Exploring Print Management Solutions with InfoTrends Ultimate Guide to Print MIS

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Jun 15, 2012

Business information is a powerful tool that can be used to understand the fine details of what is happening in an organization, drive change, and ultimately provide the best service possible. For print service providers, gathering the information about their business that is crucial for success can be achieved through print management software, often referred to as Management Information Systems (MIS).  The role of a Print MIS is to be a centralized repository of customer information, job cost details, job estimates and tickets, equipment status, and more to efficiently and effectively support an operation’s ecosystem. An effective Print MIS solution will track jobs in real-time or near-real-time at every step of the production print process, automate tasks such as job estimating and scheduling, and assist in analyzing workflow to identify bottlenecks throughout the operation.

Recently, there has been a growth in the interest of Print MIS solutions in North America. The breaking point of outdated systems is a reality service providers are facing as their businesses are relying more heavily on real-time business information. InfoTrends’ latest annual Production Software Investment Outlook study in the U.S. found that just over half of print provider respondents report owning a Print MIS, with another 22% considering an investment in one in the future. Print operations of all sizes have substantial interest in acquiring Print MIS, and many providers that have already made an investment are looking to upgrade their systems to more modern architectures.

Selecting and implementing a new Print MIS solution can be a big investment and InfoTrends Print MIS Ultimate Guide helps print providers make informed software investment decisions that have a long-lasting impact on their operations.

InfoTrends’ Ultimate Guide to Print MIS consists of two components:

  • An analysis report that helps print service providers gain a better understanding of today’s Print MIS market and to ask the right questions during the buying cycle.
  • An online application that provides a wealth of information on leading Print MIS solutions with the capability to compare them side by side to better understand similarities, differences, and whether or not a particular solution meets specific needs.

The data presented in the Ultimate Guide to Print MIS was collected in partnership with zipcon consulting. zipcon consulting — which is comprised of its main office in Essen, Germany and its zipcon inpetto office in Austria — is one of the leading consulting companies for the print and media industry in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Through this partnership, we compiled a list of solution providers, along with information on their related products, through primary and secondary research. Major areas of coverage include estimating/quoting, order entry/job ticketing, scheduling, shop floor data collection, purchasing/receiving, shipping, fulfillment, materials management, and invoicing.

The current products in the MIS Guide represent the most relevant vendors for the North American market; however, European-focused vendors will soon be added as well. Inclusion in the guide does rely on participation by the vendors. The companies represented serve a large number of the customer base or generate the most revenue. Similar to other segments of the printing market, players in the print MIS market are rapidly consolidating and several high value acquisitions have occurred over the past few years including the acquisitions of Streamline Solutions, Prism Worldwide, and Alphagraph by EFI, the acquisition of CERM by Heidelberg, and the acquisition of Hiflex by HP.

Print service providers are under constant pressure to increase the efficiency of their operations by alleviating bottlenecks and streamlining business processes. Upgrading to or implementing a modern Print MIS solution can have an enormous impact on a print service provider’s bottom line, but it is important to find a solution that can adequately support an operation’s scale and applications. InfoTrends’ Ultimate Guide to Print MIS aims to arm print providers with key information that can assist them in making the right investment.

Sign up for free online access to our new Ultimate Guide to Print MIS here. Clients who subscribe to our Production Workflow Service are eligible for a free 30 day trial for Premium Access to the online guide, as well as access to our downloadable Print MIS report! Please contact Keith LaVangie for more information.

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