Our Business Philosophy

      We began with a very simple concept: Design an affordable, reliable, easy to use Windows© based pawn software program for the small to mid-size independent pawnshop owner. In every design decision we asked ourselves these questions: How would this look to the owner/manager of a family store? Would they understand it quickly? Would it make sense for the way they do business? We had the advantage of starting work on a new application from the ground up and the benefit of input from existing pawnshop owners who knew what they wanted the program to do.

     Our goal is to see non-computerized shops make the decision to improve their businesses with software. We believe that when shop owners try our software and compare it to our competition, they will like what they see and recommend it to others. These beliefs have come true over the past 5 years as we continue to grow with users in 26 states as of this writing.   Regulatory requirements dictate the need for quicker and more accurate reporting capabilities for the smaller shops, which comprise over 65% of the total pawnshop market. An integral purpose of computerizing records is to ensure that the rules are followed and that the accountability and integrity of your business information is maintained.

     Many of the users in our early sites considered themselves anti-computer or computer-illiterate. When they saw how quickly they could learn and use the program, we heard comments like "This is easy. I thought it would be harder than this." and "Is this all I have to learn?" One of our early users asked Mark: "You’re going to train me, right?" He replied, "I won’t need to. You know how the pawn business works. I won’t have to show you a thing." Sure enough, she later told us, "Gee, this is easy."

     Even the most novice users find that they can get Pawn Wizard up and running in less than 10 minutes. Simply insert the CD and five minutes later you can start adding new customers and entering new pawn transactions. The install routine will ask a few questions about your store name and address to configure the application to your store. This store information is printed on the pawn ticket. It is easy to select your printer from the list that is provided. You should confirm that the pre-loaded interest rates and rules are correct for your state. You can change some options, like the number of copies to print of each new pawn ticket, but the defaults that are already set work well for most shops. That’s it. Close the setup screen and immediately begin adding customers.

In the evaluation version of Pawn Wizard, all features and available options (except multi-user and Global Pawn) are fully functional for 45 days. After the evaluation period ends you will still be able to see your customers and existing transactions but you won’t be able to enter any new transactions until after you purchase the software.

     We offer FREE Support and updates for 60 days from date of purchase. Basic telephone support is always FREE to any active licensed or evaluation customer. Program upgrades are available for a small fee on a quarterly basis.

Call Today To Improve Your Business!!!

 

 1-877-296-9491

 

Company Profile from Global Pawn's Premiere Magazine Issue July 2004

 Profiling RAM Development's Pawn Wizard

Q: Tell us about your company.

A: Our company is small. When we began, it was just me, Richard Mullins, and my brother Mark Mullins. I’m the chief developer; Mark’s the project manager. That’s oversimplifying, of course, because we work together on every aspect of our business.

As soon as we had completed our testing and had live installations, we brought in another programmer so we’d have the additional capacity to handle support and maintenance, and just as important, be able to start developing new features and new products. We also have someone helping with our website, and people working on our company’s market and advertising image.

Being small works for us, because of our wide experience and qualifications, because we work very well together and because we are both good at many of the same things – solving problems, analyzing, planning and learning new things. We also understand businesses and their needs, something we believe is very important in the information technology business.

Q: How did you get started?

A: Well, it came about first in this general sort of way, which we sort of planned. But the particular start – creating software tailored to the needs of pawn shops looking at their first software purchase – that wasn’t on our planning horizon at first, because we didn’t know about it.. But when it showed up, we jumped at it.

 I had been a database programmer for more than 10 years and had been developing applications full-time for three years. My brother Mark had 20 years of experience in all areas of what is now called Information Technology -- management, networking, hardware, software, sales, and support. Also, we both have broad backgrounds in many fields. I have been a journalism professor at the University of Missouri, where I taught  writing and advanced reporting using data analysis. I was a database administrator, and before that an applications engineer for a software integration company. I worked in daily journalism for nine years as a reporter and an editor.

