A 30-day Fix for Managed Chaos


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A 30-day Fix for Managed Chaos

By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

The only thing I would have done differently was doing it sooner,” said Chuck Frymark, looking back over the recent installation of PressWise software from SmartSoft USA at Heritage Printing in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The installation took about a month, which is pretty fast for changing the MIS in a busy print shop. I caught up with Frymark to find out more.

Some people use ‘doing it sooner’ as a feel-good statement. Not Frymark. To him, software that solves multiple problems and provides measurable and monetizable value has a direct impact on the bottom-line. Frymark, VP of Operations at Heritage, sees the value PressWise provides when preparing the monthly numbers for the company’s president. It shows up in black and white.

One PressWise feature that seized Frymark’s attention was order entry, a time-consuming task for many shops. “We used to have to go to multiple screens, create estimates, convert the info into orders, and more. It was very time-consuming. PressWise simplified the entire process,” recounted Frymark. “We were able to run our business the way we wanted instead of having to fit it around a developer’s software.” Another surprise showed up when Frymark ran the monthly numbers for the operation. “We reduced order entry costs by about 40%.” Such savings are significant in a shop like Heritage that turns about 500 jobs a month.

Practical needs
What makes PressWise stand out is that it was developed with the practical needs of print providers in mind. “PressWise was not only developed by a printer, it’s supported by printers and people who understand how printing businesses work,” affirmed Frymark. “When you call them, they know what you’re talking about.”

This is a key differentiator for a Print MIS (management information system). Such software is commonly written by software engineers who may have only a nodding acquaintance with the complex processes behind producing printed pages. Software support people may be even further removed and unfamiliar with the processes and jargon of print businesses. “Software developers don’t always understand print shops,” remarked Frymark, smiling wryly. SmartSoft though, is different.

He said a phone call to SmartSoft often led team members to an online learning center, videos, explanations of different ways of accomplishing goals, and more. “For instance, it was very important for me to be able to pull up info from each part of the company, use QuickBooks to support billing, and so on. PressWise helped us link all our data in an automated fashion.”

Building on experience
Having overseen a variety of software integrations, Frymark has a unique perspective on the elements that help process management software be successfully incorporated into the day-to-day flow of operations. He said SmartSoft’s support made implementation straightforward and subsequent testing ensured his team knew what to expect when PressWise was implemented. Even then, Frymark and his team met regularly for the first few weeks following the installation to iron out minor issues or anything that was missed during set-up. “Being 95% functional in just two weeks, with only minor items to address was astounding, as was the support of all the employees who embraced PressWise.” Such support is far from trivial. More than a few printers who have changed their Print MIS have described staff resistance to change as a frustrating—and costly—barrier to a fast installation.

With the installation of any new equipment or software there are always new things to be learned. Frymark and his team found the implementation process highlighted places they could improve. “Even when you think you know everything about your processes, pricing or costing you find things that can be changed,” noted Frymark. “This was an opportunity to have the team look at what may be the best way of doing something versus how we have been doing it. This is a valuable exercise for any business.”

As any print professional knows, printing can be managed chaos. “Whenever you invest in new equipment or software you hope you made the right decision,” noted Frymark. “You may stumble a bit when setting up your data but when the moments of truth and implementation arrive your expectations materialize in ways that make a difference for your business.”


A 30-day Fix for Managed Chaos

As any print professional knows, printing can be managed chaos. Software that solves multiple problems and provides measurable and monetizable value has a direct impact on the bottom-line.

“We reduced order entry costs by about 40%.” Significant savings in a shop that turns about 500 jobs a month.

Learn how…….