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Register for the picture framer's grumble

New Equipment for 2020!

PamelaM

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
5
We have two retail locations, a workshop, and an office.
I would love to enter the 21st century, and buy some new equipment. I'm getting bogged down doing the research, and hoping to benefit from your esteemed wisdom :)
We currently hand-write framing tickets, then fax a list of frames to our workshop each night, which they deliver to the stores the following morning. In the office, we use all Macs, and would continue to do so. We also just use standard cash registers, and old dial-up credit card processors.
We would like to invest in framing software (probably on two Mac laptops per store); and a POS system that takes credit cards, Apple Pay, gift cards, etc.
What do you love?
 

i-FRAMER

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
836
Well i am biased. I use i-FRAMER in our shop. We have 2 27" iMacs, iPad and a couple of cheap PC's. AS i-FRAMER is cloud based, job list, cutting lists etc are all accessible no matter where you are or what device you are on.
 

PamelaM

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
5
Well i am biased. I use i-FRAMER in our shop. We have 2 27" iMacs, iPad and a couple of cheap PC's. AS i-FRAMER is cloud based, job list, cutting lists etc are all accessible no matter where you are or what device you are on.
Oh, that's a great suggestion! I hadn't even looked into them, as I hadn't noticed them on the list of Mac-compatible framing software!
Do you also use a Point of Sale system? Thank you so much!
 

i-FRAMER

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
836
We enter all our retail items into he software as well. While the eftpos machine does not connect directly to the software, you can still manually process the payments on the software. We also have an API for Xero, And a couple of sales export for us with other accounting software.
Would be happy to Skype and give you an online tour and answer any question you have.
 

PamelaM

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
5
We enter all our retail items into he software as well. While the eftpos machine does not connect directly to the software, you can still manually process the payments on the software. We also have an API for Xero, And a couple of sales export for us with other accounting software.
Would be happy to Skype and give you an online tour and answer any question you have.
Thank you so much for the info! Have been checking out your website and YouTube videos. Will let you know when I have more questions!
 
Vermont Hardwoods solid wood picture frame molding

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Joined
May 19, 2000
Messages
17,911
Personally, I started with FullCalc in 1996, but switched to FrameReady in 2000 and couldn't be more pleased with the software or the provider.

That said, there are several good POS systems available for framers. If you are planning to attend the WCAF Expo in Las Vegas this month, they will all be there and you can ask all the questions you like. Trial demos are usually available to take home.
 

Mike Labbe

Administrator
Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Messages
12,776
Kudos for looking into this, and modernizing. You'll likely wonder why you waited so long, after you have been doing it for a week or so. With most POS systems, the prices for Mats, Mouldings, and Fabrics are updated weekly and automatically (using your specified markup rules), you can run reports of new and recently discontinued products so you don't sell something that is gone and can take the samples down, it's much faster to price something out on the screen instead of writing - and the math is all done for you, it's easier when comparing multiple choices because the math is all instant, it can print production logs and pick lists of materials needed, it will automatically build a customer/mailing list and order history that you can review at any time, Invoices for customer only contain basic info - while the framing details and part #s only go on the framers copy, and its easier to train someone to use. There are many other advantages, but those are a few. The costs are minimal for ANY of them, IMO.

Here is a handy comparison list that may be useful: https://www.getthepictureframing.com/gfaq/software.htm

I believe FrameReady is the only one that natively will run locally ON a mac, on top of a database called Filemaker Pro.

Lifesaver Cloud and I-framer will also run on MAC, PC, IPAD/TABLET, etc because they are cloud based products. Cloud products are web based, so one can sign in from any location - as long as there is web access. (a production facility could log in, for example, to print workorders or update the status of orders)

My advice and the list are neutral, but note that we do use Lifesaver Cloud in our frame shop and I have consulted for them in the past and attend trade shows as a customer testimonial in their booth (but I am not an employee of Lifesaver) That said, our shop (Get The Picture) switched from the PC based version of Lifesaver to the cloud version of Lifesaver just 2 weeks ago. All of our old data was converted, and the transition was surprisingly seamless. We can write up orders on our desktop computers or tablets, and the credit card terminals were provided free (EVO Dejavoo Z11 terminals, which have touch screens for signature and include a built in receipt printer) When you enter an order, the details are transmitted wirelessly to the credit card terminal. In other words, there is no double entry of numbers, and the approval is transmitted back to the POS screen. All of that happens in about 1-2 seconds, and doesn't require a dedicated phone line (it uses an encrypted internet connection). Any POS that uses integrated terminals likely works in a similar way.

