IMAGE Inc.® is an Illinois corporation formed in 1996. The term "Image" itself is an acronym which stands for "Inventory Management for Advanced Graphic Environments." For over nine years, IMAGE Inc. has developed and marketed software solutions that manage inventory and communication flow with a special emphasis on the jewelry industry. IMAGEsoft®, a new corporation created by RDCC holdings, has purchased the rights to Virtual Inventory® and is dedicated to help build the Touchstone Insurance business model using Virtual Inventory as the software product to create the databases required to deliver appraisals at the point of sale for jewelers and appraisers.
Virtual Inventory is equipped with an appraisal module called Appraise Link, that prints detailed pictorial appraisals that may be used in providing point of sale jewelry insurance. Virtual Inventory is compatible with most commonly used accounting programs, so that information may be easily recalled and, with some customization, transferred. Virtual Inventory’s functionality allows the user to have all relevant information regarding products and sales history available at the touch of a button. Virtual Inventory also allows a Virtual Inventory user to upload images and text regarding jewelry articles to websites. This feature allows potential customers to view retailers and or wholesalers products online, including catalogs customized for a specific potential customer. Virtual Inventorys principal features are:
- Its multifunctional database and search engine;
- Its ability to create and maintain appraisals and electronic catalogs with high quality images;
- Keep a complete customer history, including a record of customer purchases and preferences;
- Create tags for stock keeping units (SKUs); and
- Encrypt pricing and other information.
In connection with Touchstones insurance program, we initially intend to license only a basic version of Virtual Inventory to participating jewelers. This version of Virtual Inventory would contain a search engine, a customer database function, an inventory database function, and an appraisal function. A data delivery system called VI Exchange would also be included. This utility allows for Virtual Inventory to receive new data and update data from one Virtual Inventory database to another.
Using Virtual Inventory, IMAGEsoft, together with an independent appraiser contracted by IMAGEsoft, would evaluate each jewelry article in a participating jewelers inventory (or randomly sample multiple items in the participating SKU program), entering the textual information along with a picture into a database. IMAGEsoft intends to help facilitate the process of offering retailers a means to build a database of inventory (including images and appraisal descriptions) and charge the jeweler a greatly reduced fee in comparison to what professional appraisers normally charge for such a service. As new items are added to the database the appraiser would continue to examine and add inventory to the database of the retailers continuing to build a high quality image relational database of professionally described jewelry products.
Once a Virtual Inventory database has been established, the jeweler will have the ability to generate an instant appraisal from the database at the time of a customer purchase. Those customers who desire insurance coverage could then complete an application, which would be provided, along with the appraisal, to the insurance company or to Touchstone. The Virtual Inventory database enables the electronic distribution of the appraisal to Touchstone and the insurance company for such purpose. In addition, an appraisal can be updated electronically based on the current market value of the applicable item of jewelry without the customer having to supply the item in person.
In addition to the fees charged to establish and update a jewelers Virtual Inventory database, management currently anticipates that participating jewelers would pay a license fee of approximately $250 annually per license for the right to use the Virtual Inventory software. IMAGEsoft may, however, at its discretion, offer retailers and appraisers the opportunity to build their databases at little or no charge for software in the first year in order to build an income stream. While IMAGEsoft will focus on licensing the Virtual Inventory software to participating jewelers with basic functionality, we believe that once the database of images and descriptions for the retailers inventory has been established, an opportunity exists for an expansion of Virtual Inventory’s additional functionality opening up opportunity to improve point of sale functionality, marketing, and customer services for participating retailers.
Click HERE to see a graphic describing Virtual Inventory’s functions. It should be noted that the graphic describing Virtual Inventory does not fully detail the functions within the categories shown in the graphic..