MIS Recommendation?

RytisT

Member
Hello. Can you guys recommend any good MIS solution for small/medium sized printing house? (One that would have metric system).
Working with PrintSmith currently, but it's just full of bad choices.

What we would need from MIS:

Job list, tracking. Estimating, for digital and large/wide format. Some sort of a paper calculator, to calculate total area size for printing (for large format printing.)

Thanks for any suggestions!
 

abc

Well-known member
Make sure it's open and it plays nice with other products. Make sure you can read and write from the database with other tools at no extra cost.
One value of an MIS is as a tool to provide data to drive automation through the business.
 

michaelejahn

Well-known member
reach out to Corryc@smartsoftusa.com to get a demo of PressWise

https://www.presswise.com/

I agree with ABC ( if that is his REAL name !) (wink )

We have APIs that enable other storefronts systems like Presero, Marcom Central, four51 and many others to inject XML, cXML or JSON that represents orders into PressWise. We offer direct ODBC access. We have a tight integration with QUickBooks and pleanty to pre-programmed reports ( as well as tools to make custom Reports ).

It is a big decision ! Be sure to look at several.
 

Asher

New member
Take a look at quotifly.com. It's a very innovative solution, and they have affordable packages for smaller providers.
 

RytisT

Member
EFI's products are actually very good, and integrate well with your Fiery workflow if you have one. The main issue with EFI is the upfront and on-going costs/fees they charge.
I wouldn't even say that's the biggest issue, the MIS itself feels old and left behind, yeah, they're upgrading it to HTML5, but it still feels like you need to do way more for MIS to just get a quote. Also, some decisions they've made are just stupid, like using two different measurement unit for large format and digital printing, yet when creating default templates, let's say bleed, you can enter only one number, so let's say if I enter 3 - as in 3 milimeters for digital press, it would be default 3 meters of bleed for large format... It's just one of the many examples.
 
RytisT and jwheeler - I think you're both right. Rytis your statements about the EFI MIS shows you have experience of one of their products (they have several), so I guess it depends on which one ou mean - EFI Pace, Printsmith, Monarch or a legacy system like PSI or Logic?. In our experience, clients tell us their main problem is complexity/length of training/implementation time - which in turn leads to more cost inevitably. Many say that the systems are almost impossible to setup without expert advise/mentoring. If you are still searching for an MIS, take a look at Accura before you decide.
 

RytisT

Member
RytisT and jwheeler - I think you're both right. Rytis your statements about the EFI MIS shows you have experience of one of their products (they have several), so I guess it depends on which one ou mean - EFI Pace, Printsmith, Monarch or a legacy system like PSI or Logic?. In our experience, clients tell us their main problem is complexity/length of training/implementation time - which in turn leads to more cost inevitably. Many say that the systems are almost impossible to setup without expert advise/mentoring. If you are still searching for an MIS, take a look at Accura before you decide.
I do have experience, it wasn't that hard to set it up, it's just a headache to work with, It doesn't seem like they care about it. It's printsmith by the way.

As for AccuraMIS, I actually wrote you pm earlier. I did checked it, but I don't think it has any paper/imposition calculator, or at least not for large format, does it?
 
Hi RytisT - I've just seen your PM, and replied. So Printsmith is EFI's "entry-level" designed originally for storefront/franchise operations as it has modules like Point-of-sale (till/cash register).

I would expect it to be easy to setup, I was referring to the other MIS suites further up the range in terms of complexity and ongoing costs. Printsmith Classic was a desktop application, which was re-written as Printsmith Vision - their "browser" based system. Unfortunately it was written in Flash/ActionScript - which have since been deprecated by Adobe due to security flaws.

