Whatever form it takes, a management information system should be the central data repository for your business.
He says the MIS is a vast improvement over the manual methods they were using in the past. For one thing, they can now track the status of each job without having to make a few phone calls or walk around the plant. Anyone who enters the order number of the job can immediately see whether it’s still in the art department or has made its way into prepress, production, or shipping. Barcode scanning is used to track the progress of the orders throughout the plant, while annotations on each order reduce the risk of special instructions about each job getting lost somewhere during production.
Barcode scanning means real-time production data can be instantly accessed from anywhere. (Courtesy of C.C. Creations)
The management team at C.C. Creations has used reports generated by the MIS to streamline job setup times and print floor operations. They also use it to track requirements and royalty payments for licensed artwork, analyze sales performance in different market segments and territories, and plan strategies for the coming year.
Second-Guessing Is Part of the Process
Reaching the point where you can reap the rewards of good data can be difficult. Turner recalls that after the first 30 days of their MIS implementation, company executives were wondering: “What did we just do?” There were doubts about whether they had chosen the right system and if employees would be willing to change.
Some C.C. Creations employees questioned the need to continually enter data into the system because they believed their old way of working was more efficient. But over time, employees in all departments gradually started to see the value of the system in their own little corners of the printing operation.
Turner emphasizes that “the system is only as good as the information you feed it. If only half your employees are feeding information into the system half the time, it’s not going to do you a lot of good.”
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