Free

Upgraded e-mail features in your free Purchase Order Software

We made two fairly significant improvements to the e-mail features in the Free Version of SpendMap (including v12.65)…mail-GREEN

1) Encrypted E-Mail

SpendMap now supports encrypted (SSL/TLS) connections to the mail server.  Better security aside, we have been finding that more and more e-mail providers (like Google’s Gmail) no longer support unencrypted connections.  If you previously had trouble getting SpendMap to work with your e-mail system, please try again after upgrading.

Note the new “Secure Connection” setting under the Server Name or IP Address field, in…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > e-mail settings

Please note that to send e-mail, SpendMap now requires the Microsoft .NET Framework v4.0 or above to be installed on the PC (available since 2010).

We normally don’t make changes to published versions of SpendMap but we made an exception in this case due to recent changes at Google and the increasing number of requests for this feature.

2) Free, Built-In E-mail Service

The free version of SpendMap now includes a free, built-in e-mail service, which you can use instead of configuring the system to use your own e-mail server or ISP.

Just enter “SpendMap” in the Server Name or IP Address field in E-mail Settings to use this free service (don’t worry about the other SMTP settings as they will be ignored when using the built-in e-mail service).  The Online Help for the Server Name or IP Address field has additional details.

For new downloads of the free version of SpendMap, the Evaluation Copy is preconfigured to use this new e-mail service.  If you already have SpendMap installed, your settings will not change automatically but you can manually change the Server Name or IP Address field per above if you want to use this free service.

We got you some free PO Software for the holidays

Happy holidays!

This year we got you a totally free Purchase Order software system and support.

Hope it fits.

Feel free to re-gift to your friends and business associates.  Everyone loves free PO Software in their stocking, from your lawyer to your dentist to your contractor.

Have fun and be safe everyone.

– Your friends at the Free-Procurement Project and SpendMap.

A gift for you.

How to enable modules in your Free Purchase Order Software

Update 07/29/2015:  Our Free Version now includes the Purchasing, Receiving and Email Integration modules.  Read the announcement here.

We’ve had a few Support Tickets from people asking about the message that you get when you try to access certain modules in the free version of SpendMap, stating “To use this feature, you need to enable the feature (or the entire module) in the Setup System area“.

enable-module in Free Purchase Order Software

Sometimes people misinterpret this message to mean that the feature or function is not available in our Free Version, when in fact it is and just needs to be turned on and/or configured.

All of the modules are enabled by default in the Evaluation Copy of SpendMap but in your Live Copy, some modules are disabled by default to improve system performance.  You can enable some of the modules during the Setup Wizard that runs automatically when you log into your Live (production) System for the first time, otherwise you can visit the Setup System menu group to enable them after-the-fact…

  • Main Purchasing Module (Purchase Orders) – Enabled automatically when you run the Setup Wizard.
  • Requisitions and Approvals – Does not need to be enabled (always turned on).  Just start entering requisitions when you’re ready.
  • Receiving – Can be enabled during Setup Wizard or with first check-box in…RECEIVING > Setup system > Receiving options
  • Invoice Approval – Must be enabled with first check-box in…INVOICE APPROVAL > Setup System > Invoice Options
  • Request For Quotation (RFQ) – Does not need to be enabled (always turned on).  Just start entering RFQs when you’re ready.
  • Inventory Control – Must be enabled with first check-box in…INVENTORY CONTROL > Setup system > Inventory options
  • Asset Management – Does not need to be enabled (always turned on).  Just start entering or purchasing assets when you’re ready.
  • E-mail Integration – Enabled by configuring the settings in …PURCHASING > Setup system > e-mail settings
  • Faxing – Due to licensing restrictions related to the third party fax technology that we use for this module, which limits the number of copies that we are allowed to distribute, the Faxing Module is not available in the Free Version of SpendMap.  Please consider using the E-mail Module instead.
  • PunchOut (e-commerce integration) – This web-based component is only available in the Paid Version of SpendMap.

Free Purchase Order Software – new stuff coming soon!

New Version of SpendMapWe’re starting to roll out the 2014 release of SpendMap (v12.6), which includes more than 30 new features and capabilities.

We even added some new stuff just for the Free-Procurement Community, such as the ability to build Purchase Orders from approved Purchase Requisitions immediately as the last Approver completes their review (i.e. you no longer have to run the Build PO Utility as a separate step).  This will be more convenient for smaller companies that don’t have dedicated Buyers/Purchasing Managers who review orders before they go out the door.

Anyway, this is just a pre-announcement that more good stuff is coming your way.  We’re working on the updated installation package for new systems now, and then we’ll put together a v11.9 to v12.6 update for existing users, likely in the next couple/few weeks.

Wasting Money is Scary for SMBs

FRIDAY-THE-13THWasting money is pretty scary for most small and medium size businesses.

It’s hard enough to run a profitable business these days, without having to worry about your staff spending money that they shouldn’t be.

Get control of your spending and see where the money is going, with SpendMap’s free Purchasing Management Software.

Happy Friday the 13th.

