Who Ya Gonna Call???



I get at least one e-mail or call a month from someone, who is unhappy with Made2Manage in some way. Either they’re unhappy with the product, or with support, or both.

Obviously, if the problem is technical the first step is to contact support. However, support may not be able or willing to help you with your problem. M2M Technical Support has guidelines in place as to what help they’re allowed to provide and which services require additional compensation. Many issues fall somewhere in a gray area and exactly what is M2M’s responsibility is up for debate.

It’s important to remember that the voice on the phone belongs to an actual person who probably wishes they could just fix your problem for you at no additional cost. However, they are bound by these guidelines and it won’t help to rave at them over the phone. Trust me, I’ve tried. 🙂

I suggest you do what I do, call your CAM (Customer Account Manager). Their sole job is to make sure that you are a happy, maintenance paying customer. Let’s face it, they have a definite financial motivation for doing so. The support representative works for Consona, but your CAM really works for you.

I’ve had CAM’s do the following:

  1. Arranged for free consulting time.
  2. Escalated my case from first line tech support to one of the heavy hitters.
  3. Negotiate better deals for certain services.

Call your CAM and patiently explain your problem and what you expect M2M to do to fix it. Make sure that what you’re asking is reasonable, but stick to your guns.

I’ve never had a situation in which a M2M CAM has failed to go to bat for my company and I’ve dealt extensively with three different CAMs.

So, who ya gonna call? Your CAM.

13 comments to Who Ya Gonna Call???

  • One thing that has always irked me is how quickly they want you to contact the customizations dept. Must be a real profit center. We’re paying umpteen thousands/year for support. That should come with a significant amount of help for more advanced programming topics. ease of customization should be included.
    if they sold cakes they’d want extra for frosting.

  • Tyler

    Well put David; I might add that if and when you submit a case on that you be sure to flag it for education or true support required. As you would want it for yourself in the time of need this helps move the request along to the correct channel leaving the true support needs to those that need it.

  • David

    A very valid point, most of us know the taste of “all of the responsibility and none of the authority”. No need to torque the messenger.
    I’ve been referred to customizations so much I immediately flash “Groundhog Day” (w/Sonny and Cher in the background). Not a good flash mind you like “Chuck” where intelligent data is attained more like Phil Connors and the alarm clock.

    Yes #2 & #3 are life savers, as for #1 I haven’t tried that flavor yet.

    Thank you!

  • Fairly new to M2M (inherited support). Can someone point me to the proper maintenance routines which should be run periodically please? I have little documentation, and thus hate to kick off any utility unless I know what the repercussions are (of course I’ll backup prior to doing anything). My experience with VFP is it routinely needs some re-indexing etc. to stay at its best. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Larry,

    I have a few questions for you.

    1. What version of M2M are you on?
    2. Are you on support?
    3. Are you experiencing any problems right now?

  • We have negoiated some substantial savings in past vis-a-vis reduced costs for services in exchange for continuing the annual support. However, my bigest beef is with sloppy, non-standard code. A quick examination of M2M reports reveals many methods used to skin the same cat. If this is true in reports I would assume it is true of general code. Wish they would decide on a method and educate all coders to use it. For example, decide on a method to create the SQL code – Copy Text, Quotes, Brackets etc and a way to convert date variables – then have at it. One of the key areas in version 6 that is junk has to do with a Browse vs. a selection drop down. I do not think they understand that when one is entering data for a search the SOP is to limit the results to begin with a match to those characters entered. This is the way most systems work that I have seen. Certainly not to shoot you to the top of the file as in the broken inventory on hand by location screen. I am sure they used different routines to create browse and lookup features throughout the system. If the same function was called they should all work or the fix should be minimal based on an incorrect call of the function. Finally, where the hell is their test dataset? After this many years of development you would think they would have a beautifull set of test data that would cover pretty much all the basis – no such luck. RANT ENDS

  • Forrest Williams

    Speaking of tech support, sometimes I can’t believe the questions I get back from them when I create a case.

    Here’s a recent example. I reported a bug in Ver 6.0 — you get a red box error when you right-click on the Bill-to field in the QUOTE screen.

    Here’s the reply:

    Thanks for using to submit your case.

    I am not seeing a bill-to field in the quote screen. Can you add a screen shot to the case of what you are seeing?
    Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

    Thank you,

    **** Name Redacted by David
    Support Analyst, Made2Manage
    Consona ERP

    Should I call my CAM and complain that tech support doesn’t know their way around the M2M screens?

  • @Dennis Boyle, you are right on point.
    We pay M2M 80k per year for the same type of answers like Forrest Williams provided. I just recently had a case that was worked on for over a month, for them to say:
    The po queue is a legacy feature, replaced first by MRP and now P&S. Currently, you can use MRP for both job and PO demand management, with superior functionality to the PO and JO queues.

    Why couldn’t they have told me that in the first place?
    Why cant they fix the problem we are having with the PO queue which is still in 5.6 mind you.. Very frustrating.

  • Joshua

    Thanks for bringing up the elephant in the room David! 🙂

    I’m part of a multi-site location and between the three plants I can totally sympathize with the complaints and concerns expressed by all.

    If we were to do a cost analysis and comparison of what we pay per year (we’re talking almost six figures here, easily the yearly salary of a high paid employee), versus the support we get, it would be laughable. And to be completely honest, Consona should be ashamed. It saddens me to make such a statement, over the years I’ve had the opportunity to get to know a few employees and they’re all great, talented people, but the leadership and structure of support and customization is in dire need of change.

    It’s gotten to the point where only the most easy and basic support calls are ever resolved, anything more than that is either pushed off on customizations or put in the CR bucket which is pretty much an official ‘tough s@&$, it aint getting fixed anytime soon’.

    At this point, we’re really considering terminating support and reallocating support fees to the 3rd party/freelance market.

    Things are only aggravated further by Consona’s ‘threats’ regarding utilizing the 3rd party market.

    I’d like to know how others here are addressing the lack of adequate support from Consona. Figure it out yourself, 3rd party, prayer?


    Thanks for getting our blood boiling a week before the conference David, should I run for the doors I see men in black suits with ear pieces approaching me?


  • It’s great to have these kinds of conversations on the blog, and I’m glad you folks are able to vent your frustrations with M2M Support. I want to encourage honest dialog about problems with the system and Consona as a whole.

    However, please don’t call out individual support representatives by name. Larry, I edited your comment as I’m sure you didn’t intend to do that.

    Also, I think it’s important that what I’m trying to emphasize is using your CAM to mitigate these problems, rather than a rant about the problems themselves.

    Carry on folks. 🙂

  • Curt

    Currently, we are working on the “Prayer” method. I am a total nubie when it comes to M2M and SQL. They laid off our expert and we have one admin and myself. Guess we should be saving tons of money, huh?

  • Stephen

    You know, I do actually use 3rd party consultants myself. They’re both ex-Consona employees too!! Hahaha…

  • You make valid several points the first being that support are human the other is the guidelines they are instructed to follow. I also wonder if the internal technology that M2M support uses is out dated! Take for example the Ask Expert, this name is an oxymoron because rarely do I find clearly written instructions.
    I get better answers and quicker from the M2M User bulletin board. I find other users posting here because support is unable to give them the information they need.

    Most of the time when I open a case and support comes back with another answer, I’ve closed cases due to the back and forth texting, a phone call could resolve in 2 minutes.

    The solution, Consona needs to reinvent their support team. After all a happy customer is a paying customer.

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