Upgrades to software packages rarely represent a dramatic departure from earlier versions. That’s not the case with CounterSketch Studio 2.0 , the custom jewelry software from Gemvision  and Stuller . The new version is brimming with extra features, starting with more than 2,000 ring styles as part of the software’s Starting Point Inventory, which now includes pendants and men’s rings. Another new feature: the ability to create print catalogs from 10 software templates. What’s more, users can now create matching wedding bands for a custom engagement ring design. New pricing displays give retailers price references to quickly determine if a custom piece is within the customer’s budget. “When the price appears on the screen, there’s no discussion from the customer,” says George Fritz, owner of Mills Jewelers in Lockport, N.Y. One of Fritz’s favorite 2.0 version features is the “Try It On” virtual hand. “You can show the customer an accurate ring fitting to scale—a size 7 ring on a size 7 finger,” he says. “You can even change the hand’s skin tone and nail polish. Customers always say, ‘Wow!’ ”
Ideal 360’s new Wish Card captures the key aspects of a sales presentation.
No larger than a credit card, Ideal 360’s Wish Card is marketed as an electronic business card, but it’s got the potential to be much more. Here’s how it works: A salesperson gathers basic information—anything from a customer’s phone number to product pricing—during a sales presentation and transfers that information to the Wish Card; regardless of whether the sale is completed or the customer puts the item on hold, most of the information exchanged will appear on the initialized Wish Card as a personalized summary of the interaction, which the shopper can access anytime he or she uploads the card to a computer using a USB cable.
A sales associate can update the Wish Card remotely by sending audio, image, and video files, as well as Web links, email, and Microsoft Word documents. Customers can even make down payments or buy jewelry from a store’s e-commerce site using the Wish Card. Essentially, it mirrors a store’s POS customer database profile, with social media–like customizable features and interaction capabilities, and Web functionality. (The Wish Card can be used with a PC or Mac.) “[The card] provides a fun, interactive, and personalized way to connect with important clients, keeping products of interest in front of them, and creating an ongoing dialogue between salesperson and client,” says Kate Peterson, president of Performance Concepts Inc.
David Watt of George Pragnell Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
David Watt of George Pragnell in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, used the 3-Shaper module to make this mermaid pin.
Creating jewelry with CAD  software has largely relied on solid and surface modeling. But the new module for Vision Numeric’s 3Design V7 , the 3-Shaper, allows users to focus on a particular surface and break it down to smaller, three-dimensional subdivisions for easier manipulation of the model. “You’re essentially sculpting the object in 3-D,” says Joshua St. John, a sales engineer for Vision Numeric. “This new feature allows retailers to create more organic and dynamic designs.” The beauty of the new software is the ability to use the 3-Shaper technology on its own, or take it in and out of standard surface and solid modeling modes, all within the same program. Look for it at the JCK show in Las Vegas this month.