Page 52 - Print 21 Magazine May-June 2019
P. 52

Jake Nelson
MIS: the DNA of print
If the press is the beating heart of any printing operation, and
ink and paper its lifeblood, then software is its DNA – shaping its processes, defining how it all works, ensuring everything develops just so. Jake Nelson speaks to experts on how to find the management information system (MIS) software that’s right for you.
Printers are always after the latest and greatest presses, platemakers, finishing machines and so on – but that’s only one piece of the
print puzzle. Software is also key to ensuring your business succeeds, according to Nicola Bisset, group managing director at software developer Optimus.
“A well implemented MIS can literally transform a printer’s business and can significantly improve efficiency and profitability,” she says. “It can do this by helping
to provide structured automation in both the back office and on the factory floor.”
In the back office, says Bisset, a good MIS can perform tasks such
as creating accurate estimates, managing stock, and analysing sales.
“Doing these same tasks manually is normally a lot more inefficient, inconsistent, and prone to error handling,” she says. “One simple fact that invoices can be produced
in minutes, and sent instantly, often improves a printers cash flow position beyond recognition; we have many Optimus customers who would testify to this.”
Meanwhile, on the factory floor, depending on the equipment and software installed, MIS suites can provide valuable connectivity and give power back to the printer, says Bisset.
“A good MIS can integrate with other workflow solutions and also combine to get data directly out of hardware devices directly, in order that a true and realistic picture of cost is captured to shine the light on what was planned to happen versus what did actually happen.
“It is more than an estimating and job tracking tool - it is far more wide reaching, touching CRM, inventory and accounts.” – Alan Dixon
To have and have not
Software being software printers should know that not all MIS systems are the same. Their ability to integrate with other software such as workflow, ecommerce and online functionality is key.
Developed locally in ANZ printIQ promotes itself as ‘much more than MIS’. The printIQ Core is made up of eight modules that create a seamless, end-to-end estimating, ordering and production workflow encompassing everything needed for successful label production. printIQ also comes out-of-the-box with an online
portal (no bolt-on required), so that customers can submit, pay, and track orders with ease.
Printers can even create branded portals for each of their customers to make the experience that much more personal.
According to Mick Rowan, director of product development and marketing, printIQ differs from traditional software in that it understands the entire production process from quoting to fulfilment. He says, “printIQ maps out all possible alternatives for the job to pass through the factory. We do this by integrating your business rules with all the pricing rules based on your component inputs; such as labour, machines and materials.”
According to Rowan, working
in fast-changing business environments means you have to adapt strategies and innovate. “With printlQ you get groundbreaking software, and a team that specialises in transitioning you from your outdated MIS to a system designed and built for future growth. When you work with IQ you can start to see what future success looks like, and are assured that we’ll be there to help you leap into the future.”
MIS experts:
Alan Dixon, Daniel Aloi, Nicola Bisset, MIck Rowan, and Matt Murray
“The power and control is provided back to the printer, as they then have at their fingertips the ability to accurately analyse where any bottlenecks can be removed and any potential opportunities can be realised,” she says.
Daniel Aloi, senior regional sales manager APAC at EFI, adds that MIS solutions both unify a company’s workflow and can be modified to suit different requirements.
“MIS removes touch points, streamlines efficiencies and improves the organisation of a company. Giving organisations repeatability and control, plus providing measurable and workable data on activity and centralising information across the organisation, adds to a printer’s performance,” he says.
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52  Print21 MAY/JUNE 2019

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