DEAR does exactly what it says it does, its a no frills solution for a company with basic inventory needs. We moved to DEAR from MS Dynamics NAV due to the fact that Dynamics options were limitless and for a still small but growing business it was too feature heavy and navigating around to get to the parts we needed was tiresome. What I'd really like to see is a stronger roadmap now from Dear to ramp up their features, particularly reporting isn't great, its quite static and you can't build your own, so a report builder would be ideal or an integration with a BI service so that you can build reports elsewhere. Our particular bugbear is trying to track down stock by batch and location, the information is there but its not in the best format. However for the price you can't complain, dear is an easy to use product that serves a wide variety of needs.
Easy to use, value for money, cloud based, integrates with finance package, support is great.
Reporting functionality needs work, no ios app, light on more advanced features
DEAR is phenomenal for a user that is willing to put in the time to discover it.
If PMs had more of a security / controls / data audit background , and implemented processes to address those weaknesses , it could potentially become a solution for businesses of all sizes, not just SMBs.
1- Customer support is on point, probably the best i've ever interacted with. They clearly understand that this is not a word processor, and have built a world-class support service around the software.
2- SaaS is not buggy at all
3- Their devs are constantly rolling out updates
4- DEAR has good, nonbuggy integrations with almost every major app in its market niche.
5- DEAR has succeeded in making a product that is relatively easy to use in what is an otherwise complex piece of software, and has deep complexity
1-Documentation is weak in several non-core modules and functionality. For example, security features don't really have an instruction manual, or if it exists, it is not immediately obvious where that lives, thus leave people having to contact CS.
2- Some features are not really implemented thoughtfully and are more of an horizontal revenue expansion than actually thinking of customer pain points. Example - the notification module could be SO MUCH more, but it has weaknesses like it won't report on stock transfers completed, etc.
3- The overall platform is not hardened against stupid errors. There is no "audit your customer's data" logic in DEAR. Platform assumes user inputs are always right and there are no early warning(s) across the board when users are making obvious mistakes, such as when POs receive impossible / wrong amounts, SKUs, etc. The feedback for "error" popups, is only is given when it is too late.
The software can be used "out-of-the-box" after a minimal amount of setup, and can also be used in more complex installations where bespoke software development might be needed.
The simplicity of the initial setup, the simplicity of the menu navigation, and the speed with which new users are able to grasp what they need to do to accomplish their tasks caused me to take a closer look at this software and I'm glad I took the time to do so.
The multiple warehouse locations field, along with the multiple bin locations field, both available in DEAR but not available in some other offerings, is a basic requirement of a stock management system as far as I am concerned.
Whilst the software might appear complex for first-time users, those with experience of stock systems and business processes should find it a breeze to set up and use for the purpose intended, especially if they are familiar with setting up other software. It's an advantage, but not a requirement, if the person(s) setting it up also have an understanding of business accounts and are able to find their way around creating/editing MS Word mail-merge templates.
I am impressed that I have been able to use the software to accomplish pretty much every task that my clients' have asked of it so far. The ease of integration with other cloud-based applications puts another tick in the box for me.
This is a comment and not a complaint; although the reporting functionality in the 'out-of-the-box' version is adequate there is room for improvement. The limitations can be overcome by exporting the files and adapting them as needed. Those with a more specific software development skill- set (or more time to learn) would be able to achieve a great deal more from the software than is possible using the 'out-of-the-box' version.
"Moved over from sage around 12 months ago to Xero and added Dear which answered the major issues I was having with Sage in that the inventory element (sure, that's not what is was designed for) was woefully inadequate for our business.
I have to report that 12 months in that Dear has met and exceeded expectations and added real value to my inventory management and customer order processing. With the recent addition of the B2B portal, and what my customers will be able to do once is it fully operational will really revolutionalise some of the challenges we faced in, for example, letting customers know what is available from stock etc.
Overall, we made the right move and I haven't seen a better combination of integrated applications than Dear and Xero!
Well done and thanks to both!"
Dear is a brilliant and responsive company, although my only gripe, is that there are few updates or communique's relating to bug fixes or developments of the application. Example is the B2B portal, there are many comments about what features are needed and bug fixes, but as yet no commentary from Dear as to which will or won't be incorporated. Like me, many will become less likely to comment f it is not apparent that they are being acknowledged. Come on Dear, at least add a comment!!
