Print MIS vs Print ERP: What’s the Difference?

Print MIS or Print ERP_Header

Managing a print shop can be complicated without the right software in place. The problem is, there are a lot of options out there to choose from. Printers can run any combination of systems to help get them through the day, from Microsoft Excel or accounting software to separate systems for estimating and shop floor management.

In this blog post, we will focus on the two most common print management technologies that you will come across in your initial research: MIS and ERP.

The primary function of modern print MIS and ERP software is to automate labor-intensive tasks, increase the efficiency of data management, reduce touchpoints, improve business decision-making, and boost profits. Together, they both provide a centralized database and the tools you need to manage the back end of your print shop. But separately, they differ in purpose, features, integration, and outcomes. To choose the best-fitting software for your print shop, it’s best to be prepared, and we’re going to provide all of the information you need to make the most well-informed decision.

Print Management Information System (MIS)

An MIS is a centralized database that collects, stores, and processes data from all parts of your business. It helps organize and store data from various sources that can then be used to plan, report, and to provide support for management decision-making.  

In the print industry, print MIS applications are very common and used by many mid to large-sized organizations to improve efficiencies and manage key operational processes. Some of the more popular systems are Avanti Slingshot or ePRO Print MIS. These solutions are customized for the print industry and all types of printers, allowing business owners to manage, manipulate, and view data from multiple sources in one organized system. Information and reports can then be shared throughout the company to make quick, strategic decisions.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software

An ERP system is technically derived from a MIS, but also provides the business process management functionality required to streamline operations, boost efficiency, and make strategic decisions. This technology is extremely popular in all industries because it uses integrated applications to manage an entire business and automate essential back-office functionality.

An ERP system is designed to bring together all areas of a business in one all-around software system, from accounting to sales to inventory. This provides complete operational visibility and eliminates all possible errors, inaccuracies, and performance issues that come with manually managing disparate systems and islands of data.

There’s a misconception that ERP software is only for large enterprises, but luckily, that’s not the case anymore. Cloud-based ERP systems are affordable and scalable to fit all types of businesses, including print. You can choose the functionality you need right now and add on to your systems with growth.

Print MIS vs Print ERP

Although both technologies are very similar, you can start to see the advantages and disadvantages of choosing one over the other. We’ve highlighted some of these areas in a side-by-side comparison below.

PRINT MISPRINT ERP
PURPOSEUsed for general management and use of informationUsed to plan and automate business processes
KEY FEATURESCentralized database
Data organization and storage 
Reporting 
Data distribution 
Centralized database
Business process automation 
Data analysis
Forecasting
FUNCTIONALITYPrint Estimating
Production Scheduling
Job Tracking
Material Handling
Inventory Management
Financial Management 
Reporting and Business Intelligence 
Customer Relationship Management
Sales
Supply Chain Management
Service Management
Manufacturing 
Warehouse Management
Project Management
INTEGRATIONLimitedFully integrated with other print technology and business applciations
DEPLOYMENTCloud or on-premise options availableCloud or on-premise options available

Why You Need Both to Build and Sustain Growth in Your Print Shop

By figuring out the roles of MIS and ERP, we can now better understand their relationship. An MIS is used for the general management and use of information, while ERP software is used to plan and automate business processes. Together, print MIS and ERP technology make the ideal software solution to build and sustain growth in a print shop. And that’s exactly what print shop management software should do!

Print management technology is a single end-to-end integrated business management application that connects all aspects of your business and print production together. It brings together foundational ERP functionality with print industry-specific MIS technology in one database to effectively manage your entire operations.

When deciding what software is right for your print shop, the functionality you need will depend on your print business, your goals, your people, and your budget. Print management technology comes in a variety of sizes and complexities and is available on-premises and in the cloud. When it comes time to select a system for your business, you will need to consider scalability, user interface, training requirements, and support options. Download our step-by-step guide to selecting print technology to get you started:

PrintVis, a Microsoft Certified Print MIS and ERP Solution

At Wye Print, we focus on cloud applications that promote the user experience. By removing the traditional barriers to software adoption and creating an infinite loop of learning, your users are empowered to do their best work. That’s why we work with PrintVis, an all-in-one print MIS and ERP solution.

PrintVis brings together the best print-specific MIS functionality with Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, a proven cloud-based ERP system with the functionality and flexibility to streamline and grow your print business. By connecting all parts of your printing plant together from sales and estimating through the management of subcontractors and shipping, it is designed to solve all kinds of problems and fit all types of print companies. But don’t just take our word for it—see for yourself! Book a demo with our team and we will walk you through the software. We’ll show you how quick it is to deploy, how flexible it is to fit your print shop, and how easy it is to learn.