Commentary & Analysis
Free Special: Previewing Graph Expo Print Management Systems Vendors
By Gail Nickel-Kailing
Published: September 25, 2002
We’ve defined "Print Management Systems" as solutions that provide estimating, invoicing, job scheduling, job tracking, workflow, shop floor data collection and management, accounts receivable, general ledger, accounts payable, purchasing, vendor and inventory management, reporting, and CRM functionality. That’s a big list to fill, and GraphExpo is just the place to see these providers in one place.
Following is a "sneak preview" of new products and services from some of the Print Management Systems vendors who will be exhibiting. Remember, since this is an early show preview not every company exhibiting in this category was prepared to share information. We urge you to check back often for the latest breaking news and new product announcements.
CRC Information Systems (Booth 4637)
Heidelberg Group (Booth 1000)
PRIMAC Systems (Booth 4258)
Printable Technologies (Booth 2072)
Printcafe (Booth 3817)
Prism USA (Booth 4644)
Radius Solutions (Booth 4836)
SAP/unit inc. (Booth 4471)
CRC Information Systems (Booth 4637 – www.crcinfosys.com)
Hot Products: CRC Information Systems’ THE System, a fully integrated, business management system, provides commercial printers everything from estimating and production to financial accounting and e-commerce.
Products on Display
e-Finished Goods Order Entry - allows print buyers to manage their inventory in real time from the convenience of a Web browser. A few of the features include submitting production requests, releasing inventory, monitoring job status, tracking shipments, and receiving e-mail acknowledgements when jobs are ordered and shipped.
e-Commercial Print Quotation Entry - allows buyers to enter job specifications and submit them for estimating via the Internet. The general job specifications are then downloaded directly from the printer’s Web site into CRC’s Commercial Estimating module where the details such as material requirements, operations, labor hours, and costs are generated by THE System
e-Accounts Receivable Inquiry - allows buyers to access their statements on line and drill down on jobs to view and print invoices.
Heidelberg Group (Booth 1000 – www.us.heidelberg.com)
Hot Products: Prinect™ - the world's first print media and graphic arts software portfolio allowing printers to digitally network all the production workflows from prepress to press to postpress.
Products on Display:
Prinect - the digital glue that connects the whole workflow chain, from origination to finished product. Prinect is a modular system where all components and setups can be customized to meet individual printers' needs.
Prinect Internet Portal™, is customizable to feature the branding of individual print businesses and serves as an online gateway to Heidelberg’s Prinect products. The e-portal allows print providers to communicate directly with print buyers through a designated Web site and enables an array of e-services, from remote proofing and online requests for printing quotes and orders, to job management and secure file transfer.
Prinance was specifically developed for estimation and job management. All elements reflect job routines -- from customer inquiries and estimating to job handling and production -- to invoicing and statistical purposes. Prinance provides the applications with job-oriented data and receives information for follow-up costing and statistical evaluations.
DataControl production and information system is a comprehensive control tool for industrial printers. This tool links Prinect production components with the business control of Prinance to forge integrated solutions. Using an electronic planning table, DataControl makes production transparent and competitive by connecting print shops' management systems.
AxisControl, a new color measuring system in the Prinect workflow family. Its a basic color measuring system that can be used by any printshop needing to carry out effective quality controls directly on the CP2000 Center press console.
PRIMAC Systems (Booth 4258 – www.primacsystems.com)
Turnkey business management systems enhance the processes and flow of information across the end-to-end business cycle of commercial printers, their end-users, and their suppliers.
Hot Products: PRIMAC Systems’ new ePRIMAC browser brings industry standard operation, ease of use, faster learning, and increased functionality to PRIMAC.
Products on Display:
ePRIMAC – a browser based application that uses PRIMAC business logic in a state of the art user interface, provides ease of use and flexibility. The application is accessed by an Intranet/Internet website using point and click techniques for selecting menu tabs, drilling down into various functions, and handling day-to-day processing.
PRIMAC Revision 12 – a fully integrated, comprehensive business and production management system for medium and large printers and converters, featuring features job costing, purchasing/requisitions, order entry, and shop floor data collection on touch screens, drag and drop scheduling, and RF based inventory tracking, plus e-commerce. New features include:
- All reports may be e-mailed.
- Forms may be e-mailed; including Purchase Orders, Invoices, and Statements.
