Do you all use some kind of software?

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Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by Stina »

Do you all use some kind of software to calculate the price of a frame?

My predecessor used a binder, paper, pen and calculator. And so have I continued. I like it.

I used to work in front of a computer for 25 years. With an IT-department. Now on my own … I just see all the problems. And probably buying a new laptop (mine is 11 years old). And printer. And wi-fi.
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by JFeig »

A picture framing is a part of consumer retaining for the most part, it is called POS, Point of Sale. My personnel computer experience in retail goes back to the dark ages before personnel computers. At one point, I was a system analyst for a major retailor with the objective to collect and transfer data from field locations to corporate.

The cost of a POS system for a picture framing business is rather inexpensive in relationship to other "specialty systems".

A POS system will pay for itself in less than a year when you take into consideration some of the following:
  • less math errors
    the customer is less apt to question the price
    less labor on your part is required to maintain vendor price changes, deletions, and new items
    less labor to control your costs / profit margin and sales by item(SKU).
    it makes the creation of ordering materials easier
    it automatically creates work flow data
    it maintains customer information and order data
    everything can be backed up
There are many threads on this topic that can be researched via "search" on this forum.
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by Justintime »

I have tried a couple and settled on Framiac by FrameR a few years ago. I couldn't be without it! There's no way that I could do the same calculations on quantities and wastage and mark-up that it does in a millisecond. It provides a jobsheet and invoice and innumerable other benefits for the reasonably low cost.
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by JonathanB »

Another vote for FramR - I constantly wonder how I ever managed without it.
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by NTG999 »

I use BBEst, I did trial FramR and thought it was better, the GUI is more 'modern' but I didn't want to pay subscription forever. So opted for BBEst and a once only payment
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by JKX »

I used FramR but I never paid for it, it was factored in to my overheads within its own software; my customers paid for it, just as they would have were it any other sofware ..... or anything else.
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by Tudor Rose »

Pricing software would be one of the essential items on our list if we were starting over. We've used FrameR since 2014 and our only regret was not signing up to it earlier.

Because it is cloud based it is so much easier to use, store and retrieve customer information than the earlier version.

As Jerome says - it will save you hours and make your pricing totally accurate with less customer kickback because it's on the computer so it must be right!
As John (JKX) says - your customers pay for it because it is priced into every job you do - and that can include the computer etc to get it working for you.

The biggest downsides with spreadsheets and calculators is that it often doesn't actually take into account the amount of moulding needed - especially with wider mouldings - and the wastage. Then there's the time you need to keep your samples and codes up to date with changes to supplier prices. And of course the time taken to work out what supplies/materials you need to be ordering. So many things on the plus side, can't think of any negative sides.
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by NTG999 »

I might have another look at FramR, can you run it on a tablet or phone?
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by JKX »

I think as long as it’s not Apple you’re fine

It’ll all be here and you can try the free version, which can be tailored to you and saved; you can’t do many things like order/customer history, print orders etc etc, but you can do a lot with screenshots :wink: :wink:

https://www.framiac.com/

..
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by Justintime »

NTG999 wrote: Wed 20 Mar, 2024 11:40 am I might have another look at FramR, can you run it on a tablet or phone?
No, it needs minimum 8gb of Ram to run.
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by Zac »

I'm a very low volume framer (at the moment) and wrote my own simple calculator in javascript that runs on a private page on my website. I'd be happy to share the code/web page and explain how it works, but I'm not in a position to support it in any kind of commercial way. It calculates things like amount of board/glass products needed and moulding lengths/costs. I'd say it's only useful for setups like mine as prices need to be updated manually, as does adding any additional materials as they're needed.
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by JKX »

................. so why not just try FramR free?
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by Zac »

That's a fair point John, and I'll admit that I wasn't actually aware of it, but have just tried it out. It's certainly pretty good, but I think it may be too exacting for my needs and the way that I work at the moment.

My own calculator shows me the amount of glass/board needed as a fraction of the whole sheet, which I don't think FramR does, and this allows me to get a quick overview of what I'll need compared to what I have in stock (perhaps this is something I'll intuit naturally over time as I become more experienced). Also, I've got my calculator set up to show me several different pricing options which means I can adjust in on the fly for the customer depending on what they can afford (and how much I like them).

It may be something I adopt over time though as I become more experienced, I can see its advantages.
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by JonathanB »

The whole point of pricing programmes is that they price work consistently. As soon as you start pricing according to what you think people can afford, you lose credibility as a business person. The price is the price not matter who walks through your door. In any event, I’ve always found that the people who want to haggle and push for a discount are the ones who have the most money. My advice would be to use a programme that suits you and get into good habits from the start. Once you start doing cut price work for people, they’ll come to expect it and you’ll be the loser.
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by Justintime »

I agree with JonathanB. Your methodology gives me serious red flags. I have followed the adage "charge as much as the market can bear" since my beginnings and even that has been no guarantee of making a living as there are so many other factors involved. But at any one time, knowing that you have allowed for every business expense and a wage to calculate a correct hourly rate, you have factored in wastage and a profit margin etc, it sets you up with a decent chance. As for materials required, it soon becomes easy to calculate from the Jobsheets that the software creates. Moulding length is actually calculated, but glass and board is obvious once you're familiar with standard board sizes.
My top tip would be never ever assume that you know what people can and can't afford, because whatever one assumes is undoubtedly wrong.
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by Zac »

All good points, taken on board, thanks for taking the time to reply. I've done some comparisons and my prices are coming out pretty much on par with what FramR is producing.
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by Justintime »

Sounds good, I have a framer about 50 miles away to compare prices with. Just to check you're on the right page.
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Re: Do you all use some kind of software?

Post by Justintime »

Thing is, if I do a level 1 piece and want to price for volara tape or rebate tape, I can build it in to the software and charge accordingly.
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