Over the last 21 years we’ve talked to a lot of printers who don’t really realize what is available in print MIS software.  There’s  cheap MIS and expensive MIS, and what you pay doesn’t necessarily match what you get.   

So here is what we've worked out over the years.  If you want to see Printsum’s offering in this field go to http://www.printsum.com – the FREE Community Edition's fully functional and is not time-limited, so you're free to use it as much as you like (here’s the download link), and the paid-for version provides a good range of offerings.  But whichever MIS you choose we wish you success.

 

More efficient operation

• You need to be confident that the system you choose will be efficient, and especially that it won’t impose inefficient ways of working. Remember that many MIS systems were written years ago and technology has changed in the meantime.

Understand your business

• A good MIS will give you an understanding of what jobs are where, and from which sectors your profit derives.

• Measuring ‘added value’ can help you keep track of how your fixed overheads are being covered.

• A dash-board to give at-a-glance overviews for management is useful.

Free up your time

• If you or your staff aren’t tied up doing estimates all day, there’ll be more time available for selling.

• By identifying which jobs and which customers to turn away you can often increase your profit while doing less work!

Remove bottlenecks

• For most print companies, the main bottleneck is the vast number of quotes required, where a delay of even a few hours in responding can lose the job, yet an inaccuracy in the estimate can lead to serious cost overruns.

• Another consideration is finding and repeating old jobs. When the customer calls you and says it was ‘those Mickey Mouse leaflets’ how quickly can you locate the original records and recalculate the quote for the repeat order?

Fast and accurate estimating

• We can’t emphasize this too much.  Everything flows from the estimating, so if you don't get it right the rest is of limited value.

• It has to be usable – not just pretty – day after day, month after month.

• It shouldn’t just be a glorified adding machine – it should help you make decisions.

• Many systems are about as good as a spreadsheet!