My suggestion is to pick out a few, request demos from the vendors, and try each of them out in your shop to see which one fits your style and needs. Test out tech support for each company as well, to see how responsive and helpful they are. Print workorders for each, to understand how the math is laid out to do the jobs. Ask questions :) With all that, you'll be in a good place to pick the one that works best for YOU.

There will likely be show specials/promos/discounts at the WCAF show in 2 weeks, and at Framecon in June.

Good luck!
Mike
 
Last edited:

PamelaM

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
5
Personally, I started with FullCalc in 1996, but switched to FrameReady in 2000 and couldn't be more pleased with the software or the provider.

That said, there are several good POS systems available for framers. If you are planning to attend the WCAF Expo in Las Vegas this month, they will all be there and you can ask all the questions you like. Trial demos are usually available to take home.
Thank you so much! Gosh, we were just in Vegas in November, but probably should try to get down there again. Would be good timing.
 

PamelaM

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
5
Kudos for looking into this, and modernizing. You'll likely wonder why you waited so long, after you have been doing it for a week or so. With most POS systems, the prices for Mats, Mouldings, and Fabrics are updated weekly and automatically (using your specified markup rules), you can run reports of new and recently discontinued products so you don't sell something that is gone and can take the samples down, it's much faster to price something out on the screen instead of writing - and the math is all done for you, it's easier when comparing multiple choices because the math is all instant, it can print production logs and pick lists of materials needed, it will automatically build a customer/mailing list and order history that you can review at any time, Invoices for customer only contain basic info - while the framing details and part #s only go on the framers copy, and its easier to train someone to use. There are many other advantages, but those are a few. The costs are minimal for ANY of them, IMO.

Here is a handy comparison list that may be useful: https://www.getthepictureframing.com/gfaq/software.htm

I believe FrameReady is the only one that natively will run locally ON a mac, on top of a database called Filemaker Pro.

Lifesaver Cloud and I-framer will also run on MAC, PC, IPAD/TABLET, etc because they are cloud based products. Cloud products are web based, so one can sign in from any location - as long as there is web access. (a production facility could log in, for example, to print workorders or update the status of orders)

My advice and the list are neutral, but note that we do use Lifesaver Cloud in our frame shop and I have consulted for them in the past and attend trade shows as a customer testimonial in their booth (but I am not an employee of Lifesaver) That said, our shop (Get The Picture) switched from the PC based version of Lifesaver to the cloud version of Lifesaver just 2 weeks ago. All of our old data was converted, and the transition was surprisingly seamless. We can write up orders on our desktop computers or tablets, and the credit card terminals were provided free (EVO Dejavoo Z11 terminals, which have touch screens for signature and include a built in receipt printer) When you enter an order, the details are transmitted wirelessly to the credit card terminal. In other words, there is no double entry of numbers, and the approval is transmitted back to the POS screen. All of that happens in about 1-2 seconds, and doesn't require a dedicated phone line (it uses an encrypted internet connection). Any POS that uses integrated terminals likely works in a similar way.

My suggestion is to pick out a few, request demos from the vendors, and try each of them out in your shop to see which one fits your style and needs. Test out tech support for each company as well, to see how responsive and helpful they are. Print workorders for each, to understand how the math is laid out to do the jobs. Ask questions :) With all that, you'll be in a good place to pick the one that works best for YOU.

There will likely be show specials/promos/discounts at the WCAF show in 2 weeks, and at Framecon in June.

Good luck!
Mike
You have no idea how helpful this all is! I hadn't even thought about the possiblity that the framing software could interact with the credit card machines (I'd assumed it would need to be re-entered). That is such a great tip. I've been looking at the Clover POS system, but haven't thought to check on whether it would be compatible.

It is hard to get started (that's why I've waited so long), as everything builds upon itself –– Adding internet, VOIP, framing software, POS... I'm going to screenshot your info, to make sure I have it on-hand!

Thank you so much, Pamela.
 
Rian Fabrication Services  www.rianfabrication.com
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