In the commercial printing segment of the market, business management and estimating software has proved to be a valuable tool for business owners for years. In the wide-format segment of the market, though, those same tools never worked exactly right. Recently, however, software designed specifically for the wide- and grand-format industry has emerged, giving PSPs the tools they need to manage waste and resources, track jobs and projects, accurately quote new jobs, and manage all of their business finances.
How do wide-format printers benefit from using your software?
Ray Bradley, president, Sepialine: For wide-format providers with FM or MPS programs, Argos tracks detailed information about every print, copy, scan, fax, and more, in a centralized database. It lets providers and their customers, establish sophisticated pricing schemes and then provides that data in both presentation-ready reports and integration-ready file formats. Through our companion online service, FM Server, providers can aggregate usage data across multiple sites and locations into a single web-accessible portal for reporting, export, and integration with back-end accounting and ERP systems.
Tim Daisy, marketing manager, Prism: Wide-format printing is so very different from general commercial printing. It is much more like a manufacturing process versus a printing process. And, many wide-format printing companies operate a number of printing processes, such as offset or flexo. Unlike some other applications that can only focus on one facet of printing, Prism WIN can adapt to many processes within the same plant. As such, Prism WIN is very strong at managing the multiple units of measure that are used in a manufacturing process. For example, a substrate may be purchased in linear feet by roll width, estimated and billed by square inch, and manufactured (for grommets, for instance) based on sign perimeter inches. WIN will manage these units from one business area to the next for accurate costing, purchasing, estimating, and manufacturing.
Jim Drisler, national sales manager, CRC Information Systems: The primary benefits that most wide-format printers gain are a browser-based CRM to allow sales and customer service reps to effectively and professionally deal with customers; industry-specific estimating with least cost decision-making abilities; streamlined order entry with user-customized work orders; intelligent, easy to use scheduling tied to an intuitive shop floor data collection system; comprehensive cost capture and analysis; complete inventory control, both raw material and finished goods; seamlessly integrated, full-featured accounting; connectivity to production systems, vendors, and customers; and an e-Commerce suite that can be adapted to individual customer requirements yet is easy and engaging for the customer in processing W2P jobs.
Rich Giles, Print Shop Manager, Mail Center Manager, AACRO Computer Systems: Our Wide Format Template is designed specifically for a wide-format printer. It accounts for, roll size, finished size, number of images across a roll, number of inks used in a job, coverage, type of ink, resolution, etc. It’s not an offset or digital printer estimator that is stretched to do the job. It is a specialized template alongside the offset and digital templates.
Greg Harrison, owner, Franklin Estimating: Being a relatively new segment, wide format estimating has been erratic and inconsistent even within a shop. As this segment matures the margins will become more restrictive as new people enter the market. A profitable shop will need to depend on ever more sophisticated job and cost tracking in order to survive the new economy.
Mark Lewis, vice president of sales and marketing, Thoroughbred Software: Depending on how much of the estimating software they use, they can capture costs that many times are overlooked increasing profit margins. The Solution-IV estimating software provides a check list of options that are associated with that job type assuring that minor processes, services or product are not overlooked.