Print-shop management software should be able to give you a real-time overview of the past, current, and future performance of your print shop. Knowing the value of jobs that have been quoted, ordered, approved, scheduled, finished, and shipped can help identify and fix problems that could affect the profitability of your operations.

With good data about jobs in progress, your sales, marketing, and production teams can plan and prioritize their work each week. That might mean following up on the status of a quoted job or clearing a workflow bottleneck that might delay the delivery of a project for a key client. But these benefits might not be possible if you aren’t using your print-shop management program to its fullest. Consider these tips for getting more from your software.  

Conduct an annual performance review. Is the system performing as you had envisioned when you first installed it? Are staff members consistently using its features? Are there additional reports and information you would like the system to be able to track? Is important decision-guiding information missing from the system? Are any features of the system under-utilized? If so, why? Have any major technical glitches cropped up during the year? Were they reported and analyzed? Which employees are the most tech-savvy and enthusiastic users of the system? Can they help others use the print-shop management system more productively?

Keep cost data updated. Are the costs used to generate estimates accurately? Have you overlooked any costs in the process of adjusting various printing, finishing, and shipping procedures? The accuracy of your estimates and the profitability of your jobs depends on tracking the actual costs of producing specific types of jobs.

Integrate it with online ordering. Are you encouraging customers to use web-to-print storefronts? Online ordering helps ensure that the customers supply all data needed to produce a certain project. Your staff shouldn’t have to make repeated calls to gather or verify the information. Online ordering can ensure that your shop receives all contact data needed for proof approvals and accurate shipping and invoicing.

Connect it with other In-shop software. Have you tried connecting your print-shop management program to other programs such as Quickbooks? FedEx shipping? Google Drive? Slack? These connections further increase the functionality and benefits of your print-shop management program. For example, these connected tools enable employees to easily find pertinent information about each element of a multi-piece project as the job makes its way from acceptance to production, delivery and invoicing.

Resolve technical glitches correctly. If a feature isn’t working properly, avoid the temptation to create a do-it-yourself workaround. Your software providers’ technical support team should know about any bugs in the system. In some cases, the perceived “glitch” may be the result of oversight during training.

Suggest improvements. As your business requirements change, you and your print-shop employees will be the first to identify any gaps that exist in your print-shop management program. So if there is a feature you would like to see added to the software, let your technical support representative know about it. At the same time, make an effort to learn about features that have been added at the request of other users of the software.

The Benefits of Cloud-Based Systems

Installing a cloud-based print-shop management program such as Ordant is an ongoing process. Because we are always developing updates and fixes, you don’t have to wait for a set of upgrades to be released and installed in your on-premise hardware.

Our software developers work hard to stay on top of the fast-moving world of workflow-software so your staff can focus keep up with the fast-changing business of graphics and visual communications.

As your employees identify more efficient ways to produce certain jobs or use less costly combinations of materials, we have made it easy to make changes on your own. Ultimately, your print-shop management system should always reflect what your production team considers “best practices” for every type of product created in your shop. We never want to develop a print-shop management system that is bloated with features you’ll never use. We know how fast your business is changing and how much your staff already has to do and learn each day. So, we have made the Ordant estimating, order management, and web-to-print solutions very easy to learn, customize and maintain. To schedule a demonstration, visit www.ordant.com