One Road to Automation
Wallace's big decision: Should it simply incorporate the Graphic Industries effort into WCSS? Or was it more prudent to shop for a third-party software system to deliver a computer management system tailored specifically for the commercial printing environment? Offering direction, top executives at Graphic Industries, now carrying a voice within the Wallace fortress, turned Wallace's attention to the Hagen computerized management system already in place at several of its 20 locations.
Wallace's David Rousseau, vice president of information services, acting on the advisement of the Graphic Industries team, contacted Hagen and got a first-hand look at Hagen OA, the open architecture management solution for the graphic arts industry from Hagen Systems. Hagen OA provides a full suite of modules from estimating to scheduling and job management to financial reporting. The system also combines the electronic production ticket with shop floor data collection, scheduling and alteration information.
Rousseau took notice, and a decision was made. In Rousseau's eyes, Hagen OA—with its open architecture selling point—would be the computer management system to bring Wallace's newly expanded commercial printing effort under complete automated control, working in conjunction with WCSS.
Rather than starting from square one and building its own proprietary computer management system tailored to commercial printing, Hagen OA offered Wallace a jump-start on getting organized.
"We selected Hagen OA because of Hagen's reputation and, most significantly from a technology standpoint, Hagen OA's open architecture," Wallace's Rousseau reports. "Wallace wanted a system that could be easily integrated with its existing enterprise-wide approach to information—Hagen met the commercial printing operation's unique requirements, as well as the ability for Wallace to integrate Hagen OA with its existing corporate-wide systems."
Implementing the Decision
By December 1998, Wallace signed a deal for Hagen OA—giving Hagen a challenge, as well as a customer. Wallace was a much larger project than the typical Hagen client. As such, Hagen's technologists thought that, because of Wallace's size, many special needs would be suggested.