Multiple. It has become my primarty Database and CRM software. For a small business with multiple needs, at an extremely reasonable cost per year.
Commence user for 15 yrs. As a marketing consultant and service provider to multiple non-profit clients, Commence is the primary Database/CRM software I use for all my needs. I have created multiple Commence Databases for multiple applications on my own to suit my specific and particular needs. I have created Commence Applications for Client Management, Inventory management and GTD (Getting Things Done) for my day to day handling of projects and tasks. ALong with many applications for Personal use as well. Once you get a hang of it, it is really very easy to set-up for your specific needs, and more importantly, to change things on a fly when you need to implement a change. I do that constantly. You can change the look and feel to what works for you. The Agents creation function (which is like a Macro function is quite strong and powerful, and so is the filtering and sorting capabilities. Have to mention the connectivity function of one category to the other, which is very powerful as well. Bottom line. I am not a programmer, I am a marketer and administrator, and I can create, modify and change Commence to suit my needs. I am sure you can too...
I would like Commence to address in their future version of non web based standalone Commence:
1. Allow creation of some sort of Simple Spreadsheet into the DB. Spreadsheet format is something that we are all fond of and comfortable with, and it would be a great boost to have that functionality built in. If this exists already, and I am not aware of it, please let me know?
2. While adding text in notes, it would be great to have some flexibility to change fonts and sizes within the single note itself, that will allow some emphasis to draw attention to it. Right now only one singe font and size is allowed, which is OK, but in a long note, the change in font or the ability to increase/decrease its size or make it italic or underlining it, would make the notes much easier to read and follow.
Thank you for your recommendations. You'll be pleased to learn we have a grid view that provides a spreadsheet view right in the product. We have also received suggestions about allowing formatted text in notes and will consider this for the future.
Cost effective, configurable, maintainable CRM.
As a Manufacturers Representative, we have created an implementation of Commence on which we run almost all of our business operations (Opportunity Management, Sales History, Quotations, Forecasts, Tracking overseas, Leads, Target customer, as well as the usual CRM contact info). We developed this in-house from the ground up to meet our specific needs....and so can you! Why shoe horn your data needs into a non-optimal architecture?
Commence RM Desktop is very easily configurable which is a top priority for us as the configuration of incoming and outgoing data requirements seems to change at least quarterly by at least a couple of the Manufacturers we represent. This demands updates to the architecture which would be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming if we could not do them in-house.
Commence RM Desktop strikes the right balance with flexibility that can be implemented by non-computer scientists (or expert developers). Their top notch support has been invaluable in the 1-2 instances where we ran into some unforeseen glitches (mostly the result of user error).
While spreadsheets are the best tool to analyze data, CRMs were never designed to do that. But, the ability to compile reports with totals/summaries is a challenge to implement in Commence RM Desktop (lots of scripting required which we choose not to do due to maintainability concerns). Manually filtering data within Commence (and using the summary button for totals and averages) works great for the most rudimentary tasks, and exporting as tab-delimited TXT takes a few easy steps to get into Excel.
Thank you for your review of Commence. Buyers of CRM software often overlook the need for a flexible solution that can change along with their business. Thank you for bringing this to the attention to others. Whether you are using our cloud based version or our desktop solution, this flexibility coupled with robust functionality and best in class customers service differentiate Commence CRM from competitors.
I never loose a contact - backup automation to the cloud
I never loose a document - access to all documents generated since 1994
I can generate document and letters rapidly
It integrates our data right across all platforms
It integrates all business activities seamlessly.
Excellent and readily customizable GUI. Enormous flexibility and ability to use "agents" to undertake otherwise complex tasks - no coding required. Agents can integrate with everything from Google Earth to Skype and automate backups to the cloud. MS Office integration allows document generation from within the product, seamlessly merging address data and word templates. Integration with Outlook is excellent. Android integration allows contacts, tasks and calendars to be actively synced to you devices. The server application is also robust with numerous syncing options from network to FTP and email. Cloud integration for documents. Commence manages >10,000 contacts >7,000 companies >100 projects and >30,000 documents in a relational database that has >130 Categories (sub-databases) for us. We can near instantly locate any document generated since 1994 and that is from contacts, companies projects etc. Value for money - hard to beat!
