, also we are able to monitor exceptions easier through reporting. Also, purchasing has been easier by being able to see our ordering history and usage on different products. Our daily balancing procedure has been simplified thanks to Spruce. While our staff has struggled some to adapt to the system most of this is due to their refusal to go to training.
As a manager I like the features that allow for reporting on data collected through the normal course of business such as product use by month. Also, the ability to price certain items based on a fixed margin based on current cost if selected. Lastly, while not a uncommon feature, I like to be able to send documents such as invoices via e-mail which our last system wouldn't do. We also like the Delivery feature that allows sales people to see the status of there delivery. There are many more, but these are just a few.
While probably not an issue at every business, our staff is a little older, less sophisticated and not very computer literate. It would be nice to have people that specialize in each segment of our business to come spend more time doing individual training to get them up to speed on their specific roll in the new system. It can be overwhelming for the implementation specialist to train everyone and also for those like myself to train everyone in rolls that I am not so familiar in such as Manufacturing.
Do not switch to Spruce
Comments: It has not been a good experience overall. Support is poor, more senior people, our account manager and their Canadian salesperson have no desire to support us anymore either.
There are a few features that are handy and these are the only features they show you in the demos. Document linking is helpful but very clunky. Connecting POs and special orders and importing documents.
The POS is very slow and follows no sales logical. Clearly the developers do not understand the end users. Too many clicks to process a sale. The POS often disconnects from our credit card terminals putting us out of business for hours at a time. This happens once weekly, and Spruce Support is not very helpful in ensuring that this does not continue to happen. From the accounting end, we are finding errors in the math with no solutions provided. The statements are very difficult to understand, for all our customers and after having spoken to other Spruce Users they have the same issues. Yet when we asked for a better solution, no progress was made. The customer support is slow and we're often left with "it's just this way" or with no viable solution. We're very unhappy with the software
not impressed , very limited , time burner
Comments: im not very impressed with this system. clearly no one in the design team ever worked retail , unless maby it was union and burning time was an advantage.
i doo like some features like importing orders to sales inv.
only 1 screen can be open at a time. with the last system i could have un limited screens open. having to have to close what you are doing every time there is a second task is a huge waist of valuable time. also haveing to jump between task designations is a time waiter as well.
Spruce - Mostly Good!
Comments: Spruce has been an upgrade for us overall and we look forward to utilizing more aspects of the software in the near future. Our biggest gripe with Spruce has been the lack of available customer service representatives when we call with an issue. There are times that weeks go by before someone calls us back. It has definitely been the most frustrating part of our experience thus far. The customer service reps are knowledgeable - there just aren't enough of them to handle all of the calls.
Integration was a bit of a struggle at first but once we got things figured out, the software has run very well. It has a ton of capability - we haven't even scratched the surface yet! We plan on implementing more features soon - rental and customer loyalty - and look forward to streamlining those in our store.
There are aspects of the software that feel a little clunky still, or that require a lot of back and forth to accomplish a task.
Poor Customer Service
It has a good inventory system. But if you are coming off anything but another program that your inventory is already in (i.e. a manual system) be prepared to spend a lot of time updating and correcting many things. It could work well for many industries, but you need to be sure yours is one of those (i.e. lumber) and you ask many questions before agreeing to this program. We have made it work for us since we've invested so much money, but it hasn't been easy.
Customer Service is horrible. You call in and basically get a call center of people who can look up the same things you can look up through their on-line help. Otherwise they have to send you to a support specialist who typically has to call you back. It takes quite a while (days not hours) for them to actually call you back and typically I have to call and raise a fuss to get a hold of anyone. The GL is primitive. There is no easy way to get reports and any information back out of the system. The only way I've found to do this is you have a learn Crystal reports, purchase the product or pay more money to have them write you a report. This is a very rigid program. If you have anything special or any "different" way of completing tasks, you will have to conform to the program. It's very difficult to get the program to conform to you. Also if you have invoice terms rather than statement terms, you will not get a proper statement to send to customers monthly. They consider each invoice the "statement". And if you have discounts on those invoices you cannot change that amount if your customer does not take that discount.
ECI Software Solutions Response
3 years ago
Katie, I'm sorry to read that you feel our support team isn't getting back to you in a timely manner. Our front-line customer service reps do handle the initial calls to hopefully resolve the easy requests and keep our support specialists free to help with the more critical/urgent questions. We are going to reach out to you and review your support inquiries, so that we can understand how/where we can better meet your expectations on response times. We can also discuss your reporting/statement concerns to understand what you need and how to accomplish that in the software. Again, we appreciate your feedback and hope we can help you with these issues soon. Your Spruce Team
Technical Support MSP perspective
Comments: As we are employed to eliminate technical "problems" regarding Spruce, multi site infrastructure, security, functionality of digital devices, and all forms of communications we do not have granular knowledge of product performance in the vertical market.