Thank you for this review we are happy to hear everything is going well. We would like to take some time to address some of the cons.
We have new updates/releases of new features pretty much on a weekly basis. The minor changes get notified through in app notifications and major monthly releases get sent out as news letters. This can be found in our release notes sections http://dearsystems.com/inventory-software/blog/category/release-notes/
Regarding the forum we get a lot of inquiries to add new features and we usually work on an up-voting system and implement suggestions that are most popular against our users. When our businesses analysts decide on what we should implement a planned status will appear next to the suggestion. When its in progress the status will change to 'In Progress' and once finished the status will change to Implemented.
Please see our development road-map for everything that is coming up in relation to B2B enhancements based on user requests http://dearsystems.com/inventory-software/development-roadmap/
As a consultant implementing DEAR Inventory for a wide range of SMEs, we have solved an innumerable amount of problems along the way. From Batch tracking, to serial number tracking, integrations with online stores, accounting, shipping, reporting and forecasting, etc, it is all there.
The team at DEAR are generally very quick to respond and offer assistance, and the users are given the power to request and vote on new features to be implemented. The subscription pricing is also at a point where it represents huge value for money.
As a cloud integration consultant working with SMEs in Adelaide and interstate to solve inventory management issues by implementing the right software, DEAR has proven again and again to be the leading choice for these businesses and is now our recommended choice as an implementation specialist.
DEAR has the functionality to provide a central solution to any SME looking to sell online or instore across a number of channels, and manage all the inventory in one place.The integration with Xero is top notch and the most robust I've seen of almost any app that connects to Xero.
The integrations to eCommerce channels are consistent in their setup and options and allow a great deal of flexibility. Complementing these integrations are shipping service integrations that allow for a full suite of inter-connected apps with DEAR as the hub.
If I had a gripe, it would be around some minor inconsistencies within the UI across various parts of the software, as well as some minor inconsistencies with various reports that are available.
Being able to integrate with a number of eCommerce platforms is huge. Support usually replies fast (especially for simpler questions and help). Also the way in which we're able to manage thousands of products over multiple locations is fantastic. Some aspects of DEAR are very intuitive and easy to use. It allows one portal for looking at sales, product orders, inventory storage and movements, basic product history. The reports on the dashboard help us see inventory and financials at a glance. They've also recently expanded, allowing more than 20,000 SKUs at a time in the system!
Because DEAR is used by so many and works with so many different platforms, integration between it and other platforms (we use Shopify) are not always seamless. A feature that works great with one may make another way more difficult to use. On that note, customizing your DEAR account to make it exactly what you need is rather difficult. We often have to find workarounds to ongoing problems that may seem basic to many. And while customer support is friendly and often fast to respond, it's very easy for misunderstandings to occur. As well, new feature requests often don't get acknowledged if they don't fit into DEAR's current plans.
One thing that would be great could be a separation for those who need DEAR just to locate products, vs those who actually need to access all of the parts of DEAR that can change products, sales, locations... We've had a number of mix-ups where inexperienced people made changes that couldn't be undone due to the nature of the software.
It is my first exposure to cloud-based ERP software, DEAR. I am pretty pleased with its performance. Pretty simply to use and easily to understand each module. The tutorial video presentation is really useful which u can easily accessing it by clicking from the main menu. No hassle to go around to find it.
Overall, my management and myself are pleased to spend almost 6 months to switch over from our existing ERP system
Good video demonstration on tutorial, easy to understand and follow
excellent aftersales support - swift in response
No direct module to handle goods replacement and warranty process /RMA portions
Not too user friendly or suitable to be used on project based jobs/ activities
We run all our stock inventory through Dear, send all our quotes, sales orders, invoices etc through Dear.
It is a very good program for this and if we do hit a problem the tech support is excellent.
Its synchronization with Xero is excellent. In three years we have never had a sync issue. Also within Dear the inventory, sales and purchasing all work very well and the ability to drill through different layers to search products or orders is very good. We use the Product Availability function all the time to confirm status of sales orders v purchase orders and stock availability. We have also recently started to use the Attributes more for both sales orders and products and this has been a further tool within Dear to help us manage our day to day sales process.
