UK MIS provider Imprint is heading to Drupa for the first time on the back of unveiling V18 of its MIS.
The company showed the results of 18 months' work to customers last week. The programme started with an in depth customer survey followed by visitors to customers and then a series of Discovery Days which fed into the development process.
“We have made fundamental changes to the system and where we would like to take the software in the future,” says sales and marketing director Wayne Beckett . “However, we have not changed the core of the system. Our objective with the new version is to bring critical data more readily to the fingertips of our customers and we are also bringing new functionality, reporting tools and a vibrant new aesthetic approach to the software.”
The look and feel of the system has been updated, so that an estimator or CSR has increased access to job details, to creating estimates directly from the desktop screen without needing to switch to the different modules.
Chris Watson, sales manager, says: “There is a new global search function to search for anything related to a job or estimate across the clients base. Users can quickly access everything about customers, prospects or suppliers.”
There is greater integration with Outlook and for those on the road to Google maps to locate all customers in an area. A salesman sitting with a customer can generate an instant estimate or monitor stock levels of work held in store. If permissions are granted and through the Imprint API, a printer’s customer will be able to create their own estimates and monitor their own stock of standard print items.
Short cuts help speed the creation of estimates and automation email generation will help ensure that estimates are followed up.
Shopfloor data collection can employ JMF, Imprint’s own SentinelNet machine monitoring units or touch screen entry pads. The data can be viewed remotely on a smart phone or tablet or made available via an API if required.
A key addition is section control over a job in production. This splits the job into its component sections to help track progress. It also helps group jobs by shared characteristics to help with scheduling, those needing coating for example or on the same paper.
The user has swifter access to a wide range of reports from OEE analysis to estimate to job conversion rates.
The target is to enable further and deeper automation. To this end Imprint is working on a series of APIs to link to third party systems using XML formats. It already integrates with print workflows like Prinergy, Apogee, XMF and Prinect. It will also link to KBA's workflows. A project is underway at book printer CPI to link closely with its Kodak Prinergy system, while Page Brothers in Norwich has a close connection between its Heidelberg Prinect and Imprint.
The API approach extends connectivity into couriers for example to improve ordering and tracking deliveries. Others will follow. Says Beckett : “We have an extensive customer base which allows us to listen and to work with our customers so we can develop the products we need together.
“We are looking at new markets, and at the moment we are working on a carton system, developing estimating for cartons. While we are working with customers to extend into wide format and have a bespoke estimating system for this which is already being installed.”
Chris Watson and Wayne Beckett joined up to introduce customers to the benefits of the latest version of the Imprint MIS. Upgrades will begin next month with a day's training recommended to introduce the new features and ways of working with it.