A software product developed specifically for the fine art and antique dealer - offering a research and stock management advantage.
Anything made by a person, or people, can be documented using the concept of Producer, Description and Management. The CollectorsMD uses a similar concept to the HumanitiesCMD which also makes it a research tool; however, it contains an extensive Management module to look after all the financial aspects of running a business.
A Producer can be an artist, photographer, maker, creator, . . . an individual, group of people, a business, . . . whoever is involved with the creation of an item.
A Description includes what is it made of, it's size, what is it called, . . . Artwork, furniture, clothing, photograph, . . . in fact anything can be described.
Management records expenses relating to each item, price paid, sale details, offers, insurance value, . . . including other Management functions such as provenance, where is it stored, what condition is it in, . . .
The CollectorsMD is ideal for fine art dealers, antique dealers, galleries, consultants, . . .
The CollectorsMD can be used as a simple inventory system, or an extensive research tool.
- Concept: this product is a fully relational database that is more than a simple inventory system, it tracks financial and management information along with extensive descriptive and research-based information about an item and who made it.
- Scope: anything from a painting to a chair has a producer (an individual, a group of people, an organisation, etc); it can also be described (size, materials, etc) and it can be managed (bought, sold, etc).
- Approach: the database uses the concept of core and specific information, i.e. there are certain categories that record core information (i.e. name of the item, name of producer, etc), but there is also specific information (exact measurements, biographical details, etc). The database accommodates this by storing core information and relating specific information when necessary.
The Switchboard appears after you have entered your username / password and guides you to the main features and functionality. Over the last couple of years Logos Flow has been observing how user interact with the various database products. For new users, it is normally about adding, editing and easily finding information they have captured. For experienced users, it is about quickly locating information and performing various tasks such as networking, updating, printing, etc. The Switchboard has been upgraded to accommodate these requirements:
- Start: lets you immediately capture a new record and shows the number of records captured in the main sections.
- Global Search:
You can click to access the data or use the Global Search feature to locate information according to the criteria you enter. Now it searches the virtually the entire database according to the text you enter. Results are displayed in sections of the database and the number of matches according to the text you entered. You can click on a result to be taken directly to the relevant section. All fields with an orange outline are part of the global search.
- Backups: the importance cannot be over-stated and there is now a detailed guide to backing up your data.
- Support: access the continuously updated online support directly.
As an Administrator you can now control how the Management information is accessed. All access is Read Only - the user will not be able to add / edit any Management information.
- Control Items ID check: a check confirming a change to the Item ID. While this check is useful it can be annoying - you can now switch it on and off as required.
- Last Items IDs: when capturing items a collection you need to enter an Item ID - a unique ID for the item. Item IDs vary considerably and use letters, symbols and number. As the IDs are not necessarily sequential it is difficult to keep track of the last Item ID added or edited.
- Networking: providing access to the database across a network is easy to setup. You place the data file on a shared drive, secured if necessary, and access it using the Networking option.
- Website: access the Logos Flow website.
- Description of an Item: a large number of categories are available to record descriptive information about an item, such as: title, type, physical description, measurements, medium, keywords, dates, etc. There are two new fields added: themes and catagories. These are managed centrally to standardise terminology which is useful for retrieval and placing on a website or Intranet.
- Producer: this includes the identity, dates, geographical location, biographical details, etc. of an artist, photographer, maker, creator, . . . whether an individual, group of people or a business. The Producer and Items option has been upgraded to quickly filter all Items that are In Stock, Sold or Archived.
- Item management details: there are a number of management features available such as: provenance, administrative information, storage details, condition, stock-taking history, expenses relating to each item, price paid, sale details, offers, insurance value, etc. The latest upgrade includes new storage fields (location and floor) to compliment the existing ones (building, room and specific).
- VAT Calculator: useful new feature to calculate inclusive or exclusive VAT. It pops up where you enter the Asking Price. You can set inclusive or exclusive VAT, percentage (i.e. 14%), and it automatically updates the Management details.
- Evaluation History: in previous version you can record First and Last evaluations and add any Notes about fluctuations in evaluations. Now you can record details of evaluations over a period of time and record details such as amount, date, who did the evaluation and any notes.
- General search: this component serves a number of functions but essentially offers quick access to the information where you can see producer, item and management details in one place. There is the choice of switching on the image viewer to see images linked to an item as you are browsing through your records. This component is normally for viewing information but you can also switch to edit mode. Now it includes the functionality to instandly view all Items relating to a Producer; plus, filter all In Stock, Sold or Archived.
