Worklfow Automation Customer Sees Positive ROI After 90 Days

Direct Response Imaging (DRI) is a five-year-old digital printing company that owns two Kodak NexPress digital presses, has a full bindery, and uses Four51 as its Web-to-print solution. Ian Flynn, President of the San Francisco-based firm, had been looking for a print MIS system to replace the manual estimating-to-invoice process, but he had serious reservations for a variety of reasons.

“PressWise was the only solution we investigated that was able to overcome our reservations. Key factors in the decision included price, features, the fact that PressWise operates as an SaaS model, and the frequent, responsive updates SmartSoft deploys,” says Flynn.

Prior to implementing PressWise by Datatech Smartsoft (Booth 751), Flynn says that using Excel as the firm’s estimating tool was completely manual and very tedious. “Each order would take about an hour of administrative time to create the estimate and job ticket, get the job into production, and ship it. Especially with smaller orders, the cost of manual order processing rapidly eats into margins.”

Now, about 90% of orders received are handled through PressWise. Once a job is received, an estimate is created in PressWise, which officially originates the job. From there it is linked to the art and the job proceeds through the system with minimal interaction.

“Each job now consumes an average of 20 minutes of administrative labor. This results in annual savings of about $45,000. While we do still use a paper job ticket, we could—and will—eliminate that, resulting in even more savings,” says Flynn.

Flynn points out that implementing a new MIS system isn’t trivial, and selecting the right one can have an immediate and game-changing effect on ROI. “I spent a good amount of time getting PressWise set up and populated,” he says. “If you factor in that cost, and the time spent learning a new system, we invested about $6,000 worth of time, plus the set-up fee. However, because PressWise is offered as Software-as-a-Service, we avoided the $25,000 to $50,000 to purchase licensed software and eliminated the need to add an additional server on site.”

According to Flynn, PressWise paid for itself in about three months, and continues to deliver savings and productivity improvements beyond that. This calculation takes into consideration administrative savings only. It does not factor in the many additional time saving features related to automatic imposition and website templates. Factoring in those aspects presents an even rosier ROI picture.

“Without these improvements,” he adds, “our ability to meet customer demands profitably would have been seriously hampered.”

Even more importantly for DRI, the PressWise implementation has structured the business for scalability. “I am now in a good position to drive more work through the shop as business rebounds, without adding extra people. Had we not made this investment, it would have become increasingly difficult to remain profitable, even with a rebound in business volume,” Flynn says.