Paragon ERP is a suite of fully integrated, cloud-based management tools built for small to large enterprises. Their integrations also include PDF Generator API, so we decided to have a chat with Jon Ruby, CEO of Jonar – the software development house behind Paragon ERP.
Jon – in short – what can you tell us about Paragon ERP – who is it targeted at and what does it do?
Paragon ERP is a full featured cloud-based ERP catering to the needs of small to large-sized businesses alike. About 8 years ago, we decided to give it a complete redesign and take it to the cloud. But instead of porting over the existing functionality, we basically started from scratch, this time in the cloud environment. We were pretty early in the cloud game and that has given us an upper hand in many cases. Paragons’ feature set is pretty comprehensive – it can handle anything from inventory and warehousing to logistics. It has a big feature set, which we opted to build up ourselves, as opposed to just integrating various external services. All of the core functionality has been built in-house, which does not mean that we do not incorporate external tools when and where it makes sense. We decided not to take the MVP approach in building our product, as so many companies do, but to build a product that is able to compete with the likes of Netsuite and Microsoft Dynamics.
Who are your main customers – any sector that stands out?
We have a big presence in the apparel industry in North America, a small business market in Northern Europe, and some basic manufacturing businesses in the US.
How did you discover PDF Generator API?
We initially built an integration with QlikView, which is a large reporting suite. We built a BI tool with them and also used them for what we call template reporting, but after some years we came to the realization that this was not sufficient for our needs. But to answer your question – we found you guys via a simple Google search 🙂, I believe it was in 2018.
How do you use our service – what is your use case?
We use the editor as an embedded service in our own software. So PDF Generator API opens within Paragon and from there on the process is pretty standard – we send a JSON file with the necessary data into PDF Generator API and get the document in return. We utilize PDF Generator API both for printing as well as emailing. Each of our individual tenants have their own unique space on your server. With new customers, we provide with a standard, default set of ready-made templates, which they can then edit, or build their own from scratch.
How did you handle all of this previously – before integrating with PDF Generator API?
We used to send the data to Qlikview, but that came with a significant lag – it sometimes took up to a minute before the document was ready to be printed. Now it happens within seconds, almost instantly. Previously, it was a lot harder. We basically did this inside the invoice module before. But that did not allow us to configure as many templates as we want, based on whatever combination of conditions we wanted.
Can you pinpoint any direct, measurable benefits that using PDF Generator API has enabled you to harvest? Is this something you can somehow quantify?
First of all, UX – in terms of UX, this is a big step forward for our customers. Secondly – development cycles – using our previous model, we were just not able to connect everything into a single configuration as we do now using PDF Generator API. That meant that every single template report previously required development cycles, just to set up the templates. This can now be achieved in a matter of minutes – and the best part is that this is done with zero involvement of the developers – by the user themself. Just setting up a single template could previously cost them up to a few thousand dollars – each!
This also opens up an entirely new revenue stream for our partner resellers. Even though we do not provide template creation as a service ourselves, our partners are free to do so, if they wish.
That meant that every single template report previously required development cycles, just to set up the templates. This can now be achieved in a matter of minutes – and the best part is that this is done with zero involvement of the developers – by the user themself.Jon Ruby
Which other sectors, do you think, could benefit from using a product such as PDF Generator API?
What I was thinking at some point, was that your product could be great for medical or legal billing. What your product is great for is creating multipage templates that can incorporate many sections of various cost types – itemized billing, like you would have on a medical or legal bill. Bills like this often have to comply with other requirements by third parties, such as insurance, for example. Hotel management software could be another good example where your product could be used.
To conclude – how would you describe your experience with PDF Generator API so far?
It has been a very good experience for us, and also your pricing setup is significantly more in line with what we need – there are no upfront, setup fees to the tens of thousands, even before getting started, as you would with some of the other big players on the market. You have been doing this for a long time, and I think by now your product is a lot more solid and reliable than anything else in the market. Also – off the top of my head – over these years, I can´t think of a single outage that we have ever experienced, nor have we had any complaints from our customers. Not to mention the great support – who we only reach out to once or twice a year, because everything just works!