It’s no secret, print shop floors can get chaotic. Printing is one of the most complicated production processes, with continuously moving people, machines, and substrates required to produce a final product. If one cog in the wheel gets delayed, the entire project does – and your profit margin shrinks.
To effectively manage the materials, equipment, costs, resources, and communication of the production process, print businesses need a management information system (MIS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution. In this blog, we will explain some of the driving forces behind this technology and make a case for why a centralized business application is the best software to support your print operations moving forward.
Do You Need Print Management Software?
Most print businesses have some type of financial and operational system to manage their core business processes. This could include a basic accounting package, a different customer relationship management solution, a complex Excel spreadsheet for scheduling, and maybe an additional system to handle inventory and supply chain. You could also be running tailor-made legacy software that has been around for decades and is no longer supported or well understood.
Juggling all of these separate systems and islands of data may be manageable for a short timeframe. Still, it quickly becomes unmanageable as soon as your print business experiences any change. If you decide to add new equipment and expand your services, you will have more customers, transactions, and machines to deal with. Any time-consuming manual processes and operational inefficiencies will become that much more challenging to handle and start to impact your users, your projects, your customers, and your bottom-line. Your growth may be hindered before it begins if your systems aren’t supporting you effectively.
In an industry like print, your ability to grow and evolve with changing market conditions is what sets you apart from your competition. But for many reasons, print shops are more likely to invest in expensive offset presses and digital printers than enterprise technology. That is until the costs and frustrations of their existing systems start preventing growth and causing frustration. That’s when the real need for business management software arises.
To avoid this scenario, keep an eye out for some of the most common warning signs that your current technology setup is not working and it’s time to start considering print management software:
- Decreased Productivity: Your production staff don’t feel empowered and have grown tired of wasting unnecessary hours on administrative tasks.
- Project Bottlenecks: Your estimators are knee-deep in spreadsheets, and production is lost in a sea of backlogged projects and confusion over scheduling. At the same time, shipping struggles to plan routes and deliver efficiently.
- Ineffective Communication: There is little to no collaboration between your estimating, planning, production, and customer service departments, so the workflow is often interrupted while delays and errors increase.
- Unnecessary Costs: Without optimized production planning and automation capabilities, you’re losing money on mistakes throughout the production workflow, leading to wasted job runs and unhappy customers.
- Inaccurate Numbers: Hours and hours of manual data consolidation are required to create financial and operational reports – and you still don’t have an accurate picture of performance or an ability to make informed decisions.
- Lost Business: Your production team is overwhelmed by inefficiency, and the quality of your final product and customer service is taking a hit, and your competition is increasing.
Are any of these signs are resonating with your day-to-day operations? When we speak to print professionals, they are experiencing some of these challenges more times than not. And as pressure mounts to perform faster and better with thinner margins, it’s time to consider if investing in core technology to eliminate these problems will help you sleep at night.
6 Ways a Centralized Business Application Supports Your Print Operations
To gain control over your operations, print shops in every industry need to effectively coordinate materials, equipment, orders, estimates, costs, and resources. There is a wide range of Print MIS and ERP applications available to support printing management needs.
To avoid the disparate system scenario you are already in, we recommend an end-to-end system designed to meet your printing and financial needs. These software solutions combine print specific capabilities (i.e. estimating, sales orders, shop floor data collection, inventory management, job costing, and shipping) with the financial and operational ERP functionality that you need to do business every day (i.e. accounting, financial reporting, scheduling, project management, manufacturing, and advanced warehousing).
A centralized Print MIS and ERP business management system includes finance, sales, production planning, work order management, job costing, and reporting all-in-one platform. To learn more about Print MIS and ERP software, read this white paper:
Here are 6 core technology benefits of using one centralized business application in your print business:
- Operational Visibility
With a single system of record to manage workflows and view real-time inventory, schedules, machine capacity, job statuses, and job costs, you have total visibility into performance at all times and the ability to quickly answer any question from your clients or sales reps.
- Accurate Data
By connecting all key functional areas across your print business, everyone in your organization is always working with the most accurate, up-to-date data for decision making and reporting.
- Process Efficiency
Automating manual, repetitive tasks, including inventory management and scheduling, quickly eliminates errors, improves lead times, boosts user productivity, enhances product quality, and improves customer service.
- Employee Productivity
With all of the tools and data they need at their fingertips, your users will make better use of their time – focusing less on administration and more on the final product.
- Traceability and Regulatory Compliance
An effective business management solution can help you improve data accuracy, enhance quality control, and manage areas of governance, risk, and print industry regulations.
- Cost Analysis and Savings
Automated processes, integrated workflows, increased productivity, shorter fulfillment times, and better insights lead to reduced operating costs, revenue growth, and a faster return on your investment. You can also look at how much you’re spending on outsourcing and evaluate what is feasible.
Transform Your Print Shop with Cloud Print MIS and ERP Software
At Wye Print, our goal is to help your print, packaging, or label company build and sustain exponential growth by leveraging PrintVis, a print industry-driven cloud solution built on the proven Microsoft ERP platform, Dynamics 365 Business Central. PrintVis is a single business application that brings together Microsoft’s foundational cloud ERP software with print industry-specific MIS technology.
If you’re interested in seeing how a centralized print management solution can help your print shop become more efficient and profitable, all you have to do is watch PrintVis in action.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Wye Print team here.