RIT Study Reveals Estimating System Obstacles That Hamper Printers Today
Chris Bondy, a well-known professor in the School of Media Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT's) College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, recently completed a study to better understand "what print services providers (PSPs) like, don't like and want to get out of today's estimating systems."
Ultimately, the research uncovered PSP requirements to be able to generate timely and accurate customer quotes. It identified the lack of sufficient automation, mobility and compatibility with standards, combined with time-consuming administrative tasks that often compensate for estimating system limitations as key inhibitors to estimating cycle times.
Print service providers participating in the study, for example, spent an average of two hours and 10 minutes in the administration of estimates, including job planning, on every order, according to the proprietary research.
"The industry has focused on automation around prepress, production and even postpress; but long estimating cycles that come before prepress take a big bite out of those time savings," Bondy says. "Taking too long to provide a quote defeats the purpose of streamlining the rest of the workflow. It also jeopardizes the business itself because a service provider that can quote faster will likely win the job."
Despite the industry consolidation that has taken place over the last decade, the RIT study revealed that there remains a wide variety of commercial and “home grown” estimating systems available for print service providers to use, he observes. Additionally, while vendors involved in print production focused on automation and made distinct advancements in mobility and compatibility with standards, estimating systems did not receive the same industry attention, according to Bondy.
“Estimating systems that are designed to support a more streamlined workforce will be the most effective,” Bondy wrote in the study’s Executive Summary. “Service providers are looking for an ‘agile’ approach to estimating and order entry that deploys Business Development (“hunters”) and Project Managers versus the labor-intensive model of Sales (“farmer”), CSRs, Estimators, and Planners.”
Click on the link below to access the Executive Summary to see how your firm stacks up when it comes to job estimating best practices, the current state of the process, as well as information on how to access the complete research report from professor Bondy. It will require you to answer a few brief questions about yourself to help us in our audience development efforts to deliver more valuable content going forward but, by doing so, you will be able to access all other future gated content presented by Printing Impressions without registering again for an extended period of time as long as you use the same browser.