Workflows may be automated, but getting quotes on jobs can take so long that new and even existing customers will take their work elsewhere to meet deadlines.
This is just one of the major findings in a new report on estimating systems, released by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) School of Media Sciences. In addition to reduced quotation cycles, mobility and compatibility with standards are also missing from many print service provider’s current estimating solutions.
Gannett Professor Chris Bondy and Media Arts and Technology student Wesley Odell identified and reviewed a variety of estimating systems, and interviewed print service provider participants representing various positions in their respective companies. Positions ranged from estimating and operations, to company leadership.
At the top of Print Service Providers’ Wish Lists: Faster Quotes
The length of time spent waiting for a quote heads the list of frustrations. The researchers found that those sampled spent an average of 2 hours and 10 minutes on administrative tasks related to the quote process, including job planning, for every order.
This frustration is a big reason why arifiQ’s estimating application is now in use at several, major, North American print production companies. arifiQ utilizes a unique algorithm that can process septillions of combinations of print devices, substrates and other production variables to generate a quote or quotes – on even complex jobs - that salespersons or their customers can review, or submit, within seconds.
“arifiQ is quite a bit further down the road than several other suppliers, in terms of turning around a quote quickly, whether the job be simple or complex, “says Bondy. “arifiQ is cutting that 2 hour plus wait into a minute or two, at most. They’ve raised the bar for the category.”
Another Ask: Easy-to-Use Interface and Mobility
Owned and run by executives who grew up in the print industry, arifiQ also offers one of the easiest to use interfaces. This makes it possible for wider groups of people to obtain quotes, keep jobs on schedule, and submit jobs for production. Salespeople can utilize arifiQ’s mobile features while on-site at customer locations. Customers can directly use arifiQ as well, as it is available via the cloud for anyone -- from anywhere – 24/7.
More Power for Those Who Want It
The arifiQ estimating engine brings even more value in terms of scalability and openness, especially as it is one of the only estimating solutions to offer an Open API for simple integration with other applications and workflows.
Today, versions of arifiQ with add-on modules have made it a full-scale MIS. A few customers see it as the platform for their entire Business Information System, in the not-too-distant future!
For a complete copy of the research report, go to http://printinthemix.com the RIT Cross-Media Innovation Center Industry Portal.