This article offers advice on selecting the appropriate digitizing software for your embroidery operation.
By Ed Levy
What is the support policy? Do you pay for support, or is it included as part of your software purchase? Can the manufacturer provide you with an e-mail address and toll free-phone number to use for support? You also need to look into support hours. Be sure the manufacturer offers ample opportunities for to get your questions answered. Look for a company that offers weekend and holiday support, because problems tend to occur at the least convenient times.
Can the software work with vector artwork? Customers routinely supply vector artwork for use in digitizing. Converting vector artwork to a bitmap in order to use it is taking a giant step backwards.
Are automatic tools available to speed up the digitizing process? A solid software package not only provides a series of tools that automatically recognize shapes and set angle lines, but it also gives you the ability to override the automated tools and take full control of its functionality.
Are any professional users groups established for the software? A strong users group demonstrates the presence of a group of dedicated installed base. These users can often guide you at time when you need help the most.
Is a large selection of fonts available? Lettering represents a huge chunk of all embroidery work (Figure 3). Having the right fonts at your fingertips is a big time saver. Be on special lookout for fonts designed for small lettering, as small lettering is often one of the most challenging aspects of digitizing.
What is the history of the companies that develop and sell the software? You need to be sure that you dealing with solid companies in both regards. Purchasing from an established company won’t do you much good when the software developer closes its doors. Your best bet is to find a company that has a proven industry track record and a strong indication that it’ll be around in the future.
Can the company offer you opportunities in overall growth? Most software packages offer embroidery in traditional stitching. Find out whether other options are available, such as chenille, sequins, cording, and even Rhinestone. You never know the path in which your business will take you, and you don’t want to have to start over each time you add a process.
Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to the magazine.