Mark managed the  IT infrastructure at a software company. Before that, he worked at Union Carbide for four years, leading a team of techs doing a very large migration project – new PCs on every desk, new servers, new networking, new standards. He stayed on well after the migration was done, because he’d become an indispensable, all-around problem-solver who knew the big picture and most of the details. He is a Windows 2000 MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer).  Going even further back, he has done retail and restaurant management.

Our backgrounds are big part of how we got started. We were looking for some way to leverage our wide experience and our strengths in problem-solving and managing all levels of a project. So about two years ago, we started talking about forming a company to provide a full range of hardware, software and technical services. We had been kicking that around for a while when learned that the vast majority of pawn shops were not computerized at all. We also learned that normal changes in the business environment, including increased regulations about record-keeping, would soon be almost mandating that shops computerize and get software if they wanted to stay competitive. We recognized that there was an opportunity to cater to that market with a software package designed and priced for the independent, family-owned, new-to-computers store.

 

Q: You didn’t have any previous experience in the pawn business then. So how did you go about creating your software?

A: We analyzed the business and the various state regulations of interest rates, pawn terms, grace periods, etc. We spent time with shop owners, went back and worked on the design and the rules, then went back to those shop owners again to get feedback and more information. It was a constant cycle. It’s the only way to create good software.

 From the start, we knew we wanted to arrange the customer session around the idea of one or more transactions added to a checkout basket. In every design decision and feature discussion, we asked ourselves the question: How would this look to the owner/manager of a family store? Would they understand it quickly? Would it make sense for the way they did business?

 We think we had the advantage of starting work on a new application. We didn’t have to upgrade an existing application, which is always tough, because of the basic irony of the software biz: Users want you to make the software better, but they don’t want you to change anything. Plus, we didn’t have to convert an older, non-Windows app to Windows, another tough thing to do, for many reasons.

 But we didn’t start with a blank slate, either. We have seen all sorts of windows software for all sorts of businesses. We thought that many typical applications suffered from too much information crowed onto the screen all at once. Of course, you need to have the information available, but we tried to limit the extent of what was happening on the screen at any given time. So, our application uses many different windows, but we control them closely. In the process of customer actions, we give the appearance of progressing through  windows in a sequence that follows what a store employee does when helping a customer – look up the customer, update their address and identification, then take their pawns, or payments, or redemptions.

 Similarly, in the actions involving reports and other administrative tasks, we follow a sequence, and keep one window open at a time.

Read more...

