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Retail software: Ibis versus jewelry computer

Dear Debbie; My wife, Barbara and I are also opening a store in
Dallas, and would appreciate if you could forward any
correspondence about data base software, and jewelry stores to
us. We currently use access as our data base and quick books 5.0
as our accounting software. My cumputer specialist is working on
a specific inventory bar code system ,He told me he would have
this system mapped out for me by the end of next week. I have no
idea what he’s up to though. I’m pretty knowledgable with
computers and accounting software, but he’s got some plan up his
sleeve. Let me know if you or anybody else comes up with
something better.

Harley Groff
Barbara’s Treasure Chest
Gemstones, Art and Gifts Boutique

I’ve heard a number of retailers say they were very happy with a
program called Jewelry Shopkeeper by a company called Compulink.
They have a free demo.

3300 Overland Avenue =95 Suite 201
Los Angeles =95 CA =95 90034 =95 USA
Phone: (310) 204-5121 =95 Fax: 202-2315

Good luck!

Dick Caverly

Congradulations on your opening Its quite an undertaking,
we’ve found. My background is financial…I’m a CPA. I find
that quickbooks, or other comparable software works fine, but
inventory, sales and client database needs more. I also was
beginning to use Microsoft Access for these latter purposes. My
short experience with Access is that if one truly understands
(very well) the program, a small store could get by with this.
Unfortunately, when you upgrade to another software program, you
may find yourself reentering all of your data. On the other
hand, if you really plan to use the data (ie. analyzing sales and
inventory figures, targeted client mailings and the like) you
will spend far more time (or -, should you be paying someone to
do this–p.s. make sure they have an idea of how a jewelry store
operates or be very specific about your uses of the data)
creating this in Access than if you bought a program.

I have looked into about four programs in the lower end of the
price range (800 to ±3,000). I was not impressed with the 800
programs. Jewelry Computer Systems (2,000 to 3,000- phone
800-621-2002) seemed o.k., but I believe I will go with the Ibis
system The Jeweler (read the archives for more info on them)
(2,200 phone (800-424-7779). Nonetheless, I can not give you any
detailed info on these because I have not actually signed up.

It is my belief, though, that if you are paying a computer
specialist to create databases for you, you will be at an
advantage to consider a retail software package.

Good luck

After reviewing five applications we decided to purchase The
Jeweler. This has been the easiest application to learn and
maximize our return on investment. Isn’t this what we all want?

We have been using The Jeweler since last October in two retail
stores. One is in a historical downtown store and the other is
in a high traffic mall store. The downtown store does a high
volume in repairs and custom orders, with the mall location
focusing on sales. Both systems are running on a Windows 95

We did a 4.64 turn on inventory last year and it should be much
better this year using The Jeweler. The Jeweler is designed for
analyzing sales and repairs, giving the retailer the actual
picture on GPM. I have suggested some enhancements to improve
the application and the developers are always appreciative of my
suggestions. Having worked in software development, I
understand how much customer input is appreciated. When the
majority of customers ask for specific improvements, the
modifications will follow. I am not reimbursed for my opinion,
but with over thirty years experience in the industry, I
understand the needs of the retail jeweler regarding
Point-Of-Sale software.

Some of the advantages when using The Jeweler are as follows:

Sales Receipts
The Jeweler program prints attractive receipts for sales,
layaways, repairs and appraisals. The receipt forms are
inexpensive, and are printed on an inexpensive laser printer,
yet they have a smart and professional appearance. They can be
customized with your own messages, terms, shipping instructions,

Item envelopes.
A special envelope can be used for repairs, appraisal items,
layaways and special orders. This includes the envelope, the
store receipt, and the customer receipt on a single three part
form. It is a very convenient way of managing these small items.

Appraisals can be done rapidly. You can include and modify
preset text very quickly. Cover pages, customers names and
addresses, and disclaimer paragraphs can be included
automatically. Item images can be printed on the appraisals.

Repairs can be entered and priced rapidly using your own preset
lists of repair tasks. Repair envelopes can be bar-coded for
easy tracking. Activity reports will show you due and overdue
repairs, and repair expenses and profitability.

Daily reports.
All store activity is reported at the end of each day. Cash,
check and charge card payments are totaled for balancing. Sales
tax and sales commission reports can be printed. Sales are
summarized for daily, weekly, monthly and year to year
comparisons, and for detailed performance and profitability

Item categories.
The inventory is divided into 100 categories; you can define
these categories yourself. Each category will contain just a few
percent of your total items, making it very easy to find items,
and to analyze inventory. Sub-categories are not necessary; the
Jeweler inventory reporting selects and totals items in a far
more flexible and comprehensive manner than is possible with

Item tracking.
Every inventory item can be recorded and tracked separately.
This provides excellent control of individual items, and is the
basis for the sophisticated inventory analysis.

Item tags.
Item tags are printed on a special low cost tag printer, that
produces high quality tags, yet costs $1,200 less than other tag
printers. The Jeweler is the only program that is able to use
this special tag printer. As a result, the Jeweler is less
expensive in total cost than any other jewelry store software.

