Selecting the right type of software can be a challenge, with numerous capabilities, subscription options and price points on the market. CADLink Marketing Director Mike Chramtchenko reveals that when investing in sign making software, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
“The single biggest factor in selecting software is to make certain that the manufacturer is continuing investment in research and development, and adding support for changing market conditions as well as brand new specialty markets that appear on a regular basis,” says Mike. Investing in limited software can cost more to replace and rack up additional costs and time spent retraining staff, whereas selecting software from a trusted provider that constantly upgrades existing products can streamline user training and maximise cost efficiency.
Doing due diligence and research on software providers will help uncover things like a track record for developing new, innovative features (or a lack thereof), and enable sign makers to see which products are best suited to the various markets and clients they service. “Secondly, the temptation to utilise ‘generic’ or ‘non-market specific’ design or production software because of its extremely low price will cost sign makers in the long run,” adds Mike, noting that a reasonable investment made in market-leading, market-specific software will pay significant dividends by providing time savings as well as tools that provide higher value products to customers.
CADLink on the year ahead
CADLink has been a long-time provider of state-of-the-art software to the signage and graphics industry. Solutions are available across a wide variety of platforms that make it easy for sign makers to streamline their design processes on a number of materials. SignLab, currently on version 9.1, is a solution for large format design, and features new application plug-ins for common apps such as Corel and PhotoShop. EngraveLab offers solutions for laser engraved signage, and ProfileLab supports 2D and 3D CNC machining. According to Mike, the constant development of new software is a direct response to the new hardware that has entered the market in recent years. “The proliferation of new printers, new
ink technologies as well as new media types require that existing software packages extend support to these new methods of production and markets,” he explains. “The development emphasis for CADlink's software products (primarily SignLab and Digital Factory), has been to support new printers, print/cut devices and consumables.”
Core software products such as SignLab have undergone changes to introduce new design and production features in order to better serve new specialty markets, and improve overall workflows. CADlink has also been particularly responsive to the growth of online product fulfilment, as Mike reveals they have been “developing ways to integrate existing design and production workflows into the online business model.” When it comes to the overall market, Mike predicts the focus for software will be on developing products that support specialty markets as well as integration of design, production and delivery. “2014 will see exciting new developments within the software product line,” he says. “There may even be a new release of one or more brand software products.”
For more information visit www.cadlink.com