Allegra Network Chooses Avanti Slingshot from Ricoh for Its 270 Franchise Locations
MALVERN, PA—February 5, 2015—Ricoh Americas and Avanti Computer Systems Limited, a leading provider of Print MIS solutions, announced that Allegra Network, a world leader in marketing and business communications franchises, has chosen Avanti Slingshot as the core of WorkStream, a fully integrated Web storefront to MIS workflow automation solution that will be offered across its North American network of 270 marketing and print communications franchises.
The Plymouth, MI-based franchisor sought a solution to help its franchise members improve customer relationships, more efficiently manage their day-to-day business operations and maintain a competitive edge. The company selected Avanti Slingshot for its ability to provide a cloud-based easy-to-use platform, support franchises of all sizes and integrate seamlessly with other key software tools that will form its WorkStream technology package.
“We pride ourselves on providing our franchise community with the technology and tools they need to efficiently manage their businesses, and Avanti Slingshot delivers with its robust suite of modules and ability to handle multiple lines of business,” noted Joe D’Aguanno, chief technology officer, Allegra Network. “By having essential business information at their fingertips, our franchise members gain a better understanding of their most profitable customers and products.”
According to Allegra Network CEO Mike Marcantonio, “This network-wide arrangement with Avanti Slingshot is a significant win for our franchise members. A robust and advanced Print MIS solution like this has been out of reach for a small independent operation, but we are now able to make it available in cost-effective solution that is easy to implement and deploy across the franchisee network.
“Our relationship with Allegra is one we are extremely proud of at Ricoh. A truly innovative company, Allegra sees the need for tools that can effectively help their business grow and their operations to continuously enhance,” said John Fulena, vice president, Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Americas. “Avanti Slingshot is an award-winning and proven solution that has brought similar results to many companies around the world. We are very pleased that Allegra has chosen this solution and look forward to our continued collaboration.”
Avanti Slingshot, launched in 2013, is browser-based, providing franchise members with the flexibility to access the system at any time and from anywhere. It was designed to help users easily get started with a base system for quoting, job ticketing, costing and tracking, right through to billing. Avanti Slingshot scales as the business grows; additional modules can easily be added as the franchise member potentially expands into new lines of business, such as large-format.
“Avanti Slingshot is a fantastic tool to help cultivate a more meaningful customer relationship, helping our clients remain competitive in the ever-changing print market landscape,” remarked Patrick Bolan, president and CEO of Avanti. “This is the beginning of a long-term relationship between Ricoh, Avanti and Allegra Networks, and we look forward to helping contribute to their continued growth and global expansion.”
About Allegra Network (Alliance Franchise Brands)
Alliance Franchise Brands, the parent company of Allegra Network and Sign & Graphics Operations, is a world leader in marketing, visual and graphics communications, linking nearly 600 locations in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. The company’s Marketing and Print Division, headquartered in Plymouth, MI, is composed of Allegra, American Speedy Printing, Insty-Prints, Speedy Printing and Zippy Print brands of marketing, printing, mailing and Web services providers. Its Sign and Graphics Division, headquartered in Columbia, MD, is composed of Image360, Signs By Tomorrow and Signs Now brands of sign and graphics communications providers.
Since 1984, Avanti has provided innovative, award-winning Print MIS solutions that help print-shops and marketing communication organizations automate all facets of their business and cultivate a more meaningful customer relationship. Avanti’s solutions are the most open in the industry, JDF-certified, fully integrated and extend from Web-to-print through to production and billing.
Ricoh is a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in about 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2014, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,195 billion yen based on the IFRS accounting standard (approx. 21.3 billion USD). The majority of the company's revenue comes from products, solutions and services that improve the interaction between people and information. Ricoh also produces award-winning digital cameras and specialized industrial products. It is known for the quality of its technology, the exceptional standard of its customer service and sustainability initiatives. Under its corporate tagline, imagine. change. Ricoh helps companies transform the way they work and harness the collective imagination of their employees.