Our History of Growth

  • February 2002: Pawn Wizard begins market research communicating with pawnbrokers about their needs.
  • April -September 2002: Pawn Wizard continues product design through continued communications with pawnbrokers about their needs.
  • October 2002 - December 2002 – First beta version goes out to our beta test sites for review and critique. Closely supervised our beta sites and their testing. Incorporated feedback from our beta users for program usage and functionality enhancements
  • January 1, 2003- March 2003: Pawn Wizard releases the first distribution version and goes into daily production use and for final extensive beta testing. Pawn Wizard finished final beta testing in live production environment with no loss of data or system crashes
  • April 2003 - June 2003 – Network-Multi User capability added to support up to 5 workstations. Two additional state rate tables added. Customer search form enhanced for ease of use based on customer feedback. Customer Photo features added. Magnetic card reader support added. Two additional state rate tables added. Customer address history and photo history added. Now all changes to a customer record can be scrolled through to provide the most complete customer record ever. Three additional state rate tables added
  • July 2003 - September 2003 - At NPA, version 2.0 released. Pawn Wizard has been in full time daily use at pawnshops for over 6 months without any data loss. Advanced Inventory module added. Magnetic card reader support enhanced to support more formats. Backup function added. Title Loans added for GA (beta). Enhanced rate calculation procedure added for transactions
  • Oct 2003 - December 2003: Two additional state rate tables added. Pawn Wizard was the first to complete Global Pawn integration Version 2.3, build 179, 15 Oct 03
  • January 2004 - March 2004: National marketing campaign begins. Pawn Wizard mails FREE 30 day trial CD’s to Pawn Shops in 10 states. Report for local law enforcement options added. Support for specific Custom ticket formats added. Pawn item label printing added. Lost ticket voucher added to reprint pawn ticket routine. Added Custom message for sale tickets
  • April 2004 - June 2004: Pawn Wizard adds support for data from other Pawn software packages by completing their first Pawn Master migration. Republic Bank’s Currency Connection Debit Card Program application process now integrated into Pawn Wizard. An industry First! A new opportunity for Pawn Shops to earn residual income by simply signing up customers into this new Debit Card program. Agreement reached with "Pay All Bill Here" to offer and integrate their program for Pawn Wizard users.
  • July 2004 - September 2004: NPA 2004 in Vegas. Development of enhanced versions of Pawn Wizard begins to address the needs of larger, higher volume shops. Added Reverse Tax feature so that sales could be easily calculated to include tax. Improved Magnetic Card Read module for additional state support
  • October 2004 - December 2004: Enhanced l.e.a.d.s. online interface for compatibility with our upcoming Plus version. Integrated architecture for employee level security & multi-store support. Began design of new customer and pawn forms for regulatory data support in Florida. Created front & back laser form print technology for Florida pawn tickets. Layaway module added for upcoming Plus version. Demo/Evaluation period extended to 45 days
  • January 2005: Added 2 new ticket formats allowing 8 items per pawn ticket instead of the previous limit of 4 items
  • February 2005: Added ability to put Police Hold on pawn ticket items.
  • March 2005: Pawn Wizard Plus released. Memo of Extension printing function added for South Carolina. Void pawn ticket function added. Arizona custom law enforcement form printing added
  • April 2005: Florida jewelry and law enforcement code conversion completed. First Florida store installed Dot matrix label printing support added. Bin item support enhanced. Preprinted form support added
  • May 2005: Memo of Extension printing function added for 6 additional states. Barcoding additions begin. Flag added to alert for notes in customer file. Added Florida local law enforcement export
  • June 2005: Added customer active/inactive status to filter inactive customers from regular search view. Item re-pawn capability added to Plus version
  • July 2005: Reverse pull feature enhanced. Pawn Wizard prepares for NPA 2005 San Antonio
  • August 2005: NPA San Antonio. Enhancements to Global Pawn’s API. Added support for Canadian postal codes.
  • September 2005: Support for jewelry label printing on the Cognitive DelSol printer added. Additional law enforcement reports added. Cost coding added to label printing. Label batch reprint added
  • October 2005: Law Enforcement confiscate and hold feature added.
  • November 2005: Pawn Wizard is the 1st to add the item photo upload function for Global Pawn inventory. Use your digital camera to take pictures of any inventory item and associate it with your Pawn Wizard inventory. Cognitive 1x3 label support added for retail inventory items.
  • December 2005: Support for dialup customers to allow them to take advantage of Global Pawn. New management reports added for open pawn, layaways. Refresh files button added to backup screen for easy correction of table links that may fail on start-up. Multiple view filters added to Global Pawn inventory management screen for easier management.
  • January 2006: Photo upload function added to our Global Pawn interface. Pawn Wizard is 1st in the pawn software industry to add this feature. Global Pawn’s Price Guide enabled.
  • February 2006: Condition fields added to gun acquisitions. Gun Wizard beta version released
  • March 2006: Pawn Wizard attends Dixie Pawnbrokers regional show
  • April 2006: Enhanced bin support added, now bins can be created and managed from the main inventory management screen
  • May 2006: Pawn Wizard partners with Fast Tax, the Pawn industry’s leader in tax preparation support services for over 8 years.
  • June 2006: Pawn Wizard now has users in 24 states, the growth continues! Principal only payment feature added.

July 2006: Come visit us at NPA for our 4th year and see what’s new at NPA’s National Convention, Booth # 525, Bally’s Hotel Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas, Nevada

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