Flow+ 1.6 from Caldera Graphics
Caldera will reveal the latest version of its comprehensive workflow solution, Flow+ 1.6, at SGIA Expo in Las Vegas between October 18th and 20th. Flow+ 1.6 boasts major enhancements to the quoting system, customer relationship management and user interface, as well as a number of new tools and a faster processing engine.
The Flow+ team, which recently welcomed Serge Clauss as its new Workflow Sales Manager, has been working to improve and fine-tune Caldera's flagship workflow software based on customer feedback and believes the additional functionality in the latest version offers one of the most comprehensive solutions available to the industry in a sleek and updated interface.
"We know that simplified end-to-end sales and production processes are becoming more and more important to wide-format businesses as raw materials costs rise and margins are squeezed," says Serge Clauss. "For many of our customers, Flow+ is a business-critical investment. That's why the additions to the latest version make it work harder for them on every level."
Improvements in the quoting system include a more flexible quotation builder, designed to assist companies implementing an MIS for the first time by allowing the creation of quotes with a free text field. This will enable sales teams to learn and adjust to the Flow+ system more gradually, whilst also making for a smoother and quicker integration. In addition, the quoting wizard has been enhanced, meaning that groups of finishing processes can be added to a job. For example, a 'Banner Finishing' group could contain 'pocket sewing' and 'eyelet positioning', helping to prevent work being done without being invoiced.
The CRM module has also benefited from a number of improvements, including better filtering of customer information to help the sales team identify existing clients and leads to be followed up. A list of pending quotes can be called up easily and also exported in a Microsoft Excel format for sales team meetings. Information filtering options have been extended throughout Flow+, putting the right information in the user's hands when they need it.
A host of new tools have been introduced for Flow+ 1.6 to make planning resources and monitoring production even more intuitive. The daily inventory report can now be exported for analysis, as can overviews on production load, showing how many of which types of job have been scheduled, filtered by device. Similarly, a Job Life Cycle report summarises a job from start to finish and helps production managers identify potential efficiency savings. A further new reporting tool offers the ability to track the amount of time a job spends in pre-press, helping pre-press managers improve productivity.
Another invaluable new tool is the Installation Planning feature, which helps users schedule installations for each job in the system. Deadlines can be set and sub-contractors assigned for each project, and jobs can be grouped together for improved efficiency.
The entire user experience has been given an overhaul too, with a completely modified engine built for faster responses even when the system is overloaded, a sleek, modern new user interface and added Spanish language support. The Spanish version is the fifth language to be supported by Flow+ after English, German, French and Greek. The Portugese, Italian and Korean versions are pending.
"Our mission at Caldera is to make printing easier for everyone and this newest release of Flow+ is a great example of our commitment to this," says Sébastien Hanssens, vice-president of marketing for Caldera. "Collectively, these small improvements will make a huge difference to our customers using Flow+, by providing the tools and systems they need to become more efficient as simply as possible."