PLYMOUTH, MA, February 12, 2003 – BellSouth-owned Stevens Graphics, Inc., a 600-employee directory and catalog printer with manufacturing facilities in Atlanta and Birmingham, has switched its enterprise-wide information and management operations to Prism USA's WIN system, calling it the best printing-specific package in the marketplace.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Stevens prints all of the directories and catalogs for BellSouth Corporation’s nine-state region as well as other publishers throughout the U.S. The company's pressroom configurations include seven four-color offset webs, a four-color sheetfed unit and three bindery lines.
Chris Mark, manager of IT for Stevens Graphics, Inc., says that a thorough evaluation of all available print management systems was launched when the decision was made to upgrade to a new system. "We were about to opt for another system, but at the 11th hour, we learned about the Prism product and found it was superior to anything we had seen."
Mark cites four specific features that helped to tilt the scale for Prism:
- First is a feature called "Style Sheets" which permits customization of user experience. The look and feel of every screen can be customized, if desired, for every user.
-Second is the Prism EDS server enabling shop floor data collection transactions at remote plants. If a main database goes down, employees can continue to key in transaction data which will continue to be collected. With plants in two different states, that feature was particularly important for Stevens Graphics, Inc. operations, and Prism was the only system to offer it.
-Third is the utility called Prism WIN Connect, an application programming interface (API) that allows the import of third party information. It is a functionality that enables Stevens to get data in and out of Prism WIN from other sources, notably two other non-Prism packages that the company wanted to continue using.
-Fourth is the Prism VTM (Virtual Time Manager), a time-clock touch screen that enables simple, fast employee input of operating data from terminals throughout the plants.
Mr. Mark notes that under Stevens' old system, functionalities such as jobbing and quoting were often done by individuals offline in spreadsheets, creating islands of data throughout the company. With Prism WIN, they are using 100% of the integrated jobbing and quoting functionality within the system. "Everything flows from there," he says. "Once a job is set up, you trigger an inventory order, you're linked to purchasing and you receive the inventory when it's needed to start production. Meantime, all of those transactions generate job costing information along with the job floor data being collected. All the data rolls up in the integrated Prism package for timely reports and ultimately for entry in the company's financials."
According to Mr. Mark, the changeover to the new Prism WIN system on January 2nd, although a lot of hard work, was virtually seamless thanks to intensive planning and outstanding support from the Prism technology team. He describes the procedure as pretty much a case of turning one system off and turning the Prism WIN system on the next day. They did several dry runs on migrating the data over to make sure they had their hands around exactly what was needed to bring the system live.
"Prism's response has been unquestionably superb," he says. "We had a tech rep on-site through the first week of live operation and when an unforeseen issue came up, the response was – and continues to be – immediate and right on target."
"We made the right decision with Prism," Mr. Mark says. "This is the best package in the marketplace from what we saw. It's meeting all our current needs and has capabilities to accommodate our future needs. I believe that the company and its products are going to last the distance. That means as the market and the technology change, then so will the Prism products. It also means they will be able to assist us in continuing to meet our company objectives of efficiently delivering quality products to the marketplace."
Carol Andersen, CEO of Prism USA, observes, "It's clear from the enthusiastic endorsements we are receiving from IT leaders like Chris Mark that the quality of our technology and the dedication of our people are having an impact on the printing industry. We are delighted to have won the competition to work with Stevens Graphics, and the opportunity to help them enhance their performance throughout their organization as it provides outstanding results for its parent, BellSouth, and its other customers across the country."
The Prism Group is the world’s leading, dedicated supplier of integrated MIS software and machine monitoring equipment for the printing and graphic arts industry, with operations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Prism’s flagship products are the Prism Enterprise and Prism WIN management information systems and the Prism QTMS press monitoring system. The Prism Group has more that 2,700 client sites in 15 countries and over 10,000 users worldwide. For more information on Prism systems and products, contact Prism USA at 800-842-5776 or visit the company’s website at www.prism-world.com.
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