Most printing businesses today use variety of software systems like Web2Print, Estimation System, MIS System, Accounting Packages, HR/Payroll Systems, CRM Systems, Document Management Systems etc.
You might be using quite a lot of such systems for your business at present and you must have evaluated plenty of such systems available in the market with intent to increase your profitability on long run but –
- Are all these ready-made systems actually getting you ROI? Competitive advantage?
- Are they really working in sync with an integrated manner which actually helps you to get peace of mind?
- As a business owner, are you getting all required business information on your fingertips?
If the answer is NO for either of these questions then it’s because all these ready-to-use systems work well for its specific purpose and it won’t solve all your problems.
Here is detailed guideline from experts which will help you defining better technology strategy:
All-In-One Ready-Made System
You’ll find plenty of high-end systems which comes with all business functions. Depending upon the size of your business you can invest in such technology which will work phenomenally well for you. However, they’re actually very costly, complex and may not be viable option as you’ll need to have specialized skilled staff to manage and operate.
Ground-up Bespoke Application Development
Every business have their unique way of operations as well as needs and it may not fit with available products. In this case, best way is to create a bespoke system as per your unique needs. For example one of our client a packaging products, design & print service provider was fed-up with various different systems and was not satisfied to get the required data as per his needs. They decided to build a bespoke MIS system which acts as their collaboration tool for their customers as well as employees and provides modules like project management, task assignment, quote submission, online proofing, project and client based profit & loss reports, invoices all in a single system.
Hybrid Applications Approach:
- Identify Independent Tools for Specific Business Functions: There are plenty of systems available in the market which build for some specific purpose and very cost effective. E.g. accounting activity you can well do with QuickBooks if you’re in US or Sage in UK or MYOB in Australia. For online order management use web2print system like OnPrintShop with online designer studio to serve your B2B & B2C clients. While selecting such tools, ensure it does allow third-party integrations for your future needs.
- Implement Integration Framework: After having independent tool, find out repetitive manual activities and look for an integration approach. For example, integrate your online ordering system with QuickBooks and avoid manual entries of sales & collections in QuickBooks. Similarly recently we integrated CRM system with QuickBooks for one of our largest Book Printing client having production facilities in multiple countries.
- Fill the Holes with Small to Mid-Size Bespoke Apps: Many times a system works well for its purpose, however, it lacks on minor functionalities which further can be extended by creating small bespoke system(s) and integrating it. The classic example for this is a book printing field sales reps using a CRM system and faces lot of challenges on providing instant quotes as cost calculation parameters are quite complex and they need to be dependent on their production team. To smoothen this process, they create a web portal equipped with estimation facility and integrate it with their CRM which helps their field sales reps to get all the leads and customer’s data plus they enter requirements in the online estimation tool which provides instant quote with multiple quantity range. This also eliminates the multiple user license cost of their CRM system.
The best way to move on selecting a right approach is to have a reliable IT partner with a wide range of experience in print management software solutions and equipped with required technology expertise who can help you defining right approach in a cost effective manner. We are just a call away to help you finding out the right solution for your business based on your unique needs. Contact us.