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Assumptions Are the Enemy of Good Software Decisions

When both parties in the print software sales process make assumptions, poor decisions are made. Money is wasted. Time is squandered. Replace assumptions with clarifying questions so you come to a common understanding of the truth.

By Jennifer Matt
Published: March 1, 2017

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Jennifer Matt is the managing editor of WhatTheyThink’s Print Software section as well as President of Web2Print Experts, Inc. a technology-independent print software consulting firm helping printers with web-to-print and print MIS solutions. You can reach her at jen@whattheythink.com.

 

Discussion

By chris jordan on Mar 01, 2017

Like you we have spent a huge amount of time trying to teach suppliers sales and support staff how to sell and demonstrate complex workflow components including MIS systems, while at the same time teaching printers what to do before, at and following software demonstrations.
Your points are very good, and confirm that most printers still have no idea how to purchase complex software products. I would therefore repeat when working and advising printers that we push very hard, 'BUYER BEWARE."

 

By Mark Myers on Mar 01, 2017

Having been both a very large printer and the developer who learned programming so I could write an easy to use comprehensive management tool for my own company, I firmly believe that most printers who buy a comprehensive MIS system and possibly even ones with web to print capability usually approach the concept with the wrong perspective.

As I have stated many times before, without sales there is no business, so the most critical part to consider when purchasing software to help your company is a fast, reliable estimating with easy to learn and use, user interface, as Jennifer Matt in a recent article of hers has proclaimed the necessity for making the user experience as uncomplicated as possible.

My 20 years plus experience in the software business has shown me that most systems with layer upon layer of screens require many months to become proficient and possibly years, or maybe never to be thoroughly familiar with, and that is true with almost all systems marketed today.

When developing estimatorcloud we tried to make the user experience most important feature, using a single screen, and eliminating the more than 15 screens and access points required by most systems. We also emphasized making the estimating experience the easiest and most salient feature of the program whereas almost all other MIS solutions relegate the estimating portion to a minor role when in reality, it is the core function of any printing company.

Such items as inventory, job costing, and current state-of-the-art web to print solutions can easily be added at any time providing less confusion for the printer with substantial savings based on software modules easily available to satisfy specific printers requirements when an as needed. Not only is this approach far simpler to implement, it provides greater economy of scale as required to expand and enhance the printer’s business.

 

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