Management Information Systems — A Hit with Printers
After a false start with another system, Nextgen is now running a plant-wide, integrated MIS package from Enterprise Print Management Solutions (EPMS). It is using a separate system from Online Print Solutions (OPS) to provide Web-to-print capabilities, including online ordering and proofing, to its customers. That capability was already in place when the printer looked to replace its MIS. OPS’s OrderDesk automatically submits a work order to the shop’s digital pressroom for processing, but those jobs ultimately are manually entered into EPMS for invoicing.
The shop’s other work, both digital and offset printing, is all processed through the MIS. Since a lot of orders come in on a rush basis, Nextgen needed the capability to put a job into production even before generating a formal quote. “We’ll reverse-engineer the work order into a quote, after we’ve already done the work in order to get the invoice out,” notes Rothstein.
Nextgen currently has about 90 full-time workers and operates out of one building. Every department manager and a number of operators had an opportunity to evaluate its current MIS system before the final decision was made. Rothstein wanted to make sure that the product was easy enough and quick enough to enable live data collection on every job, including very short runs.
The printing exec says he learned a lot from the company’s previous one-year system install. “You really need to know your own business and what benefits you want from the system,” he advises. “Also, we rolled this one out over time. We started using some modules in January, and there are a couple we haven’t started to use yet.”
In his On Demand presentation, Jay Mandarino, president of C.J. Graphics, listed knowing the shop’s real costs, eliminating the rekeying of job data over and over, and enabling real-time job tracking as top bullet points for why C.J. Graphics replaced its MIS. The diverse company, based in Toronto, needed a system that could support its full range of printing capabilities—including digital, large-format and offset printing—as well as value-added services such as mailing and fulfillment. In addition, management has established a requirement that all new equipment it acquires be JDF (Job Definition Format) compatible.