Aquilon ERP Software Review

Aquilon Software
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Aquilon
Aquilon Software
1999
Burnaby, BC
Ownership:
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Private
Unknown
Cloud, On-Premise
No
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Aquilon At A Glance

Good: Seamless integration of modules, multiple options for deployment, affordable price for small businesses.
Bad: GL integration is not done in real time but Aquilon expects this to be corrected within the next year.
Bottom Line: Robust ERP software that enables SMBs to boost efficiencies, enjoy cost management benefits, and make accurate decisions.

Product Overview

Aquilon is an enterprise resource planning solution for small and mid-sized distributors and manufacturers. Aquilon ERP includes all of the following in a single tightly integrated system: Financial Management, Inventory, Sales, Configure to Order, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Replenishment Planning, Manufacturing Management and Planning, and Supply Chain Management.

Its FAST implementation toolset (included with the software) allows customers to quickly and accurately transfer data from their old system to the new system, which in turn reduces customers’ overall costs of implementation when compared to similar ERP systems.

Aquilon interface is clean, uncluttered and ubiquitous throughout the system which simplifies training and speeds up user acceptance.

Aquilon’s transaction engines apply real-time updates across the system. That means there’s no waiting for batch processes, and the data is always current. Users get immediate insight into the state of their company when they view the Management Dashboard, which can be used to drill down into crucial data and spot issues to be resolved efficiently and quickly.

Furthermore, Aquilon’s range of standard queries and reports, the capability to generate user-defined queries and reports and with seamless integration to Excel and Access, arm customers with the necessary information to operate and guide their companies forward.

The software is available as an on-premise solution, hosted solution (multi-tenant or private) or as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution.

Features

Aquilon’s key modules include:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Aquilon’s CRM is embedded and integrated into the software’s ERP platform, which combines the capability of the Sales Analysis, Sales Order, Accounts Receivable and Contact Management modules into one easy to use data entry and inquiry system. Starting with a contact, customer or an opportunity as the entry point, users can look at outstanding opportunities, sales funnels, quotes, sales orders, sales pricing, follow-up schedules, contact notes, detailed customer information and more without leaving the system. The user-defined data views allow customers to develop their own reporting systems.
  • Supply Chain Management: This tool streamlines a company’s supply chain, integrating and tracking the end-to-end movement of items, resulting in better execution, more precise planning and enhanced agility. Its other benefits include a replenishment planning system resulting in a balanced stock position, optimizing working capital, reducing obsolescence, increasing sales and dashboarding real-time data which allow business managers to make informed decisions.
  • Financial Management: This suite of module supports the complete range of accounting operations, offering control with detailed analysis that gives users an overview of every area of their business. Aquilon’s Management Dashboard lets qualified users track all accounting and financial data with a single application as well as drill down into data to glean insights when needed, allowing them to manage by exception. Benefits include increased liquidity, streamlined financial processes (collection, settlement, payment, financing), accelerated response to changing market conditions, and more.
  • Manufacturing Management: This suite of modules includes a bill of material, bill of operations, work in progress, manufacturing estimates, configure to order capability, and more. The system caters for batch, process and quick assembly manufacturing.
  • Report and Financial Report Writer:  Users have the choice of exporting information and data to external programs to build reports or using Aquilon’s included a report writer and data view builder that accesses the central database to pull out details quickly, allowing users to design custom reports that suit their needs. Also, a financial writer utility is integrated into the General Ledger module that supports companies with multiple companies, departments, and cost centers. Examples of reports that can be designed include financial ratios, cash flow statements, income statements, balance sheets, and profit and loss statements.

Standard features that spread across the breadth of modules include:

