ImageData is pressing on with the stalled implementation of a Tharstern MIS, having put the roll out on hold at the start of the lockdown.
Now that staff are returning from furlough as work ebbs back into the Yorkshire based business the project is back underway.
“The initial build is complete in terms of linking to machines and equipment,” says group IT director Matt Howlett. “Now we need to input the correct running rates, testing it and making sure that it is pulling out the quotes.” The transfer from one system to another should be complete by the end of the year, he says.
“We will have extra bits and pieces to include. We want to get JDF information from prepress to come off the presses and we have a new guillotine that we need to link in. We will end up with an automated workflow throughout the business.”
That comprises litho and screen printing in Willerby, near Hull, large format inkjet printing and collating a few miles away in Howden and small format digital and data management in Brighton. The aim is to link everything in the same network, providing real time information back from the factories and using this to improve the accuracy of estimating and job scheduling. This can be particularly important in finishing areas where estimating times to pull complex orders together can be difficult, says Matt Howlett.
The investment marks a return to Tharstern, drawn by the more advanced features of the MIS and additional features it offers. The real time dashboards displaying data about production will help identify areas where the business can accommodate additional jobs, essential when retail customers are challenging the business with demands for smaller quantities and immediate delivery. “It will identify where jobs are using the same materials and impositions which will help makeready on press and through to the guillotines. And the API that comes with Tharstern has a lot of scope for automating through job tickets.
“The CRM module looks good as well.”
CFO Steve Hadfield adds: “The Tharstern system will help to change the way we do business, by providing us real time data via customised reports and live dashboards. This will give us a level of transparency and visibility across the whole business, from estimating to dispatch, that will allow us to make the right decisions based on real time accurate data, which will be an invaluable asset to have.”