- Export of data from reports to other applications has been greatly simplified.
- Ability to select report/inquiry criteria on more detailed level is provided.
- Additional detailed reporting for invoice aging and transaction history.
- Inventory transactions can be tracked by fiscal period.
- Inventory products can now be transferred between plants and divisions.
- Detail Inquiry functionality includes inquiry capability at every level: Product Inquiry, Serial Inquiry, Receipt Inquiry, Shipment History Inquiry and Transaction History Inquiry.
Printable Technologies (Booth 2072 – www.printable.com)
Printable delivers printer-branded online digital workflow solutions, customer relationship management, and e-commerce enabled web site solutions including web site hosting, e-commerce modules, online portfolios, private customer centers, and custom order catalogs.
Hot Products: Printable Technologies’ new Printable Manager includes bulk loading and editing for large catalog creation as well as a WYSIWYG Catalog Editor for individual item changes. Printers can now delegate some administrative tasks to their own corporate customers with new, dynamic role-based administration.
Products on Display:
Printable Manager introduces close integration with Microsoft Office products, allowing templates and databases to be viewed and edited using, at the user's discretion, either a web browser (employing XML technologies) or Microsoft applications. The new software provides a high degree of scalability, supporting virtually unlimited catalog items and users, ideal for large corporate and institutional environments.
Printer's Dashboard - a control panel to e-business
PrintSite - an e-business-enabled website
PrintOne Customer Centers - private, branded websites for a Printer's customers providing account management and administration
PrintFusion - an online customized printing application
PrintFlight - online preflight capabilities
PrintProof - an online collaboration tool to improve proofing communication between printer and client
PrintGateway - accounting systems integration
Printcafe (Booth 3817 – www.printcafe.com)
Printcafe’s enterprise resource planning and collaborative supply chain software solutions enable printers and print buyers to improve productivity and lower costs. Printcafe’s procurement applications for print buyers integrate with the software solutions to facilitate Web-based collaboration across the print supply chain.
Hot Products: Printcafe Software PrinterSite Internal which is an Internet-based tool that integrates with Printcafe Hagen OA, Logic SQL and PSI print management systems providing a single, integrated data network for the real-time exchange of information between the salesperson, the estimator/production planner, the customer service representative (CSR) and the printer’s production personnel.
Products on Display
PrinterSite Internal: Designed as a sales and customer service interface across all management systems. This web front-end, combined with wireless technology such as a cell modem, can speed up estimating by transferring data digitally directly to the estimating department. Thus eliminating errors from data entry, and turning estimates quicker.
PrintFlow: Built on the theory of constraints, allows for development of "what if" scenarios to make schedules and operations more efficient.
DMI: Based on the AutoCount technology is for collecting information from web or sheet presses and finishing equipment, and can provide information by press, by shift or by individual
Hagen 7.0 - for high-end medium and large commercial printers, particularly those with multiple plants, is now multi-lingual. Language interfaces in English, Spanish, and French are now available, with others planned for 2003. Global trade is not limited to language; Hagan 7.0 also offers multiple currencies.
Logic SQL – a migration of Logic UNIX to SQL, is more user friendly, faster and hardware independent.
PrintSmith Site – quick and on-demand printers can build personalized interfaces and custom catalogues where information from the user interface flows directly to estimating, planning/scheduling and invoicing functions, as well as print production.
Prism USA (Booth 4644 - www.prism-usa.com)
The Prism WIN MIS and QTMS press management system comprise a fully integrated suite of modules from which print enterprises of all sizes can build the solution best suited to their business needs.
Hot Products: e-Service Desk, the first product in the Prism Online line-up, is a secure, user-friendly, Internet-based customer service site that allows printers to provide their customers with 24/7 print procurement online.
Products on Display:
Prism Online – A suite of e-business tools, developed specifically to fulfill the e-commerce needs of printers today and streamline the printer's internal business processes and enhance their commercial relationships. Prism Online tools embrace seamless integration and open communication both up and down the supply chain - from the supplier, to the printer's MIS, to the customer, and back again.
e-Service Desk: Appearing as a natural extension of the printer's website, e-Service Desk can be fully customized to reflect the printer's branding and corporate image. The printer chooses which of their customers can access the application and determines what information they can view.
