The future of today’s administrative workflow
Over the last few years, it’s become clear that more and more graphics businesses have opted to improve and optimise their administrative workflow. Unfortunately, in most cases, the actual implementation is inadequate. But what are the obstacles preventing automation of the ‘quotation-to-invoice’ process? And how can a graphics company overcome those obstacles? Although investing in hardware is very important, they cannot achieve their full potential without also upgrading the administrative workflow. And that means automation. What factors prevent automation of the workflow? We’ve heard a number of reasons why the implementation of workflow automation might not live up to expectations:
- Investments in the current software solutions aren’t delivering the expected result.
- The costs associated with upgrading the production workflow are too high.
- The support required to implement automation in comparison with the costs of the software itself.
- There are more urgent problems to deal with …
All these statements are understandable, of course. So finding the right path to achieve adequate workflow automation isn’t an easy task. A lot of companies have increased their capacity, improved the print quality, and/or expanded their product range. In other words, they’ve invested in new hardware solutions. But although these new investments are important, they simply cannot achieve their potential without an equivalent upgrade of the accompanying administrative process. After all, between the sale of a print job and the actual printing, there are a number of significant bottlenecks: adding the job to the workflow and preproduction. How do you deal with the steadily growing influx of smaller jobs and their throughput?
The long journey between sale and delivery …
Adding a job to the existing workflow can be a lengthy process: the customer’s expectation, the job specifications, the material requirements, the financing, the approval, delivery …
After all, the customer wants the job carried out in a specific way. This means that the specific material must be suitable for the available machines, must be in stock, and must be available in the quantities required. And the other jobs in progress need to be taken into account, too. To fulfil the customer’s wishes, printing firms have to take a good look at the print specifications to determine whether they can be implemented with the available equipment. Printers need to plan jobs to ensure that they fulfil the delivery requirements stated in the order.
Completing an individual job is often a lengthy process, with several people sending lots of e-mails and making countless phone calls, while stock items are checked and jobs already in progress have to be followed up.
All of this is very inefficient and definitely not fit for the future! It doesn’t matter how fast the actual machines are. They’ll never achieve their true ROI unless the workflow taking care of all the steps between the offer and actual invoicing (+ follow-up) is automated as much as possible.
Planning the future and operational reliability
To embrace the future as efficiently as possible and guarantee operational reliability as far as possible, each step that a job goes through – from the sale to the point of the delivery – needs to be thoroughly reviewed. How many people deal with each job? Are the quotations and/or calculations automated? Is everything linked to the most recent prices of paper or other materials?
These are just some of the key points; there are dozens of others. If you don’t make the time now to review your administrative workflow, there may be a point in the future where you simply can’t grow any more. A non-automated workflow can result in longer working hours and delays in delivery, even if you install faster machines. It makes logical sense, doesn’t it?
When assessing your current situation, think about your internal business processes and the connectivity with your environment, such as people, machines, and partners. The future of your company also depends on ensuring that all the work is billed accurately, change requests are assessed on the basis of invoicing options, and discounts are checked. This is the only way to ensure that the quotation accurately reflects what is being invoiced for the job!
Connect, automate, and integrate
But where do you start? How do you integrate commercial, financial, production, and logistical business processes?
To establish strong processes and gain useful insights, you need to connect people and machines, exchange data automatically, and integrate partner solutions in a smart way.
Robust MIS software specially designed for the graphics industry, such as MultiPress, makes your administrative tasks easier, and improves your productivity. This is achievable thanks to a number of specific modules: invoicing, customer management, calculation package, time recording, cost management or cost price calculation, and so much more. This workflow gives your company a solid backbone, and the numerous connections to the financial, logistical, production, and shipping processes, for example, make it even more powerful. Simply put, this saves your company a whole lot of time and money.
More than 1000 successful MultiPress installations back this up. And it can work for your business, too! From international multi-location companies to niche craft businesses. MultiPress gives you a bespoke solution. Without any customisation needed. For every budget. Adapted to your vision and growing with your ambition. Connect to MultiPress, and we’ll connect your company to a secure future.