The Print MIS/ERP system is the foundation to your overall print business technology stack. It is the system that should run your business; while your people run the system. The foundation of your technology stack is a really important decision. When printers specialized by manufacturing; a trend that the print industry lived by for decades was for Print MIS solutions to cater to a specific manufacturing process. There were solutions focused on the unique requirements of web presses, flexography, cut-sheet offset printer market, wide format, and as digital started to really grow, there are solutions that only do digital well.
This trend worked well for the print industry up until now. We are in a different market, with different market demands. There are very few printers who have maintained a single manufacturing focus.
Today printers often have three or four different manufacturing processes in the same building; offset, web, digital, and wide format. Of course, you cannot be expected to run multiple Print MIS solutions just because you’ve diversified your manufacturing processes. Many Print MIS solutions have and continue to expand their support for a diversified printing operation.
One of printIQ’s strengths is its approach to and the execution of a modular approach to supporting additional manufacturing processes. In hearing the printIQ story, I was especially impressed with what I’ll call the “camp out until you understand the process” approach. When printIQ goes to add support for an additional manufacturing process, they find a few pilot customers and stick with them until they have learned what makes this manufacturing process unique.
This hands-on approach to learning first, then building in collaboration with the pilot printers is a strength of printIQ. I especially liked their attitude of ignorance; in a good way, they made no assumptions about how this new print manufacturing business process works. They go into the research phase with open minds and ears and closed mouths! Great software is the result of how much you learn before you write any code. Software that fails to meet the mark is dreamed up in a conference room based on a lot of untested assumptions. printIQ currently has modules for design, digital, labels, mail, offset, packaging, signage, and wide format.
With printIQ you get the Core, which is made up of 8 modules that create an end-to-end workflow. However you also have the option to add an array of extra modules to the Core to create a specific workflow to suit your business requirements. This includes a range of third party options that fully integrate with printIQ. The existing integrations include popular tools like CHILI Publish, Enfocus Switch, XMPie, and Kodak’s Prinergy, plus a range of web applications.
printIQ brings a solid approach to the diversified print business. The combination of the modular approach of supporting multiple manufacturing processes, a built-in customer portal, and their integration capabilities will make it a competitive player.