 

People are still skeptical of free Purchase Order Software

skepticalMore than two years into the Free-Procurement Project, we’ve given away more than 20,000 free Purchase Order systems to SMBs in over 100 countries, yet people are still skeptical.

Susan works in a Hospice in Florida, a non-profit organization helping families when they need it most.  Hers is exactly the type of organization that we’re trying to help with this Project.

Susan kindly responded to the survey that we send out a few weeks after people download the free software, and wrote…

The purchase orders are great. The problem I had was the inability to email the purchase orders out. I received error messages and determined that this software program really isn’t free.  The act of misleading the end user is what I was most disappointed in.

The message she is referring to says that the e-mail module needs to be set up, not that it needs to be purchased.  I think perhaps Susan must have had an underlying assumption that a totally free Purchase Order System, worth literally thousands of dollars, is too good to be true, which led her to jump to a wrong conclusion.

And Susan is not alone.  Despite our best efforts, people still think there’s a catch.

So for all you skeptics out there, I’m here to tell you that the free version of SpendMap it just that, totally free.

Trust is a pretty hard thing to earn on the Internet these days but we’re trying.

It’s ok to applaud your Free Purchase Order Software

Here’s another interesting blog post from Seth Godin.

Well friends, in case you were waiting for permission to “whoop, holler or applaud” as Seth puts it, here it is…

Please do let us know that you’re happy with the free version of SpendMap, by adding a comment to our Reviews Page, or by posting on our Facebook timeline.

We don’t ask for any money for you to use the software, for providing technical support or for maintaining this Blog, but we sure would appreciate if you could help spread the word.

Thanks and best regards,
– The Free-Procurement Project team

Is free Purchase Order software right for you?

Barry in Washington, D.C. commented that we might want to be a bit more forthcoming about the differences between the Free and Paid versions of SpendMap. free vs.  paid purchase order software

Sorry about that, Barry.  We didn’t mean to hide anything.

In a nutshell, while they are functionally very similar, the Free Version is a Windows/desktop application that was designed for small businesses and small buying groups in larger organizations, while the Paid Version is a web-based (browser-based) system that is more suitable for midsize and large organizations (since it runs in your web browser with no software to install, it’s easier to deploy to a large number of users).

Technology aside, there are also differences in the way that we sell, implement and support the two products.  For example, the Free Version is all set up for SMBs to do a self-evaluation, while we offer a more “consultative” sales approach for our larger customers who are considering the Paid Version (bigger companies tend to have more complex needs when it comes to their e-procurement systems, which often makes a self-evaluation impractical).

Similarly, the Free Version assumes a do-it-yourself implementation using the various resources that we provide with the free software (e.g. online help, video tutorials, online support system), while our larger, paying customers get to work directly with our Client Services Group and have access to our full line of Professional Services, such as priority phone support, web-based and on-site training, implementation consulting, and custom programming services.

Again, these are just the main differences between the Free and Paid Versions of SpendMap.  For more details, we added a new subsection called “Is this right for you?” to the Getting Started Documentation that comes with the free software.  Just select the menu HELP > CHECK FOR UPDATES, then exit and re-run SpendMap.  The new section is right at the top of the Getting Started Documentation.

Hope this helps.

Success Story: MCS Wins with Free Purchase Order Software

Managed Care Systems (MCS) was struggling to control their Purchasing, inventory and budgets with a patchwork of outdated systems.  Having grown to over 300 employees, MCS was overdue for an upgrade.  Unfortunately, there was no budget for a new e-procurement system, but that didn’t stop Eric Jeffers, who is responsible for the Purchasing Department at MCS.

“Our old system was written in-house a bunch of years back and it was starting to fall apart,” says Eric.  “The IT Department didn’t want to invest resources to fix it, so we kept limping along.  Plus, as an add-on to the Help Desk system, it was really just an over glorified word processor to start with; it could print a PO and keep some history, but there was still a ton of manual effort and duplicate data entry for each order, and it didn’t track inventory or provide any budget controls, which were big problems.  We were constantly going over budget because the managers who were approving orders couldn’t see the status of budgets real-time.  And we were running out of stock all the time, which meant a big panic, rush orders and extra charges for expedited deliveries”.

So when Eric found SpendMap with its real-time budget and inventory controls fully integrated with its world-class Purchasing functionality, he was optimistic to say the least.  “I have been working in Purchasing departments for 15 years and this is by far the best purchasing software I have ever seen,” says Eric.  “You can’t imagine how disappointed I was when I was told that we had no budget left for a new system and I had to wait until the following year”…

(more…)

The Free-Procurement Project Turns 1

This week is the 1-year Anniversary of The Free-Procurement Project.

Free Purchase Order Software turns 1
That’s right, it’s been one year since we launched the world’s first totally free e-procurement system.

And even with our 20 years of experience in this business, we could never have predicted how much interest there would be in the Project.  So far, more than 5,000 people in over 100 countries have downloaded the Free version of SpendMap.

Our sincere thanks to the entire Free-Procurement community and all of you who helped make this project a success!

All the best,
– The Free-Procurement Project Team