What still infuriates me is the way that sales quotes show the sales margin against Average cost. This is hopeless folr any new product as there is no history and it is also hopeless if you receive a part into stock before you post the purchase invoice. Why we can't have the option in the step up to show the margin against either the supplier fixed cost or last purchase cost is beyond me!!!!!! Argh!!!!
We currently have to run all our project quotes through an Excel spreadsheet to make sure the margins are correct. This is really infuriating and as a result we are looking for alternative options for our stock management.
The fact that it can be accessed from anywhere and that the information available is reasonably accurate
We transfer stock between locations on a daily basis eg. receipts, transfer to work in progress, then assembly and then to finished goods in more than one location and then it gets sold. when looking at a stock movement report of Raw Material, all that I want to know is receipts + stock on hand-assembly = Stock on Hand. The inventory totals in inventory do not balance with the Trial balance figures as the trial balance picks up transfers as many as three times. So the Raw Material and Finished Goods are never correct in Dear and because of Synchronisation in Xero.
second point is the introduction of the Advanced Purchase Module and discontinuation of cloning without any prior warning and with no video training module available. I have so far been unable to use that module and am working with the simple purchases module, keeping it in draft, and manually adjusting stock levels when receiving stock. I then use a new Simple Purchase to deal with the supplier invoice. Ideally, the system should be able to tell me what stock is required, but the is no correlation between Assembly and Inventory. We use about 8 to 9 different Raw Materials in different quantities to produce our finished goods, so you can understand how frustrating this all is.
a little frustrating for the limitations fo the system and interfae with XERO.
Limitations: need to UNDO a compleate sale to be able to make any change
Sync with Xero: constant errors
Very slowwww we have a 100/40mgb connection and good computers (local app or better use of cache)
- What we would expect from a Inventory Managment system
- Chinese interface
- advance sale function (multiple dispatches, multiple invoices for one sale order)
- integration with Shopify
- faster JSON access (no limitation of 60 calls per second)
- no need to UNDO sales for non essential information fields change
- ability to edit allocation of products
- ability to edit batch/serial information
- Reports 1) shows clear information of Sale Order that have not been 1) shiped, 2) invoiced. 2) be able to extract information related to earning power of a product (% margin x rotation of a product)
- Ability to limit sales bellow certain margin or price
- Dashboard with historical inventory and accounts receivables graphs (currently not available)
- Rename product fields (example: type, category, brand, stock locator, barcode…)
- Additional fields available on more reports
- reports are missing a lot of related information that could / should be available
The business administration is now a multiple of it's previous efficiency. We can track sales, purchases and performance far, far more efficiently than before. The proof is in the pudding - walk around our sales office and at least one screen on every desk will have DEAR open.
The software is made up of simple to understand modules that have a clear purpose and have extremely good help videos and articles available. There is a "simple" and "advanced" version of most functions which makes carrying out most tasks extremely efficient while still having the power of the full functionality available in the background if needed. Any simple document can be changed to an advanced document with the click of a button.
The "Jobs" or project module is somewhat more difficult to use than other parts of the suite. Projects are a common part of many businesses and a simpler, more intuitive, module that allowed easy quotes and easy conversion to a Job would be a great enhancement.
Ease of use across all of our employees. Decreased costs and improved inventory accuracy.
Well thought out sales workflow. Really flexible and powerful in ways others weren't to enter sales orders. Takes a little getting used to, but there is a lot in there. Love the ability to price tier for B2B sales. Integrates really well with Shopify and eBay. Need to check out the B2B portal that is available, but haven't gotten to that part yet.
Even though the support is all email based, we have been delighted with the speed of response and solutions to any issues we've had. I'd say on average the response time to new tickets has been in the 5-15 minute range with maybe one that reached 45 minutes. Often I'd wait longer on hold with a tech line with other companies than it takes to get a response from DEAR support email.
Great integration with our accounting.
Easy to implement API for extending the functionality of DEAR.
There are a few things that still need improvement we've run into.
Credit Notes/Memos are terribly hard to figure out and make work correctly if you wish to give the customer a credit to use at a future date not tied to a transaction in DEAR.
DEAR does tiered pricing for sales, but there is no way to have volume purchasing discount tiers beyond manually changing every time a PO is created.
If a small change has to take place during fulfillment DEAR requires you to revert the order back to the very beginning of the workflow process and complete every stage again. Rather than just let you go back one step.
