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The Real Costs – Subscription vs. Perpetual Licensing in Production Control Software

In today’s fast-paced digital world, the allure of subscription models, championed by giants like Spotify and Netflix, is undeniable. This appeal isn’t limited to the entertainment industry; it has penetrated deep into the realms of business software, including production control software. However, as many businesses, including Callum Designs, have recognised, the “presumed” lower price tag often disguises the hidden costs.

The Prominence of Subscription Models:

At first glance, the subscription model seems like a dream come true with smaller payments that eliminate the need for a significant upfront capital commitment. However, these ‘small’ amounts accumulate significantly over time, often surpassing the total value of perpetual licenses.

Furthermore, the seemingly low monthly cost of £500 is deceptive when a setup cost of £4500 is factored in, as Procurement Director, Dan, from Callum Designs observes, “It isn’t just about cost. It’s functionality that makes the difference.”

Hence, a thorough evaluation of software functionality is imperative as seemingly comparable software may vary greatly in capabilities.

Unpacking Subscription Licensing:

Presumed Lower Initial Costs: The idea of paying smaller amounts periodically can seem less daunting than a lump sum. However, these costs quickly accumulate, often surpassing what would have been a one-time perpetual license fee. Hidden setup costs and onboarding training fees further escalate the total expenditure.

Lack of Ownership: At its core, the subscription model is a leasing arrangement. Dan underscores a crucial aspect: “After all those payments, if you decide to stop, you’re left with nothing.”

The Evergreen Appeal of Perpetual Licensing:

Contrary to the subscription trend, Berkeley Myles Solutions, the developers of ProgressPlus, have continued with the perpetual licensing model. This approach allows businesses to make a one-time investment and then own the license of the software in perpetuity.

Why Perpetual Licensing Makes Sense:

One-Time Investment: Dan highlights the overarching philosophy of this model: “It’s about long-term value. With ProgressPlus, after our initial investment, we knew where we stood.” Considering this as at least a 10-year investment makes sense especially as it is a critical business management system.

Tailored Support: Berkeley Myles isn’t merely a software developer. They’re partners in the truest sense. Dan’s experiences echo this sentiment: “It wasn’t just about troubleshooting; they genuinely cared about our success.” Unlike generic classroom training or generic demos provided by others, Berkeley Myles Solutions offers tailored support, ensuring that you have access to specialists, making the right choice for your business.

Effective Capability Assessment: They conduct a thorough review of business processes, workflows, and objectives to provide a unique implementation to fit these processes. The comprehensive functionality, underscored by Dan’s earlier comment, coupled with amazing support presents a best-in-class total value for production control software.

Delving into ProgressPlus Functionality:

Functional Depth: ProgressPlus is engineered for a comprehensive insight into production control, offering real-time monitoring, inventory management, order processing, and analytics. It meets distinct operational requirements, making it a robust tool for a variety of manufacturing environments.

Seamless Integration: The software is crafted to integrate seamlessly with existing systems, ensuring a smooth transition and fostering operational cohesion.

The ProgressPlus Experience: A Deep Dive: 

Sales Process: ProgressPlus starts by understanding your business to help solve problems. They engage identifying current processes, pinpointing challenges, and then providing a tailored demo to exhibit how ProgressPlus can elevate your operations.

Dan appreciated this approach during his interactions with the managing director, Tony MacBride: “Tony seemed to have all the answers during the sales process, ensuring we were making an informed choice.”

Analysis of Business Processes: ProgressPlus sets itself apart by conducting an evaluation of business processes. To provide the best service and support possible, they start their relationship with you by analysing your company processes, as well as spotting any blockers. This helps them understand and identify where and if change is needed.

Strategic Planning: Adding a new software package to your business needs a bit of planning. They provide short, interactive, and real-time training sessions online, tailored to your company, allowing your staff to get to grips with the software straight from implementation. Dan recognises the value of this approach, noting, “Steven’s industry experience shone through in our initial conversations. They wanted to understand us inside out, not just sell software.”

Open Channels of Communication: Engaging directly with decision-makers can be a game-changer. Reflecting on his interactions, Dan shares, “Engaging with Martin, the Technical Director, was enlightening. How often do you get direct access to such senior figures?” When do you get access to directors of the company? In most software businesses, the directors lock themselves away in their ‘ivory towers’.

Rapid Deployment: Transitioning to a new software solution can be daunting. Yet, with ProgressPlus, it’s smooth sailing. Dan can’t help but praise the process, stating, “The support team were great during integration. Any question asked, we encountered a solution.”

“Moreover, their support approach is rooted in ‘hand-holding.’ This means they are by your side at every step, ensuring smooth implementation, seamless integration, and continuous operational efficiency. They understand that every business is unique. Therefore, generic solutions won’t cut it.”

The Real Costs – Breaking Down Numbers:

Cumulative Costs: Small monthly or annual fees add up. Over a span of a few years, businesses often end up paying more in subscription fees than they would have for a perpetual license. The total cost over 10 years can be startling: £25K on perpetual pricing versus £90K on subscription-based pricing, but if you leave the subscription, you have nothing.

And the key difference? At the end of that period, with a subscription, you own nothing, while with perpetual licensing, you own the license.


The world of software licensing is vast and often complicated. However, upon a deeper examination, businesses realise that the initial cost savings associated with subscription models come with hidden costs. It is crucial to assess the depth of functionality, the support you receive, and the accumulative cost.

In the ever-evolving landscape of production control software, one thing remains clear: The value of a trusted partner like Berkeley Myles Solutions, dedicated to your success, is truly priceless. As Dan summarises, “It’s not just a purchase; it’s a strategic investment for the future.”

Moreover, a meticulous evaluation of software functionality, as illustrated in the detailed exploration of ProgressPlus, should be at the forefront of the decision-making process. This evaluation, coupled with an assessment of support quality and the total cost over time, will enable businesses to make an informed, strategic investment for their future.