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For those of you who cannot afford a $8k+ MIS...

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  • For those of you who cannot afford a $8k+ MIS...

    So we are a small print shop, husband and wife team and have got by for the last few years with an online accounts package for generating invoices, but we are getting busier, potentially having to employ somebody ans so we need to look at a system for running our business.

    However, we cannot afford a print shop MIS because they all seem very expensive. We have also looked at Morning Flight but I found the buttons confusing and not helpful (they don't even tell you what they do when you hover over them).

    So, I was just wondering...for those of you that either can't afford a MIS, or simply choose not to have one, what do you use instead?

    We are making the move to Sage to give us 'Order Management' abilities but Sage only lets you have short one line descriptions for products so now really helpful in our industry.

  • #2
    We tracked all of our jobs on paper and did accounting in Quickbooks for about 5 years. That worked ok but got to the point where we had to do something better. We just switched to Printers Plan a couple weeks ago and are pretty happy so far. I can now see that we currently have 108 orders in progress. Before we had no idea as they were scattered around in different departments. I know PP does cost in the $8k range upfront but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. I shopped around and did trials of a bunch of different ones but didn't find any that did what we needed for less.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by gazfocus View Post
      ...We have also looked at Morning Flight but I found the buttons confusing and not helpful (they don't even tell you what they do when you hover over them)...
      Yes it does. I was in the same boat as you back in 2008 and all the MIS systems were more than I can afford. I mean, if I'm gonna spend that much money, might as well hire someone. At least a person can sweep the floor and answer the phone. Attached is a screen shot of some hover text in Morning Flight (I'm using the Gold version). You also get a full and descriptive Help section.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Printers Plan is a great MIS for smaller shops, but yes $8,000.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Keith View Post

          Yes it does. I was in the same boat as you back in 2008 and all the MIS systems were more than I can afford. I mean, if I'm gonna spend that much money, might as well hire someone. At least a person can sweep the floor and answer the phone. Attached is a screen shot of some hover text in Morning Flight (I'm using the Gold version). You also get a full and descriptive Help section.
          Thanks, I downloaded the trial of Morning Flight and it doesn't seem to show the offer text. Goodness knows why they couldn't use something clearer for the buttons though

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          • #6
            Feel free to PM me if you need any help as I would be happy to help. I've been a Morning Flight power user since beta testing in 2008. I'm all digital with wide format and MF allows me to easily quote jobs and send estimates. It can invoice too but it can also export the invoices for importing into Quickbooks (which is what I do). This is not a sales pitch but my customers are amazed at how fast and accurately I retrieve job information. The developer of the program has been writing estimating software since the days of floppy discs and has run a small print shop for over 30 years. And if you run into problems, you can speak with him directly. Most of us on this forum are small shops, it's nice to deal with another small business. And for the record, I am not compensated in any way from Morning Flight.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by gazfocus View Post
              Thanks, I downloaded the trial of Morning Flight and it doesn't seem to show the hover text. Goodness knows why they couldn't use something clearer for the buttons though
              On this Memorial Day weekend, I'm grateful for a number of things: Grateful for having survived the war while growing up in Germany, grateful for having been allowed to serve two tours in the U.S. Army without ever having come into harm's way, and grateful for having loyal supporters like Keith who are always ready to assist other Morning Flight users without expecting compensation. Thank you, Keith. And yes, I'm grateful for smaller things too. Like when the biggest flaw in our $500 Print Estimating and Management System is that "the buttons are confusing." I'll take that, in light of the $8,000 price tag of our nearest competitor. I'll even tell you that should you outgrow Morning Flight, you could do worse than look at Printers Plan.

              Now, about those buttons, there aren't all that many of them and they will quickly become second nature after a few days of using the program. Kind of like learning the traffic signs common in the rest of the world. Morning Flight is currently used by 6,873 users in 114 countries. Besides, as Keith alluded to, navigation and what the buttons do is illustrated on a single page of our online help system. The Button Help (hover text), in free, paid, and demo versions can be toggled on and off under File > Preferences.

              Happy Weekend everyone

              http://www.morningflighthelp.com/ind...avigation.html


              Last edited by Morning Flight; 06-10-2018, 06:39 AM.

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