The fulfillment QC process could be strengthened a lot. It's basically based on trust with no verification. Right now it assumes all counts/data entry keyed in are 100% accurate. I'd like to see some kind of barcode based QC verification.
As a small manufacturer, Dear Inventory has become a vital part of my operation. Robust integration offerings allow me to sync e-commerce websites, accounting software, shipping programs, etc. Dear Inventory allows me to consolidate my business and ensure that every aspect of my organization ... from receiving, to manufacturing, to selling, to shipping, to reporting ... is working in harmony. I love the fact that I have access to quick and reliable support for my system, and the development team is great about taking my comments and suggestions and working to incorporate them into the ongoing development of the program. I could not be happier with the Dear Inventory solution.
Extremely functional inventory allocation system throughout the manufacturing process;
Robust offering of integrations to support every aspect of my business;
Reliable support through the Dear Inventory support team;
Ongoing development that takes into account the feedback of users.
The reporting tool, while functional, is sometimes a bit sluggish. It takes a little bit of trial-and-error to figure out which reports have which information.
Business totally depends on it!
Is really great for traceabilty of our products from ingredient to end customer.
Has lots of great functionality
Excellent value for money
Good support - they always get straight back to us
There is just a couple of basic features missing that we have brought up before..
You can attach files to lots of areas such as Sales etc but you can't attach a file to an assembly - which in a food product is where you would want to attach a file - eg the batch record, pasteuriser log etc. This would make quite a difference
When you print a label for a product there is no option for creating ITF14 barcodes for outer packaging (standard)
Be good if there was a way of manually setting the cost price and margins for an assembled product
Thank you for the review.
Just addressing some of the cons, its a good suggestion regarding ability to attach notes to assemblies. Next year we are planning on adding extra enchancements to core app DEAR Inventory as this year was mostly concentrated on external integrations & also the development of our own POS and B2B eCommerce portal. Strongly suggest to leave a feature request for 2018 development considerations.
The ability to custom make invoices is a massive pro. Using Dear has meant that automating emails, bulk downloading invoices and keeping track of what's been fulfilled and what hasn't is so much simpler than it was in our previous system. It has also made things much easier in liasing between our warehouse and sales departments. The customer service has been excellent - everything, from integration information/guidelines to quick fixes on invoice issues that we couldn't iron out, was dealt with promptly and efficiently. All round it's been a fantastic experience and would be my go to system to manage inventory, fulfillments and keeping track of the accounts.
I think the biggest issue was finding that the integrations with third party shipping providers was severely limited, although it has been assured that this currently under review and likely to improve. A small con in a plethora of pros!
This system works as advertised. There is a great balance of functionality to nudge you towards running a better business and enough flexibility to tailor the operation to your business needs. The free training is excellent, far better than paid training that I have endured with other systems. They are super responsive with any questions that I do have, always resolving my questions with 1-2 emails. Being able to connect to my customers shopping carts on my website while providing professional looking forms and documents for shipping the product out the door is fantastic. Accurately providing accounting information to Xero in moments is another great feature.
Creating the purchase orders is less intuitive when I purchase items that will not be used in products ( e.g. services, support items like bags and boxes). This may very likely be a training problem.
If you want to automate your bookkeeping and accounting as much as possible, this is the way to go. Currently have 6 marketplaces hooked up and they all push to Xero automatically. Of course DEAR manages stock numbers across markets as well.
We've tried many stock management apps before DEAR and none of them pushed correct data to Xero for bookkeeping. DEAR dies a stellar job on the books while doing everything else very competently. Saves us tons of time and money.
Sometimes it's a bit slow on certain actions. And the tech support used to be somewhat lacking but they stepped up their game recently. Quick and responsive now.
The learning curve is a bit steel at first. But we quickly realised that was because DEAR doesn't cut corners in organising your stock and books. So you have to learn to do things the proper way. A pain at first but saves you from horrible issues with the taxman later.
Dear Inventory is a cost-effective 70% solution to manage food production including BOM's, suppliers, customers, etc... The company is almost continually updating & improving the software. I remain hopeful that at some point the frustrating aspects of the program will be resolved. The implementation is straightforward and does not require a 3rd party to execute. We have trialed and used a number of entry-level MRP systems and believe this to be the best offering at this time.
The integration with QB is messy and riddled with errors. It seems like the integration with Xero is better but we use QBO for many other integrations so have not made the switch to Xero. Timely customer service for North American customers is lacking since Dear is based in Australia.
