Stay on top of changes in technology – and the industry – with a monthly series focused
on trending topics. Industry data and marketing ideas included.
Choose the Right MIS System for Your Print Shop
Improving efficiency as a way to control cost is a hot topic in a variety of industries today, and the world of print is no different. From job intake to production to shipping, there are several ways for Print Service Providers to streamline process and boost profit.
For many print shops, installing a management information system has been invaluable to business – using the right MIS for your shop pulls together all the different processes and software solutions that handle your production workflow so you can be more efficient, more productive and more profitable. By minimizing the need for manual intervention, these systems save time and reduce error, allowing you to focus on producing the best quality work for your customers.
We know there are many MIS options to choose from and the choices can be overwhelming. We also know how important it is to select the right system for your print shop’s needs. Use the checklist below to help start evaluating your options. For more information on what MIS systems can do for your shop, read InfoTrends’s exclusive piece, Harnessing Print MIS to Drive Efficiency.
Ricoh’s MIS System Checklist
Determine the features you need
Prioritize the features you absolutely need to help decide the best option for you. Considerations include:
- Will you be using the software for billing and job completion? Or do you need it mainly to monitor the work on the shop floor?
- What other software do you currently have and is it compatible with the options available?
List the hardware the system will be monitoring
MIS systems can handle a range of workflows, from the most basic to the most complicated, but knowing where your workflow lands on the scale will help narrow down your options. Considerations include:
- Do you need an MIS system for your digital workflow, or do you have offset systems to integrate as well?
- What kinds of finishing do you offer, and what finishing systems do you use the most?
Understand how long the implementation process will take
Figure out a plan to keep your shop operating during this phase. Considerations include:
- Will you need to take all your current processes offline while the new solution is implemented?
- Will you need to close the shop for a period? Will you lose any income during the process?
- What hiccups might arise and how will you deal with them?
Confirm what technical support is offered with the solution
As with any software, you’ll have questions throughout the life of the product so make sure you always have access to a knowledge base. Considerations include:
- Is there an additional cost for technical support?
Ensure the solution fits with your future needs
The solution should not only fit your company today, but also be flexible enough and have enough features to support you as you grow. Considerations include:
- How much have your profits grown year over year?
- What capabilities might you add in the coming years?
- Do you have sufficient staff or do you plan to expand?
Additional MIS Resources
Avanti Slingshot Solution Information
Avanti Slingshot is the next generation Print MIS (Management Information System), incorporating business intelligence (CRM, dashboards and reporting), production planning (estimating, imposition, planned purchasing, sales orders, inventory management and scheduling), warehousing, shipping and billing into one easy-to-use, easy-to-implement system.
BDS Road Map – 2014: It’s Time to Embrace Change!
Embracing change is vital to your business’ ongoing success. The tools that businesses and consumers use to communicate are ever-changing. While print remains a core communications tool that is not going away, the ways in which it is used and produced are changing. Customers’ expectations are changing too—they expect providers to deliver more value. In 2014, dynamic businesses will meet these changes head-on, prepare to address the risks that the changes bring, and have the fortitude to adjust their business models to thrive and succeed. Success will require exploring new target markets, emerging technologies, new competitors, and print as well as non-print media alternatives.