We are frustrated at what appears to be a commercial decision by linnworks to contract out core features to 3rd party developers and then put them in the app store for a monthly fee.
The straw that broke the camels back for us is 'epicklist' which will now start charging at £14.99 per month. Thats £180 per year to essentially display what orders need to be picked - a display which we can already configure within open orders but linnworks will only allow us to do a paper print out not a screen print out or an auto updating printout.
We are already using xsellco to handle our ticket support at £60 per month, and really need a decent CRM system that links support to orders to avoid having to click many windows from xsellco to linnworks copying and pasting data on the way for an audit trail. Add this to the fact that it's impossible to easily get previous order data from a particular customer out of linnworks and the CRM is a real sticking point.
Come on linnworks, sort out the send to FBA process, give us the ability to generate our own dynamic pick lists without 3rd party software, get the CRM working.
Please note that we are not contracting out any core functionality. The main purpose of the App Store is to give 3rd-pary developers an opportunity to enhance the Linnworks functionality. These application are not part of the core functionality of Linnworks, these are addons which you can either use or don't.
As to the FBA process, we have your feature request posted. The dev team will review it and you’ll hear from us once we have made a decision.
I know this post wasn't specifically targeted at us, but since you mentioned our app I thought I'd weigh in to perhaps provide some clarity.
I believe that the app store is designed to be a solution to a problem. Linn Systems can only hire X amount of developers, and those developers can only work X amount of hours per day. There is a literal cap on the amount of new features they can add, and at the end of the day it's all a matter of resources. By opening the platform to 3rd party developers, new features that you require to run your business can be turned around much faster than before.
Another benefit of the app store is something that I feel may be overlooked by most users, but it's to do with expertise. Linnworks know what they are good at, and will continue to develop features that help strengthen their core product, but it makes sense to leave certain features, like CRM or EPOS modules, to the developers that have spent years passionately working on just those areas. As an example, I would rather use an accounting solution that was built by experts in the field, than be stuck with a sub-par offering developed out of necessity.
There are loads of developers out there that have the potential to add new functionality to a system that's already rich in features. One of those developers may end up implementing the perfect feature for yourself and your business, but without a flourishing app store attracting eager developers, that level of freedom & customisation would be impossible.
Linnworks is always going to be adding new features, and improving the features that have been part of the software for years, but without opening up their platform to other developers, you stand the risk of waiting a long time for features that, although you may find them necessary, are not in high enough demand to spend development resources on. I suppose what all this comes down to is what you consider a 'core feature', but I would argue that's a subjective term, as all businesses are different, and require different features at their core. We have come across many businesses that simply don't need a dynamic, interactive pick list, it's just not a core feature for them.
With regards to our app in particular, I hope that if we can continue to support adding new features, then hopefully it will earn a place in your warehouse in the months/years to come.
Have a great evening!
Your post is particularly interesting because Rigidas Software limited is not only registered a stones throw from Linnsystems Ltd but it also has directors Listed as:
A quick look on the linnworks website reveals these people as linnworks employees.
The software works OK, but as a customer feedback point of view, it needs much better CRM, xsellco needs proper write permission (really the best solution is to integrate CRM with something akin to Xsellco) and you really need to get the pricing in line with your competitors.
I'm not going to list them here but there are other companies out there who have solutions in house to CRM and xsellco who's FBA integration actually works (we just had to pay for a custom script which is a hack in order to get something remotely sensible out of query data due to you guys not having a proper FBA solution) for pretty much what a 5 user licence from linnworks costs (ie no extra's from xsellco, "Rigidas" etc)
The fact that Linnworks employees are selling their bolt on's claiming to be from another company is the icing on the cake.
It is of course entirely possible that 3 people with exactly the same names just so happened to set up a software company this year and decided to develop for linnworks.
I don't mean to burst your bubble, but unfortunately there isn't any grand deception or conspiracy at play here :)
Rigidas Software is a completely separate entity, consisting of 3 developers and 2 designers. 5 employees in total, 3 of which work at Linn Systems during the day. When Linnworks released their new API, a few of us noticed the opportunity to develop applications in our spare time, enjoying the freedoms of being able to develop what we like at our own pace, and to work on projects that otherwise wouldn't have been sanctioned by our current employers.
So far we have developed 2 applications; a mobile stock item editing tool, and an electronic pick list. Linnworks has never had any plans to develop either feature internally, so without us taking it upon ourselves to create such solutions in our evenings and weekends, they just wouldn't be available to anyone. Of course we run the risk of Linnworks developing either of those features themselves, in which case all of our hard work would have been for nothing, but that's always the case with 3rd party apps.
As you can imagine, it's been difficult for us to achieve what we have while we are limited to very late nights and very long weekends, but we genuinely have a passion for these little apps. If they aren't for you then that's fine, they are optional features, but they are not features that Linnworks are obligated to develop. You seem to have a good understanding of what you require from a CMS system, and if Linnworks can't provide what you are looking for, then we might be able to help! let me know if you want to discuss bespoke features, as that's what we are here for. This whole project is about removing limitations. If Linnworks won't do what you want it to do, then without 3rd party developer access, it never will. If you truly believe that Linnworks employees shouldn't be developing features off their own back in their spare time, then that's fair enough, but the Linnworks platform as a whole will be a weaker offering without it.
Linnworks Implementation Specialist by Day
Rigidas Software Designer by Night!