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Jewelry Masterpiece for Business Owners


Barbara Carleton, of Bejeweled Software Company, has spent countless hours working on her latest masterpiece: Jewelry Designer Manager ™. This software was designed to help jewelry makers price their jewelry, organize parts and vendors, and track customers and sales. I got the opportunity to take a look at this new software, and came up with some pros and cons that might help you decide if this is an item to add to your want list.

Pros:

Supply Lists: The Jewelry Parts section allows you to create a sort of list of all your supplies including how much they cost and the vendor you purchased them from and the item number of the supply. This is nice because if you need to purchase more of an item, you can immediately find out the vendor you bought it from and all the details involved in reordering it.

Jewelry Costs: The Jewelry Assembly section is the real meat of the program and is an excellent way to really "see" how much a finished piece of jewelry cost you to make. Once you have created a jewelry parts list, you can use this list to select the components to create a piece of jewelry. This list is automatically tallied to show the cost. Then there are other areas to help you calculate items like your retail price and wholesale price. By changing the cost of labor or the parts used, you can see how this affects the price of a finished piece of jewelry.

Pricing Jewelry: If you have a serious jewelry business, then this software can help you determine the right price for your jewelry (which seems to be the main goal of the software). It doesn't have a magical formula, but it does help you see where all the costs come from and gives you a chance to play around with the numbers to see how much you should charge for a piece. Besides helping you determine a price, it's got a lot of extras such as vendor directory, mailing labels, sales slips, and price lists. It's up to you to add all the data, so I won't say it's as fun as actually making jewelry. However, much of this upfront work can help you save time later.

Customer Support: I've emailed Barbara a few times with questions, and she's always managed to help me out. I like the idea of asking a person rather than a huge software company when I need an item explained to me. Also, Barbara has developed this software because she needed it for her own jewelry business, so she understands what a jewelry business needs and is very open to suggestions for future updates.

Cons:

Inventory Tracking: Though you can create a parts list (in the Jewelry Parts section), this list does not work as a way to track inventory, meaning when you use a part in the Jewelry Assembly section, it doesn't subtract it from the list. Many users have asked for this, and it is currently in the planning stages.

New Software: Though updates have come out and more are on the way, a number of forum members have voiced the opinion that since this software is new, it may not have been fully tested yet. As with any new software, this is a risk you take.

Time Consuming: Hobbyists could be overwhelmed. This is some serious software. Just as with any business related tasks, this will take time to use. For example, it takes time to input the parts in the Jewelry Parts list so you can use the Jewelry Assembly section. Then you need to select all the parts that make up a piece in the Jewelry Assembly section in order to help determine the price of the piece. If you are just making jewelry as a hobby and occasionally sell a piece, then this may be more work than you are willing to do.

Cost: Of course, this is not free. It currently retails for $89.95, which is a large expense for many who run their jewelry business on a shoestring. Some on the forum have suggested that this is too high while others have said that considering the time it would take to create a similar program of their own (using a spread sheet software for example) the price is very reasonable. You would need to decide if this is an expense that you can handle.

My Conclusion:
I'm sure you could find more pros and cons yourself. This list is not at all complete. I tried to touch on items that I thought those who are thinking about purchasing this software would consider. I think the most important item to consider is whether you are serious about your jewelry business and would, therefore, devote the time you would need to use this software to its full potential. You can find out more about Jewelry desinger Manager on Barbara's web site which includes an FAQ, contact information, purchasing information, and feature information.

Graphics reprinted with permission from Bejeweled Software Company.

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