Colourfast Financial created a landmark moment for German software developer Crispy Mountain by signing up to become the first UK user of its Keyline MIS.
The business is the largest UK user of Konica Minolta technology, needed to cope with a production workload that focuses on overnight work for the City of London. For managing director Darren Bacon the investment will help cope with the increasing pressure it is under.
He says: “We have chosen Keyline to fully automate our production process from online order receipt right through to dispatch. We currently run eight KM machines and by reducing our touch points we think we can be more efficient and in turn more profitable.”
Keyline is an entirely cloud based MIS developed by a team that had a back ground in logistics, not in print. It has been built using the latest understandings of user interfaces and the need to help printers cope with shorter turnaround and smaller print runs, each carrying the same administration burden as 30 years ago when the industry could afford a more leisurely approach.
A key advantage, explains Crispy Mountain director Christian Weyer, is that upgrades can be applied “several times a day” without impacting users. In operation the user follows a standardised approach to ensure that the correct information is loaded to the MIS in order to raise an estimate, manage the schedule or create the invoice.
The automation that Keyline delivers is at its best for scheduling. In a presentation Weyer asked those present which printers could set a production schedule at the start of the day which remained unchanged during that day. None raised a hand.
Keyline links to the production equipment via a direct interface or through an iPad and on to paper suppliers to understand where each job is and whether materials are available. “On this MIS, production planning is carried out every five minutes,” he says.
The second order for a UK Keyline installation was close by the end of the Print Show. Wayne Beckett , director of UK distributor Cloud to Print, was hoping to run a second demonstration before the show closed and clinch another deal. And throughout demonstrations were frequent. But not everyone was willing. He relates how one printer refused to watch a demonstration. The printer had recently completed an extensive upgrade to its IT systems which had not been without pain. The potential for a change in thinking was simply too great, Beckett explained.
Crispy Mountain's Keyline MIS made its debut at the Print Show where the first sale to Colourfast Financial, a company with no previous MIS experience, was announced. A second deal was almost in the bag before the end of the show.