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Framing Software

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Joe and Anita, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Joe and Anita

    Joe and Anita Grumbler in Training

    why is every framing software demo I have downloaded such a complicated procedure??
    I come from Graphic Design and have numerous versions of professional design software and add ons.. no problems.
    Is there a pricing and visualization software available that has the main supplier data bases that does not have a ridiculous set up procedure or require me to be an amateur computer programmer to run?
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  2. Aaron Randall

    Aaron Randall CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    What have you tried out? This industry is a horse of a different color, pretty hard to compare to many others.

    I use Lifesaver Cloud, I don't recall any major issues with setup, definitely a few hoops to jump through. All of the vendors I use are in their database, so that made it a lot easier. I only use it for pricing and orders, no visualization service. I've still had to go in and manipulate almost all of the pricing variables to some degree, but it's really easy to do with their software. My biggest complaint is that it forces me to enter the height of a picture first, which in the opposite of how I've measured for years, and that I have to re-login every few hours instead of keeping me logged in.
  3. Joe and Anita

    Joe and Anita Grumbler in Training

    Lifesaver is one, the visualization add on is third party clear as mudd ... artteck is another 4 pages of installation instructions, software hangs on the third page of instructions, no 800 help number and no way to call help direct... leave a message and wait for a call back.. (still waiting) and artframer... came with something that absolutely killed my processing speed... and does not work if you do not have excel.
  4. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    All the limitations/hangups you mention are - I'm sure - a result of the fact that there are not that many picture framers. That translates to not many sales for POS suppliers, so they have to provide the best product they can at the price point "most" framers are willing to pay. I can guarantee that if the average frame shop were willing to pay $10-20k* for software that you'd have a much better and user friendly product.

    *realistic price for comparable product in many other markets.
  5. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I agree. I think software developers in past tried to add as may "features" they could to be more attractive.
    Check this out.
    EST Lite seems pretty easy to set up although Ive never actually used it.
    Perhaps it's time for an up to date pricing App.
  6. Joe and Anita

    Joe and Anita Grumbler in Training

    thx, problem though with that one is the visualization is a $1000- ad on...
  7. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    For the legacy version of lifesaver, there's an check box option to use "Vertical before horizontal". Look for that option in the cloud version settings menu. You're not the only one who measures this way, and it's probably an option in the new cloud version. I don't currently use the cloud version, so I can't confirm.
  8. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Personally, I think visualization is more of a gimmick and rarely results in a better or bigger sale.
    ArtMechanics likes this.
  9. i-FRAMER

    i-FRAMER MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I know framers who love it and use it all the time and others who hate it.

    I personally put ours on the shelf. I found it took longer with customers and every time you explain to them don't look at the colours on the screen because they don't represent true colours, they never listen and then wonder why they can't have the green coloured mat on the screen. Even though the image was taken of the mat unless you have your screen perfectly calibrated, your environmental lighting and angle of view to the screen so it does not change, it will never be the same.

    The framers who use it and love it, says it helps them to up sell double mats or fillets and sometimes wider mat borders.
    It is also good for corporate and interior designers if you work with them.

    As with pricing software, it's complicated because businesses are complicated and varied. If they weren't, anyone could run a business. I would suggest that if you take time and look at what the software does other then price, as in how it can help save money and time and increase profits, the time you put into sitting one up will more then pay off in the long run (generally immediately)
    ArtMechanics likes this.
  10. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Joe and Anita,

    I see that you are in Cloverdale, BC. :) My wife Sarah, was just there two weeks ago visiting her Aunt in Surrey. This was all family time, so I doubt I could have convinced her to stop and talk shop!

    I was wondering if you have a retail shop, or are you home based? This pertains slightly to the set-up of any POS system. And of course it takes time to set-up any of the POS programs as far as being inclusive to include your margins, vendors, etc. Glass pricing and specialty charges... Each framer will include elements that are important to them.

    We use SpecialtySoft - FramePro and have had it in place since 1999. We use a dedicated server and access this from 6 POS workstations. Four of these are used face-to-face with customers. We are bar-code junkies... not only is this useful for general retail items, but also for mouldings and matboards... helping with accuracy.

    We have visualization set-up and have played with four different versions/brands. Honestly it becomes a none issue, and although I see some framers who use it to great success, it really has not been the required piece of software for our shop.

    As you compare POS software, I would examine no more than two at a time....otherwise it will be confusing and frustrating.... If you have the time, play with two for at least two weeks, then drop the one you like less and add a third to examine. Recognize that EVERY POS system will have nuances that you like and others you don't - examine the big picture when you make your final decision and go with it! :D

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