- General Search View: 'all-in-one' form that allows you to quickly view Item information - very useful if you have a client enquiry. Instantly view all Items relating to a Producer that are In Stock, Sold or Archived. For example: instantly look up all artworks in stock relating to a particular artist. All financials are hidden - except the Asking Price (which you can also choose to show or not). View basic documentation relating to the Item such as: title, medium, measurements, etc. Quickly jump to view full details, i.e. open complete Management.
both internal and external movement of an item can be recorded and archived; i.e. moved from it's permanent storage for research purposes (internal) or on loan for an exhibition (external). You can also instantly see which items are out of their permanent storage and link to Contact information (telephone, address, etc.). Now you can place a reserve on an Item and enter the reserve expiry date.
- Global management: you can monitor running totals (costs, sales, etc.), that are a result of filtered data; plus, running totals of your entire inventory. These include total sales, insurance values, total costs, total profit, etc.
- Quick Capture Wizard: let this wizard guide you through adding information to the database if you are a new user. If you are an experienced user, use this to add information to the database very quickly. You can also capture links to images and, in the latest upgrade, record you can now capture Management details.
- Lookup item and producer wizards: both offer quick access to items and producers already on the database - you simply scroll up and down various lists or use the quick lookup features. You can also instantly link to full documentation as well. These wizards are also useful if you are unfamiliar with the product but need to access the information without knowledge of finding and filtering techniques.
- Research: various research details can be stored that relates to an item (researcher, dates, abstract, additional text, etc).
- Hyperlinks and images: the hyperlinks feature is found throughout the database which offer linking to images, documents, spreadsheets, the Internet, audio files, etc. This truly turns your database into the nerve centre of managing your stock as literally any file can be linked. Also the files are stored outside the database, which means you can link to DVDs, CDs, external hard drives or folder on your computer / server. This means your database is never cluttered with large files. Regarding images:
- if a link is made to an image it can be viewed as a thumbnail, clipped, zoomed, opened in your image editing program ... all from within the database
- set the orientation is the image: portrait or landscape
- select the main image (i.e. for reports and your website / intranet)
- if you have setup an image bank and use the Item ID to guide your file naming, you can instantly create links to your images
- check the path and file is correct from within the database
- Hyperlink thumbnails: this feature creates a thumbnail of images linked to an object - as you move through the collection the thumbnail is automatically refreshed.
- Individual and grouped items: the database records how items may be grouped - say a cup is part of a tea set, you can record information about the set and related each item to the set.
- Exhibition and display of items: the database records the item's exhibition or display history - you can record details about the exhibition and relate each item to the exhibition. Plus, a component that lets you store texts relating to each exhibition (i.e. opening talks, speeches, catalogue texts, etc.).
- Contacts and addresses: record contact, address, telephone, fax, email and Internet details and link this information where relevant; i.e. provenance, on appro to, on consignment to, etc.
- Literature: the database has a feature to store information regarding the books and journals (including newspapers, magazines, etc), which can be related to the various producers and items. Even individual page numbers can be recorded for quick referencing.
- Other IDs: although there existing sections to record identification numbers (Item ID and Coll / Class ID) additional ones can be recorded - useful to keep a history of identification.
- Notes: there are a number of areas where you can keep documentation and management notes.
- Reports: there are a number of report and print options that accompany the product and custom reports are available on request – these are incorporated in the product for you. The upgrade includes switching fields and sub-forms on / off and a many more sorting options.
- Report headings: this product stores report headings for you which you can use in the future without re-typing.
- Lists and tables: when you need to quickly create a list for query for a client? You can also easily print a report and preview a report before it is printed. There are also options to print the entire inventory, all items in stock or all items sold.
- Website and Intranet exports: this product includes an export option that manages which items appear on a website or Intranet. Only certain data is exported so, for security reasons, more sensitive information (i.e. clients, financial, etc.) is never placed on an Internet / Intranet server. Regarding how Items are utilised on a website / Intranet, you can also:
Contact Logos Flow for further details about getting your information to a broader audience - and updating it yourself!
- indicate which are highlighted items (i.e. appear on a home / front page)
- set the order of highlighted items
- Exporting: a number of exporting options are available, whether you need to generate a document to be sent as an email attachment, or export the entire database to a spreadsheet ... and more.
- Merging: prefer to create your own reports?
Although there are a variety of print and export options, these are limited in what is displayed and how it is displayed. With the merging feature, you can choose not only what to display but how it is displayed. Merging functions with any product with merging options, for example: Microsoft® Word. Utilising this feature is not difficult but you will need to know how to merge with data.
Documentation and Management
Computerisation has dramatically changed this and most collections are either computerised or in the process of becoming so. Click here to read more about how to go about this.
Some information about types of collections, computerising, documenting, accessing, and more . . . click here