Bottom Line Summer 2021

Your Software Might Be a Dinosaur, Here’s What to Do

By Mike Powell

Today’s auto film software is miles away from where it was a few years ago. If you’ve been leaning on the same program for years or never adopted one, it’s a good time to shop around. Not sure what to look for? Keep reading for five indicators that a software is worthy of your business, both now and in the future.

1. Flexible Access. Don’t be tied to a single desk, device or place. With software built for the cloud, multiple people can work at the same time from multiple devices in multiple places. Platform compatibility is a key part of access too, so get it all: Apple, Android, Mac and PC. You don’t want to have to change hardware just because you upgraded your software, or change software because you got a new computer.

2. Continuous Improvement. Technology improves fast, and new features will make you more competitive and productive. Look for software made by a company dedicated to innovation, so you’re the first to get the latest. When mobile Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) scans launch, you’ll want the option to do a quick look-up with a customer. When historical cut data is available, you’ll want to track film use. And when the latest models come out, you’ll want patterns.

3. Time-Saving Tools. Imagine toggling between PPF and tint patterns in a click, or turning off edge wraps or badges or sensors in a click. You should be able to do that. You should also be able to edit patterns easily, and save cut boards for future use. If your software can’t help you this way, move on. Getting up to speed on new software will save a huge amount of time in the future, plus you’ll be able to turn jobs faster.

4. Easy Customizing. Everyone has their own way of working. Your software’s patterns, cut boards and cut plans should support that. You want skills to shine. When your nesting ninja creates a cut board masterpiece, it should become everyone’s go-to, helping to eliminate film waste consistently. And when your perfectionist edits a pattern, it should be saved to use over and over.

5. Tack Points. Everyone wants cut film to fit easily on the first try. Patterns and cut plans including tack points make this possible, helping flow film onto a surface in the right direction. Tack points aren’t necessary, but they’re ideal for the complex curves of some vehicles and give insight into how a pattern was meant to be used. If your software has tack points, installs will be smoother. Plus it shows that the software and pattern teams are working in sync.

These five indicators of must-have software are important, but don’t memorize them. Instead, remember to raise your expectations. Auto film software should do a whole lot more than cut, boosting business as a whole to reduce waste, speed up installs, track activity and support sales.

Mike Powell is the pattern team lead at Eastman.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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