Grooming software is composed of specialized computer programs designed to assist in the running of a pet grooming service. It is composed of one of more segments that handle such things as appointments, customer records and business information. Some types of grooming software are purchased outright, while other types are available by subscription.
The purpose of grooming software is to simplify business for a busy grooming shop, veterinary office or other type of business that engages in pet grooming at least part-time. Full-service grooming software is aimed at businesses that typically do grooming only. Individualized software components are essentially pieces of grooming software that provide only the functions necessary for the grooming portion of a business. Such software would most commonly be used in a business where grooming is not the biggest part of the business, but is offered as an extra to customers. Large pet stores and veterinary offices are some examples of businesses that may do a lot of grooming, but it is not the main focus of the business.
Many grooming businesses choose to use a subscription software service. This kind of grooming software is typically paid for on a monthly basis and allows the shop access to a full range of functions. Off-site data storage is frequently a feature of a subscription service. Subscription grooming software is typically a full-featured product and covers all, or nearly all, aspects of the grooming business. This may be available in a limited version or a short-term trial for free, but in order to access all the features the groomer must have a subscription.
The disadvantage of a subscription service is that if the groomer decides not to continue the subscription, any data entered in the program is usually lost. Many times the subscription service is not compatible with other services or with commonly available software. This means that once the shop has entered all of its customer data, it may not be worth the cost and effort to change services.
Another type of commonly used grooming software is a program that is completely contained on the disk, or disks, that the groomer purchases. Once bought, the shop owns the package and no monthly fee is due. It is not uncommon, however, for the software company to release updates to the product which must be purchased in order to keep the software up to date.
Self-contained software programs usually require that the groomer or the shop keep both the software and the customer records on the local computer. None of the data is stored off site, and regular backups are important. Some of this type of software is based on other commonly used software. This can include databases or spreadsheets, and it may be possible to change to another type of program that uses the same data-handling method if the need arises.