John, thank you for taking the time to articulate the merits of Commence CRM. We are happy that you are realizing so much value from the product and have taken the time to inform others of the unique capabilities we can bring to their business. We appreciate your support.
Overall... haven't found anything to compare to allow me to continuously (over 30 years) build relationships with people and business's. I could show you meetings I had with people back in 2001 if you wanted to. The support group have all been very helpful even for a small consulting company like my own.
I started using Commence in 1996 when the president of our hotel management company needed something to help him track more than 100 hotels, their brands, their owners, and their asset values. Since a hotel could change brands and owners throughout it's life cycle, the need for a many to many relationship capability was critical. Commence's architecture makes this effortless. The inherent flexibility is absolutely amazing. Still use it to this day to maintain relationships with thousands of business's in Outdoor Hospitality. Thank you!!
For what I use it for, I really don't have any negatives. Anytime I need to track a new area of our industry it is easy enough to add and link a new database and build a new relationship.
Jerome, thank you for taking the time to discuss your experience with Commence CRM Software. We are pleased that you have realized as much value from our product as you have. We look forward to working with you to ensure we address your future business requirements as well.
We would not have stayed with Commence for so many years if they did not stand behind their product! Their support team are prompt, polite and willling to help, always! MPS tracks just about everything in our Products and Services business with Commence and we are looking to add new capabilites soon, as well!
Commence is by far the best and most flexible CRM I have used over the years.
We have been a user of the desktop version of Commence since the mid-90's and still find it a relevant and speedy solution. (The search capability is SO FAST!)
Being a bit of a techy type Commence allows me to customize where and when I need to in order to manage my company's unique data requirements. As we've grown over the years, so hasn't Commence with expanding features and easy solutions.
In the original product, the synchronization of the desktop database could sometimes hiccup, although with the web version, this is no longer a problem.
Grant fund accounting, employee time management, court case management, drug court case management and superior historic record retrieval.
Customization, unlimited data management and excellent customer support. After years of modification of business practices in the California court system, the Commence product has allowed up to keep up with a changing court culture and legislation.
A bit difficult to learn, but well worth the effort. Changing templates after updates to the products has presented us with unique challenges which were overcome through customer support.
Lee, thank you for discussing the extensive value you have realized with Commence CRM over the years. We are pleased that the products flexibility has enabled you to continue to enhance it to address your changing business requirements. This is clearly the strength of Commence. We look forward to continue to work with you in the years ahead.
I use Commence for calendaring, contact management, task management and timekeeping. When it comes to personal and professional information management, I essentially "live" in Commence. I cannot imagine working life without it.
The upgrade process was efficient, professionally handled and seamless. Commence is extremely customizable. On startup, it loads almost instantly. I have a very small firm, and I use it constantly for calendaring, contact management, task managment and timekeeping. I've used Commence since the early 2000's, and Commence Corp. has consistently supported and improved its products.
I rated it tops in Ease of Use, although for a solo user like me there is a learning curve. The User Manual is very good (occasionally a bit technical).
(1) Tremendous value
(2) Really, really flexible, and builtin design tools have allowed us to easily enhance the app to meet our (very unique) needs.
(3) Easy to use, with excellent performance.
(1) Inability to store files (docs, PDFs, etc) directly within the database
(2) Lack of formatting options (highlighting, bullets) in text fields
(3) Search capability is limited; must understand (and build) complex Boolean queries to perform advanced searches instead of use of form-driven approach
Thank you for your review of our desktop edition. Our cloud edition does offer document storage, formatting options and more filtered search by individual application, i.e. account or leads or sales for example. Perhaps you would consider a migration to this version of the product.
I can access so much custom data. The software is quick, customizable, and efficient. Cost per user if very affordable. It's not a huge risk to dive in and get something going.
Ease of use and speed. It's simple yet effective. It's not overdesigned. You do not have to click multiple times to get to the information you need. Customization is a breeze. The overall speed of the system is great. Basically no lag time.
