This article offers advice on selecting the appropriate digitizing software for your embroidery operation.
By Ed Levy
What options are available for integration with drawing programs? As previously discussed, find out about any options available for integrating embroidery within your favorite graphics programs.
Finally, you may wish to ask for a list of customers to contact for advice and referrals. Naturally, a company will only offer lists of very satisfied customers. A list of four or five customers praising a product is a far cry from overall customer perception. You can still ask for a list of customers to contact, but only do so when you’re prepared to ask specific questions. Don’t waste your time looking for general opinions. For example, ask about ease of use and what role training played in that ease of use. By asking very specific questions you guide the conversation, which makes it more difficult for a customer to sing random notes of praise.
What role does experience have to do with quality? Experience is a key factor in understanding how embroidery reacts with material. The more you work with a program and learn how one thing on screen affects another on the garment, the more you will improve and learn from your mistakes. However, if you look for a software package that helps make some of those decisions for you, such as which underlays to use on which materials, then you will lessen that learning curve. Beginners can output high-quality designs, but don’t be fooled into relying solely on a completely automated process, where all you do is press a couple of buttons and, presto, you have a finished design in less time than it takes to boil an egg. With those expectations, you’ll end up with nothing more than egg on your face.
Finally, if you outsource your digitizing, what role does pricing have in the quality of the design? Logically, the less someone charges for their service, the less time they’re willing to put into the design. However, this isn’t always the case. Some very expensive digitizing companies produce sub-par work, and some very inexpensive companies produce premium designs.
Weigh your options
Don’t rush into a purchase that could end up slowing you down or costing you more money than necessary. Consider your goals and how digitizing software can help you achieve them before you buy a program that doesn’t fit your business. Conducting a little research, asking the right questions, and treating your software purchase as an investment rather than an expense will ultimately put the right digitizing program in your hands.
Ed Levy is president of Digitize4u, Inc., a custom digitizing and consulting firm. Levy also hosts www.embforum.com, which is a professional group for Tajima DG/ML by Pulse users. He can be reached at 866-242-1984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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