We like that the current product is cloud based. We also like the old fashioned interface as it is comfortable for older employees coming from a less graphical employment history.
Hosted systems in a seven day retail world need immediate support from the hosting team. Spruce does not allow third party MSP access to hosting support and, the hosting team does not work on weekends which are busy times for retail operations. Communication between ourselves and the hosting team (when available), go through a standard support person who does not have the knowledge or experience to confirm the appropriate changes that need to be made. Additionally, when a hosting team support call is supposedly completed, the case is closed without opportunity for the client to confirm functionality. Additionally, because technical support does not utilize the Spruce interface, there is zero ability for us to learn of updates/patches/changes to the platform. The end users need to let us know when a Spruce update is scheduled for deployment. This situation should never occur in a professional setting.
My experience with Spruce
Comments: My Spruce experience is very good overall. I have demoed other products and am glad that I remained with Spruce. The support is getting better, and the system is very dependable.
Integrating accounting with the point of sale and purchasing functions. I also like being on the cloud as opposed to having inhouse servers. I like how the system updates POS transactions to the accounting modules.
Limited ability for a user to get software changes done in the system. The lumber world requires software engineers to understand how the programs should work. As a lumber and building material sales company, it is difficult to interface with the software folks.
Comments: Spruce has helped our business become much more efficient, especially at the end of the month. What used to take us hours to perform now only takes 45mins to an hour.
The part I like most about Spruce software is the overall function of the "Point of Sales" portal. For the majority of our team this is the only area they use on a day to day basis. Spruce allows our team members the access and ability to check stock, pricing, purchase orders, customer profile information and much more all from the same screen they use each day when entering orders for our customers.
The area I like least about Spruce software is the crystal reporting that is used. I know there are hundreds of pre-written reports that are available, but having the ability to create reports and change reports within Spruce would be nice.
Happy with our change
This product is much more user-friendly than our last POS/Inventory management system. We moved from Epicor Eagle. Spruce offers more functionality and is much easier to train new employees on. I am a big fan of the General Ledger module and the ease of use in producing monthly financial reports.
I am not a fan of the Crystal Reports aspect of the system. It is functional, but a bit cumbersome to have to seek out the proper report, download and run it from outside the system. I hope that Spruce looks into integrating this feature in the future.
Not happy with software
Comments: We were using ECI Next Gen which the software worked but customer support was terrible. ECI is discontinuing Next Gen so had to switch to Spruce. The fist problem is Spruce has no Payroll. So we figured out a way to handle that. On Next Gen we could have customers sign the paper invoice they scan it so when we sent out statements our customer got a signed copy so they would who picked up material. So I understood Spruce would do that. Ten I found out the only way to capture a sign in Spruce is through a signature pad like you use when you use a credit card. So I had to buy one for every sales terminal at over 600.00 ea. Then the problem is you can't get signature when you deliver to the job site without buying a android phone for every truck and paying a monthly fee for mobile aps. Also we belong to Orgill to buy hardware now we find out you can't download invoices from Orgill. We have to either hand enter each PO or buy another android phone enter our store items on it then send it I think to excel or something and some how get a PO. Is anyone else having these same issues? We are a lumber yard/ hardware store.. If you are on Spruce and can tell me hoe you handle these problems please call support team Also our support fees almost tripled..
The support people have been good to work with. The inventory part of Spruce is much easier than Next Gen.
The EDI invoice download does not work, you can't capture customer signatures without a lot of expense. The special order system requires too many steps.
Think Twice before purchasing.
Comments: The experience has been terrible. I wish I could contact someone from Spruce management. They don't give out that information.
The is Absolutely Nothing that I like about this software because of their customer and technical support. It takes Days and Weeks to get a response and they usually do not resolve this issue.
ECI Spruce is not willing to make changes to improve their support issues. Support issues should be resolved on a daily basis, not weeks to months.
Getting Used to Spruce
Comments: I like Spruce in general. I think we would have had a better experience with our turnover from ECI to Spruce had the pandemic not hit and we had had trainers on site.....but we have made it!
I think that Spruce is easy to use once it is gotten used too. It is somewhat like our old system, with some defined differences. I love the ease of looking at customer's accounts. I love the posting of accounts payable invoices and paying the invoices.
There are little aspects about Spruce that are aggravating, like the re-receiving in purchasing seems to have extra steps that are un-necessary. The backing out of invoices and deposits seems to also be a little extra
I Can't Wait to Switch to Something Else
Comments: I will be very glad to shut it down, once I've found an alternative that will work. Trying to make data-driven decisions is proving to be very difficult, and I feel like I'm a bother when I want to know something simple like "How much business do we do on Saturdays," when trying to decide whether staying open on Saturdays in the winter is worthwhile or not. Access to the database would solve this, but ECi is unwilling to allow such a thing.
