EFI, a world leader in customer-focused digital printing innovation, announced that a new version of EFI IQuote estimating software developed for the worldwide market is making its North American debut at the Print 13 trade show in Chicago.
The software, one of eight EFI products to win a 2013 MUST SEE ’EMS award, is a browser-based, JDF-compliant system that takes flexibility and automation in estimating to a higher level. Originally developed for the Latin American market by a company EFI acquired in 2012, Brazil-based Metrics Sistemas de Informação, the newest version of IQuote will be commercially available in early 2014.
“At EFI, we continue to look for opportunities to bring best-of-breed technology from around the world to our client base,” said Marc Olin, EFI interim CFO and senior vice president and general manager of EFI Productivity Software. “We believe Print 13 attendees will be very excited about the ways IQuote can transform their estimating processes.”
Any print process, with functionality across the printing plant
IQuote goes beyond many existing estimating tools in the industry, as it can be configured to work with offset, variable-data digital, book publishing, label and packaging, wide and superwide format inkjet printing and other processes. It also offers a simple-to-use but robust interface that makes it easy for personnel from different parts of a printing company to enter and obtain the information needed for quick and accurate quotes. The system plans all stages of the manufacturing process automatically so that a complete cost picture can be determined, then selects the optimal approach to present to the user.
“What makes IQuote so different from other estimating software is the fact that the salesperson or estimator enters specifications for a job based on the elements and properties of the finished product – not on the technical processes required to complete it,” according to Osmar Barbosa, vice president and general manager, EFI Productivity Software Latin America. “This distinction is important because it means that these users do not necessarily need to understand the technical production complexities of the job. At the same time, if desired, it is also possible to build product specifications that utilize specific technical processes.”
“The beauty of the system,” adds EFI’s Olin, “comes from IQuote’s automation and simplicity – users select the product they want to produce and add some details about their customers’ requirements, and then the system automatically explores all of the available ways to produce the job at the plant, selecting the most efficient. IQuote offers a radical change from the way estimates work today, significantly reducing the time it takes to turn around an estimate and plan a job.”
Throughout the process of creating an estimate and interacting with the client, IQuote users can track their estimate’s status using the software’s intuitive workflow model. Tasks, approvals and reminders can be attached to each step of the process, and all user interactions are saved in an audit log for historical review. At EFI’s Connect user’s conference next January, the company plans to show a version of IQuote integrated with its Monarch ERP software for complete job management, from order entry, to production to final shipping and billing.