Recently MyOrderDesk undertook the task of surveying printers on their Management Information Systems (MIS). An MIS is basically software that is used to produce estimates, invoices, orders, and job tickets for a print production facility. MIS systems have a wide range of features and functionality. A powerful MIS solution can have a huge influence on the productivity of a shop. It helps to define and guide the workflow as orders come in, enter into production, ship, and invoice. Much of our vision is to partner with printers to make them the most profitable in their marketplace. So we decided to research the most popular MIS solutions, as well as what print-shops are looking for, so that we could offer valuable information to the industry that we serve.
We asked printers to share with us which systems they were using, how they rated the solution, and what they really were wanting or looking for in a Management System. The top 3 solutions being used by those surveyed were:
- Printers Plan
- EFI Pace
The average size of the shop was 14 employees and $2,100,000 in yearly sales. The smallest company to respond had 2 full-time employees (FTE) and sales of $300,000 per year, while the largest was 50 FTEs and $8,000,000 in yearly sales.
We also asked which features were the most valuable in their current solution. Here are the top three:
- Accounts Receivable
- Job Control and Scheduling
- Discount Management
The most surprising statistic that came out of the survey was when we asked which feature they most wanted to see in an MIS solution. Overwhelmingly, printers were looking for integration with other software and web systems. Here are the top three:
- Integration with Web-to-Print, CRM, Accounting and Shipping
- Ease of Use
- Low Cost
Some of those surveyed were asked further if they would prefer a solution that included all of these items built in, or if they wanted integrations with a wide variety of products. Seventy-percent prefer the integration option. Comments centered on the ability to chose the supplemental product that they preferred. Printers using Quickbooks would not drop the accounting program for a one-size-fits-all MIS product because they feel that an MIS could not be as powerful as a product like Quickbooks. Some printers were so tied to their CRM or Web-to-Print system and did not want to give it up. But they do want all products to have two-way communication to share information relatively seamlessly. One printer went as far as to illustrate how years ago, CorelDraw tried to be the master of page layout, image vector editing and raster image processing; it failed on all fronts. The thought is to let each solution stand on its own strengths, and somehow plug-in to the others.
For a free download of the full report, click on the link below and comment with thoughts on your MIS solution on this blog.