Frame Shop Software


Oct 27, 2003
I was just wondering what is the most commonly used software for frame shops.
What is the average cost for this software.


K. Allen
Rats, I was going to say Microsoft Windows, but that won't do you any good.

I thought I'd be a nice guy and do a search for "POS," but the hundreds of hits include words like 'positive,' 'possibly,' 'position' and 'post.'

Mike, where's that list of yours?
A Mac user? – good for you!

I don't have POS software but I use the AppleWorks spreadsheet for pricing and the AppleWorks database module for customer database. I keep the pricing spreadsheet in a loose leaf binder at the sales counter.

I have a thing about POS packages (most I've seen are just a slick shell over a spreadsheet, anyway): they force you do work the way the programmer/framer does; it ties up a computer and eats up valuable real estate on your sales counter; and it makes your shop which you want to present as a skilled workplace look like the counter at a Burger King.

… and, POS software is pricey.
On the other hand, it can help you avoid common mistakes, like putting a 3" mat around a 12x14 opening and getting a 15x17 frame size.

(I've heard that people do that.)

Or forgetting to charge them for glass.

Also, I've noticed people are less inclined to dicker about the price if you hand them a written price quote.

What I perhaps like the best is that every order I've written in the past ten years is on the computer and can be easily-retrieved when needed.

(The older orders are on paper in a whole bunch of file cabinets waiting to be scanned into the computer. I expect to get to that any day now.)
There's no doubt that a POS is the way to go, for a lot of reasons. Once you use one for a short period, you won't want to go back

It gives the client confidence that you have consistent set prices so they're less likely to play "lets-make-a-deal", saves time at the design counter, makes it easy to compare several frames or glass types with the same dimensions, eliminates calculation errors, keeps a history of forever-to-date for customers and orders(mailing list database, etc), makes daily/monthly/yearly tax time easier by having all the numbers ready, most pos's will automatically adjust the vendor prices and products as they change (weekly), most of them will generate a materials purchase list to make weekly ordering a breeze, most will generate a "workorder" with instructions for the framer, most automatically handle scheduling loads and will shift to a different due date when a pre-set daily limit has been reached, quote printing, corporate billing, inventory, art sales, source tracking and statistics, promotion/coupon/discount ability for whole order or a specific component, monthly/yearly history reports/comparisons, reports of what sells and what doesnt, commission tracking for consignments and sales people, etc. Your accountant and the IRS will be very pleased. Many pos's have additional options such as a cash drawer, barcode system(we recently installed and love this), CMC interface, updates via internet, time clock for employees, receipt printer, etc

POS systems ARE expensive (up to 2k) - but worth every penny in my opinion. It's just as important, if not more important, than any piece of equipment in the back room. Unfortunately, there is only one program that I know of that is designed to run exclusively on the Mac. Framesmart is in the top 4 as far as popularity, and also makes a more popular PC version. The Mac represents 3-6% of the pc market, so developers are not attracted to it unfortunately. Lifesaver used to have a Mac version. My advice is to consider investing in a PC for this purpose. You can find new Dells for $250-$400 at,, etc With the pc, you'll be open to more options. Then again, FrameReady and the Mac are a good combo too! I would just ask them to make sure they plan to keep development alive in the future, before making the investment.

Every pos vendor on the list offers a free downloadable demo (or they will mail it). My advice is to take them up on this offer and test drive all of them. Each of them have an incredibly different process, and it's important to go with something you are comfortable with.

Happy POS hunting,

[ 01-10-2004, 07:57 AM: Message edited by: Mike-L@GTP ]
Keep your Mac, get Frameready, be happy that you can ingore 80% of the Techie Forum.

[ 01-10-2004, 08:10 AM: Message edited by: Mike-L@GTP ]
Oh my, Jo. Just when we were getting along so well. :(

Say what you want about PCs. You'd be mostly right.

But everyone knows that the <strike>geek</strike> techi forum contains the sum of all knowledge in the universe.
What you say is true.

I didn't say to ingore it completely, old friend, ole buddy, o' pal o' mine. ;)
I'm with Jo. I love my MAC.
It is the ONLY computer in the store that causes NO grief.
We got Lifesaver originally because they supported the Mac . So rather than switch software we reluctantly got PCs.
We now have 2 Dells networked and they seem to work fine .
We do not get email and NEVER download anything but software updates on them though.
I had my software ( Lifesaver) on my old PC and got a virus from an email...destroyed everything. I am just glad we were backing up Lifesaver daily.
One thing to remember about ANY software is to BACK UP daily.