EFI is taking the productivity software in its MIS suite into major print handling organisations that have existing ERP software.
The move has in part been spurred by experience of the corrugated packaging market where EFI is targeting its Nozomi inkjet printer. It has built a software suite for this market, but the large groups that can buy the Nozomi already have enterprise level business management systems. EFI needs to hook into these. It needs to link also to the large multi-site groups where similar applications are in place.
EFI has the clout to deal with these organisations, something that Escada, a UK specialist in corrugated MIS that was acquired last year, did not. “Their size was their Achilles heel,” says Paul Cooper. “We can structure deals where we are working with the major groups and we know how to develop in a structured way.”
This is bringing a number of the different into the different software levels. Its rapid estimating feature iQuote is now part the Monarch suite and will be on offer at Precision Colour Printing in Telford.
“There is still growth in MIS across Europe,” says Dave Wigfield. “In Europe growth rates are 6% or so, in the US it’s 4.5% a year so there are still MIS opportunities for everyone.” The European operations are also gaining a greater say in how the products are developed and supported. The ability to operate in a structured way will be an advantage compared to the smaller indigenous providers that are typical of Europe.
And many companies are working with SAP or Oracle of Microsoft business applications. “We recognise that these systems are in the market. We can do the ‘last mile’ integration to these systems,” says Wigfield, “using Printflow, with Autocount or form next year iQuote. These are all great last mile products.”
This push for organic growth in vertical sectors is a change in emphasis for EI which has previously aimed at growth through acquisitions. Acquisitions will continue, but a different approach will be needed to reach larger prospects. “We know there’s opportunity and demand from companies where we haven’t provided solutions before. That’s coming into the organisation now,” says Wigfield. “It’s a huge opportunity going forwards.”