I can't really come up with anything of substance but a better custom report write would be a benefit.
Thank you for your review of Commence CRM. You will be happy to know that while the product does have a very capable report writer we have just released an updated version that produces graphical reports as well.
Our business was using an excel spreadsheet to manage our customers and projects and it just was not maintainable. We selected Commence CRM because of how easy it was to use and how full functioned it was. We also use it for project management and its all integrated enabling the users to see a 360 degree views of all account, contact and project management information. As indicated our experience has been very good with the product and the company.
The flexibility to tailor things yourself is well above competitive products. The reliability of the product is outstanding and customer support has been very good, friendly knowledgeable staff.
Nothing to report here - very satisfied with the product and the company.
Customer support is terrific! They are able to fix any glitch the software may have, immediately. Chrissy Anello is so wonderful to work with!!
Able to keep track of everything
Having to continuously save each box before closing on the particular subject. Sometimes we forget to save and have to go back and redo it again.
Melinda, thank you for your kind words. We pride ourselves on providing the best customer support in the industry and thank you for your willingness to inform other potential Commence customers of this. We are also pleased that the product has helped your company to capture, track, manage and share information and improve communication and business performance.
Allowed for users off all skill levels to engage with the product! This is essential for a medium sized business today.
Robust functionality, room for growth at the same time Commence is flexible enough to addresses the unique requirements of our business. The level and quality of the on boarding service that Commence provided is top shelf. The ease of this transition had afforded us a rapid return on our investment. Features like this are the differentiation between Commence and those that simply download and walk away.
To this point we can truly say that we have not found fault with Commences platform. While "glitches" in any system are unavoidable, I Know Commence will be right there either on the phone or over email.
Systems Support Solutions located in Minneapolis, Minnesota claims to have saved as much as $300,000 dollars a year by automating their internal sales processes. “We opened our doors in 2001,” says Peter Schoon, CEO of the company, “and wanted to find a software product that would become the core of everything we did in sales from initial prospecting and logging of information to producing quotes, documents and contract administration. We also wanted a solution that provided us with the flexibility to make changes within the system as our business grew, but not have to rely on expensive outside programmers to do it.”
“We selected Commence CRM primarily based on the products functionality and GUI that seemed very intuitive and easy to use. In addition, the system offered customization configurations that were straight forward which gave us the comfort of knowing we could modify the system when necessary and not be trapped. The Commence software has been extremely reliable and we estimate that we have saved as much as $300,000 dollars a year with its use and we have been using the product for more than a decade. You could not ask for a more powerful arsenal of tools for managing your business.”
The software is fairly user-friendly. The software for tracking is good for tracking communication with customers and reporting.
The scheduling feature and the reports.
It does not automatically calculate the entire contract amount - multiplying the term by the rate.
We have been using Commence RM for over 20 years. It has been the core to our business and allows us to function with optimised efficiency without high staffing overheads. We have found that the secret is to have good workflow processes mapped out and then we just made Commence follow these. No compromises were necessary which was a huge relief.
Unlike many other apps, which over the years we have looked at because other companies claim to be better, Commence has allowed us to quickly change our system quickly and with minimal cost as our business needs have changed.
Many of our team work away from the office and again this is where Commence has proved its worth. We can still fully function even when we are in areas with no internet.
Nigel, thank you for your testimonial of Commence CRM. You have certainly taken advantage of the flexibility of our product and we are happy that it has not only met but exceeded your business requirements.
online document storing
Easy searchable fields are super helpful in looking up accounts and clients. Other than not, not much else.
There does not seem to be duplicate check feature. Meaning before we can create an account, if we type in the name, it should check to make sure there is not one already created. We have to do it manually our selves.
Jenny, there is a duplicate feature in the product. It is an option that can quickly be turned on by the system administrator. You can do this under the license settings tab. This will flag any duplicates that people try to enter into the system and address the redundancy issue you mentioned. Furthermore we would be happy to provide additional training for those that may not be as familiar with the product. They can also take advantage of our free training videos on the Commence web site.