Some of the features of e-Service Desk are:
- Secure access to print job data - including recent quotes, orders and jobs in progress
- Online viewing of finished goods inventory levels showing current stock, in production and back order quantities
- The ability for clients to enter and manage multiple delivery addresses for an individual print job
- Online ordering and management of reprints
- Drill down from quote to job dispatch details for each delivery per print job
- Integrated email links to the printer's service staff
- Security checks on login
- Multiple user logins per client
- Customisable design for corporate branding
- Online help
All information is accessed in real time, direct from the printer's management information system. Requests or amendments that the customer makes via e-Service Desk are fed straight back into the printer's MIS, allowing for immediate response and accurate, up to the minute management information.
Prism Enterprise: A management information system for the small to medium sized printing operation; Prism Enterprise provides a highly scaleable system, customized user interfaces and access to the Internet for e- Commerce. Ideal for sheetfed, web, flexo, digital and screen printers, Prism Enterprise is equally suited to in-plants, trade pre-press houses and trade binderies.
The Enterprise system encompasses the full range of management software – from the sales function through to the shop floor, from estimating and order entry right through to real-time shopfloor data collection. Modules include:
Estimating / Order Entry / Shipping
Shop Floor Data Collection
Scheduling / Shop Loading
Quick Order Entry
Finished Goods Inventory Control
Prism WIN: Prism WIN's unique modular design allows users to select those modules most appropriate to their business needs, while at the same time integrating them fully with modules from the QTMS Print Management System.
Prism QTMS: A unique set of machine monitoring modules and custom developed sensors that automatically record and collate accurate shopfloor information. The operator can track job performance against plan and production management and see the real time situation plant wide.
Radius Solutions (Booth 4836 – www.radiussolutions.com)
Radius Solutions’ PECAS Vision management information system is software for mid to large size printing and packaging companies and controls the entire business cycle from the initial stages of pre-sales through planning and manufacturing, and on to shipping and invoicing.
Hot Products: PECAS Vision II, a 2-year design, programming and testing project, is a major redesign of the underlying system architecture to aid reporting and performance in multi plant environments.
Products on Display:
PECAS Vision II:
- Integrated workflow system
- Increased personalization –users can customize screens and their own reports to meet their needs, and increase efficiency
- New web enabled Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module
- Introduction of embedded Crystal Reports and Data Analyzer for enhanced reporting
The new architecture will better enable Radius Solutions to increase the pace of development, which in turn benefits new and existing printing and packaging companies. Many of the ideas emanated from PECAS User Group feedback in North America and Europe 9including some of the biggest names in label, carton, flexible packaging, and printing industries), thereby ensuring that the enhancements are practical, useful and will be readily adopted.
SAP/Unitinc. (Booth 4471 – www.mysap.com/www.unitinc.com)
unit inc. is a qualified reseller and SAP technology partner offering SAP-based vertical solutions for the medium to medium-large commercial print market. Print IT is a pre-packaged solution based on the printing industry specific templates offering rapid, low risk, and fixed price/timeline implementations.
Hot Products: Print IT featuring mySAP All-in-One for the printing industry is a pre-packaged solution designed to meet the needs of the commercial printing organization for maximum operational and financial performance.
Products on Display:
Print IT: A fully integrated application including automated estimating tools, such as customer-ready estimating and order acknowledgement templates. The sales process is fully automated from sales order to production order, to a live scheduling board (replicating the traditional marker board with an on-screen representation) and finally to the shop floor. Materials management functions automatically generate purchase orders for materials and goods, with confirming receipts. And Print IT creates an accurate invoice when the job is complete.
Real-time data is captured to track every change made along the way and financial reporting tools allow both real-time access to materials and labor, as well as post-production profitability analysis. Customizable web-portals not only enable customer collaboration, but in-plant and remote access viewing.
SAP Truck Tour – Rolling Solutions Center
Sorry folks, the SAP E-Solutions Tour "truck" - a fifty-three-foot state-of-the-art, mobile information center - will NOT be on the floor at Graph Expo! You WILL be able to see all the products demonstrated on the show floor, however if you want to experience the latest in real-time visual and experiential environments, including a wide-screen Dolby surround sound theater and a live link to a remote printing facility, log onto www.sap.com/mk/get/smb_tour to learn when the tour will be near you.