There really isn't anything I can put my finger that I like about the software.
Not cross-platform (must use Windows), no access to the database itself (and since the canned prebuilt reports are severely lacking, this is a problem), 48-hour support callback times can sometimes stretch to a month or better, multi-tasking is nearly impossible (long story, but run one report, then try to run another one and there's no way to look at them both side-by-side -- you must export), etc. The list goes on...
invested - Digital Paper Weight - Horrible follow through
Purchased this software in 2014. Tried for 18 months to implement for over 16 months. We are a specialty supplier, not a hardware or lumber yard, but the Spruce sales person promised they have a robust special order system that would work great for us. Went through demos, each time we asked for a specific task, the response was "we dont have that module loaded, but we do have that feature". Purchased server upgrades they required, never had a working P.O.S
The task of setting up Spruce requires full time I.T. & Accounting persons to focus on mapping, and setup, then we find out it does not do all the accounting features that even Quick Books will do. Will not track payroll expenses by department or individual, only as a single line item, and this has to be done as a GL entry. We tried for nearly 2 years to get ECI to honor what Spruce promised, to no avail. I would not buy this product, its a lot of smoke and mirrors and broken promises. Might work if you a lumber yard, but be prepared to speed the software price to implement the package, and they leave it all on you to do it. Over priced, over rated digital Junque.
Never had full use of the program to run our business.
Nothing is as they present it to be. Expect to spend hours and hours of time, and a lot of capital to get it running.
Spuce is easy to setup, price competitive and use compared to other systems.
Comments: A very good experience.
The ease of generating and maintaining financials and being able to easily look up accounts payable and accounts receivable information needed at a moments notice.
It did not provide needed payroll. Statements are not easy to read for customers.
Growing our Business with Spruce
We went live with Spruce in 2009. Like any software change, we had some bumps in the road. Spruce helped us smooth out the bumps and made the whole process simpler then expected. Their committed staff were there to help and assist. Now, several years later, we continue to learn and utilize existing and new Spruce software features that help our performance, reporting, and bottom line. Their Tech Support have been responsive and timely. Spruce is progressive and cutting edge.
One of the biggest challenges for us is training the staff for change and the benefits for that change. Educating them to see that one upfront work around may appear to save time but in fact creates several hours on the back side.
Have been a user of the Spruce Software for over 10 years and very satisfied
The software is very user friendly. Point of Sale, A/R, A/P, purchasing, and inventory control work seamless.The document management system built into the software is very nice. The dashboard module is very helpful to get a quick glimpse of all activity through the day, month or year. Very dependable software and nice people to work with. Just beginning to work with their mobile software and will be very helpful
No complains just wish we had more time to take advantage of crystal reports and other reports.
easy to use
Comments: Over all our experience has been good. Our main problems has been the times we have problems, service can be slow and a few times they have had no answer for our problem at all....after many phone calls and many people addressing the problem.
The product is easy to use and easy to train new employees to use.
I feel there are reports that could be added to help pinpoint sales trends as well as timing of sales.
Spruce, the software that makkes our Business work
Comments: Working with Spruce has been great, every time you work on an issue it is very personal and the follow up makes you feel like Spruce is there just for us.
The customer service, the ability to work outside the box to solve our specific issues so that Spruce works for US.
I struggle with this, maybe once something is voided or deleted it is gone, no recovering it.
Comments: Was a rough start but smooth now. Overall great for inventory and sales, but could use some more details areas on the back end like AR and GL.
All applications are integrated into the same software
Being a .NET software, customizing and enhancements take a very long time if ever approved.
Where it is an excel based it is easy to learn, harder to get employees to buy in
the fact that you cannot toggle between pages/
Comments: Not great
No feedback from developers when we send in issues with the software
Horrible Software and Support
Comments: Spruce was not support responsive. Once we brought our conversion issues to light, with supporting written documentation, we were not serviced, responded to, nor did the Spruce representatives attempt to right the massive errors and lacking experiences.
Nothing to speak of sadly! We did not receive what was "sold" to us as a solution.
The user interface is not directly connected to the GL. EVERYTHING is a Journal Entry into the GL. Sadly, not a software for a middle market customer.
ECI Software Solutions Response
3 years ago
Shannon, We are so sorry to hear that you are struggling with your software and disappointed with our level of support. We are researching your account and the specific issues you mention and someone on our management team will reach out to see how we can help. Again, we appreciate your feedback and hope we can resolve your concerns soon. Your Spruce Team
Comments: We have been able to better control our inventory with the daily reports from Spruce. The reports have been very beneficial for management and analysis of the business.
What we like most is the ease of using the software and the ability to go paperless.
Using the help section can be a little frustrating.