There seems to be as many management information systems (MIS) or enterprise resource management (ERP) solutions on the market as there are problems they solve.
At printIQ, we find the term MIS or ERP a little limiting. When you’re looking at your entire print workflow system from design to delivery with integration points into other key systems, your solution has to be more than management information. This goes beyond administrative tasks; it is the management of your entire business-critical processes.
Management Workflow System (MWS) software should be at the core of any print business, regardless of size or segment. When you have the right system, an MWS can provide end to end efficiencies throughout your entire operation.
With so many vendors claiming to have a superior solution, where do you start?
- Have a Goal
By understanding exactly what you’re trying to accomplish, and which parts of your workflow you want to address, you’ll narrow down where to start and quickly weed out any vendor that doesn’t fulfill your immediate needs and scalable growth requirements.
Do a thorough examination of your current needs and capabilities by answering the following:
- Do you have immediate bottlenecks – ordering, scheduling, estimating – that need to be improved or removed?
- Is the lack of real-time data hindering your business investment decisions?
- Are you looking to grow into additional segments beyond traditional print – packaging, corrugated or large/wide format?
- Do you require 24×7 access to information to accommodate multi-locations?
- Do your business growth targets require an expansion of capabilities such as web-to-print or fulfillment?
- Is post go-live local support important?
No vendor can provide everything to each client, nor should they try. Customers not only have a choice, but they also will require capabilities beyond the here and now, requiring a scalable, flexible solution with connections beyond what any single vendor can offer.
Through open standards and certified connectivity points into select partner solutions, the restrictions of who you’re able to work with will dissolve.
- What are the core capabilities of the MIS/MWS system?
- Is it a modular solution that can scale as your business grows?
- Does the vendor work with best-in-class partners?
Of course, budget should be a factor in the adoption of any critical business system.
In working with clients all over the world, we often hear the same thing at the beginning of print workflow system evaluation: it’s too expensive. To that our response is usually the same: can you really afford not to? This is your entire workflow from design to delivery with integration points into other key systems. By implementing a dependable system that keeps your business functional, you’re saving the downtime and repair costs impacting your overall productivity.
Can you answer the following questions when reviewing your budget?
- Are manual errors resulting in unnecessary costs?
- Is a lack of visibility into each process impacting your lead and job turnaround time?
- What are the administrative tasks and weight on your internal resources costing you?
At printIQ, we have a well-honed assessment and evaluation process to ensure that you’re getting the system you deserve – to meet today’s needs and tomorrow’s capabilities.