System: Win XP - 10
Used for: Pricing Digital for Web2Print
The Skypricer was originally envisioned as a plug-in for the Gold and Pixelblitz. Its single purpose was to take the aches and pains out of pricing printed products on a shopping website. That's still its primary mission but we couldn't leave it there.
The program is now wrapped into a more powerful custom Silver Edition to which we've added MyWay pricing and wide format. And support for RISO and Xante presses. The web part is for digital only; not because offset is shrinking - which it is - but because you don't want the headache of selling it online. Offset is still available in the Skypricer for desktop estimating but there's now a toggle switch to turn it on and off.
As the application took shape, so many things fell into place that the Skypricer is on track to become our number one pricing tool. Already it's my favorite Morning Flight program, the edition I'm most excited about. No invoices or job tickets, just intensely committed to pricing and estimating.
Take a look at the top screen on the right. It's the main entry window for assembling a “skyshelf” item on your webstore. In mere seconds, you can designate the base product, six quantity attributes, two paper choices, and two custom options from an unlimited number of options in a do-it-yourself library.
There are also the obligatory boxes for File Prep, Design and Proofs, either buyer-optional or built into the base price. When you're done making the skyshelf item, the Skypricer will hand you an itemized upload sheet with every variation priced.
More to the point, priced the way your shopping cart demands. For instance, BigCommerce and Wix ask you to enter the additional cost for each product variation. In WooCommerce and Shopify you enter the total amount. With a click of the mouse, the Skypricer gives you both.
But there's more. Imagine having a customer call for a quote while you have a window similar to the Skypricer in front of you. As you click radio buttons and check boxes, that big blue number in the black panel instantly flashes the total price, with a per copy cost below it. How could I not have seen a solution so radically simple in all the years I was looking for it?
The outgrowth will be “Lightning,” a crazy fast estimating tool that can handle 90% of all digital and wide format estimates. Not totally gift-wrapped for Cousin Mel, and no booklets yet, but we're getting there.
On the horizon I can see a Skypricer more powerful still. With abilities like an integrated BHR calculator to help set hourly rates. Or the CSV Import File generator shown in the flow chart that will eliminate the need for manual uploading altogether. Come to think of it, “Lightning” would make a wicked kiosk on the front counter.