  • Management dashboard: Summarized by functional area of business, this dashboard gives a real-time, bird’s eye view of the company’s financial health, with the added benefit of drill down.
  • Drill-down: Simplified access allows for efficient digging of data from the topmost layers to the deepest.
  • Audit Trails: All pertinent data associated with every financial transaction or master data is recorded in on-file journals, including the operator. The included job-logging system records program details, dates and length of use for each program run by the operator.
  • User defined data views/queries: Like Excel, data views allow users to configure the data displayed in rows and columns, with many powerful features to meet their job function and save, share and export these views for reuse later.
  • Role-based Security: Administrators can add operators and roles to the system, and then link the two to set up appropriate system security.
  • Document Linking and Retrieval: Multiple document types can be connected to predefined or specific entities such as Customers, Suppliers, General Ledger accounts, Fixed Assets, Inventory items, Bill of Materials, and others, and can be viewed wherever and whenever desired.
  • Image linking and display: Throughout the system images may be linked and displayed, examples are inventory items, fixed assets, pictures of contacts, drawings and more.
  • Built-in Graphics: Handy for business intelligence purposes, a built-in graphics engine gives users the choice of visualizations – from line to bar charts and more.
  • Data Maintenance Tools: Data conversion programs and a “round tripping” system keep data clean and accurate over time.
  • Report Writer: With full access to the central database, this tool drills down into the data and generates custom reports.
  • Financial Report Writer: A separate but integrated Financial Report Writer expedites output on Balance Sheets, Income Statements, Profit and Loss statements and more.
  • Business Intelligence: There are many standard reports in the system that analyze the data and provide business intelligence to drive your decisions. Two examples are the Customer Ranking Query (which ranks customers by Gross Sales, Gross Profit, and profit after allocation of activity costs) and the Inventory Pareto analysis which ranks inventory from the most critical contributor to the least essential contributors.

  • Accounting?
  • Business Intelligence?
  • Customer Relationship Management?
  • Human Resources?
  • Inventory Management?
  • Product and Purchase Planning?
  • Supply Chain Management?

Target Market

Aquilon ERP is targeted at small- to mid-sized companies in a variety of industries. Below are 10 of its notable clients:

  • Ontario Building Supply
  • Nautilus International Control & Engineering
  • Ultra Fasteners
  • Oakmont Industries
  • Twelve Oaks Flooring
  • PrepareSmart
  • Hensen’s Group of Companies
  • Magnum Glass and Door
  • Nova Filtration
  • Newtech Beverage Systems

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Implementation/Integration

Aquilon can be implemented as an:

  • On-premise solution: The software runs on users’ servers at their location.
  • Hosted solution: The software runs on hardware offered by a service provider from their premises. Customers are responsible for the cost of peripherals, systems and connectivity needed to access Aquilon from these remote servers. In this option, the software license is purchased from Aquilon, and servers are rented from a service provider. Aquilon works only through “tier one” service providers for hosting customers’ systems.
  • SaaS Solution: With SaaS deployment, customers are renting the hardware and software services based on the number of personnel that access the system. In this case, customers are responsible for the peripherals, desktop computers, and connectivity needed to access Aquilon from their premises.

Interested individuals/companies can call Aquilon’s sales staff, a member of which will lead them through a series of questions to help determine the best way forward.

Customer Service & Support

Aquilon provides several customer support options.

For urgent queries or requests, customers can call 1-604-678-8040 and key in #2 to access the help desk. If voice mail is activated, users can leave a summary of the issue and the call will be returned promptly.

For less urgent matters, or if a user needs to schedule online training, they can  call 1-604-678-7020 or email Aquilon’s support staff at support@aqulion.biz.

Additionally, Aquilon offers brief videos that demonstrate how its software helps SMBs solve common issues with configuring/assemble to custom kits and product orders. Also, customers can request a free overview demo to see the User Interface and features Aquilon has to offer before making a buying decision.

Pricing

Aquilon offers different licensing options based on the implementation model chosen by the customer:

  • On-premise: Companies pay an upfront software license fee and an annual license fee that includes free upgrades to the latest version of Aquilon.
  • Hosted: Companies pay an upfront software fee plus an annual license fee, but the software runs on the hardware of the service provider. The software license is purchased directly from Aquilon.
  • SaaS: Users pay a monthly fee for renting the software and hardware services of the vendor based on the number of users that access the platform. It includes the license fee, all software upgrades and the server rental.

However, Aquilon doesn’t publicly display the pricing information for any license. Contact Aquilon directly for a quote.

Shortcomings

GL integration is not done in real time, and users must run batch programs to update the GL. Aquilon expects that this will be corrected soon, probably in the next 12 months.

Screenshots

Aquilon Software  Screenshot 1
Aquilon Software  Screenshot 2
Aquilon Software  Screenshot 3

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About

Aquilon Software was co-founded by Greg Condon and Phil Patton when they acquired the intellectual property rights to Aquilon ERP. Working with their experienced team, they’ve been designing, supporting and implementing ERP systems for small and medium-sized businesses since the early 1990s. Their goal has been to enable companies to improve customer service, boost asset utilization and reduce costs without breaking the bank.

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