Software Question - Advice Needed!!

AccentsDesigns

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Nov 17, 2003
Posts
3
From
Indiana
I am a framer who has used FulCalc for several years and am no longer happy with the software (or the fees). I am currently looking into using MasterPiece (www.netframer.com) and it looks great - is it too good to be true? Does anyone use this software or something that offers the visual preview for customers? I need help please! Thank you!!!
 

Mike Labbe

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Lincoln, RI
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Get The Picture
Hi

First of all, welcome to the Grumble!

There are a lot of alternatives out there, and most of them have a downloadable demo so you can "try before you buy". If you don't have high speed internet (dsl, cable, satellite), most will mail a demo CD to you at no charge. Most companies offer a "competitive upgrade price", if you switch to their product. This isn't usually advertised, so you have to ask about it.

I recently compiled a list of the alternatives (there may be more!) and came up with 21 packages. A comparison guide with contact information for each is up at THIS LINK

There are some really innovative packages out there, and some great features. One important consideration is if you plan to grow in the future and may need more than one terminal. If so, you'll want to consider a package that has an option for this growth. Some just do pricing, while others can handle inventory, visualization, barcodes, cash drawer, touch screens, time clock for staff, multi locations, gift certificates and FF cards, automatic vendor pricing updates through the internet, etc

From what i've read, most North American Grumblers seem to use Frameready, Fullcalc, Lifesaver, or Specialtysoft. (listed in alphabetical order to be fair) You'll also find some great discussions about this in the computer forum, if you use the SEARCH function above.

I hope this info is helpful. My advice is to take your time and check all 21 of them out. Let us know how you make out.

Mike
Resident computer geek

[ 11-17-2003, 03:03 PM: Message edited by: Mike-L@GTP ]
 

WizSteve

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Feb 19, 1999
Posts
688
From
Mukilteo, WA USA
Does anyone use this software or something that offers the visual preview for customers?
I am curious too.. anyone care to share their experiences with visualization software? Can it be an effective tool, or is it just a "toy"?
 

Cliff Wilson

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Vendor
Joined
May 14, 2002
Posts
4,665
From
Worcester, MA
I worked for Eastman Kodak as the Director of Color Management for a number of years. I do not beleive computer visualization works unless your system is completely color calibrated and your are in a controlled lighting condition.

We were able to set up such systems for separations and printing houses, but unless that is your production work, I don't believe the cost/labor can be justified. For art/matting/cloths/furniture where the color coordination is critical, I just don't see it.
 

WizSteve

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Feb 19, 1999
Posts
688
From
Mukilteo, WA USA
Thanks Ron. I missed that older thread about VisionWorks.

Looking at those previous posts, the biggest hang-ups with visualization software are: limited samples, color-matching, ease of use, and price (not necessarily in that order).

My problem with most of them is getting the artwork digitized. Most of the software out there works great when they're used in conjunction with a picture library of some kind, but Average Joe Customer's art obviously needs to be photographed or scanned in some how. I haven't tried anything with more recent camera models, but I when I first started looking at visualization in 1998 most camera's under $1000 just sucked.

So let me rephrase the question: anyone care to share their recent experiences with visualization software?
 

ahohen

Inactive Account
Joined
May 24, 2002
Posts
127
From
Raceland, Louisiana
I had software custom made way back in the early 90's when "Windows" was understood as something you use to see outdoors. It was basically a DOS program. It slowly became outdated because i purchased a new computer about every 2-3 years. I checked out a lot of framing software (demos)in the past few years and i didn't like any of them! So........... someone is designing software the way I want it! I have been using it for a few weeks so far, searching for errors or changes that i wanted. It will be completed by this week and a couple of copies of the program will be delivered to me and installed. Good luck AccentsDesigns.....ajh
 
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