Framing Software!?

Kiwi framer

Grumbler
Joined
Oct 20, 2002
Posts
18
From
New Zealand
Who out there uses framing software(Frame Ready, Lifesaver, etc)?
We have 6 shop staff on the floor serving customers all day and have been considering introducing framing software. On my recent trip to the USA I noticed that the framers I visited may have had 1 computer where they generated the framing order. Now this works well if you are only doing a handful of customer orders a day, but we have 6 staff taking at least 10 orders per day and 1 computer wouldn't cut it.
Is there someone generating similar volume who has introduced a computer system, and has it been successful?
HELP AGHHHHHHHHHHHH!! This is all too confusing..
:eek:
 

Ron Eggers

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 6, 2001
Posts
16,932
From
Wisconsin
Kiwi, I have seen several framers who use a number of networked computers running point-of-sale framing software and it seems to work well for them.

Networking PCs can be a hair-pulling experience for most of us, but there is professional help out there.
 

Lyn

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Joined
Oct 28, 2000
Posts
29
From
Charlotte, NC, USA
Kiwi, most of the more sophisticated software providers provide software to use at more than 1 station - we just got our second station hooked up, but have had some trouble with it being to slow to use...we are tryiing to figure out if the problem lies with the software or with the networking, each seems to think the other is the problem...hummm...

Anyway, I wouldn't think of taking an order without a pos system. I honestly don't know how you can be sure that mistakes aren't being made and that you are keeping your prices updated!

You can also have your own system designed that will support all of your stations - that is what another large framer in the US did many years ago...

Good luck - you really meed to get a pos system now!!!

Just my two cents...

 

Kiwi framer

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Thread starter
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Oct 20, 2002
Posts
18
From
New Zealand
Ron and Lyn, thanks for the info. We have had our own system designed and we are trialing it in our other smaller (less busy) outlet. I agree that the system is an essential element in todays framing world - my only concern is how many computers to have, 1 each or only 4 or 5 in total.
Lyn, you mentioned you just had your second computer installed. How many staff are using both computers at any one time?
 

Lyn

Grumbler
Joined
Oct 28, 2000
Posts
29
From
Charlotte, NC, USA
Kiwi,
We rotate staff when people come in - mostly based on who can get free from whatever they are doing at the time the door opens (we don't have staff who only do framing and staff who only design - everyone pretty much does everything - except for me, I don't frame anymore).

The only time the second computer gets used is if there are two people in the store at the same time - which seemed to be happening more and more frequently. AS I said before, we are having some issues with the slowness of the "slave" computer, but hopefully that will be worked out soon!

Glad you are testing a program. It sounds like you have a rather large operation there!

Lyn
 
D

Dermot

Guest
Think about a server...they have droped way down in price over the last year or so.
 

Peter Bowe

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Mar 19, 2002
Posts
222
From
Saline, MI
We have just finished our first year of running FrameReady on a networked system and it has been an interesting process. We currently have have 5 stations - 3 in our showroom, 1 on our Eclipse cmc and one (the host application) in our office.
We take in 60 to 100 orders a week and rarely need to use all our PC's - the backroom ones sometimes get pressed into service on a busy saturday but otherwise the three stations out front suffice.
A fast reliable networked printer is essential- thats the potential bottleneck when taking multiple orders.
Our system has been a grand leap forward for our shop - paying for itself easily - but has not been without its drama. The panicked shout of "the network is down!" has joined the classic frameshop crisises like running out of ATG tape or breaking the last piece of oversize glass.

Peter Bowe
Saline Picture Frame Co.
 

fttom

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Oct 5, 2002
Posts
962
From
Douglasville, GA, where Daisy, the Wonder Cat, sti
At my part-time job, we use Specialty Soft. It is a large chain system of stores. They are not networked to run all at the same time, but do a transfer every night to the depot for materials orders, and stock updates. We use it as pos and customer histories. It that setting, it is a workhorse. My main complaint with S.S. is it's lack of flexablilty. You cannot input anything out of the ordinary, at least in our system-and it may just be our system, as this runs in several hundred stores. For nuts and bolts frame orders, it's good, quick, and efficient. It is, however hard for newbies to learn, for some reason. If you are an experienced framer, it is easier to learn, but, if you are learning to frame at the same time, if makes little sense. Those are my thoughts, such as they are.

Susan
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
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May 19, 2000
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Suburban Central Ohio
Originally posted by Kiwi framer:
...We have had our own system designed and we are trialing it in our other smaller (less busy) outlet. I agree that the system is an essential element in todays framing world - my only concern is how many computers to have, 1 each or only 4 or 5 in total...
You had a program written for your own use? Ten years ago that was our only alternative, but probably not the ideal way to go today.

Consider the time spent updating prices and adding/deleting items manually. It is a considerable investment of time, no matter how user friendly your specially created software may be. You probably do it only a few times a year, so some part of your software is out of date most of the time.

The best feature of professionally-packaged framing software, IMHO, is that you can download price and product updates anytime. They keep the data current for you, ready to download from their web sites. To my knowledge, all of the major framing software providers offer internet updating.

Typically, that feature updates your costs automatically, based on the parameters you have chosen, but does not affect your basic price structure.

Most or maybe all of the software makers have demo disks available to try out. I suggest you get them all and fully evaluate the few that may be most suitable for your business.
 

Lance E

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
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Oct 31, 1999
Posts
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From
Hamilton, New Zealand
Business
Imageland
Originally posted by Jim Miller:
Consider the time spent updating prices and adding/deleting items manually. It is a considerable investment of time, no matter how user friendly your specially created software may be. You probably do it only a few times a year, so some part of your software is out of date most of the time.
We do all of the updates for our POS system, the suppliers send us the csv file from their system, we set it up in a spreadsheet and import it into the POS, set the GP levels for the different price groups and hit go! The total time for doing this? ...less than ten mintutes. In fact it is so easy that suppliers that cannot provide us with a csv file (only 3 out of the 200 or so that we use) will be dropped. Would I trust some remote company to do this for me again in the future? ...not a chance, I read on this forum constantly of mistakes in pricing and of missing products on the updates, if I do it then I can fix it (again within minutes).
 
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