DEAR is probably the most important system in our business. It has revolutionised our company and allowed us to grow quickly, expanding the product range and marketplaces. It ties everything in beautifully so that, in conjunction with Xero, we have complete management control of the business. It's truly brilliant and I would recommend it without hesitation.
It's stable, reliable, never goes wrong and the support staff are excellent. When problems do occur, they are sorted out very quickly.
Synchronisation with Xero, Amazon and eBay is near-flawless.
Some aspects are a little unintuitive, and it does entail the user understanding quite a lot about how stock control works.
The B2B trade portal isn't great and needs a rethink.
These are very small issues though compared with what the system does well - which is nearly everything.
The Dear option was considered amongst others of the same ilk, but was ahead in some key areas. This and the fact that I was able to find a consultant to help us implement Dear was key. In fact Run Your Business Online (RYBO) are now experts in Dear capability and implementation. There has been a great deal of development in Dear's capability and customer service is really good. Hard to fault and I would not change. Integration with Xero is brilliant.
easy to use, feature rich and continuously improved
advance knowledge of changes and updates planned and some feedback on suggestion placed on the forum would be welcome. A dialogue with dear on the forum would be a massive incentive to add more requests
Access to sales and purchases data in sufficient detail to make accurate business decisions on stock lines
Flexible with a great level of detail and functionality
Can be complex to setup if the business design is not properly documented and understood.
DEAR Systems is straight forward as it should be. But also handles the complexities required from our business such as multi currency purchase and sales, kit building and assembly of products with cost and labour breakdowns. Key features other software does not offer.
Not sure if it possible but landscape forms would suit us better, need to check with our rep.
Mail Merge takes some getting used to if not familiar.
Customisable Dashboard like Netsuite would be great!
Thanks so much for your review!
If you require assistance with your template customization feel free to take up our complimentary template customization service. Simply email support with all required changes and we will get it done.
In regards to dashboard customization please book in a call here https://classic.youcanbook.me/v2/jsps/cal.jsp?cal=ZgsGQaWduL34BrkiNkBY for a sales rep to share screen and show you the customization capabilities of our dashboard.
A Single inventory management platform for all our sales outlets. Having a simple integrated epos is a great as we don't need anything complex.
Integration into all the platforms we use means we didn't need to hire any expensive programmers to help use api's.
Setup was easy and fairly straightforward. The learning curve wasn't too complex.
Software has a good range of features that I find very useful. We use it In-store, On our e-commerce website and on Amazon. Have a single platform for a simple ePOS and all our other sales makes things super simple.
Support normally quick to respond and mostly get the right solution on the first reply, if not the second.
Video instruction content on youtube is great and helps demystify some of the more complex things. More of this please.
Would have liked a lower cost model for low & small volume as I find the cost high for a new and smaller business like ours. However, I know we will grow into it.
There are a few quirks here and there. However, Support are good at explaining a way around it or an alternative solution.
I struggle to remember which symbol is what part of the software so sometimes I click the wrong one or have to wait for the name to come up.
Would be good for some more hints and tips to prompt you to discover and try features we don't currently use or know off.
Thank you for the review.
We are glad everything is going well for you so far.
Versatile reporting, integrated emailing, serial number tracking, easy to update products (with or without importing)
Dear provides many features, most of which are straightforward and simple to use. One of the big pros for us was the ability to use and track serial numbers. I have only had to reach out to customer service once, but after doing so I was provided the help I needed within minutes. The program is updated frequently and there are updates released about every month. I also love the ability to set up custom templates, and email customers documents while inside the software.
I did the implementation and training for the software, and one area I found a bit lacking is documentation of how the program works. There are youtube videos on many features of the program, but things that are not covered in videos you have to figure out by trial and error.
in general this is the best software i have used and it is value for money (last year they allow single user so the plan is even more attactive). If you have 3 people already in the company this will be the best software
it handle my stock and invoices very well, since i am doing food business, FIFO and expiry date is very important, so when you enter the data correctly the system will help you to do rest of it, great software
they sometimes have some major breakdown failure and everyone in the world (probably) can't use the service (can't login, data can't load). they said that it is due to instability of their cloud service provider, anyway, this didn't really happen all time, seems that i only experience this once for this year? i forget