MIS Recommendation?

OffsetStorefront

Well-known member
Like most MIS providers we don;t do "trials" though - a professional system needs professional setup & training... only very basic products can be "trialled".

That's a ridiculous claim. If your software is so convoluted that you're afraid to let an end-user loose in the system with a time-limited license key...we're not stupid.
 
That's a ridiculous claim. If your software is so convoluted that you're afraid to let an end-user loose in the system with a time-limited license key...we're not stupid.

Hi, we don't do trials, and neither do many because the system has to be setup around your specific business... but that is not to say you cannot "fly the plane"... it would be under hands-on guidance.
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
That's a ridiculous claim. If your software is so convoluted that you're afraid to let an end-user loose in the system with a time-limited license key...we're not stupid.
I disagree. MIS requires time to setup before it can be used. You need to input pricing, paper catalogs, equipment, import your customer database, and so forth before it can be used. Additionally, a good amount of time is invested in training the customer how to not only set this up, but how to begin using it. This is why MIS software is generally demo'd instead. In the demo, you can ask the presenter to build a sample job(s) that you might get. You can ask them to walk you through an order from beginning to invoicing, etc. But to just simply give a customer a software and say good luck, their trial would be over by the time they set everything up and they would be frustrated because they didn't get training...and one shouldn't be trained if they haven't purchased it yet.
 

OffsetStorefront

Well-known member
It's possible to show a customer a demo on a test system that's already set up to demonstrate capabilities, AND give them a trial key afterwards to try some things out for themselves. Doesn't have to be all one or all the other. And it's a bit disingenuous to claim that companies that do that with their software have "basic products".
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
I would think that trials to those looking to switch to another MIS system would be advantageous. Trials on a "demo" setup are available from EFI for Printsmith Vision. If you're looking to switch from X product, and you are looking to ensure that certain features operate as you want them to on product Y or Z, then being able to test for those features in a demo environment is crucial rather than trusting the words of a salesperson. Not saying that sales staff can't be trusted, but uh, "trust but verify".
 

RytisT

Member
PrintSmith "on paper" looked good as well, but only after trying it ourselves have we found that it's full of holes.
We won't buy a MIS without first trying it. We have experience in setting up MIS, even if they are all different, pretty sure we could manage.
 

OffsetStorefront

Well-known member
PrintSmith "on paper" looked good as well, but only after trying it ourselves have we found that it's full of holes.
We won't buy a MIS without first trying it. We have experience in setting up MIS, even if they are all different, pretty sure we could manage.
We have Pace from EFI - also good on paper, but full of holes. You won't find the holes during a guided demo, I can tell you that much!
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
PrintSmith "on paper" looked good as well, but only after trying it ourselves have we found that it's full of holes.
We won't buy a MIS without first trying it. We have experience in setting up MIS, even if they are all different, pretty sure we could manage.
Can your elaborate more on the issues it has? Was it Printsmith or Printsmith Vision?
 

RytisT

Member
Can your elaborate more on the issues it has? Was it Printsmith or Printsmith Vision?
PrintSmith Vision. It's just an unfinished product.
It's been quite some time that we've used it, but I can remember small things like Digital Printing and Large format printing having two different measurement units (Meters and milimeters), and if you see default amount of bleed or white-space or whatever, you would set 3mm to digital and 3 meters to Large format.
It's full of bugs like sometimes when you have let's say run size of 100x200, and your finish size is 200x100, it won't rotate finish size automatically and says it doesn't fit, however if I'd enter 20x10, it would rotate it to fit more. Large format calculations was a mess too, program doesn't calculate how much paper you're gonna need, you have to enter cut-off amount every time yourself, therefore you have to calculate it on your own - which kind of defeats the purpose of it. For some reason stock selection window is so small and has very little customization, it's not comfortable at all, if you have a big monitor, you're still forced to use that small window for stock selection. I don't know, I can't say I remember all things right now, but there are a lot of small things and some big things that makes me want to forget the time I had with PS Vision, and you know, the fact that hey promised HTML5 version long time ago and it's still not even close to being done is baffling.
 

ikim86

Active member
@RytisT Did your shop settle on an MIS yet? If so, care to share which one, and your experience with it thus far?
We are also a small shop in search of an MIS with gang run job data management/scanning and updating functionality and have yet to find one that has a solid solution.
 

Asher

New member
Your best bet is Quotifly, based on what you are describing. It has a modern/simple interface, and is affordable for smaller providers. They have different plans to choose from with full transparency on pricing, which is nice...
 

RytisT

Member
@RytisT Did your shop settle on an MIS yet? If so, care to share which one, and your experience with it thus far?
We are also a small shop in search of an MIS with gang run job data management/scanning and updating functionality and have yet to find one that has a solid solution.
We haven't yet, we never found a MIS that is perfect for us, and the whole Coronavirus thing set us back a step.
The best one we looked at right now is PrintIQ, however the only downside is that it's really heavy on the cashola.
 

ikim86

Active member
We haven't yet, we never found a MIS that is perfect for us, and the whole Coronavirus thing set us back a step.
The best one we looked at right now is PrintIQ, however the only downside is that it's really heavy on the cashola.

PrintIQ is currently the #1 contender for us as well. The product, staff, and owners all seem great so far, but you're right - definitely not a small investment. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. If we decide to go through with it, more than willing to share our experience.
 

AmyH

New member
This was a very interesting and informative thread. Full disclosure, my company sells a Microsoft Dynamics Business Central solution specific to print operations (one software, quote to cash, for any kind of printer). I am not from the print world and in my experience, print operations typically have many disparate systems. That is not entirely unique, but it's pervasive in the print world beyond other industries I've worked with. The effort to manage a business with multiple systems is increased and it will inhibit growth over time. Not to mention drive teams to madness with manual work. But adopting a new core business application is not for the feint of heart!

I am very curious on a couple things if anyone has input, I'd love to hear it:
  • Can you share what your top 3 must have's are in a print MIS solution?
  • Your favorite Estimating solution and why?
  • Your favorite Scheduling solution and why?
  • What you expect in a "trial" experience? Several people indicated those are table stakes for even considering a system.
    • Do you expect it to be free? What is a reasonable length of trial time in your opinion?
    • Do you expect to have guided support? If so, to what level?
    • What are you hoping to come away with at the end of the trial?
    • One user commented that to set up an MIS for you to take a test drive is a lot of work, and you don't know how to use it.
      • It IS a lot of setup, so a generic "demo" company is ideal. That's not your data, but that experience would provide a good feeling for how you'd operate every day. Is that acceptable to you?
    • Thanks for your feedback, it's helpful for me to understand real feedback vs guess - it helps my own business better serve our customers.
 

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