You are correct EFI have been "promising" to re-write Printsmith Vision in HTML5 for some years now... whether that will ever happen you'd have to ask them. MY gut feeling is they would invest development resource where the money is. (Pace and Monarch)

Without getting too technical there are compromises with most HTML-based programs. Going from Printsmith Vision (Flash UI) to HTML5, you'd notice this... and development cycles can be very long for web coding. For example you don't always get the same rich UI experience as with a desktop solution in some ways (e.g. right-click menus, direct interaction with client device/hardware, multiple windows open simultaneously) - this is because they have to be coded for the lowest common denominator web browser - and compatibility issues between browsers also exist. The software cannot assume the user has xyz browser plug-in, it's running on a web server, not the client PC.

Clearly you will have your own reasons for wishing to change. It could be due to lack of development, poor support, program stability, high ongoing costs, poor vendor relationship, missing modules/features or lack of integration (e.g. with CRM or Web2Print), or the cost of doing any of this is simply prohibitive? - or any combination. We would recommend you fully explore in any replacement system, the supplier, references, financial checks, development roadmap, upgrade/support policy & ongoing costs. Do not buy something just because it's cheap - and sacrifice what you may need in the future. Changing MIS is costly and painful, so making the right decision is important.

Good luck with your search.
 
Last edited:

OffsetStorefront

Well-known member
Why would you say that?
My favorite soapbox! We use Pace and DSF from EFI. Short answers:
1) Their products are not supported very well, i.e., bugs and defects are not fixed in a timely matter. In our experience, wait time for fixes measures in years.
2) Cost way outweighs the value. There is more modern software out there for way less, with more features. That will probably work.
3) The software code itself is often a mess. They use old languages and functions (like storing passwords with unsalted MD5 hashes, which is bad), have to deal with Frankenstein-ing together all the unrelated products they purchased from smaller companies together, and I believe outsource most of their coding to firms in India. Nothing wrong with Indian coders, but there is a loss of communication and vision when you're outsourcing the development of niche software to company outsiders.
4) Poor testing is evident. Yearly we'll get software-breaking bugs in very normal every-day processes. If their patches were tested by humans who use the software for business, these would be obviously caught. Automated testing doesn't notice those.
 

We Have Answers

New member
Visit avantisystems.com for information about Avanti Slingshot, a powerful, browser-based management information system built to manage jobs from submission through to production and billing. It’s a modular system that supports multiple lines of business, including offset, digital, large format, fulfillment, finishing, mailing & marketing services.

From order entry through to production and billing, Avanti Slingshot enables you to work more efficiently, control your costs and move more jobs through the shop with ease. In addition to providing a powerful, integrated MIS platform, Avanti staff are experts in connecting best-of-breed software (i.e. prepress, production automation software) to Avanti Slingshot, eliminating breakpoints in the workflow.
 

RytisT

Member
We find ourselves again in search of a MIS, perhaps someone can recommend something new and not outdated?

MIS'es we've checked out:

EFI PrintSmith - Actually tried using it, never again...
AvantiSystem - only in NA.
PrintersPlan - No metric system/euros.
PrintIQ - Seem'd like a excelent MIS, but just a tad pricey.
Omikai - Seems in a ballpark of "ok" but devs don't want to share a trial version.

Requirements.
Metric system, euros.
Some sort of "connection with outside world". We'll want to automate with Enfocus Switch.
Good estimating modules for digital print/large format especially.

We're a small to medium printing house, ~25-30 people. Working with just about everything.

Thank you!
 
You haven't looked seriously at Accura MIS @RytisT - www.accuramis.com

CRM, MIS and Web2Print - Metric, Euros, can estimate digital (clicks), wide-format (area, linear metres, sheet or reel) - all fully integrated along with carrier integration, email, sms, voip, accounting-links - and at a fraction of the initial cost & ongoing costs of most of those you mention.
700+ installations worldwide, 32 years in business.

Like most MIS providers we don't do "trials" though - a trial is the equivalent of you selling the system to yourself - you have a business to run, and limited time to truly evaluate an MIS without any form of training?... you could easily form false opinions or hit a brick-wall and not continue... trials always result in "extensions" of the trail - it doesn't help anyone. Do you due diligence, have you demos, set our your criteria, evaluate and buy with confidence. A professional system needs professional setup & training... only very basic products can be "trialled".
 

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