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The Primary Reason Print Software Gets Thrown Out

Print software gets thrown out by printers primarily because of factors that are 100% in the printer’s control.

By Jennifer Matt
Published: August 14, 2019

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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 Jim Fetherston on Aug 14, 2019

After having gone through a less than desirable experience with a print MIS vendor, I wholeheartedly agree with Jennifer Matt's perspective. It should be mandatory reading for any printer that’s even remotely considering a major software investment.

There are a couple of points however that deserve emphasis for anyone going down this path.

In your installation, you will confront situations where the software won’t do what you want, the way you want it done. To make it work, you simply must be willing to change your process to that of the software vendor.

Think about that. You have to be willing to tell your staff that the way they’ve been doing things for the last umpteen years will no longer cut it.

If you don’t change to fit the way the software was written, you’re headed for the dreaded “workaround” which is a euphemism for doing it the old way because your new software can’t do it. As Matt states, it’s cheaper to change people than make changes to software. True, but the difficulty in changing culture is not to be underestimated.

Here’s the other problem: many software vendors over promise their ability and willingness to customize their product. After all, it’s only a matter of money and time, right? Well, not exactly. Customization for your little printing company, no matter how exorbitant you think the price is, is not really the business software companies are in.

The dirty little secret about print and what makes software for our industry such a challenge is we have all developed our own way of getting the job done. Whether its estimating, job planning, production planning, you name it, there’s not a lot of standardization. But to succeed, you will have to embrace it.

Jim Fetherston
President
Worzalla, Inc.

 

By Robert Arena on Aug 14, 2019

Resistance is futile? Where is the deep dive by software developers to understand how humans work? A parallel may be the interface between a human and automobile. How easy is it to turn on the defroster at night while going 65 on a crowded freeway? But that dashboard looks so cool. People have been doing things some way for a long time because it works well. Sure, software can assist but is often cumbersome. The cumbersomeness is at the root integration resistance. It not always better because a coder made it that way. PrintSmith may be popular but there is a lot of grumbling.

 

By Gina Danner on Aug 14, 2019

NextPage recently installed a new MIS system. One person spent over 70% of his time for a full year on the configuration, setup, and testing. Think about that, how many owners can afford to not only buy the software, pay for the support and setup, AND have one person that is focused on it for a year at that level.

Reality is, that we must invest at that level to maximize the return on the investment. Before we launched we did nearly 2,000 estimates to validate the standards AND wrote hundreds of jobs in the testing process.

While we did everything we could to get the team ready, it has still been 4 months of stress and some turmoil. We expect that it will take a year for everything to settle down and finally realize the full benefits.

When we get there, it will have been worth it. It does take time and focus.

And, we didn't customize and haven't allowed any work around.

 

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