The Final Tally
Here is the final tally from Top 10 Reviews on the Best Label Software of 2013:
- Bartender 9.88/10
- Nicelabel Pro 9.73/10
- Label Flow 9.25/10
But was the review fair and accurate?
When I looked over the comparison chart 4 out of 10 all had scores above 9. The only separation between Bartender and NiceLabel Pro relates to the design tools. In a usability rating, Bartender scored a 94 to NiceLabel’s 88.
Were the Results Valid?
But whoa! Not so fast! I’ve found some suspect data, some of it simply misleading, and question the overall validity of the reviews. For example, the only “con” listed for 2nd place NiceLabel Pro says that it may be hard to get support in the US, as the company is based in Europe. While Niceware’s headquarters is based in Europe, their US based support is excellent, and I’ve never had an issue getting hold of Niceware tech support in Wisconsin. Ever.On the other hand, while Seagull Scientific is headquartered in WA, they also have offices in Asia. At one time I was excited to see Bartender software that was written and supported in the US. But, I no longer see that disclaimer on Seagull’s site. That tells me that they have shifted the programming outside of the US. Otherwise, why would they stop touting the “written in the US” marketing point? The fact that they are on the West coast is good for those of us on the East Coast who work late; for those on the East who work early, not so good.
Customer Support Resources
The review mentions that the one “con” of Bartender is no live chat for support, but that there are enough other options available. Bartender does offer nine well-done video training tutorials on their website.
However, when one compares the resources that Niceware has made available on their site, the plot begins to thicken. It becomes clear almost immediately how Niceware has invested a lot of time and money to bring their users a ton of support options, including a wide array of videos and tutorials. Top 10 provides one of their criteria in selecting label software: “Support options should be plentiful and free”. It is clear that Niceware offers more support options and a more modern web platform than Seagull. Simply visit both sites and you decide.
Niceform Feature Excluded From Review
Also, when we consider the feature set of Bartender 10 vs. Nicelabel 6, Niceware made a couple of feature enhancements. They now offer their acclaimed Easy Forms/NiceForms features as a part of the Pro version. I did not see any mention or comparison with this feature reviewed. This is a feature that streamlines data entry and record selection, and makes label printing much more user friendly; yet, not even a mention of it, and Bartender gets a slightly higher review for design tools and usability? Whoever reviewed Nicelabel, must not have explored the NiceForm feature. That would have changed the tide, and easily made NiceLabel #1 again in 2013.
Don’t get me wrong. I think Bartender is excellent software, and the folks at Seagull are friendly. In my opinion, Bartender has a cooler sounding brand name than NiceLabel. It is easy to use, with plenty of features. But with regard to being #1, or “better” than Nicelabel Pro, I have to disagree. Niceware has pumped a lot of money into their product line these past couple of years, and has added new features which enhance and simplify the user experience. NiceForms is tough to beat, and unless Bartender adds a feature that is a game changer, I already have a prediction for this software review in 2014.
Accurate Reviews Are A Must
Hopefully next year the reviewers will consider all of a software packages features, even if that requires stepping outside their matrix a bit. Because I earn a living helping companies select the proper technologies, including label software, it is painful to see half-baked reviews, which should be more accurate. Reviews such as those posted from “Top 10” greatly affect people’s purchase decisions, since most people believe what they read. There seems to be some questions as to the validity of some on-line review sites, “Top 10” being among them.
Try Then Buy
They end their review by stating “By scrutinizing our matrix and individual product reviews, you should be able to find the best professional barcode software for your business.” While these online comparisons can be helpful for determining basic features and price, you really need to explore deeper with someone who can recommend the right package for your company; someone who knows which features of the various packages are key. It is also important to try before buying; most offer 30 day free trials. Simply reading a review and looking at a matrix isn’t enough.