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In today’s world, a Print Management Information System (MIS) is vital for automation of the entire production process. The print managers are well aware that manual tracking processes and incoherent data-gathering practices can no longer meet their needs. With these out-dated practices it has become impossible to see a bigger picture and acquire significant information in timely manner.
Just like a good management software helps Builders make better homes, a good Print Management Information System can help a printing business stand out amid enormous competition in the global printing market.
What is Print Management Information System
Print Management Information System is particularly designed to analyze the operational activities of a print production house by incorporating data from all departments and process life cycles. It helps the management with the information required to successfully run the business on a day-to-day basis, as well as provides strategic support for long-term growth decisions.
Gears of a Good Print Management Information System
Today, the print industry like other markets is greatly populated with innumerable independent Print MIS designers catering to small and medium-sized printing businesses.
What are the key components of a good Print Management solution that can give your printing business the competitive lead over others by helping you stand despite the increasing demand for shorter runs, faster turn times and inevitable threat posed by digital technologies?
An effective and profit-oriented Print Management Suite allows the printing operation to analyze and forecast the business accurately, using the following essential gears:
Figure 1 – Gears for a Good Print Management solution
Estimation & Quotation
Print management solution with integrated estimating provides tools for linking the estimating process to the production process. A good MIS solution lets you develop an electronic specification form that considerably reduces quoting response time in contrast to unreadable handwritten orders and offers flexibility needed to modify standards with changing business needs.
Order Entry and Job Tracking
An effective job management solution, as part of an integrated Print Management suite, includes a number of functions like
- Order entry
- Job planning
- Job costing
Additionally it encompasses a Scheduling system for job tracking that
- Views requirements of independent jobs
- Combines these requirements with similar jobs
- Sets up a work flow that optimizes equipment consumption, reduces or eliminates bottlenecks, and delivers on time.
- Responds to real-world malfunctions during the production process
A good quality Print Management Software will manage the flow of materials throughout the shop. It will track different inventories within one database – providing a reliable, accurate view for:
- Inventory on orders received, on-hand, reserved and posted
- Client’s materials
- Consignment inventories
Shop Floor Data Collection
Print MIS solution should provide complete built-in tools to integrate real-time shop floor data capture to boost
- Scheduling efforts
- Ensure proper staffing
- Monitor inventory levels using dashboards, displays, reports, trends and alarms
This information is readily accessed and circulated from shop floor to big boardrooms, offering a strong basis for various decision making processes, including process expansion.
The desirable solution should be able to generate customized, up-to-date reports with a built in reporting capability. It should also be able to easily integrate with more complicated reporting packages, such as Crystal Reports, to meet all reporting needs.
Financials – Invoicing and Receivables
One of the important features of a good quality Print Management system is an internal accounting system. With this system, businesses will have access to General ledger, report orders, sales, inventory levels, receivables, payables, and so on. By analyzing this information, managers can identify problem areas and vital prospects. The trends in sales during different seasons can be analyzed and strategies are formulated based on this data.
There is hardly any operation or person who doesn’t draw information to and from a fully integrated Print MIS solution. An investment in a good solution quickly pays for itself as it provides a single structured core of business that increases efficiency, and reduces cost of your business, thus giving you advantage over others in this fast paced, increasingly competitive world.