You can record images of inventory items. These images can be
displayed with the inventory for the item; arranged
in a point of sale slide show; or used to display for a customer
his or her of past purchases. We are using the GemVision system
for image capture.

Customer addresses.
Customer names and addresses are collected automatically as
sales are entered. Customer records can be quickly retrieved,
and show all activities for the customer; sales, layaways,
repairs, appraisals, payments, refunds, etc. In addition,
customer records for family members are cross-referenced.

Notes can easily be appended to customer records. These are like
yellow “post-it”, and can be tagged on to customer records,
items, sales receipts, invoices, checks … just about any kind
of record in the computer.

The customer records show a wealth of There is a
summary of past purchases, year by year. There is a list of
occasions (such as anniversaries) for use in targeted mailings.
The customer records can also be sorted and tagged to identify
your best customers for mailings and special handling.

Targeted mailings.
Customers can be selected for mailings based on total purchases,
size of purchase, latest activity, type of items purchased,
special interests, etc. You can print letters, envelopes,
mailing labels, write a file of names and addresses for an
outside print shop, etc.

Inventory analysis.
The heart of the Jeweler program is a sophisticated inventory
analysis module. This can be used to reduce your inventory
investment, increase your inventory turns, and increase your
gross profit margins.

Inventory is analyzed from 3 different viewpoints:
By category, and price point within category.
By vendor and vendor’s style.

By time in store.
On each view item costs, retail prices, discounts given, profit
percentage, and time to sell are shown. The analysis reports
clearly show where your profits are coming from, and your return
on investment for different segments of your inventory.

By analyzing your inventory from different viewpoints the
Jeweler program lets you improve your inventory performance
without reducing the breadth, variety and quality of items that
you carry.

A typical store can reduce its inventory by 10 to percent, and
increase its gross profit margins by 1 to 2 percent. This alone
can pay for a computer system many times over.

Advertising analysis.
The Jeweler can also improve the effectiveness of your
advertising. For example, customer names and addresses are
recorded automatically. They can be used for targeted mailings,
to bring your existing customers back into the store one more
time, to make that one additional sale.

Every mailing and promotional activity can be measured. The
Jeweler program can tell you what each advertising or
promotional activity cost, how many customers it brought in, how
many sales were made and your gross profit.

Multiple PC’s.
The Jeweler can be used on a single PC, on multiple networked
PC’s in a store, and in a chain of stores.

A single PC is sufficient for small stores. A single PC, with
the Jeweler program and a tag printer, can provide all of the
advantages of computerization at a very low cost.

Medium and larger jewelry stores typically have a back office PC
for entering and tagging items, paying invoices, etc., and one
or more point of sale PC’s. These PC’s are networked together; a
wire connects the computers to each other.

Automatic posting.
The Jeweler includes an integrated accounting module. All store
activities can be automatically posted to your accounts, saving
endless hours of bookkeeping. This includes all sales, layaway
payments, repairs and appraisal payments, credits and refunds,
vendor payments … every store activity.

Check writing.
The accounting module will print checks. These can be for
selected vendor invoices; for payments to vendors where you have
not entered an invoice; and for recording checks that have been
handwritten. Payments made by charge card and by cash can also
be recorded. Petty cash and cash differences can be entered.

Payables reports.
The Jeweler keeps up to date balances for checking, cash and
charge accounts. For vendors, there is a full set of open and
aged payables reports and payables analysis.

General ledger.
The Jeweler comes with a predefined set of general ledger
accounts that you can modify to suit your needs. All customer
payments and refunds, and vendor payments and refunds, are
automatically posted to the correct general ledger accounts.
There is a full set of financial reports.

In the last Stuller Newsletter there was a very nice review of
The Jeweler and it does deserve their praise. We anxiously await
the windows version of The Jeweler. Is this an endorsement for
The Jeweler, probably, but you must research the available
products on the market. This application may not fill the void
for all retail jewelry stores, but it has been the solution for
our software needs.

Contact IBIS on the Internet: They have a
free trial demo and you should try before you buy. I already
learned by purchasing JewelSoft.

This is my opinion!


Roger W. Kitchens

Business Site:
Personal Site:

Thanks for all the good info on Ibis. Can’t find the ibis
website on the web. Can you provide a phone?

I am a retail jeweler who must track custom pieces made in
our workshiop. Any wisdom on that function in ibis.  Also how
does it work with loose stones? 

Richard W. Wise

    Thanks for all the good info on Ibis.  Can't find the ibis
    website on the web.  Can you provide a phone?

Hello Richard:

Michael Mathews Victoria,Texas USA

Here is the info on Ibis: Phone (203) 882-5231. They have a site,
but I don’t know the address. Good luck they’ll let you use a
live copy of their software for 90 days for a 100 refundable
deposit. Its a DOS based program, which will be upgraded to
Windows in the next month or two. Right now it costs 2,200
(which will include the upgrade), but will be about 1,000 more
after the windows version is released.