Software comparison

bob2theb

New member
Good afternoon everyone,

This is my first post to the board. I am developing print services and right now we do not have an MIS or Web To Print. I am evaluating 4 vendors, with Page DNA and PrintWise the top 2. The upside is if I go to PrintWise 5, I'll have both systems ready to go. If I go with Page DNA, i'll need to eventually find an MIS. In your opinion, is an MIS absolutely needed when starting an operation?
 

OffsetStorefront

Well-known member
That's a big "it depends" question.

How many people are part of your operation? The more people working together, the more a MIS might be useful.
How many jobs to you expect to be working with per day? The more stuff going on at once, the more a MIS might be useful.
Will you have a need for reporting on historical data for your clients? If you're dealing with consumers, probably not - but business clients might expect this and a MIS is where you'd want to store that information.

Don't feel like you need to make a big software purchase or software with lots of features to be successful. You can get by with very simple functionality for a long time and its more important you find a vendor/software platform you feel comfortable being with for the long term. Switching to new software or platform down the road is a big headache and it's better if you can find a partner that will let you start small and have the tools you need when you grow.

Also, trying to get separate pieces of standalone software to work together can also be a big, expensive challenge so there is something to be said of vendors/platforms with multiple system types all ready to work together when you're ready to buy.

Vendor opinion time:
PageDNA seems a bit too expensive to me for what you get. I've found cheaper services that seemed to be the same or better.
I can't get any Google results for "PrintWise 5"...bad sign?
Take it from an EFI user - never buy software from EFI if you can avoid it
 

bob2theb

New member
So what we're working through with combining operations so right now I have two people in a store to preform quick print and mail services and will have no more than 8 people at our print hub. That includes 1 production manager, 1 pre-press, 1 CSR, and 1 finishing worker. So we need to be able to communicate from our hub to our store and corporate site which is why I am thinking WebtoPrint is needed. The nice thing about Press Wise is they have an option for Web to Print w/wo MIS. I hadn't heard of them until recently but here is the link
 

OffsetStorefront

Well-known member
Things a MIS might help you do that a web-to-print might struggle to do on its own:
  • Plan production schedules and track a job's status throughout your workflow
  • Accounting functions
  • Estimating and tracking job costs
  • Inventory management (both customer-owned goods and your own supplies)
  • Storing and reporting on lots of historical data about your jobs and customers
Things a web-to-print might help you do that a MIS might struggle to do on its own:
  • Allow customers to place print orders without having to be in your location or talk to your employees directly
  • Display and organize a catalogue of your products & services
  • Give customers an approved and guided way to design print-ready artwork
  • Display to customers the workflow and shipping status of their orders
  • Drive more work to your business
Both systems could help you keep all your locations in communication with each other (anything that everyone can look at simultaneously will do this), but their strengths cater to different things. A MIS might help you operate better but a web-to-print may help customer interaction and drive business to you more. Which of those is more important to you at a given moment is entirely dependent on what your business' needs are right now. If you have plenty of work but need to make sure the gears of your business are more oiled, a MIS might be more valuable. If you feel fairly confident in how your business is operating but want to get more work or want to up your level of customer service & interaction, a web-to-print may be more useful.

Eventually, you'll have both of these needs simultaneously and you'll probably want both types of software. If you plan for when that happens by purchasing a first system that you're confident you'll be able to make place nice with a second system down the road, you'll save yourself a lot of headache! Look for software that itself is well documented, open to customization, and has ways for other programs to interact with it (an API, XML importer/exporter, etc.). Software that's mostly "what we give you is what you get" will give you problems when your needs expand in the future and it doesn't.

Thanks for reading my speech, lol.
 

onprintshop

Well-known member
Good afternoon everyone,

This is my first post to the board. I am developing print services and right now we do not have an MIS or Web To Print. I am evaluating 4 vendors, with Page DNA and PrintWise the top 2. The upside is if I go to PrintWise 5, I'll have both systems ready to go. If I go with Page DNA, i'll need to eventually find an MIS. In your opinion, is an MIS absolutely needed when starting an operation?

You can break your goals in Phases like what do you need the most to start right now. web to print or MIS or both. Depending on data, facts, internal discussion you can think of going with both or either or to begin with. Also, both systems make sense when you have the considerable number of orders generated online. So what is the number of orders are you expecting from day one / after 3 month/ 6 month? If a small number in the beginning than Web to Print is enough & if so many then both systems can help you streamline.

We are actually Web-to-Print provider ''OnPrintShop'' which connects with all major Print MIS including Presswise. Also in the backend you have basic print shop order management features as well as managing your production stages, Staff wise assignment once order received to help you streamline your production process. So storefront allows your client easy order/reorder & at the backend you can manage your internal production workflow. So basically all that you need to kick start your online presence & manage backend at a certain extent.

Best wishes for your implementation & search for the best software suiting your needs.
 

Controlling the Purse Strings

Avanti
CONTROLLING THE
PURSE STRINGS

By Noel Ward, Editor@Large
What did you buy for your
business last week?
And how are you making sure everything you purchase is properly managed and accounted for?

Read the Article

   
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