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Business Management Software

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by 2B, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    May 5, 2011
    TX
    I have tried searching and did see exactly what I was looking for or the other post were older.

    The end of 2013 and start of 2014 have been an explosion of work and we are feeling the growing pains right now. The main thing we are facing is having to change our currently workflow steps of paper work, orders/whiteboards, verbal, there are too many mistakes or misplacing work orders/information.

    We are looking for a Business Management Software that is able to streamline and ensure the entire shop is aware of order, designs, production status, rush job, etc... and being able to makes changes instantly with all being involved able to see the relevant information.

    Our current procedure is, making a written work-order with the contact information and the product specs, then doing pricing within Excel formulas, creating the quote within Quickbooks, once the order is approved getting a deposit or CC on file, using Quickbooks to make an invoice, updating the written work-order and giving it to the designer, the designer does the proof and E-mails the customers for approval/edits, once approved the work-order is updated and passed off to production who updates the white board with jobs in production, time frames and any special notes, upon completion completion the customer is contacted.

    We have 2 production locations so being able to have everyone on the same page is VERY important and also allowing sales to update things from onsite would be nice instead of calling in or E-mailing the changes.

    Trello has been a life saver but that also ads another step and another possibility for a typo/mistake to be made.

    The shop is small (4 full time, part time as needed) but we offer a VERY wide range of products, signs, banners, vinyl, vehicle graphics, screen printing, sublimation, engraving, awards, paper printing, etc... needless to say it's a long list.

    The points that we are placing top priorities on are:
    • Streamline and efficiency, looking for one program that can be accessed by all for reviews/edits without having a lot steps or complexity
    • Moving from each stage with all information available and doing so automatically, eliminating the possibility of lost/misplaced work-orders
    • Production, knowing what stage it is in and when it is scheduled to be completed, as well as information about installation (permits, needed tools, location, schedule)
    • Customer follow up, (CMP) following up with quotes, open projects, etc...
    • User friendly, ideally a GUI interface with a point-N-click so it can be used on phones, tablets

    The other important point, although the website is still in Alpha, is online orders. having the program integrated with the website (ideally) auto-populates with the needed information for orders

    There are lots of options out there and from what we are seeing each program is geared towards one industry and not really able to handle a very diverse and wide base/range of products.
    • SignVox / ShopVox
    • EstiMate
    • CASper
    • KeyedIn
    • Cyrious
    • Sign Tracker
    • Fast Manager
    • T-Quoter
    • Price It Master
    • Impress by Precise Software
    • Printavo
    • Latitude
    • Shopworks

    After looking through the reviews here, SignVox appears to be the favorite.
    We are in contact with Kevin at SignVox comparing SignVox with their new program ShopVox.


    The accounting side LOVES Quickbooks, being able to do bills, reports, budgets, etc... and one of the most important things with them is the fact that once a payment is applied (check, cash or CC processed with Intuit) the invoice is automatically updated showing the applied payment and updating the account balance.


    would really appreciate to hear input/feedback from shops that have used the above or another program and how it works.
     
    Tags:
  2. jrsc

    jrsc Member

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    Sep 24, 2008
    NY
    You sound very similar to our business. We are 5 employees and do signs and banner, screen printing, direct to garment, embroidery, engraving, awards and trophies, promotional products (in house and outsourced), rubber stamps, and commercial paper printing (digital presses, this is a large part of our business)

    About 2 years ago we switched from trello, quickbooks, spreadsheets, and paper forms to signvox and are happy with our decision. It really helps us not loose track of anything. We still don't fully utilize all the features but it seems the more we use it the more we start using additional features.

    I know it's specific to the sign industry but its pretty adaptable to other industries with custom products. The only part where you might see minor issues is with the auto price estimating for some industries. We struggle with paper printing because everything gets rounded to the nearest penny in the estimating instead of letting you carry stuff out 3 or 4 decimals. Rao tells me they are working on changing that but it's been a while so I don't know how much longer it will be. The good thing is for products you that don't fit into their estimating structure you can still price it another way and just enter the total price and still utilize all the other great management features for the order. We do that a lot with non standard type items.

    I suggest signing up for a month or two and messing around with it to see if it will work for you. If you have any questions about how we utilize it feel free to contact me.
     
  3. winningimage

    winningimage New Member

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    May 24, 2013
    vermont
    Take a look at LeanKit.com, Has helped us keep track of the madness!
     
  4. Saw Trax

    Saw Trax Member

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    Jan 2, 2014
    Kennesaw, GA
    +1 for Signvox - it really is a great program.

    -Larry
     
  5. winningimage

    winningimage New Member

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    May 24, 2013
    vermont
    Its Like Trello on Steroids! We have a main board, design board, production board with each customer's card color coded into job type. super easy to customize the boards and move the cards down the line.
     
  6. TXFB.INS

    TXFB.INS Very Active Member

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    Jan 5, 2012
    Lone Star State
    another one you can look at is stamp shop manager

    that seems to be another of those all in one packages
     
  7. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

    3,037
    393
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    May 5, 2011
    TX
    appreciate the input and perspectives
     
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