O’Neil Printing Fine-Tunes Processes with iQuote and eCRM
Founded in 1908, O’Neil Printing has built more than a century of experience fulfilling its Arizona community’s print needs across a variety of sectors, from education to medical, as well as servicing the print needs of businesses across the country. In 2020, the company moved into a brand-new facility and used the opportunity to conduct a thorough evaluation of its software solutions. “You don’t stay around for 112 years if you don’t provide quality, and you certainly don’t stay around for 112 years if you don’t change,” says Dean Toth, O’Neil Printing senior vice president, and general manager.
Three years prior, the company had invested in its MIS/ERP environment, expanding its EFI Enterprise Print Suite workflow with EFI’s iQuote estimating, PrintFlow Dynamic Scheduling, and eCRM customer relationship management components. “They are all very powerful tools and, in many ways, complex,” says Toth. “With several years of history and knowledge, we wanted to refine our utilization of them and maximize their capabilities.
“We reimagined our company during this process – our equipment, and our business model to some extent,” he adds.
Staying competitive in a global market
O’Neil is an employee-owned company, with a majority of its 55 employees holding ownership. A foundation of integrity and a drive to serve the local community set the company apart, Toth says. “Our reputation of being a company that supports our clients and community with integrity is important. That we actually deliver on quality and service distinguishes us. Being employee-owned, we have a vested interest in the success of our clients and our company.”
But while the company’s reputation is strong, staying competitive has become increasingly challenging. “It’s one thing to provide a high level of service and quality, and another to be able to do that at a competitive price,” Toth explains.
“Technology and the best utilization of software so we can be effective in processing our work are vital to our success,” he adds.
As the company prepared to move into its new facility, the team approached EFI about taking a comprehensive look at how it was using its software as part of a key initiative to maximize its investments to remain ahead of the competition.
Understanding and improving capabilities in hand
For years, O’Neil used Hagen OA ERP software, which later became EFI’s Monarch ERP in the early aughts. “We run all of our accounting functions, data collection, reporting, and financials all through Monarch,” Toth notes. “Our payroll feeds through Monarch out to a third party.”
Monarch provides a core foundation for the business’s large and diverse array of clients and projects. O’Neil’s range of services includes wide-format graphics, binding and finishing, mailing services, fulfillment, print-on-demand, and building customer portals. All of these flow through the Monarch system, which O’Neil has since upgraded to a full EFI Enterprise Print Suite. Incorporating several key components has created an end-to-end, integrated workflow for handling nearly all business and production management processes.
That level of integration and automation, which includes integrating the Suite with the company’s Heidelberg Prinect prepress workflow and other third-party systems, eliminates re-keying data in multiple areas of a plant crucial to reducing errors and building efficiency. Along the way, the workflow also gathers data that improves overall decision making.
“Our goal has been straightforward,” Toth says. “Touch a job once and automate wherever possible.”
Simple adjustments reveal impactful insights
O’Neil took advantage of the estimating, scheduling, and customer relationship management capabilities in the Enterprise Commercial Print Suite workflow. Working with EFI to review overlooked system capabilities was a three-day professional services training session completed by the team’s production manager/scheduler. “We knew there was an opportunity there to see if we could maximize his knowledge of the system and make some simple configuration changes,” says Toth. “It was very worthwhile. In just two weeks, we went from using one process we had used primarily just on presses and cutter, to expanding it to other bindery operations.”
“We’ve had a very close relationship with EFI’s support professional services team, working with them really closely on these refinements,” says Toth.
Automation in estimating and scheduling were especially important. Prior to fully utilizing iQuote and PrintFlow, O’Neil directed jobs through the plant using paper job tickets.
Making better business decisions
The implementation of the iQuote estimating component in the Suite, “allows us to build customized parameters into the system, and then it will build jobs within those parameters,” Toth says. The software looks at the company’s processes and equipment and calculates the best production paths, keeping the technical decision making within the software. The estimator is presented with an opportunity to review and change costs, margins, and prices with immediate visibility into the edits' impact.
“It is so much more automated than Monarch estimating,” Toth notes. “It engineers a project based on parameters we set.”
Estimating data “allows us to make good business decisions, which is really critical for us,” he adds. Now O’Neil has better tracking on win percentages, estimates/actual cost comparisons, and more, all accessible through Monarch.
Using iQuote, “Our estimating team can use their expertise to focus on jobs that are much more complex,” says Toth. “We no longer have to waste time on quotes we’ve done a thousand times, and the result is a quicker response to the customer, which helps us win.”
Jobs are then synchronized by PrintFlow, which optimizes scheduling through automated calculations.
Automation capabilities through iQuote are maximized so that some estimates are delivered without O’Neil’s team even touching them, providing instant quotes for jobs within a certain standard and under a given cost. “If I were to put a 200-card business card order into our system or a 1,000-brochure quote, they take the same effort for the quote, but one is clearly more profitable,” explains Toth. This kind of automation improves O’Neil’s bottom line.
The main impetus driving O’Neil to revisit its EFI software was recognizing that the company was not using it to its full potential. There were crucial gaps in knowledge about business performance. Customer relationship management strategies, handled by the EFI eCRM component in O’Neil’s Suite, presented an especially strong opportunity. “For years, we were not doing enough analysis on how we were performing on go-to-market strategies,” says Toth. “eCRM enables us to gather that data and report it in a meaningful way. We have a tool that allows us to understand the results of our efforts.”
Analyzing the best sales strategies
The eCRM software component delivers an enhanced workflow designed to benefit sales staff. Featuring rules-based optimization and integrated Suite capabilities, eCRM allows users to create and maintain custom revenue categories for sales budgeting and opportunity forecasting purposes. The solution offers access to linked activities, notes, attachments, requests for quotes, and estimates. These readily available insights provide better visibility, utilization and deployment of assets.
O’Neil’s sales representatives are now empowered with quicker quotes, and better data from eCRM giving them better insights into productivity and efficacy. “It has brought a level of accountability to our sales team, says Toth. “eCRM tracks everything we do and where we are spending our time. Before, there was no way to analyze if given activities were productive because we didn’t have a way to track it.” Now, the team is able to adjust its strategies according to data indicators, tracking efforts, and measuring their impact.
As for O’Neil’s plan for the future, the company plans to continue to refine its workflow. “We see the benefits to it, and we see that our workflow can still be more structured – there’s room for improvement in coordinating our software and internal workflow processes,” says Toth.
“We’ve always been a very forward-thinking and progressive company, very committed to providing the highest level of service to our clients,” says Toth. “We’ll continue to drive changes in a way that shows benefit to those involved. It can initially be difficult to get buy-in from everyone on your team when talking about change, but as we reflect back over time, no one can imagine going back to the old way.”