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MIS: Whipping Your Data into Shape

(December/January 2017) posted on Tue Jan 31, 2017

Whatever form it takes, a management information system should be the central data repository for your business.

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By Eileen Fritsch

For example, Mandel Graphic Solutions was founded in 1892 and started out as a wood engraver before evolving to metal photoengraving, prepress film production, offset printing, screen printing, and now large-format digital graphics. Most recently, the shop installed 10-foot-wide direct dye sublimation capabilities.

Like many small companies that have used a succession of production technologies for short runs of custom jobs, Mandel Graphic Solutions developed their own system of managing business information. The company uses QuickBooks for accounting and FileMaker Pro for orders, inventory, and shipping.

According to Rick Mandel, president, Mandel Graphic Solutions is currently developing a web-to-print portal through PressCentric. It will be a standalone system that includes ordering, estimating, and billing while sending data to QuickBooks.

Douglass Screen Printers in Lakeland, Florida, opened their doors in 1939 when hand-lettering was the primary method of making signs. Today, the company has rebranded itself as Dprint and uses a mix of screen printing and digital equipment to produce signs, decals, vehicle graphics, promotional products, and specialty items such as a license plates.

The company is in the process of switching to PrintMatics, an MIS that will integrate with Dprint’s new e-commerce website. Through the myDprint website, customers will be able to choose from over 270 decals, posters, banners, signs, and wall-art graphic designs while having total control over the designs. A separate dynamic platform will be available for designing vehicle wraps.

According to Dprint Production Manager Michael Hickey, their former MIS setup “wasn’t as user-friendly as it needed to be in order for us to become as nimble as we need to be.” PrintMatics is cloud-based, so the shop will be able to get rid of old servers and easily add updates. Hickey also looks forward to moving away from using Excel spreadsheets to manually set production schedules. The new system will automatically place jobs onto the schedule when the stocks needed for production are available.

The operation at Dprint in Lakeland, Florida, is one of many moving parts. The shop uses a cloud-based, integrated system to keep all of their data in line. (Courtesy of Dprint)


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