Programmer’s Paradise purchased its MACS software from Delray Beach, FL-based Smith-Gardner in April 1997. The Shrewsbury, NJ-based cataloger uses an HP 3000 platform to run the program. Approximately 100 employees at Programmer’s Paradise have access to the software system, which the company interfaces with its financial package system, Multiview.

Programmer’s Paradise paid approximately $250,000 for the system. Customizations – such as a fax sending option, which enables Programmer’s to transmit purchase orders to its merchandise vendors that dropship product – were added internally. “Customizing the software internally kept our costs to a minimum,” says Vito Legrottaglie, vice president of information services and operations.

Strengths: “MACS’s online systems have many options, especially in the order-entry screen. For instance, whenever a customer orders, our order-takers can bypass the source code and go right to the payment screen, which cuts time on the inbound call. It’s much faster, and the order-taker isn’t peppering the customer with questions.”

Weaknesses: “Because we do a lot of dropshipping, we need to be able to transmit purchase orders to dropship vendors. MACS didn’t have a fax sending option to let us send purchase orders to our vendors, so the management software system is pretty limited in regard to electronic data interchange.”

Flexibility: “MACS interfaces well with our Multiview financial software.”

Training: “If your company has a very structured environment with strict business processes, training employees to use MACS should not be a problem. Due to the many features within MACS, workers have a tremendous amount of information to absorb when learning the system. So training is absolutely key, and the more training, the better.”

E-commerce: Programmer’s Paradise does not use Smith-Gardner’s Weborder e-commerce software product because the cataloger has developed a proprietary e-commerce system.

Overall system ranking (on a scale of 1-10): “I rate MACS a strong 8.”

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