We sell an amazing product to large educational institutions. The sales cycle can be quite long which requires us to capture and store a significant amount of data such as, notes and history, activities, documents and e-mail correspondence. We had been using multiple systems to manage our business and were simply fumbling every time we needed a complete historical profile of customer information. In addition it was almost impossible to maintain. Commence CRM has been invaluable to us. We now have one consolidated system for managing our customer relationships and since everything is stored in the cloud we have access to the most up-to-date information anytime and anywhere. We are pleased with the product and Commence customer service has been excellent.
Feature rich product
Easy to use
Rapid return on investment
Very good customer support
We looked at many CRM programs and we felt that Commence gave us the best bang for the buck for what we needed it to go. Happy with what the program allows us to do and the reports it allows us to create.
The customer service that we receive is tremendous. When we started using the program, we did not go through any formal training so we have questions on a regular basis. The service we get is courteous, prompt and always helpful. Especially when we have Flo helping us, she always helps to simply, explain and resolve the issue.
If you do not pay for training, you can only get support online. You do not have the ability to speak with someone.
I have to say thank you to Commence Tech Support. They resolved all my problems and even went the extra mile to show me different uses of the software. Working with the representative was a pleasure, she was fantabulous .
I was never trained on the software, so I can not slam it. I have set up future training which will surely make me more productive.
We are a small business with a small team of 10 odd sales folks, and we needed a compact , easy to use, modular and get-started-quick web based software with minimum cost. I must say Commence fit the bill perfect! Especially being in India, where cost is very critical and people tend to use free software . As an SMB owner with a changing staff, ease of use , easy learning and lots of support material was important. Even though we are small, Larry and his team ensured that we got the right support. We have started with Commence Sales CRM now and we will surely expand to other modules. Guys, free software is good, but Commence is better, especially if you want to preserve your hard investments for the future. Go for it !
Our firm was seeking a CRM solution that enabled us to capture, track and share information within the organization without using multiple systems. Of key importance was the ability to integrate e-mail with accounts and contacts and generate custom reports. What we liked about Commence CRM was how robust and customizable it was as compared to similarly priced products. Commence is a powerful tool that integrates marketing, sales and lead management seamlessly. Commence support has been amazing with a friendly knowledgeable staff eager to help. I recommend them highly.
Full featured easy to use product
Great service staff
Better value then the competition
I've used many of the most popular CRM SaaS products on the market. Commence OnDemand CRM works best for us because you can keep things simple, or go as deep as you need to with regard to day-to-day operations, sales tracking/projections and contact management. Like many SaaS products, the features and tools in Commence software work they way you would expect them to. The difference with Commence is their support. With one call or email you're in direct contact with people who can handle any level of support, from application questions, to custom reports, and they are quick and polite about too ! This is what world class support is all about !
This product and company deserves more recognition then it gets. The product is rock solid and offers a level of flexibility simply not offered by competitive products at their price points. A full suite of applications rival enterprise solutions costing much more and the service has been excellent. You call you get help from a friendly knowledgeable staff. In addition the product always gets updated each year which means Commence Corporation is continually investing in it products and services. We looked at programs like Salesforce.com, but for our needs and for our money we would take Commence CRM any day.
Commence is hands down the very best CRM solution on the market for small-to-medium sized businesses. When I researched for a CRM solution for our company, I could barely get people to give me the time of day and their rates were not competitive with my budget needs; Commence had a live person (the sales person that ultimately provided me with my quote) who answered the phone the first time I called. After they got our business, things only got better. I send an email or make a phone call, I get an answer and I get help. My relationship with Commence is what I wish I had with all my vendors. I can't recommend them highly enough.
We have been using this product for over 15 years and with every new release alle apps still work! We have automated numerous departments and also SMB's with Commence and have yet to find a problem it will not bring a proper solution. As many of you know, all sales processes are unique and Commence will easily be tailored to suit every one of them.
This Sales Force Automation tool (and in fact much more) is the best product I have ever worked with.
It is a Windows program and since you can configure it to sync the entire database it even works without an internet connection.