Innovation and disruption are not the same thing.
There are benefits to both, though nobody sets out to turn their business upside down just for fun. You do it while establishing the overall benefits, adopting a strategy and driving towards a specific goal, while engaging your people to implement that plan.
It is ok to shake things up and keep your teams sharp while making some key investments and organizational changes for the greater good of the business. The key is to balance your decisions between complacency and disruption.
Adopting and implementing any type of a system, a process, a change in direction, or an M&A event that disrupts the status quo is potentially disruptive to your overall operations.
A print management information system (MIS) is one of those events that shift or shake up your print business if you are not prepared to do it correctly. Too many printers don’t complete an adequate due diligence or fail to create a strategic plan outlining what problems they are trying to solve when sourcing an MIS solution.
There are many steps to consider prior to writing the check to procure your new system.
Implementation Plan. Do you have one?
Creating a series of action-oriented steps planned for making the implementation smooth, mostly involving the following steps:
- Creating a master schedule of the implementation activities
- Setting timelines for critical and non-critical activities
- Identifying major bottlenecks and their solutions
- Communication of the plan.
Organizing a department of key stakeholders.
Ensuring you have the right people in the right roles before, during and post implementation will help minimize the distraction of the print MIS system fulfillment. Communicating everyone’s responsibilities and setting expectations on the process and goals will establish trust within your organization and the external vendors.
Selection and Procurement
Create a vendor List. Due diligence by analyzing select vendors based on experience, credentials and goodwill in the marketplace. Be sure to look beyond price for speed, third party integration and the ability to customize.
Preparation of a request for proposal. Develop an RFP with the key stakeholders in the implementation and development teams to establish specifications and scope of the project.
Invitation to bid. Establish your goals and deadlines prior to inviting select vendors to bid on the system.
Evaluation. Enable a score-based system based on a mix of quality, cost and delivery capabilities, ensuring you are using the same scorecard for each vendor.
Selection. Evaluate a single vendor or a select set of vendors to start contract and price negotiations.
Procurement. Receive the new system created based on the assumptions made of operating environment of the organization.
Training. Establishing a training plan for users and management to understand the current system and how it is designed to meet your organizational goals.
Infrastructure. Ensure your business is ready for the system itself: hardware, software, IT requirements and service.
Transition. Establish a go-live plan and post-live plan to make room for growing pains.
Any large system implementation will be potentially disruptive to your organization and a good MIS should and will touch every function in your organization from design to fulfillment. By having a well-structured plan with solid communication across your organization in order to set timelines and expectations correctly is key.
At printIQ, we understood that when designing our managed workflow system (for more than just an MIS), we listened to our customers in order to understand the complexities they faced and goals for company growth, while remaining sensitive to the scale and scope of the project to minimize disruption. By establishing a collective plan and understanding the overall benefits of the outcome, any potential growing pains can be managed into a successful delivery.
We consider ourselves stakeholders in your success.