Blue Link ERP Review

Blue Link Associates
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Blue Link
Blue Link Associates
1992
Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Ownership:
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Private
Unknown
Cloud, On-Premise
No
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Blue Link At A Glance

Good: Specifically designed for wholesale and distribution companies, customizable for customers' needs.
Bad: Steep learning curve, unattractive UI.
Bottom Line: Blue Link is a robust, all-encompassing ERP solution for wholesale and distribution companies.

Product Overview

Blue Link is an accounting and inventory enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution. It focuses on small to medium-sized businesses, and it was designed for companies in the wholesale and distribution industries.

Although it’s Windows-based, Blue Link can operate on either a Mac or PC. The software doesn’t fit every business, but would be right for your company if:

  • The business is considered small to medium-sized.
  • You have a workforce between five and 150 employees
  • The company primarily handles distribution, wholesale, imports, retail or another related business.
  • You’re looking for a fully integrated “one-stop-shop” software solution.

Blue Link includes features for:

  • Inventory management
  • Accounting
  • Contact management and customer relationship management (CRM)
  • E-commerce integration
  • Warehouse management
  • Order entry/processing, and more

Other components include lot tracking, point-of-sale, landed cost tracking and barcode scanning. Additionally, the programmers of Blue Link pride themselves on being able to easily customize the solution.

While it has no free trial, prospective customers can request a free demonstration.

Features

Blue Link comes with advanced out-of-the-box functionality for all necessary ERP tasks, including integrated accounting, inventory management, and contact management software.

Because it’s such an all-encompassing solution, we’ll focus on Blue Link’s core features:

  • General ledger – The general ledger includes a Financial Report Writer with unlimited financial statement formats and the ability to consolidate multiple companies on a single report, and an Executive Summary with a snapshot of key financial information including ratios, small transaction details, reversing and recurring entries, and more.
  • Payroll – The payroll feature integrates with PayMate payroll software to handle all payroll demands.
  • Inventory management – Inventory management covers multiple warehouses and handles serialized inventory. In addition, it hosts many units of measure and has multiple flexible pricing models, including product- and customer-driven. Several automated methods can determine order levels and quantities, such as automatic creation of purchase orders.
  • Reporting and analytics – Users can create a report based on data within the system, which can then be automatically updated to provide real-time insight into the business’s bottom line. The tool can also be used to automatically email invoices and order confirmations, and generate various types of documents and reports.
  • Bill of materials and production control – Production control supports assembly and built-to specification production. It also tracks “soft costs” like labor and overhead, and it has a three-step assembly process that can optionally be run as a single step for “after the fact” recording. Other features of this module are tracking and posting work in progress (WIP), and automating production from sales order for made-to-order assemblies.

Blue Link also offers important optional components that can be added on to the ERP software. These include:

  • CRM (Lead opportunity management) – The CRM module provides comprehensive, flexible lead opportunity tracking and management, marketing list management and more.
  • Lot tracking (Traceability) – This add-on gives users full lifecycle lot tracking (from purchase through inventory to sales history), automatic or manual lot number assignment and more.
  • Interwarehouse and intercompany inventory transfer – Automated transfers between locations within the same company are supported by this tool.

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

Target Market

Blue Link specializes in small and medium-sized businesses and is best suited for wholesalers and distributors in North America and the Caribbean (although its global footprint is spreading).

The industries Blue Link has served include:

  • Food and beverage
  • Baby and children’s products
  • Food service and catering
  • Consumer goods
  • Salon and cosmetics
  • Electronics and technology
  • Pharmaceutical and medical
  • Industrial products
  • Apparel, fashion and sporting equipment
  • Garden and floral
  • Building, construction and home supplies
  • Mining and natural resources distribution

Blue Link is also useful for retail and e-commerce operations, and growing companies looking to replace existing stand-alone, introductory systems such as QuickBooks, Peachtree or Simply Accounting.

Some of its current clients are:

  • Wolfmark Promotional Apparel
  • Qualifirst Foods
  • SnuggleBugz
  • Lifford Wine Agency
  • Nathan's Famous
  • Kids Preferred LLC
  • Highland Evergreen Supply LTD
  • Petals West Inc.
  • Belcam Door & Frame Supply
  • Furniture Classics

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Implementation/Integration

Blue Link can be deployed either in the cloud or on-premise. Implementation services include:

  • Data migration – Blue Link’s implementation team will migrate all relevant data from legacy systems, eliminating the need for manual data input.
  • Consulting – Initial and ongoing consulting services ensure the system’s set up correctly for each customer.
  • Employee training – Both onsite training and additional training resources, such as documentation and videos, are available to all customers.

The vendor has partnered with several highly regarded app developers whose products integrate with the ERP as add-ons. These include Spreadsheet Server for creating financial statements, Virtual Logistics for e-commerce integration and electronic data interchange (EDI), Paymate for payroll, Repzio for mobile sales, Docuware for electronic document management, and Handshake for B2B e-commerce and mobile sales ordering.

Customer Service & Support

Blue Link rotates experienced consultants and developers through its customer support team. This means support representatives have an in-depth understanding of the system, along with its business processes and accounting methods.

Blue Link offers an online customer portal with hundreds of prerecorded training videos, email support and phone support from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday, with provisions in place for emergency situations and for clients who operate outside of those hours.

Pricing

Blue Link ERP doesn’t publicly release its pricing information. Please contact the vendor directly for a quote.

Shortcomings

Many users say that Blue Link’s screen navigation isn’t user-friendly and has an unattractive UI.

Additionally, some users complain that if they have a highly customized system, updates can occasionally cause trouble.

Screenshots

Blue Link Associates Screenshot 1
Blue Link Associates Screenshot 2
Blue Link Associates Screenshot 3

About

Blue Link Associates was established by Mark Canes in 1992 after he saw the need for better software to manage the operations of his owner-managed, product-driven business customers.

The vendor now employs more than 25 consultants, programmers, support representatives, and sales and marketing staff. It was listed on the Profit 100 List of Fastest Growing Companies in Canada.

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Send feedback or corrections to feedback@betterbuys.com.

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