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What is the state of your workflow? Joe Cushing, with printIQ

11 Oct 2019

A recent printIQ implementation has been for Chicago based Cushing. Having been a Chicago institution now for 90 years Cushing approached the search for a new MIS with the same professionalism they apply to all their work. After choosing printIQ as the one that “ticked all the boxes” they assigned an internal implementation team, headed up by a project architect who led a team of individuals from across all departments. This approach ensured that all relevant information was gathered at the start of the project, and any potential speed bumps were foreseen and quickly resolved.

Joe Cushing, Executive Vice President told us the interesting 90 year history of their company and how the printIQ MWS implementation was undertaken.   


“The doors opened at Cushing on October 1, 1929. Yes, twenty-eight days prior to the stock market crash. Our first client projects? Producing blueprints for the architects, engineering firms, and construction companies building the city of Chicago. 90 years later, many continue to be customers, and while we still provide drawings, their needs have evolved.”

“The transition from “blueprinter” to a branded display graphics provider ushered in a group of creative personnel who bring a different mindset to our workplace. These problem solvers are challenged on a daily basis, because no job is the same nowadays. With more nuanced projects and complex customer requests, the need for improved communication follows. Which means the workflow had to evolve as well.”

“While effective and in many ways reliable, our homegrown order and production system could not keep pace. With so many technologies, quoting standards, media types, and customer ideas (these days, our team gets requests to brand almost everything – we installed event graphics in a restroom last year!) our approach had to change. How could we create repeatable processes to make sure the easy jobs stay easy, while providing tools to manage complex requests?”

“Our search for a new MIS system began toward the end of 2018.  How did we land on printIQ? They essentially checked all the boxes for a solution. The ultimate requirement was improved communication and creating the well-written work order. Our director of information technology, David Parkes, took on the role of project architect. He organized a team to incorporate all facets of the company, pulling from individuals across all departments.  All told, it took about sixteen weeks to implement the new system.”

The printIQ MWS branded to suit Cushing

“The estimates for client projects, which are always unique, multi-faceted, and at times, challenging, have been simplified. From window graphics to custom books, product templates for frequently requested items are now available with a few mouse clicks, so while there will always be unique projects, every quote no longer needs to be built from scratch. And customers now have a simple method for viewing and approving proofs of their projects, anywhere, at any time.”

“Another significant goal of this transition was not driven by products or software specifications – it was about our people! Employee on-boarding, with all the variations of work we do, was a major consideration. There can be a steep learning curve understanding the intricacies of the jobs we produce, and already we are seeing new team members adopt our processes more swiftly and with far greater ease.”

“Who knows what interesting client request will come next? There are so many possibilities.”

Joe Cushing, Executive Vice President, Cushing.


Joe invites people to visit the Cushing website for updates from the team on how employees are faring with the new MIS system, and the lessons they have learned along the way. Visit their website cushingco.com to see the variety of incredible work they are creating. Contact us if the your MIS isn’t keeping up the pace.