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Paul Gardner

"V" Sign Software????

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Has anyone heard or used this software? Please tell me the good and the bad. Or if you have used Shopvox or any other software, I am interested in hearing your thoughts.

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We use it. Wasn't my choice. I'm the IT guy here and the estimator. So my points of view come from that angle. Others have different opinions.

It is much cheaper to get started with than any other cloud products we've seen. And if you don't upload much to the cloud it will remain cheap. However, while your initial monthly cost is reasonable, the storage costs are very high, in my opinion. Once you pass your initial allotment, the price goes up. And since all your systems rely on their product, you're pretty much stuck with whatever they charge you because the cost to move and train everyone to use something else again is so high.

You cannot customize it to work the way you do. The program works the same for every customer, so if you want some fields changed, want to add or delete some kinds of data, you're out of luck, unless every other customer wants the same thing. You will need to revise how you manage projects to align with their software.

You cannot enter a batch of data quickly yourself. If, for instance you have a bunch of new parts to enter, or all your aluminum prices just went up, you need to enter it on a spreadsheet in the format they use, and then send the spreadsheet to them to enter, just as you do when you first set everything up. Or you can enter each item one at a time using a very tedious process. Believe me, trying to do it yourself is best left to a very patient and low-wage person unless you are only doing a few updates.

My primary function is estimating, and it is clunky for estimating, but so is a lot of software out there. However, the estimating module of this software will NOT produce a selling price. No joke. When you finish entering all your costs for material, labor, machine costs and outsourcing, you will have a cost number, plus a fixed percentage for overhead that you entered when you set up the software. Then you can go choose a markup and it will tell you what to sell it for, but there's no place to discount some items, or put additional markup to come up with a price. You have the same markup for an electronic message unit that you have for concrete or raw aluminum. If you're building a monument sign that is mostly an LED message center, you'll have to markup everything the same. And you'll be applying the same overhead cost to everything. Hard to explain, but it doesn't work for me. I just have to estimate everything the way I always have and then enter the details into v-sign after I figure everything out and come up with a fair selling price.

I understand that the project managers like it, and the sales people like it. Everything is in the cloud, so they can get to it from anywhere. That's nice. As I said, it depends on where you work in the company as to what your opinion will be. I'm sure there are others who really like it.

Edited by pacificneon

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Brian, thank you for your feedback. We tried it over another software for 1 week and I realized quickly that it was not right for us. We do a lot of monument and channel letter signs and, as you mentioned, the estimating function does not help when considering markup and cost of goods. Therefore, we decided to cancel and go back to our original software. I was also surprised to see the software would not quantify items automatically. We are seriously considering building our own system at this point because we have yet to find a great overall software that relates well to our industry.

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Thank you, Ron. We actually went back to using Shopvox. At first, I was not a huge fan of this software either. However, I have to say it's a much better software then most I have seen. Furthermore, Shopvox is constantly making improvements. Over the last few months, they have made significant updates that continue to make the software better.

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