Fulcalc VS SpecialtySoft

smitten

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
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From
new england
I currently use FulCalc and have seen some bad trends over the past few years and basicly have become fed up. What do you all think of Fulcalc? Am I alone with this feeling? Where do you think FC is going?

I am currently thinking of changing over the SpecialtySoft but am beginning to have some doughts about them as well. I have heard that they are doing a complete re-write of their program (3.0) for release towards the end of next year. What was the "learning curve" like for those of you who use it? Did it take a year to get into it fully? One of the things that appealed to me about it is the ability to open copies of the data bases in Acess to do reporting and anaylis the are custom to us. Does anyone else do this? Will you miss it?

How do you all feel about the entry screens and POS portion of the program? I get the feeling that it doesn't "flow" like it should. Anyone else feel the same?

It's a huge investment for us and I just want to try not to go down the same road as we did with FC.

Thaks
R
 

Barb Pelton

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I would recommend calling Specialty Soft and asking for a demo. 1-800-417-9248 and ask for Olivia. I switched from Full Calc (which I had actually abandoned) to Specialty Soft about a year ago and have certainly not regretted it. The rewrite is not to fix bugs or any problems, but to expand the capability of the software.

It took about 2 months to really get all employees used to the system, but it was really pretty easy. I love all the reports.

I especially like the fact that I can inventory and bar code ALL inventory in my store--including everything from artwork, readymades to jewelry and gifts.
 

smitten

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Thread starter
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new england
I have gotten a demo and Olivia and I know each other well with all the back and forth we have been doing over the past weeks.

Let me ask you how big is your shop? How many framing sales do you do a week? and how big is you staff?

the reason I ask is that we are big for our area and will be investing a tremendous amount of time and money into this. The efficency of it is a great concern of mine. If I have to go through all the learning just to have it change, perhaps I should wait. If it takes more than a couple of minutes to deal with a customer I will have to plan around that as well.

How has the over-all experience been?
 
E

El Framo

Guest
We went from pricing cards direct to Specialty Soft, and it fell upon my shoulders to train our staff. The curve was about a month, but once it was on-line, it has been nothing but a joy. I tested several other programs before making this decision, and Spec. Soft seemed to be the easiest to use.
The folks are great, the product is great, and I can't wait to put it into our second shop.
By the way, we could do as many as 70 frame jobs a week (more at Christmas).
Hope this helps.
 

AWG

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From
North Carolina - Picture Framing Capital of the Wo
I saw the most recent version (whichever version was at Atlanta) and it looks just the same as a version I used about 3 yrs ago in another shop. I don't know anything about a re-write, but my experience with Specialty is that the changes tend to be Evolutionary, not REVolutionary. Usually they are in response to things other framers have asked for.

The learning curve is not steep - a month or so at most, less if you try out the demo version first to get your bearings. Support is always good and accurate - and always available.

The Kings operate a frame shop in Pinehurst NC where they test out the program, so just about anything in it they've used already.

We also use FC and are looking to switch to Specialty, just trying to figure out how to preserve our existing order history, etc. first.
They are "good people" which goes a long way in my book.

Tony
 

Rick Bergeron - CPF

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The learning curve for a computer novice was relatively short, less than a month for basic frame write-up functionality. Setting up the package is much more user friendly when programs use "Setup Wizard" to get you up and running quickly. Tweaking can be done as you become more familiar with the application.

Regardless of which vendor you choose, don't trust any report data until you prove the calculations manually with current and historical data. Make sure that any advertised feature can be demonstrated to be functional and don't trust that fixes are forthcoming in what you consider to be a timely manner. Finding one or two reports that have flaws leads to a bad taste for all reports and will cause you to question the rest of the reports.
 

JFeig

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The way I saved my history file was to keep FC in the computer, but, only fire it up when I deeded to gleem an order from it. I then close it down. After over one year since changing over to FrameReady, I access Fullcalc about once a month.

BTY, FrameReady's learning curve was easy to take for everyone in the shop. Did you look at FrameReady as well. http://www.frameready.com
 

Barb Pelton

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Apologies-

I quit the above post quite abruptly to get back to work.

To answer your question, We average about 40 frame jobs a week. Most of our designs are not "run of the mill", and that was exactly the capability of a program that I was interested in.
I can add as many specialty feaures as I want.
Right now there are 6 people working in the store-myself, a full time framer, 1 part time framer, bookkeeper, and 2 Interior Designers. My business is not framing only, so I love the fact that other items can be worked into the system.
Let's see, my last customer of the day had an album cover framed, another shadowbox that included a cd, cover, and other related items, (these had to co-ordinate with the other items we've previously done for her, while blending as well as possible to the interior of her room, of which we have some particulars entered in her "notes"), she wanted to take out a framed limited edition on approval, and she purchased a hand crafted bracelet and a pr. of marcasite earrings. All easily done on the software.

I like the fact that you can use as much or as little of the software as you want. Get comfortable with the pos, and THEN start using barcodes. After you are comfortable with that, start running your reports. Whatever. I wanted something that could grow, because I certainly plan on growing!

I haven't started keeping up with sales commissions on it yet, but that will be the next feature I will begin using.

FrameReady looks like a first rate system also. I would agree that it's worth looking into and then you can decide which will fill your agenda best.

(Now if someone could come up with a program that could hire and train employees....hhmmm)
 

David Knox

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
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Feb 8, 2001
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From
Hillsborough NC
I am truly a computer novice who added SpecialtySoft pos four years ago. I believed then, and still do, that it was the single best money-making decision I've ever made. One of the biggest mistakes my assistant and I made while doing manual calculations was to forget to add in some things occasionally (like spacers, reverse bevel, etc.). Now with the pull down list that includes all these irregular charges not only do we consistently charge the customer, but more importantly the work ticket reflects the design and we make far fewer mistakes. And the novice part of me took my time, loaded the program, and then for about six weeks I alone played with the program and used past manual tickets to tweak the program; and I had very little trouble doing it. I've since hired an assistant that was used to Full Calc; and even though together we don't make one good computer whiz, it wasn't long before she had the hang of SpecialtySoft. I use many of the reporting features, but none of the accounting modules.
 
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